There’s a chill in the air and the faint sound of jingle bells in the distance. That can only mean one thing…
No, not Christmas in July. Actual Christmas. Yes, despite popular belief, we are indeed in November now (crazy, we know).
And this means that the holiday party ideas for your office are about to sneak up on you, and in a mean way. Because let’s face it.
It can be difficult to come up with virtual holiday party ideas when you’ve already got so much on your plate! But that’s where we come in.
Yep, like your own jolly old St. Nick, we’re here to help you out this season so you can have the best virtual holiday party with your officemates. You’ll even feel like that special kid who gets to open one present the night before on Christmas Eve!
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Why are virtual holiday parties important?
Okay, this point is specifically designed to target those Christmas Grinches out there. You know, the type that thinks virtual holiday party games are just a waste of time.
Well, we’ve got an answer that can only make your heart grow three times its current size. So, are you ready? Gear up your lungs and rib cage for the answer…
The holiday spirit is one that needs to be shared. And since your team members are, no doubt, a big part of your life, why not share that holiday cheer with them?
Not only will this virtual event bring folks together in the office. It will also remind us that this holiday season, we’re not alone. That we’re never alone.
(Cue a single tear and a pounding heartbeat.) We gotcha, didn’t we?
Preparation tips for your virtual holiday party
Now that we’ve got all the Grinches on our side, it’s time to talk about preparation! What? A virtual holiday party doesn’t just happen on its own…
Think about what you want folks to gain from your virtual holiday party
A virtual holiday party can be many things – and that’s why it’s important to set a goal and intention first. It can be the vehicle through which to trade a Christmas story or two.
Or, it can be the ultimate intervention in which you finally convince everyone that Die Hard is, in fact, the most beloved holiday movie of all time. (Trust us, we are not the only ones to share this opinion.)
Set a date and time for the virtual holiday event
This may seem obvious, but we’re just checking our list twice! Set a date and time for your virtual holiday party that works with everyone.
And definitely double check your list if you have team members calling in from remote places. Time zones can be tricky, but it’s a piece of cake (or cookie) for Mr. Claus.
Choose the right platform for your online holiday party
Make sure that every team member has access to the platform of your choosing. Whether that be Zoom, Google Meet, Skype, or any other digital meeting space.
The last thing you want is to come up with a great list of Zoom Christmas party ideas only to find out that a team member thought you were meeting over FaceTime. What? Crazier things have happened.
Create a clear virtual party agenda
A virtual Christmas party can quickly get out of hand without a clear agenda in mind. So that being said, plan out how you want the evening to go.
When to exchange virtual gifts and holiday goodies, when to start virtual holiday games, and when the main virtual holiday party portion can finally take a turn for the crazy! (Just kidding.)
(Or maybe we’re not? Maybe that’s what all of your company holiday parties are like? I mean, who are we to say…)
Send out the details to your remote employees
Once you’ve got all of your virtual holiday party ideas down into an agenda, send it out! That way, everyone knows what to expect.
And that will only make the Christmas-themed games go smoother. Alright, you’ve definitely been good and patient up to now. So, are you ready for the moment you’ve been waiting for?
Virtual holiday party ideas
Finally! The virtual holiday party ideas you’ve been expecting this whole time! And you thought we wouldn’t deliver…
#1. Hire an opening act
There’s nothing like getting a corporate entertainer or Santa Claus look-alike to come in and get you started with that good old virtual Christmas party fun. Or, maybe an elf was sent on Santa’s behalf to get your company holiday party started.
Who knows? Supposedly, elves are in high demand these days.
#2. Get folks engaged with online team building games
What’s a better time for virtual holiday team building than the virtual Christmas party itself?! Besides, who can say that their virtual Christmas parties are both fun and productive?
#3. Host a virtual dinner party with a theme
Instead of the usual Christmas party ideas, maybe opt for a holiday theme like Christmas in July – you know, just to match your frame of mind! Or, go the other direction and get everyone to come bundled up for your winter wonderland virtual dinner party theme.
#4. Set up a virtual Secret Santa gift exchange
Send out virtual office Secret Santa assignments about a month in advance to give folks time to buy and send presents. Then, have everyone open up their Secret Santa gift box, guessing whose virtual holiday party presents were sent by whom!
#5. Offer a virtual holiday photo booth
Make the memories of your perfect virtual holiday party last. And maybe even find a virtual photo booth with fun filters! Just to give everyone an extra good time.
#6. Get in the holiday spirit with an online holiday scavenger hunt
Stocking stuffer scavenger hunts are sure to get your party guests up and moving! Make a list of common household items that everyone needs to collect, then come together to tally up who’s got the best stocking stuffer at your online Christmas party!
#7. Sing company holiday carols
Take classic Christmas carols and change the lyrics to fit your company’s lingo! Instead of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” maybe you’ve got, “Jerry, the Red-Nosed Accountant!”
Seriously, his allergies are always out of whack. He needs to get that checked out!
