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‘Tis the season for (virtual) holiday parties

We may be in a pandemic, but that’s all the more reason not to forego the cheer of holiday parties. It’s the most wonderful time of the year as they say, and this year more than ever calls for a celebration full of joy, merriment and spirits on high.

So, let the festivities begin! Just how do we go about that in a virtual, socially distanced workplace you ask? Well, you might be surprised how many fabulous virtual holiday party ideas there are. All you need is a penchant for fun and a meeting link invite on the platforms we’ve all already been using such as Zoom, Teams, Skype, or WebEx.

Here are some ways to connect and have a rockin’, merry and bright (virtual) holiday party.

  1. Celebrate diversity – Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas and Ōmisoka are just some of the holiday traditions employees from different cultural backgrounds might celebrate at this time of year. Inviting team members to share their culture’s unique celebration is a wonderful way to celebrate our diversity as well as our holiday traditions. Be inclusive of this diversity in the virtual holiday party activities you choose.
  2. Have a theme – Best holiday headwear, design your virtual holiday background or create a virtual snowman in the theme of the participant’s choice and use the images to create a virtual holiday card.
  3. Break the ice – Share a holiday tradition or start with an icebreaker question or two. You can find many to choose from here icebreaker questions.
  4. Play games – Holiday bingo, trivia or a scavenger hunt for items around the home are just a few of the ways to get everyone interacting.  
  5. Good eats – Provide everyone a gift card to order in or send them a meal delivery kit and have a virtual lunch or dinner party. There are lots of tasty holiday treats available online for delivery too.
  6. Turn up the tunes  – Nothing makes it a party more than some great music. Create a playlist to help set the mood and make a game out of name that tune.
  7. Have some laughs – It’s been a year in which we’re all due for a good giggle. Introduce some humour through a funny video, virtual charades or some rounds of ‘would you rather?’ Mad libs are also a sure way to share in some chuckles.
  8. Team fun – Drum up team spirt by having teams work together to win games, solve mysteries and overcome obstacles. Check out these virtual team building activities on
  9. Get creative – Make an ornament or wreath or take an online cooking or art class as a group. Or have a cookie or gingerbread house decorating contest. You can arrange for cookie or gingerbread house decorating kits to be supplied ahead of time.
  10. Dress for the occasion – Whether it’s ugly sweaters, holiday socks or cocktail hour, having a fun, festive dress code helps to create an upbeat party atmosphere.
  11. Send goodies – Send employees goodie boxes ahead of time stuffed with fun and tasty items like cookies, snacks and chocolates, hot chocolate, games and puzzles or gift cards.  
  12. Keep it simple – If a full party isn’t in the works, you can still take time to bring everyone together for a hot chocolate or a holiday toast. Up the ante by seeing who can make the fanciest hot chocolate topper or who has the most festive mug. Even the smallest gestures go a long way to keeping everyone connected and letting employees know you appreciate and value all their contributions this year.
  13. Spread the news – Send around a holiday newsletter to share people’s personal and work achievements, life lessons learned this year and what everyone is hopeful for next year (aside from an end to the pandemic!). It raises spirits, provides inspiration and offers hope for all the positive and exciting things the year ahead can bring. 
  14. Hire a host – Let someone else organize your party and hire a virtual party host packed with games, activities and lots of holiday fun.
  15. Make a plan – You can find many festive virtual holiday party ideas here and here.

Season’s greetings, happy holidays and stay safe everyone!