15 Fun and Festive Virtual Holiday Party Ideas
With the end of the year around the corner, one can feel the festive spirit growing by the day. Most companies organize holiday parties during this time which may either be intimate affairs or more formal, black-tie gatherings. Regardless, these occasions allow employees some down time to connect with each other and bring in the new year with some happy memories.
Since the threat of the new wave of coronavirus is upon us and many organizations continue to work remotely or hybrid, meeting in person is not always possible. But if we can work and collaborate online, we can definitely party virtually as well. While it may not be the most ideal of situations, the intention is to appreciate everyone making it through a tumultuous time and keep the morale high for the upcoming year.
If you’re wondering how you can make your virtual parties and holiday celebrations more interesting, look no further than our extensive list below.
1. Online Holiday Bingo
This version of bingo is fun and familiar and can be played at a virtual holiday party. A focused version of this game can be played by creating breakout rooms where teammates can interact and chat with one another. Otherwise, playing in a big group is also great, chaotic fun. The player that is the first to cross out five squares in a row wins. In order to make this game more exciting, you can present winners with prizes that range from extra paid time off hours to Amazon gift cards.
2. Virtual Holiday Scavenger Hunt
Scavenger hunts are fun, and their virtual versions carried out on Zoom are no less. Keep it short and challenge your teammates to quickly find specific items around the house or office.
Listed below are some suggestions for items that players can scavenge for:
- Favourite ugly sweater
- An umbrella
- An item that has been in your possession for the longest time
- The most festive item you own
- Something that reminds you of home
- The best present that you have ever received
- Company merchandise
In order to play this game, simply have the host fire off prompts and the player that is the first to bring back an item gains a point. Additional points can be rewarded to those who are able to share more about the item that they choose to display. The player who amasses the most points wins the game.
3. Fun with Holiday Playlists
A party in December without Christmas music is simply incomplete. To create a festive atmosphere, simply curate a cheery holiday playlist. Music platforms like Spotify can be used such that the entire team can add songs to a playlist. Christmas carols and festive tunes like Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” and “Last Christmas” by Wham! make for the perfect background music at a virtual holiday party.
Holiday karaoke can also be partaken in at virtual holiday gatherings wherein lyrics can be streamed on YouTube with the aid of a program like Watch2Gether. Several games like “Name that Tune” can be applied to festive songs or carols can be stopped midway and guests can be asked to sing the following line.
4. Virtual Christmas Trivia
Here, trivia gets a festive makeover and the questions featured relate to the holiday season. For a virtual holiday party, these questions can be asked and answered by participants with the aid of the chat or poll features provided on web conference applications like Zoom. Players may also respond audibly with their webcams. The raise hand reaction can also be used as a buzzer.
Popular questions that you can add to your virtual Christmas trivia session include the following.
Q1. Which winter holiday was created by the writers of “Seinfeld”?
Q2. What are the names of each of the eight Reindeer mentioned in “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer?
A2. Blitzen, Comet, Cupid, Dasher, Dancer, Donner, Prancer, and Vixen.
Q3. What holiday song was broadcasted by astronauts in space during Christmas in 1965?
A3. Jingle Bells
Too lazy to search for questions? We suggest trying out Bored Trivia and getting your team on Slack to play a couple of rounds. Try it here and we’re sure it’ll soon become part of your regular team building routine.
5. Enhancing the Festive Spirit with Virtual Holiday Party Invitations
Owing to the fact that virtual holiday parties are carried out online as opposed to in-person, the invitations sent out to guests is a meeting room link. But that doesn’t mean it needs to look boring! In order to grab your guest’s attention and create a buzz about the event, consider sending a customized digital invite to email all of your guests. Basic email URLs are easy to forget about, however, a bright invitation is eye-catching.
Web platforms like Canva or VisaCreate can be used to create festive virtual party invitations to send to your team. These invitations should ideally be sent a few weeks prior to the event such that guests can plan accordingly.
6. Virtual Holiday Icebreakers
One of the potential hurdles often associated with virtual holiday parties is that while they are capable of entertaining entire teams in one go, they can at times be limited in their scope for one-on-one conversations. This can be corrected by splitting guests into breakout rooms such that they can partake in activities and engage in small group interactions.
Popular holiday icebreakers to consider incorporating into your holiday party include the following:
- What’s the one question you would like to ask Santa?
- Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or on Christmas morning?
- What’s the best Christmas movie you have ever watched?
- Are there any interesting Christmas traditions that your family participates in?
- What is the best holiday food that you have ever had?
- What is the weirdest holiday present that you have ever received?
If your team uses Slack, may we suggest giving Bored Icebreakers a shot? We promise we’ll make it worth your while.
7. Craft Festive Ornaments
While participants may not share an office Christmas tree, they can still craft ornaments to add to their own trees. Ornament making is one of the most fun-filled activities that can easily be incorporated into a virtual holiday party or even earlier.
During the holiday party call, participants can follow a lesson video such as this one available on YouTube in order to design and decorate ornaments.
Attendees can also each be mailed ornament kits prior to the party commencing. The company logo can be printed onto a plain white ceramic tile which participants can then personalize with the aid of glitter, markers, and additional holiday ephemera.
Once the virtual holiday party comes to a close, the finished products can be added to an online gallery or can be shared on social media.