#8. Share your favorite holiday traditions with team members
Ask each team member to go around in a circle, sharing their favorite holiday tradition from years past. And maybe they’ll even inspire new traditions that you can create as an office together. Besides, who doesn’t love icebreakers like these ones?
#9. Host a virtual wine tasting party
Send out samples of wines early in advance, then unbox them together from your respective homes. You might find the perfect holiday wine and get to know the resident sommelier in the office.
(Besides, don’t you just feel fancy saying things like, “oaky aftertaste”? And “buttery mouthfeel“?)
#10. Play virtual holiday bingo throughout the event
Bingo sheets are a great thing to pass out at the beginning of your virtual parties, then play discreetly as the party goes on – even yelling “Bingo!” in the middle of a conversation! Be sure to include silly bingo squares too.
Like, “Jolene says, ‘That’s the kicker!'” (Seriously, she is all about that kicker!)
#11. Send out recipes for fun holiday drinks
Prior to the party itself, get your virtual holiday party guests to send out their favorite holiday drink recipes. That way, everyone will have a fun beverage to cheer with and your recipe may catch the boss’s eye!
#12. Create a holiday playlist with your remote employees
Out of all the Christmas party ideas, this one is perhaps the best for colleagues at work. Making a playlist is a form of team building.
And it also gets folks to consider different perspectives from their own. Admit it, you’ve gotten in a debate or two about what was the absolute best Christmas song of all time before!
#13. Decorate the virtual Christmas tree
Use a virtual Christmas tree that you can collaboratively decorate together. It might end up looking like a mess when digital tools are involved, but that’s half the fun!
#14. Invite a virtual emcee to host
If hosting isn’t your jam, consider bringing in a virtual event host! They’ll know how to start a rapport with everyone in the office.
And a virtual party host can help with some icebreakers to get officemates to better know one another. After all, sometimes it takes an outside perspective to bring a little more levity and light to the party.
#15. Get folks up and about with a virtual holiday dance party
Okay, this is one of those virtual Christmas party ideas that might not be ideal for everyone. But if you’ve got an office full of movers and shakers, strike up a dance party because, well, why not? How’s that for entertainment?
#16. Set up a fun game of virtual holiday trivia
There’s nothing like testing out your holiday knowledge than with a friendly game of holiday trivia. For example, “How many reindeer does Santa have?”
Or, “In the movie It’s a Wonderful Life, what happened every time a bell rang?” (Answer: An angel got his wings!!)
#17. Rank holiday movies from best to worst
You know there’s a definitive order to holiday comedy movies. So now’s your chance to convince everyone from Bob in Accounting to Sandra in HR that the absolute best holiday movie ever is… (insert answer here!)
#18. Host a virtual holiday karaoke party
We’re not saying that the best virtual holiday office party includes holiday music karaoke. But we are very much saying that the best virtual holiday office party includes holiday music karaoke.
#19. Create a company holiday newsletter
Highlight company wins in a holiday edition newsletter together and reminisce on how the year’s gone! Aren’t the holidays a time for sharing memories after all?
#20. Throw a holiday season fashion show
We all know ugly Christmas sweaters are all the rage this time of year. So why not make a fun show out of it as a virtual holiday party activity?
#21. Name those holiday songs
Online holiday parties would be nothing without music. So play a snippet of a classic Christmas tune, get folks to guess the right song, and let the virtual Christmas games commence!
#22. Host a virtual present wrapping contest
Virtual holiday parties are, hands down, the best place to show off your impressive present-wrapping skills. So if you’ve got that on your how to host a virtual party ideas checklist, consider it done.
#23. Play a gingerbread house-making competition
There can only be one gingerbread house champ. But you might as well make a fun way to get folks a little messy in their kitchens!
#24. Make a wreath with team members to spread holiday cheer
Send materials in advance, then gather round the virtual Christmas tree for some wreath-making. (Not that the holiday season is the place for competition, but you could always compete for the best Christmas wreath… just saying.)
#25. Guess who’s the baby?
What’s a fun way to get to know your colleagues better? Guessing which baby pic is Josh from Development! Seriously, those dimples though!
#26. Take a virtual tour of holiday lights
Bring that Christmas glitz and glamor with a virtual tour of some holiday lights. Just because you’re staying home doesn’t mean you can’t go sightseeing too!
#27. End the night with a clean comedian
The best way to wrap up any virtual event is with a clean comedian who can bring down the house. Really, what’s more festive than laughing with loved ones around the holidays?
Besides, once the end of the evening rolls around, the host will likely want to go to bed. So let a comedian take all that weight off your shoulders and you’ll be smiling in your sleep!
(Seriously, you’ll be so fast asleep you won’t even hear all that rummaging around in the chimney. But you’ll certainly be surprised once morning comes around!)
Make your virtual holiday party one that your colleagues will never forget. And try out these ideas to test your officemates’ gingerbread house-making, wreath-decorating, gift-wrapping, holiday-song-identifying, karaoke skills, and more!
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