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The ten best virtual Christmas party ideas that are actually fun in 2021

By October 13, 2021October 29th, 2021No Comments

The idea of coming together is a theme that characterises the holiday season for many of us.

Despite haunting memories you may have from past work Christmas parties, it is a key pillar in celebrating your company culture and success for the year. It allows your employees to get to know each other and to reflect while also giving them permission to let their hair down.

This shouldn’t be any different if you have a virtual or hybrid workforce. By hosting a virtual Christmas party you show that you care about the morale of your employees and creates and inclusive workplace.

So how can you have a memorable Christmas party when you can’t bring your team together in person?

You are in luck as there are now plenty of options for fun virtual and hybrid experiences out there. In this article, we have chosen what we believe are the ten best virtual Christmas activities you can do while sitting in front of your laptop.

1. Online Cocktail Party

The holidays wouldn’t be the holidays without some relaxed conversation over drinks. Typically, this would involve corralling everyone into a venue of sorts at the bar. But now day you can do this from the comfort of your own home and drink with your colleagues all across the world.

One simple way to approach this, is to “Do it yourself” have your team purchase their own drinks on expenses and then all of you jump on the video conferencing app Like Zoom. This is a good option if you are short for time and on a budget.

If you would like to make things a little higher production value, there are companies that will send you a selection of drinks to sample. For example;

Keep in mind that while this could be the main focus of your party this could also be a great addition in combination with another activity in our list.

2. Mixology Classes

If your team are feeling a more adventurous then why not take it a step further and try learning to make your own cocktails.

This is a great activity if you want to give something to your team to talk about right away and connect with each other through a shared goal.

Most virtual mixology classes send out everything you need to get going. Here are some places to get you started:

These are some great options for teams who perhaps don’t know each other very well as the joint learning activity will help to break the ice.

PS: (with these alcohol focused events be sure to keep in mind that some people in your team may not drink and see if there are virgin alternatives)

 

3. A Virtual TV Game Show (Christmas Special)

If your team is tired of trivia quizzes, there are other more interactive ways to bring them together that use friendly competition and conversational games.

Steamed Egg’s fully hosted game show, Yolking from Home! (Christmas Edition) is a TV-gameshow themed virtual event. Teams get to go head-to-head in games that are especially designed to boost engagement and participation.

This event was recently awarded the Best Virtual Event of the Year 2021 by the Prestige Awards and you can customise your experience by choosing the games your team will enjoy the most.

An energetic host will guide you through the whole experience and make sure your whole team feels included, even the quieter people. The format is also available as a hybrid event to accommodate people at home and in the office.

If you want to try something unique this year that keeps the attention of the whole team, this is the activity for you. Have a look here to learn more about Yolking From Home! Christmas Edition.

4. Baking Challenges

Christmas is the time of year to indulge and give in to your sweet-toothed cravings. If your team likes their baked goods (with a hint of competition)why not propose a baking challenge?

Here are a few options to get you started:

Bake with a Legend

In Bake With A Legend, as recommended by The Independent, you will be connected with former Great British Bake Off Stars where you will be guided through the process of baking delicious treats this Christmas.

Chocolate Making

Try your hand at making your own Christmas chocolates to leave for Santa and his reindeer this year with these chocolate-making experiences.

Gingerbread Decorating

If you would rather not switch the oven on, then you can challenge yourself to decorate some gingerbread people instead. Gingerbread Wars events last about 90 minutes. In that time you will use the Wilton’s gingerbread kits provided for you to take part in small challenges before creating a gingerbread doppelgänger of yourself. And of course, eating your gingerbread creations once you are finished (if you haven’t gotten too attached to them that is). If this interests you check them out below.

5. Karaoke

For the bravest teams, Karaoke is a great way to get everyone out of their shells and into the Christmas spirit.

You can easily find karaoke resources on Youtube but try to get song recommendations from your attendees beforehand so don’t have to waste precious time on the call looking for music. Tools such as Watch2Gether will help sync up your internet song browsing experience to make sure everyone can keep up and are on the same page.

If you have a small budget, you can use a service like Lucky Voice Karaoke usually £6.99 a month but you can make use of the 2-week free trial.

Here’s a few song recommendations to get you started.

  1. “Jingle Bell Rock” Bobby Helms
  2. “Blue Christmas” Elvis Presley
  3. “Let it Snow” Dean Martin
  4. “Last Christmas” Wham!
  5. “All I want for Christmas” Mariah Carey 

If your team needs a little courage to sing in front of their colleagues, see the first couple ideas in this article to get them loosened up 🍸🍹.

6. Virtual Secret Santa

This is your opportunity to step in Santa’s shoes and spread some goodwill around your team. Incase you live under a rock, Secret Santa is a tradition where people are randomly assigned another person in the group to give an anonymous gift too.