8. Create a Company Christmas Card
Remote teams are unlikely to ever be in the same room as one another and therefore, the chances of a group picture existing are limited. A virtual holiday party serves as the perfect place for a team photo to be snapped. In order to take this photograph simply switch to gallery view on Zoom and take a screenshot. Guests can be asked to dress up in costumes and utilize custom holiday backgrounds. The festive spirit can also be captured with the aid of printable Christmas-themed props.
Web programs like Canva can also be utilized to add some oomph to transform these photographs into digital Christmas cards. These cards can then be sent to all attendees in a party recap email.
9. Collaborative Holiday Newsletter
In the past, it wasn’t uncommon for friends and relatives to share personal news with one another via Christmas cards and annual newsletters. This tradition can be modernized and adapted to holiday celebrations such that updates pertaining to team members can be shared and remote colleagues can get to know one another better. Carry forward this initiative by simply sharing email prompts with your teammates and compiling their responses into a team email.
Popular prompts you can send your teammates include the following.
- What work did you accomplish this year that you are most proud of?
- What is a personal accomplishment that you experienced this year and would like to share?
- What was the most valuable lesson you learnt this year?
- What was the best TV show you watched this year?
- What are you most excited about for the upcoming year?
Similar prompts can be created along the same lines or employees can provide details as per their choice. Once all submissions have been collected, they can be displayed in bullet points or can be showcased as pie charts or graphs. By charting out the common ground within the answers you can help your team visualize group identity with greater clarity. This activity may also be used as a time capsule that can help chronicle a team’s progress.
10. Team Holiday Meal
One of the most important aspects of any seasonal gathering is the food served. While virtual employees and additional guests may not be able to snack on a holiday buffet at a virtual holiday party, this doesn’t mean that their meal can’t be catered by the company they work for. One of the easiest ways in which food can be provided for a virtual holiday party is by reimbursing employees for a meal they had or sending them credits for a food delivery service.
Team lunches and dinners are some of the best avenues for employees to get a chance to bond with one another. A virtual holiday meal can allow for the same and the discussion can either be unstructured or holiday talking points can be prepared prior to the call commencing and can be used to break the ice.
11. Festive Holiday Drinks
You can add a festive flair to your holiday party by mailing your employees hot chocolate packets that are easy to fit into standard mailing envelopes. These can also be complemented with additional fixings like cookie batons, hazelnut spread and marshmallows. Colleagues can also choose to add any alternative mix-ins such as caramel sauce or whipped cream. During the virtual holiday party, employees can have a contest in order to determine which remote employee was able to concoct the most sinful or creative cup of cocoa.
12. Stocking Stuffers
While the real spirit of the season focuses on friends, family, and faith, presents still constitute a major part of the Christmas spirit. You can mail your remote teammates a bag stuffed with holiday goodies and can show them your appreciation for all their hard work over the past year. These goody bags can help generate excitement about an upcoming holiday party and can provide a tactile element to a virtual event.
Presents that are likely to be well received in a holiday good bag could include:
- Fuzzy socks and cozy blankets
- Holiday accessories ranging from reindeer headbands to Santa hats
- Stocking stuffers ranging from candy to office accessories
These presents can be personalized according to employee preferences and can be sent in a gift basket or can be built from scratch. However, it is worth noting that goody bags can also be replaced with virtual gifts such as providing employees with a free subscription to a streaming service. Gift vouchers may also be given to employees in lieu of a goody bag sent via mail.
13. Holiday Recipe Guide
Several homes are often engaged in a ton of cooking during the holiday season. By having your employees swap recipes with one another, you can all learn something new while enjoyably interacting with a colleague.
An office recipe collection can be compiled by having each employee provide a single recipe that they use during the holiday season. These recipes can then be organized keeping in mind the category they fall under i.e., starters, mains, and desserts.
Programmes like InDesign can be utilized to make the compiled guide of recipes more visually appealing. The completed collection can then be shared with the entire team. Owing to the fact that some people learn best with the aid of visual cues, a certain amount of time can be carved out during a virtual holiday party. During this time, cooking demonstrations can be provided and holiday-focused cook offs can be participated in.
14. Advent Calendars
Advent calendars are some of the most popular presents that are particularly popular in the days leading up to Christmas. Similar to a countdown, these calendars each feature small windows that can be opened each day to reveal a present. Ordinarily, the present found is chocolate, although more unique offerings have cropped up over the past few years and feature wine and snacks.
In order to create a buzz for your company’s holiday party, you can send all your invitees an advent calendar along with an invitation to your holiday party. This advent calendar can be used to remind them of the holiday spirit on a daily basis and can help bring a team together.
15. Secret Santa
Secret Santa is one of the most popular events that is carried out at holiday parties. It involves employees each being assigned names of co-workers at random for whom they must each get a present. To keep things fair, a budget is normally imposed such that the presents purchased fall under the same price range. Since these presents can’t be provided in person, employees must anonymously mail one another their presents. During the virtual holiday party, employees can then guess who their secret Santa is. This gift exchange allows for connections to be forged and the festive spirit to be encouraged.
The holiday season is special and fun virtual events can enhance the festive spirit across company rungs such that employees recognize their worth and enjoy one another’s company. Virtual holiday parties have the potential to be just as entertaining as in-person ones provided they are organized with care and deliberation.