Virtual Holiday Party Ideas for the Remote Workplace
End-of-year holiday parties should be fun events that everyone in your organization looks forward to. If you’re in remote or hybrid office environment, you should still be able to plan a great holiday party with gifts, fanfare and treats for everyone to enjoy. To help you organize the best event that you can put on, here are some virtual holiday party ideas for you to try out.
Table of Contents
Holiday Ice Breakers
1. Ice Breaker Questions
Ice breaker questions are a fantastic way to kick off any virtual holiday gathering. Ice breakers immediately get your guests engaged, and a holiday spin on ice breaker questions will get the entire party in the mood for festive fun. Here are some holiday ice breaker questions you can use during your event:
- Do you have a special family holiday tradition?
- What is your favorite holiday song?
- What is the best/most memorable gift you’ve ever received?
- Do you have any New Year resolutions?
- What is your favorite holiday food?
- What crazy holiday thing does your town do?
2. Send a Holiday Gift Box
Does anything put you in the holiday spirit more than getting your hands on a present? If you’re organizing a virtual holiday party for your team, consider sending them each a holiday gift box. There are many great holiday gift box options for remote teams, such as the Holiday Party Beer & Cheese Pairing Experience from Unboxed Experiences. This guided virtual event delivers a box of seasonal craft beers and gourmet cheese to your guests. Everyone learns to pair the flavors of beer and cheese like a professional Cicerone during an hour-long holiday party rounded out with team bonding activities and gifts.
3. Wellness Activities
Even though the holiday season is something most of us look forward to, that doesn’t mean it’s a stress-free time of the year. In fact, most Americans have reported they find it hard to relax throughout the holiday season. According to a 2015 survey conducted by Healthline, about 60% of respondents said their stress level is elevated during the holidays.
With that in mind, you may consider setting up wellness activities for your organization throughout the holidays. You can look into activities such as holiday-themed yoga classes or set up a program to encourage your team to engage in physical activities like neighborhood walks to observe Christmas light displays. Virtual wellness events like the Tea & Mindfulness Experience also provide a great avenue to reward and relax your team. The virtual event teaches guests to brew internationally-sourced teas and guides them on mindfulness and meditation exercises designed to be enjoyed from the comforts of home.
4. Create a Holiday Book Club
Few things beat cozying up with a good book while the winter season rages outside. And to celebrate the holidays with your group, why not set up a holiday-themed book club with interested employees? There are a lot of great reads for adults that are focused around the holidays, including works from authors like Truman Capote and Agatha Christie.
Virtual Holiday Party Ideas With Alcohol
5. Christmas Beer Tasting
Mulled wine and eggnog are two famous Christmas spirits, but did you know there are several special beers brewed for the holidays? There is historical evidence that special Christmas beers have been brewed for over 1,000 years! From Belgian spiced holiday beers to French “Biere de Noel”, there is a whole world of holiday beers to explore.
You can book a beer tasting for your virtual holiday party this year with specially-brewed Christmas beers. Unboxed Experiences offers a seasonal Beer & Cheese Pairing Experience that features craft beers made for the holiday season, such as a Winter Ale and a cranberry beer. Throughout the party, your guests will learn to partner these Christmas beers with artisan-made cheeses like sharp Vermont cheddar or Windsordale.
6. Holiday Happy Hour
A virtual happy hour is a great way to get your co-workers together at the end of the week. One of the most attractive aspects of a virtual happy hour is the casual atmosphere in which coworkers can enjoy drinks and bond with one another in a low-pressure environment. You may consider booking a specially-guided alcohol and food pairing event for your group that delivers everything straight to your guests ahead of your festive virtual happy hour.
7. Holiday Beer Box Gifts
Whether you’re looking to send a gift to your employees or a special client, beer boxes are widely considered as great holiday gifts. There exist several beer boxes that you can send clients or employees as awards, but we recommend the Holiday Beer Boxes from Brewvana.
These holiday beer-a-day boxes come in varieties for both Christmas and Hanukkah, and Brewvana’s team of beer pros hand-selects special holiday brews for both boxes. Your gift recipients can expect to find a variety of great seasonal craft brews in each box, from chocolate Imperial Stouts to tasty New England IPAs. These boxes also come with access to nightly interactive virtual tasting parties featuring interviews with brewers and other fun personalities. Get your team together for nightly drinking sessions with your holiday beer box gift!
Holiday Gift Ideas
8. Virtual Secret Santa
This is an easy and effective way to spread holiday cheer throughout your remote office. Employees that would like to participate can sign up to send a thoughtful gift to their coworkers, and you can add parameters to your office’s Secret Santa exchange to encourage original and funny gifts. An obvious rule that you can implement is a cost ceiling like $25, but you could also mandate that all gifts be originally made so coworkers exchange things like custom t-shirts and photo albums.
9. Stocking Stuffers
Who doesn’t love a fun little stocking stuffer? You can overlook things like stocking stuffers while planning a large virtual holiday party, but you shouldn’t! Small gifts can go a long way. Booked events like our Holiday Party Beer & Cheese Pairing Experience come with fun stocking stuffers included in every box, with gifts like holiday poppers and custom glassware available.