Once you’ve come to an agreement on budget with your team and a deadline on exchange day come together on a video call or hybrid and enjoy the sight of eachother opening your anonymous gifts. For extra fun try and guess who gave it to you.

This kind of thing typically has your team using their own money to participate, so make sure to not pressure anyone to spend big. Secret Santa is about the thought rather than the expense.

White Elephant

You can even make a game out of the gift-giving process. One variation of Secret Santa is known as White Elephant. Here your team will swap gifts with each other with the aim of finishing with the most sought-after gift. Keep in mind that this version of Secret Santa is more about the entertainment of the swapping of gifts rather than trying to receive a meaningful gift.

If this sounds hard to do remotely, have no fear White Elephant Online conveniently provides a service to handle the swaps for you.

7. Hamper Party

Another cosier option for you to consider this Christmas could be to try bonding around some Christmas hampers. Show your gratitude to your team this year with a choice of hamper where they can try a selection of different luxury food products. On your video call, you can then relax and share your thoughts on the different foods you are enjoying.

Some great places to get hampers from are:

Have fun talking and reflecting on your year over gourmet biscuits and wine!

 

8. Christmas Wellness

While many of us see Christmas as a merry time, for some it can a stressful time for many reasons including financial and social pressures. You can help your employees slow down a little and prioritise their well-being for a few moments.

Here are a couple experiences you can make use this year;

Drunk Yoga – traditionally done in person this US-based company is now offering virtual packages. Designed to provide an easy way to get into yoga with the aid of a particular beverage if you need it. They also spice up your yoga experiences with mini-games and ice breakers.

Meditation Classes – mindfulness studies have shown that meditation helps reduce anxiety, improve concentration and remove stress.

Mindfulness and presence is a great skill to develop in life not just for Christmas. This could be the first step in a new journey for your team.

9. Christmas Movie Marathon

This option is perfect if you are on a tight budget as the movie brings the festive cheer for you. There are lots of ways to spice up a movie session.

Stick on a series of Christmas classic movies (I recommend Elf) and escape from work by sharing your favourite festive moments in cinema.

This doesn’t have to be passive experience either. Have your team create bingo cards to see who can hit a BINGO! on festive movies or even turn things into a drinking game. Think “drink every time Santa says Ho, ho, ho!” Good luck with that one.

I recommend using a service like TeleParty formerly Netflix Party to help sync your movie-watching experience.

Some movie ideas:

  1. Home Alone
  2. Elf
  3. The Christmas Chronicles
  4. The Nightmare Before Christmas
  5. Gremlins

 

10. Online Board Games

The Classics

The holidays would be amiss without playing a few board games. Many of your favourite board games are now available online to play with your friends. Search for online version of Uno, Monopoly, and Cards Against Humanity (Explicit). These are great options for small teams with essentially no budget and are happy with a more relaxed and intimate gathering.

Jackbox Games

If you don’t mind making a small purchase, the diverse collection of games included in Jackbox Games Packs are an excellent option. Players can choose from a selection of games all fully playable from each person’s phone (note that one person must be running the game on their computer). Jackbox games are available to purchase on Steam.

 

Bonus Tips to heighten your experiences

  1. Dress up – get into the spirit of an in-person Christmas party by dressing up. Obviously Christmas jumpers are a must this time of year, plus festive headwear on calls. I’d say that should be mandatory after December 5th but that’s just me.If you want a more prestigious feel to your party, whip out a tux! Alternatively, you can get silly with it and find some holiday-themed costumes to don while you do your chosen activity or initiate an ugly Christmas Themed Jumper Competition.
  2. If exchanging gifts, try to actually get something meaningful and long-lasting. Not only will the person appreciate the gift more but it will result in less needless waste.
  3. Encourage people to use Augmented Reality filters on their calls – Zoom has newly built-in beta filter features to make your virtual team meetings just a little more light-hearted. You might also want to consider something event more advance like Snapcam. This will bring a less serious feeling to your meetings over the Christmas period. Starting every call with a bit of a laugh and smile will help the general mood in the team!
  4. Make a collaborative Christmas Spotify playlist – Nothing brings festive cheer like the classic christmas bangers or try to seek out the less well known songs so you don’t get bored. My personal favourite is Michael Buble’s Christmas album (don’t judge me). You can even let your team build out your background music in Spotify with a shared playlist. I guarantee there will be a few of you singing along at some point during your virtual Christmas party.

At Steamed Egg our core believe is your company culture is the most important factor in you companies success. It’s even more important to nurture the feeling of unity that Christmas is all about as we enter a new era of hybrid work.

We hope you have the best Christmas possible in 2021 and would love to hear what ideas you found the most useful below!

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