21 virtual Christmas party ideas to make your team merry

Thomas Paris
September 22, 2021
21 virtual Christmas party ideas to make your team merry | Hoppier

The ho-ho-holidays are upon us, and after another hectic year, we could all use some festive fun — fun being the keyword. No one wants to sit through another end-of-year Zoom meeting, especially not when the only holiday-themed thing about it is that ugly sweater Jim from HR is wearing.

So, put aside the virtual Pictionary, charades, and printable BINGO cards — we've got some truly fun ways to ring in the holiday season. These virtual Christmas party ideas work for both team member and client appreciation events, and they'll have everyone clicking YES! on that online RSVP.

21 virtual Christmas party ideas to make the season bright

All of these ideas are virtual and remote-friendly — you can pull them off using standard video conferencing platforms like Zoom, Skype, or Google Meet. But, if you want to throw a more involved holiday event or you're planning an online party for a larger team, look for an event platform with multiple virtual rooms. Then, incorporate multiple virtual holiday party ideas.

Run a few activities simultaneously, and allow guests to move around the virtual space. This gives your remote team and clients the freedom to attend the activities that interest them and curate their own holiday event experience. Here are 21 of our favorite activities for a virtual Christmas party.  

1. Host a holiday mixology party

If your team loves a craft cocktail, but you want to differentiate your holiday party from your virtual happy hours, hire a professional mixologist to teach guests how to make holiday-themed cocktails like cranberry sparklers or pumpkin pie old fashioneds.

Arrange to have your holiday spirits (pun very much intended) delivered to your guests before the event, or send a virtual credit card so they can pick up the supplies themselves.

2. Provide the food, gifts, and supplies

Much like how a mixology class requires liquor and mixers, most holiday activities require some sort of supplies. Even if your plan is to keep it simple with a few holiday party games, your guests will have more fun with drinks and snacks in hand. Set them up with everything they need by giving them a Hoppier card.

A virtual credit card used to provide food, drinks, and gifts at a virtual Christmas party

With Hoppier, you can deliver virtual credit cards straight to your guests' inboxes. You'll set the budget for each card and decide where guests can spend their funds — limit spending to food and drink vendors, or leave the options open so your guests can use the money to buy Christmas gifts for their secret Santa or donate to charity.

Charity organizations that virtual Christmas party guests can donate to with their virtual credit cards

You can set a time limit on the cards, too. Have the spending window close at the end of your event, and any money that your guests didn't use will get refunded to your account so you can add it back into your budget for the new year.

3. Host an online charity drive

Encourage a little Christmas giving with a charity event. A virtual casino night is a great way to raise money — with the proceeds going to a non-profit of your choice. But, there are many other ways to make giving a part of your virtual Christmas party.

You can offer everyone a virtual credit card and let them donate the balance to a charity of their choice. Or, you can play your favorite holiday party games and make a donation to the winning team's favorite charity as the prize.

4. Organize a secret Santa

This classic gift exchange isn't just for in-office Christmas parties. Use a platform like Elfster to take the tradition online. Elfster will automatically pair a gift giver with a recipient, supplying the recipient's name and address so givers can send their gifts ahead of time. Your team members can even make a wish list so their secret Santa knows exactly what they want. On the day of your event, attendees can show off their secret Santa gifts and guess who they came from.

5. Enjoy an online White Elephant

Secret Santa isn't the only gift exchange in town. With a White Elephant party, your team can act like the Grinch and steal each other's Christmas presents. This is a popular in-person Christmas game, but you can do it with your remote employees too.  

Using White Elephant Online, guests can upload an image of an item from Amazon or anywhere else on the internet to serve as their gift. Then each of your team members can virtually open and steal gifts. Once the game is over and you know which team member won each item, the gift givers (or your office manager) can purchase the gift and ship it to the winner.

6. Host a holiday trivia showdown

This fun game can get fiercely competitive. Turn it into a team building activity by assigning your remote employees to small teams. Then let each team show off their holiday knowledge by answering Christmas trivia questions that cover holiday movies, songs, traditions, and history.

7. Name that Christmas tune

Have fun with holiday songs in this easy Christmas game. You don't need an MC or even a lot of forethought to add this activity to your event agenda. Just open up a Spotify Christmas playlist, and play 10 to 20 seconds of each song. Have your team members guess the song title and offer a themed prize for the winner (like a pair of headphones, a bluetooth speaker, or a collection of Christmas records).

8. Invite online carolers

If you love Christmas carols but you're not ready for a full-blown karaoke session, leave the singing to the professionals by hiring a virtual caroling troupe. Host a caroling concert, or have carolers pop in when you're transitioning from one activity to the next.

9. Enjoy a Christmas rock concert

Santa Claus with a guitar performs at a virtual Christmas party

If the soft melodic stylings of Christmas carols aren't your team's style, invite a rock band to perform instead. Depending on your company's budget, you can invite a well-known band to play at your virtual Christmas party, or look for a local band or cover band to perform rockin' versions of your holiday favorites.  

10. Watch a classic Christmas movie

Get your team together to watch a Christmas classic like "It's a Wonderful Life," "A Christmas Story," or "Home Alone." With apps like Teleparty and Kast, you can sync your screens and send messages through the live chat box. Start your viewing party with some casual conversation before you play the movie. Then wrap up the event by talking about the film or asking about team members' holiday plans.

