5 easy steps for a virtual Christmas party in 2021
Although the last few years have completely changed how we view and organise events, it doesn’t mean that you can’t have a party! Virtual company holiday parties offer an excellent opportunity for employees to reflect on the past year and get excited for the year to come.
The following list consists of our top Santa-approved ideas for virtual Christmas activities, which we carefully divided into five simple steps...
STEP ONE: GETTING COORDINATED
First thing’s first! Decide on your date and time and choose how you’re going to host your party.
If you’re a smaller group, you might want to use Facebook Messenger or Whatsapp; alternatively, if you’re a larger group, you might want to consider a platform like Zoom so you can see everyone’s faces. At Pangea.ai, we have gathered a complete list of video platforms you can compare if you are looking for more detailed information.
If you’re feeling creative, why not send a festive invitation too!
STEP TWO: DECK THE HALLS
Your Christmas event might be virtual, but that doesn’t mean you can’t dress up in your best/worst Christmas jumper!
Get everyone ready to vote on who’s wearing the best Christmas outfit, bonus points for paper crowns and background decorations! Or bring your virtual background front and centre to the competition; which team members can design themselves or find a nice pre-designed version.
STEP THREE: FOOD AND DRINK
Let’s be honest; food is one of the jolliest parts of Christmas! So, to give your party a Christmassy feel, send out some food and drink recipe ideas that you can all make and eat 'together' during the party. You can either all choose the same thing, or you could each try out something different and swap recipes; it’s entirely up to you!
Even if you plan to keep it simple with a few holiday party games, your guests will have more fun with drinks and snacks in hand. By providing them with an online pre-paid system like a Hoppier card, you can set them up with everything they need
STEP FOUR: FESTIVE FUN
Once you’ve all chatted and caught up, it’s time for some main events:
1. 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 favourite holiday party games and contribute to the winning team's favourite charity as the prize.
2. Create a Christmas holiday card for your peers
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.
3. A virtual mixology class!
Take the drinking part of your happy hour one step further and invite your guests along to a live virtual mixology class.
Invite an expert mixologist to teach your team how to make different cocktails and mocktails. You can even ask them to come up with a signature drink for your brand!
4. Organise a secret Santa
This classic gift exchange isn't just for in-office Christmas parties. Instead, 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. Name that tune!
Have fun with holiday songs with this simple Christmas game. You don't need an MC or even a lot of forethought to add this activity to your event schedule.
Just open up a Spotify Christmas playlist, and play 10 to 20 seconds of each song. Then, have your team members guess the song title and offer a themed prize for the winner (I.e. a pair of headphones).
6. Have a Christmas photobooth
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 celebrating the holidays in the Caribbean. Then, they can add stickers and text and upload the photo to the company’s social media channels.
7. Decorate some Christmas cookies
This classic Christmas party idea works well in a virtual setting, and guests don't need to bake to take part. Instead, send out DIY cookie decorating kits to all your attendees before the party.
Kits typically include pre-baked sugar cookies, frosting, and sprinkles. Then, all your guests need to do is decorate.
8. I’m Working From Home Get Me Outta Here!
Join Santa on his busy night with Goto Event’s Santa’s Travel Adventure: globe-trotting across 22 countries on an interactive map, participants will be pressed for time to collect travel credits at each destination to be able to make it around the globe.
With this virtual Christmas event, teams will receive packs in the post containing everything they need to play. As soon as each team logs in, they’re thrust into a series of themed activities from exploring landmarks on google maps to practising kung-fu while passing through China.
The team with the most travel credits wins, and as time runs out it becomes a race to get those final last credits to be the globe-trotting champions! This online virtual experience comes complete with a live game show host, and support for pre-event planning!
9. Watch a classic Christmas movie
Get your team together to watch a Christmas classic like "It's a Wonderful Life", "A Christmas Carol”, “Miracle on 34th St”, "Home Alone" or even “Die Hard”. With apps like Teleparty and Kast, you can sync your screens and send messages through the live chatbox.
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. So 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.
10. Do you want to get even more creative? Host an underwater Christmas
We’re used to a snowy Christmas season in the northern hemisphere, but this holiday is warm and sunny on the other side of the world.
Experience a summer Christmas in Australia by taking your team on a virtual tour of the Great Barrier Reef. You can download a 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.
STEP FIVE: MAKING MEMORIES
Just because it’s a virtual event doesn’t mean it’s over as soon as you hit the ‘End Meeting’ button. Take photos during the event and encourage your guests to take pictures of their food creations and festive outfits that you can then share.
If you’ve played some games together, why not send the winners some sort of medal or prize that they can proudly show off later!
Feel free to adopt these ideas and brainstorm more of your own. Whatever you decide to do for your Christmas party, we hope you wear those Santa hats, blast those Christmas tunes and have some Yuletide fun.
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