22 Virtual Christmas Party Ideas in 2020 (Holidays)

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Team Building Resources October 15, 2020 22 Virtual Christmas Party Ideas in 2020 (Holidays)

Hi! You found our list of festive virtual Christmas party ideas!

Virtual Christmas parties are holiday celebrations 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. For example, via fun virtual holiday party games, activities, and entertainment.

This article includes:

  • online Christmas party ideas
  • virtual holiday party ideas
  • virtual Christmas games
  • Zoom Christmas party ideas

And more fun ideas too! 🎄

Grab your list and check it twice, because it’s time to plan the perfect online holiday party for your staff!

List of virtual Christmas party ideas

From ornament crafting to festive team photos to holiday swag bags, here is a list of special touches to make your virtual holiday party the most wonderful time of the year.

1. Online Holiday Bingo

Online Holiday Bingo is a fun and familiar game you can play at your virtual holiday 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.

online holiday bingo template

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.

2. Virtual Holiday 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.

virtual holiday scavenger hunt

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.

3. Cheery Holiday Playlists

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 or Pandora.

Some favorites:

  • All I Want for Christmas is You – Mariah Carey
  • Last Christmas – Wham!
  • Jingle Bell Rock – Bobby Helms

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.

4. Virtual Holiday Party (Fully Hosted!) 🎅

We run fully hosted virtual holiday parties via our sister company, TeamBuilding. It’s a 90 minute event hosted over Zoom or other virtual platforms, and includes fun holiday themed games and activities.

virtual holiday party banner

The event includes:

  1. Icebreakers and a gratitude ceremony
  2. Competitive games like Virtual Holiday Trivia
  3. Fun games like Stocking Stuffer Scavenger Hunts
  4. Buffer time during which your crew can mingle

Plus, more Christmas magic!

Learn more about virtual holiday parties by teambuilding.com.

5. Virtual Christmas Trivia

Trivia is a great option for any virtual holiday 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.

virtual holiday trivia

Click here to download a PDF of the holiday trivia.

6. Virtual Christmas Party Invitations

Because your virtual holiday party takes place via video call, you will need to send potential attendees a meeting room link. While standard emailed URLs are easy to overlook, a colorful digital invitation grabs your team’s attention and builds anticipation for the affair.

One of the best Zoom Christmas party ideas is to create crafty evites to email to your invitees. You can use Canva or Crello to design bright and festive virtual christmas party invitations to send to the team. We conjured up a few examples below.

You should aim to send your e-vite a few weeks before the event so that your staff can schedule the date on crowded holiday calendars.

7. Virtual Holiday Icebreakers

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 holiday 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.

Here is our guide on how to run successful virtual icebreakers.

8. “Christmas in my Town” Icebreaker

The members of remote teams often live spread across different regions, time zones, and possibly countries or continents. Though some Christmas traditions are the same worldwide, every locale has special ways of celebrating the holiday. For instance, in my city, folks gather to watch the tree-lighting on the square next to the ice rink and enjoy festive treats from a local gourmet donut shop.

Virtual holiday party ideas like “Christmas in my town” kickstart conversation and help colleagues get to know each other better. Each attendee will describe special local Christmas events, foods, decorations, or activities, and can share pictures if possible. This exercise is a great way to forge camaraderie between remote teammates and highlight the uniqueness of your geographically dispersed workforce.

9. 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 holiday activity that can easily carry over to virtual Christmas parties. 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.

10. Make a Company Christmas Card (Creative)

Chances are, your remote team is rarely in the same room, and has maybe never taken a picture together. You can use your virtual office Christmas party as an excuse to snap a team photo. Taking a picture is as easy as switching to gallery view in Zoom and capturing a screenshot. You and the team can dress up in costume, use custom holiday backgrounds, or scout out printable Christmas photobooth props to make the photo extra festive.

By using a program like Canva, you can add extra flair and turn your snapshot into a digital Christmas card, which you can then send to your team in a party recap email, or can message to other teams. One of the more ingenious virtual Christmas party ideas is to turn the team photo Christmas card into a competition between departments by holding a contest where the best entry wins a prize. Teams can work together to create fun themes like recreating the nativity, flaunting festive pets, or imagining classic Christmas character mugshots.

11. Holiday Newsletter (Collaborative)

Once upon a time, friends and relatives used Christmas cards and annual newsletters to share personal news with loved ones. You can commandeer this tradition for your virtual holiday celebrations as a way to spread updates among the team and help remote colleagues get to know each other better. Simply email prompts to your teammates, then compile the responses into a team email.

Prompts for the holiday newsletter:

  • What was your proudest work accomplishment this year?
  • What is one personal achievement you reached this year?
  • Did you move this year?
  • Did you foster/adopt/birth a new child (or make plans to?)
  • Did you welcome a new pet into your home?
  • What was the best lesson you learned this year?
  • What was the best movie you watched this year? TV show? New song you heard?
  • What are you most excited about for next year?