This activity provides a nice balance between social time and downtime. Make it a true Christmas treat by hosting it in the middle of the workday so your remote team can take a mental break before the holidays.

11. Build gingerbread houses

This Christmas tradition is creative, fun, and a little bit sticky. Send each of your virtual guests a gingerbread house kit, or send a virtual credit card so they can choose their own ingredients and decorations. Then, ask everyone to decorate their gingerbread house live at the event. Encourage a little team competition by voting on the best decorations and offering a prize for the winner (like adding a little extra spending money to their virtual credit card).

12. Make gourmet hot chocolate

Virtual coffee is for every other day of the year. For your virtual Christmas party, invite a chef or culinary instructor to teach guests a variety of hot chocolate recipes. You can create boozy beverages or experiment with family-friendly flavors, like peanut butter or peppermint. Hot chocolate is an easy treat, so your guests won't need any cooking prowess to participate.

13. Decorate Christmas cookies

This classic Christmas party idea works well in a virtual setting, and guests don't need to be able to bake to take part. Send out DIY cookie decorating kits to all your attendees before the party. Kits typically include pre-baked sugar cookies, frosting, and sprinkles. All your guests need to do is decorate.

14. Create holiday cards

Santa Claus holds up two Christmas cards

For another festive virtual team building activity, split your attendees into small groups and have each one create their own Christmas card using Canva templates. At the end of the design challenge, ask each group to show off their Christmas cards, and have everyone vote on the best one.

15. Design your own Santa hats

Get crafty for Christmas by decorating Santa hats. Send each of your guests a hat in a classic or quirky color, include a few art supplies — like paint, glue, and glitter — and spend your virtual Christmas party decorating your hats. Leave time at the end for everyone to model their creation.

16. Add a Christmas photo booth

A virtual photo booth, like Snapbar, superimposes a themed background behind party guests and then takes a screenshot. Guests can take a pic where it looks like they're at the North Pole or in Santa's workshop. Then, they can add stickers and text, and upload the photo to social media.

17. Deck the halls in your own homes

A fun way to get to know each other is to share a bit of your home lives. Ask guests to do some decorating on screen. Whether they're hanging ornaments on their Christmas tree or sprucing up their mantle, everyone can talk about their favorite Christmas decorations and traditions. This makes a great family-friendly activity, so invite team member's partners and kids to join too.

18. Go on city-wide scavenger hunts

Take a cue from GISH (The Greatest International Scavenger Hunt), and send your holiday party guests on a quest around their separate hometowns. Create a group chat, open it a week or so before your holiday get together, and give guests a list of items to find (like odd holiday decorations) or challenges to complete (like sitting on Santa's lap).

You can make these as simple or complicated as you'd like. You can even limit it to one item (like find the biggest Christmas tree in your town) if you want to make it easy on your attendees.

Have your party guests post pictures in the chat as they check each item off the list. Then, discuss everyone's favorite images in your video call. This activity is an easy icebreaker that will get everyone talking, and for distributed teams, it offers a glimpse into everyone's hometowns.  

19. Tour a Christmas market

One of the magical things about virtual events — and our online world in general — is that they give you access to experiences that would be out of reach in real life. For example, you can arrange for your distributed team to tour a traditional Bavarian Christmas market.

Reach out to a local host through a site like Airbnb Experiences or Withlocals, and ask them to take you on a virtual tour. They can show you their favorite shops and explain some Bavarian Christmas traditions. Create a hybrid experience by sending your guests a gift box of traditional Bavarian Christmas foods and crafts so they can experience things for themselves as the host explains their significance.

20. Host an underwater Christmas

In the northern hemisphere, we're used to a snowy Christmas season, but on the other side of the world, this holiday is warm and sunny. Experience a summer Christmas in Australia by taking your team on a virtual tour of the Great Barrier Reef. You can download David Attenborough's tour or arrange an event with a local company. This experience will transport you from Christmas in the Great White North to Christmas with a great white shark.  

21. Celebrate around the world

If you want to take your virtual travel plans to the extreme, go country hopping. In real life, you could never travel to five countries in under two hours (real life is so boring!), but with the magic of the internet, you can deliver this holiday magic.

Similar to touring a Christmas market in Bavaria, organize tours with local hosts in a variety of countries. Ask them for a brief tour (think 20 minutes each) of one of their favorite Christmas traditions. You can attend a Krampus parade in Austria, take part in a roller skating mass in Venezuela, learn about the Yule goat in Sweden, visit a lantern festival in the Philippines, and enjoy Candlemas in Mexico — all from the comfort of your home office.

Spread some Christmas cheer

Santa Claus holds a virtual credit card

'Tis the season for giving. Whether you're giving back to your virtual team or your clients, these virtual Christmas party ideas will create an online party experience they actually want.

Regardless of which activity you choose, you can make the experience more accessible by providing the tools, supplies, and funds your guests need to participate. The easiest way to get supplies to all your event attendees is with a virtual credit card they can use to make purchases from their favorite shops and restaurants.

Hoppier virtual credit cards allow your event guests to order food, drinks, Christmas gifts, or art supplies for your holiday activities. Schedule a demo to see how Hoppier can streamline your virtual Christmas party planning.  

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