A virtual Christmas party is a holiday celebration conducted over video conferencing platforms like Zoom, Google Meet and WebEx. Virtual Christmas party ideas are specific ways to observe Christmas online with your remote teams.
Grab your list and check it twice, because it’s time to plan the perfect online christmas party for your staff during COVID!
Online Christmas Bingo
Online Bingo is a fun and familiar game you can play at your virtual Christmas party. You can play a focused version of the game by allowing teammates to interact on chat and in breakout rooms, or you can play as a group throughout the party.
The first player to mark five squares in a row wins. We made a template you can use for your game; just be sure to randomize the clues!
For extra fun, you can offer prizes such as Amazon gift cards or extra PTO hours.
Virtual Scavenger Hunt
Virtual scavenger hunts are fun and active ways to spend time on a Zoom call. The activity takes about 15 minutes, and will increase engagement and excitement, will will help carry the energy for the remainder of your event. The best items to hunt for also have story or “show and tell” opportunities, like favorite gifts and Christmas candy.
Here is a list you can get started with:
- Favorite gift of all time
- The item you have owned the longest
- Something that reminds you of home
- The most holiday item in your house
- Christmas movie
- Your winter coat
To play, just fire off prompts and whoever brings the item back first gets a point. Plus you can award extra points if that person shares more about the object.
December is the only month of the year with a special soundtrack. Virtual or not, no holiday party is complete without carols. To put your group into the Christmas mood, you should curate an upbeat holiday playlist. The whole team can join in on the fun by adding songs to a playlist on a platform Spotify.
While you can enjoy the carols as background music, you could also engage in holiday karaoke by streaming lyric videos on YouTube with a program like Watch2Gether. You could also turn the songs into games by playing a holiday version of “Name That Tune,” or stopping the carol midway, and asking guests to sing the next line.
Virtual Christmas Trivia
Trivia is a great option for any virtual Christmas party or online meeting. Participants can answer using the chat or poll features, or audibly via webcam. You could also incorporate the raise hand reaction as a makeshift buzzer.
Click here to download a PDF of the holiday trivia.
One of the drawbacks of virtual parties is that while video rooms can unite and entertain your whole team at once, there are fewer opportunities for one-on-one conversations. You can remedy the situation by splitting the group into breakout rooms for activities and small group interactions.
Here are some Christmas icebreakers to get started with:
- What is the strangest Christmas present you ever received?
- What one question would you ask Santa?
- Do you open presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
- What is your favorite holiday food?
- What is your favorite Christmas flick?
- Does your family practice any interesting Christmas traditions?
- What act might land you on the naughty list?
- What act might land you on the nice list?
And here are more fun icebreaker questions.
You could even designate separate breakout rooms for various holiday activities such as caroling, cocktail-making, or cookie decorating.
Craft Festive Ornaments
Though you and your remote colleagues may not share an office Christmas tree, you can craft team ornaments that lend a sense of continuity to your individual trees. Ornament-making is a fun activity that can easily carry over to virtual Christmas party. While on the call, the gang can design and decorate ornaments together by following a lesson video, such as this YouTube tutorial.
Another fun idea is to send your team ornament kits in the mail before the party. You may choose to print the company logo on a plain plastic sphere or a plain white ceramic tile, and then allow the team to personalize the decorations with markers, glitter, and other holiday ephemera.
Post party, you can display the finished products in an online gallery, or could even share the results on social media.
Virtual Team Building Games
Party games can elevate any affair, virtual soirees included. You and your Christmas crew can play a variety of virtual Christmas games over video call, including:
- Holiday-themed trivia: Break into teams, separate into breakout rooms, and complete timed trivia questions centered around the holiday in categories like Christmas around the world, Yuletide traditions, and holiday songs.
- Christmas movie charades: Act out the title of festive flicks like “Miracle on 34th Street” or parts from holiday classics such as the infamous tongue-stuck-on-pole scene from “A Christmas Story”
- Yuletide Pictionary: Screen-share and select the whiteboard feature, then give one team member a seasonal prompt such as reindeer, mistletoe, or eggnog. The teammate will have sixty seconds to draw the word while other guests guess.
And more too. Try searching “online team building games” for more inspiration.
Virtual Cocoa Break
To honor the season, your virtual coffee break can turn into a virtual cocoa break. Hot chocolate is delicious and easy to send; a packet of cocoa can fit into a standard mailing envelope, though you may want to add an extra stamp. If you really want to treat your staff, then you can send fixings like artisan marshmallows, cookie batons, chocolate shavings, hazelnut spread, or chili powder, or you can invite your colleagues to bring any other mix-ins like whipped cream or coffee liqueur. You could even host a contest to determine which remote employee concocts the most creative or decadent cup of cocoa.