Eccentric Virtual Holiday Party Ideas
10. Holiday Costumes
Holiday parties are supposed to be fun and an opportunity to let your hair down, and there are few better ways to get people in the mood for a good time than goofy costumes. Luckily, the holidays present a lot of great ways to dress up in costume for a virtual holiday party.
Send your guests funny costumes and headwear for the party, or ask them to provide their own. Classic holiday costume ideas include a Santa Claus outfit, reindeer antlers or an elf hat. You could also go off the beaten path and dress up like Krampus with horns and chains, Grinch gloves, or any of the Christmas ghosts from “A Christmas Carol”.
11. Holiday Cookie Competition
Hanukkah and Christmas cookies are a staple of every office holiday party. Why don’t you spice it up a bit? Gather your group and have a virtual cookie decorating party with gingerbread houses, festive sugar cookies and colorful icing. These cookie decorations are cost-effective to provide, and the activity itself is quick enough to fit into most virtual meetings.
12. Ugly Sweater Contest
Everyone loves a good Ugly Christmas Sweater, but the real question is, who has the ugliest sweater in your organization? It’s time to find out! Tell your group to wear their most gaudy, loud and ugly sweater to your virtual holiday party, and then have everyone at the party vote on the best-worst sweater on screen. You can even host your virtual Christmas party on National Ugly Sweater Day (yes, it’s real), which is held on the third Friday of December.
Funny Virtual Party Ideas
13. Holiday Movie Marathon
Give your team a day off to get together online to watch a string of their favorite holiday movies. Here’s a tip: Send out an internal poll before your movie marathon to find out which holiday films people really actually want to watch. There are a few different methods to stream movies with multiple viewers, so do some research on what works best within your group before planning a movie marathon.
14. Bad Movie Watch Party
This is similar to the idea above, but where you intentionally watch the worst holiday movies together. Encourage your guests to chat over the film and make a dub of the film, similar to Mystery Science Theater 3000. If you don’t know what to watch with your group, here are a few of our favorite bad holiday movies:
- Star Wars Holiday Special
- Santa Claus Conquers the Martians
- Santa’s Slay
- The Nutcracker 3D
15. Virtual Holiday Card Exchange
A virtual holiday card exchange is a simple treat that facilitates a way for everyone in your organization to send thoughtful holiday greetings to each other. You can easily make wonderful and well-designed holiday cards with free online tools like Canva. Or, you can go the cheesy route and tell everyone they have to make their own cards on MS Paint—it isn’t easy. This is a great way to foster the holiday spirit in your team!
16. Make a Festive Music Playlist
Beginning way too early each and every year, holiday music is an enduring part of the Christmas season. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun with holiday music. Ask your team to send in their favorite holiday jams to include in a company playlist, and then share it out with everyone after it has been built. This is a particularly fun way to spruce up your virtual holiday party because you’ll always end up with a few songs you didn’t even know existed.
17. Build a Music Video Playlist
Similar to the idea above, this twist asks your team to track down the best (or cheesiest) Christmas and Hanukkah song music videos that exist. You can build a playlist for free on YouTube, and your team will love going back to watch the playlist throughout the holiday season. Here is one of our favorites:
18. Holiday Food Cookbook
From Christmas hams to crispy latkes to Aunt Miriam’s annual fruitcake, everyone has a traditional meal their family makes during the holidays. Ahead of your virtual holiday party, ask everyone in your group to send in their own family recipes and compile those recipes into a special company cookbook.
The end result? A very special holiday cookbook with drink recipes, appetizers, showstopper desserts and succulent main dishes all completely unique to your organization. Distribute a PDF of the cookbook to everyone as a special holiday gift. This is one of our very favorite virtual holiday party ideas!
19. Virtual Scavenger Hunt
Scavenger hunts became a great way for remote coworkers to get to know each other a little bit better during virtual happy hours. The idea is simple: put together a list of common items and then have your guests find those items in their own house as quickly as possible.
But how about putting a holiday spin on your scavenger hunt? Ask your team to hunt down festive items like candles, wreaths or handmade ornaments. You won’t believe what some people have hanging on their Christmas tree!
More Virtual Holiday Party Ideas
20. Festive Zoom Backgrounds
Ask your guests to spruce up their Zoom backgrounds before hopping on your virtual Christmas party. They can put themselves in a winter wonderland, or in the world of “Nightmare Before Christmas”, or inside a gingerbread house—it doesn’t matter as long as the background is festive! Check out this collection of some of our favorite holiday-themed Zoom backgrounds.
21. Add a Theme to Your Party
Sure, a virtual holiday party will be fun. But how about a tropical virtual holiday party, or a haunted holiday party? Giving your virtual Christmas party a special theme will take your event over the top and make it memorable for your guests.
22. Support a Charity
One of the best ways to create a sense of community within your team is to use your virtual holiday party as a way to support a nonprofit organization or charity that is important to your group. How you support a charity ultimately rests on what is appropriate for your organization, but some ideas include a fundraising event during your holiday party or a sign-up drive to give nationwide nonprofits volunteer hours. To find a charitable organization to support, visit VolunteerMatch.org.
23. Holiday Evite Cards
We recommend this for any group putting a virtual holiday party together. A fun and festive holiday invitation is a great way to kick off your virtual holiday party, and it will really go a long way in getting your guests in the festive spirit. Use the previously mentioned Canva to craft up something really special for your guest list.