You can generate more prompts along the same lines, or leave the details up to your staff. Once you collect all submissions, you can display results as bullet points or highlights, graphs or pie charts. Laying out the common ground within the answers allows your team to more clearly visualize the group identity.

This activity can also serve as a time capsule to chronicle your team’s progress and special occasions.

12. Virtual Holiday 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.

13. Team Holiday Dinner

Food is an important element of any seasonal gathering. Just because your remote employees cannot hit up a holiday buffet, does not mean that you cannot feed your crew during your online Christmas bash. The easiest way to provide food for a virtual Christmas party is to reimburse employees for a treat or meal or send credits for a food delivery service like DoorDash or GrubHub. You could also order from a meal delivery kit from HelloFresh or BlueApron, or send a box of assorted goodies from Cratejoy.

Most importantly, folks bond through conversation during team lunches or dinners. You can either leave the discussion unstructured, or you can prepare holiday talking points like “What is your dream Christmas present?” or “If you could nix one seasonal tradition, which one would you choose?”

14. 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.

15. Virtual Christmas Slide-Show

Christmas is a photo-heavy, home-movie-happy time of year. Chances are, your employees have years worth of Christmas memories on hard drives, social media profiles, and photo albums. Before your online party, ask the staff to send you Christmas photos and video clips. Then, you can compile the submissions into a slideshow or video, and share your screen so that the group can view the finished product together. Old photos and childhood photos work great for this exercise, as do pictures of your team bundled up in winter apparel.

Bonus: You could even turn the activity into a guessing game by challenging guests to name the employee in each photo.

16. Dramatic Holiday Readings

Few online Christmas party ideas are as cozy and comforting as a live reading of a classic Christmas tale. Even adults enjoy occasional storytime, and Christmas stories tend to tap into nostalgia and revive happy memories.

Here are a few suggestions of stories you can read together:

  • The Night Before Christmas
  • The Polar Express
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas
  • A Christmas Carol
  • The Nutcracker

You could either elect one masterful storyteller to tell the tale, or every member of the team can take a turn reading a passage. Readings could be serious or amusing, depending on your team’s temperament. You could also choose to perform a partial table reading of a classic Christmas movie script instead of a piece of literature.

For posterity’s sake, you may choose to record the reading and use clips in future team bonding videos.

17. Holiday 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 personalize 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.

18. 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.

19. Caroling Karaoke

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 holiday 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.

20. Holiday Recipe Guide

The holidays involve 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:

  1. Ask for a minimum of one recipe from every teammate.
  2. Organize the instructions based on category, such as hors d’oeuvres, mains, and desserts.
  3. Use InDesign or Canva to make the guide visually appealing.
  4. 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.

21. Virtual Holiday Light Tour

This virtual Christmas party activity requires a bit of pre-party preparation. Before your event, instruct attendees to tour their cities and neighborhoods and capture pictures and video clips of the most extravagant light and yard displays. Then, once you gather for the party, give each guest a turn at being a tour guide, sharing the screen, and elaborating on the images.

This exercise connects employees both with teammates and the outside world. Virtual holiday light tours are great ways to explore each other’s backyards during the season. Plus, motivated team members can erect and share their own amazing setup!

22. Charity Donations

Holidays are about giving back to our communities. By donating to charity during your holiday 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.

Final Thoughts

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.

Next, check out our article on virtual team building for remote teams.

FAQ: Virtual Christmas party ideas

Here are answers to some of the most common questions about virtual Christmas parties.

What are virtual Christmas parties?

Virtual Christmas parties are holiday celebrations for online offices held on video meeting software like Zoom, Skype, or WebEx. These parties allow remote colleagues to gather, bond, and build camaraderie while enjoying festive holiday games, traditions, and entertainment.

What are some good virtual Christmas party ideas?

Some good virtual Christmas party ideas include booking a fully hosted virtual holiday party, holding a remote secret Santa exchange, and playing festive online team building games.

How do you host a virtual holiday party?

Virtual Christmas parties take place with the aid of web conferencing software like Zoom or WebEx. To host a party, you will need to send your guests an invitation with a meeting link. Designing a festive invitation with a program like Canva sets the tone for the affair and gets the team in the holiday spirit.

During your party, you can enjoy holiday entertainment like Christmas carols and movies, play festive remote games like Christmas movie charades and

How do you make a virtual holiday party fun?

The best advice for making a virtual holiday party fun is to include interactive activities such as holiday icebreakers, festive remote games, and crowdsourced Christmas playlists and photo slideshows. By using breakout rooms, you can divide guests into smaller groups more conducive to intimate discussions, to ensure that all attendees have opportunities to interact and connect with coworkers. You can also incorporate tactile aspects by providing complimentary meals and mailing presents. Though you and your colleagues may not be able to gather in the same space, you can still embrace the holiday spirit and spread Christmas cheer by filling your virtual party with seasonally appropriate decorations and activities.

written with 💖 by Carly Hill

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