Some conversation ideas:
- Favorite holiday traditions
- Earliest memory of Christmas
- Winter sports
And you can talk about anything else of course too.
Christmas Swag Bag (Stocking Stuffers)
The true spirit of the season may be friends, family, and faith, but presents still play a big role in Christmas. By mailing your remote teammates a swag bag full of holiday goodies, you can show appreciation for your staff and add more excitement to your event. Not to mention, packages bring a tactile aspect to your online event.
Suggestions of items to include in a holiday swag bag:
- Cozy blankets and fuzzy socks
- Holiday accessories like Santa hats or reindeer headbands
- Stocking stuffers such as candy, Christmas-themed knick knacks, office accessories, and personal care products
- Candles or scent diffusers
- Snacks and culinary goodies
You can personalise the presents based on your employees’ tastes and preferences, and can either select a pre-made basket or gift box, or can build your own from scratch.
If you would rather not bother with the post office at all, then you can send virtual gifts such as a subscription to a streaming service, or reimbursement for a maid service to help with post-holiday clean up.
Twenty Questions: Guess the Gift
Snooping is a time-honored Christmas tradition. Those of us too impatient to wait until December 25th for gifts like to sneak a peek at presents and predict what is inside. You and your team can harness all the fun of creeping among the Christmas gifts by playing guess the gift.
There are two ways to play. The first way, participants will hold up a wrapped gift, and the other players will try to determine the contents based on the shape and sound. Wrappers can get tricky and wrap the package deceptively.
If you do not want to waste wrapping paper, then ask players to think up a present, and have other players identify the object by asking questions. Basically, a holiday themed game of 20 Questions.
Most folks know the words to Christmas carols, and for good reason; between Christmas and Thanksgiving, radio stations play the songs nonstop! Seizing on the familiarity of the lyrics, you can lead spirited renditions of holiday songs.
Some carols to start with:
- Jingle Bells
- Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
- Frosty the Snowman
To kickoff caroling karaoke during your online Christmas party, use a program like Watch2Gether to synchronize your video stream. Then, queue up holiday lyric video playlists on YouTube. You could also pause the video, hide the screen, and challenge participants to sing the next lines without help.
Here is a popular Christmas carol playlist.
The Christmas break involves a whole lot of cooking. Swapping recipes allows your team to add a new surprise among the passed-down family standards. You can edit together a team holiday recipe guide full of drool-worthy dishes like “gingerbread cinnamon roll casserole,” or chuckle-worthy tips like “decoy cookies so that nobody raids your stash.”
To compile your collection:
- Ask for a minimum of one recipe from every teammate.
- Organize the instructions based on category, such as hors d’oeuvres, mains, and desserts.
- Use InDesign or Canva to make the guide visually appealing.
- Send the completed collection to the whole team.
Because some folks are visual learners, you can reserve time during the party for cooking demonstrations or holiday-themed cookoffs.
Christmas is about giving back to our communities. By donating to charity during your Christmas party, you and your team practice gratitude and generosity.
There are several ways you can volunteer during your virtual party:
- Write Christmas cards to send to senior citizens or soldiers
- Compete in virtual competitions like trivia and remote team building games, and let the winners pick the philanthropy to donate to
- Choose a child or family to play Santa to and shop together online for gifts
- Pay for teammates to complete holiday-themed dares, for instance, “I will give $5 if you dial the fifth number in your contact list and belt out Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer,” or, “I’ll give $10 if you chug a glass of eggnog” and donate all proceeds to charity
- Participate in a charity-themed gift exchange where each participant makes a donation in another participant’s name
- Invite an artist connected with a philanthropy to provide entertainment at the party and set up a digital tip jar for donations. For instance, a visual artist may sketch caricatures of your guests, or an animal shelter may put on a virtual pet fashion show where cats don santa hats and pugs dress as elves.
If one of your employees works with a charity, then consider inviting the staff member to help coordinate the philanthropy effort.
While you and your colleagues may not be able to gather in-office for a jingle bell bash, you can throw a lively virtual Christmas party sure to entertain your staff. Your team worked hard all year and deserves a chance to unwind, connect, and celebrate the season. By using the ideas on this list, you can throw a festive yet memorable online party that will unite and delight your remote crew.