Virtual ways to celebrate the office holiday party

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Virtual ways to celebrate the office holiday party

The pandemic has not taken away the holiday spirit. As many people work from home, the ability to gather together and enjoy the traditional office holiday party diminishes. Yet with resilience and hope abound we have  the opportunity to host virtual holiday parties that are feasible and fun. Festive office parties can be adapted to the remote environment with some preparation and a sprinkling of holiday cheer. Check out the ideas below to make your holiday party a blast while still taking into consideration accessibility UI.

Make a holiday playlist.

All parties have music and even some have a DJ. With virtual parties, everyone can work on making the soundtrack. As an inclusive activity, producing a holiday playlist allows remote team members to choose the music. Select the playlist on a service like Spotify. Invite everyone to add their favorite holiday songs or Christmas carols to the roster. During the party, cue up the playlist. Ask team members to guess which coworker added which song, or invite employees to talk about why that holiday classic is their favorite. Everyone has a say and gets to contribute to the fun.

Virtual Secret Santa

No holiday party would be complete without a gift exchange. Participants can enjoy a virtual Secret Santa or White Elephant. Set a budget and pick names and gifts. But since this exchange is virtual, the gifts will be sent via mail so use the organizer as the return address to maintain secrecy. Open the gifts together during the party. A physical gift adds a more tactile and personal touch, which increases accessibility UI, but teammates can also send online gift cards or internet subscriptions. 

Holiday gift box

During the holidays, the office breakroom usually has plenty of homemade comfort foods like Christmas cookies, brownies and fudge. To continue this festive tradition, send your remote employees a box of goodies the week before the virtual party. Order specially made gift boxes or get creative and make your own with hot cocoa/apple cider packets, mugs, candy canes, gift cards, or fanciful stationary.

Online holiday trivia

Play holiday trivia for a fun activity with a twist. Prepare your questions, split the group into teams, and quiz your crew on holiday knowledge. For extra festive flair, use holiday themes for team names. Create trivia questions from topics like holiday songs, traditions, movies or stories. Divide the group into teams. Quiz each team on a holiday subject. Allow each team time to discuss the answer in a separate chat window. Collect the teams’ answers on the video platform’s private chat feature. Keep score, record points and declare a winner. For a competitive edge, give prizes to the best teams. 

Host a virtual card exchange.

Who doesn’t love receiving a seasonal holiday card expressing good tidings and cheer? E-cards continue the tradition of the holiday spirit. Sites like JibJab or American Greetings offer fun digital cards. Consider allocating a budget for sending more extravagant cards. During the holiday party, host a competition with categories like funniest or most creative. The team will bond from exchanging these warm greetings and kind thoughts.

Winter cocktail party

A winter cocktail party is a fun, spirited virtual happy hour with a bartender host. Before the event, send out a list of ingredients for everyone to prepare in advance. Provide a list for alcoholic and nonalcoholic options so that everyone can join in on the fun without reservations. Then during the call, your bartender host will teach participants how to make two delicious holiday drinks, and your team can interact while playing some holiday games.

Name That Tune

Play this classic game during the virtual party to add a festive twist. To play Name That Tune, ask teammates to hum the tune or sing a small portion of the song. Songs can also be used from a playlist prepared in advance. The other players must listen carefully to recognize the holiday tune.  Members can rack up points by guessing artist, song title and  album name.  Extra points can be given for singing the whole song and this a great game that has great accessibility UI for those with vision loss.

Most Likely To…

Another team building game that is fun and will challenge how well you know your team is Most Likely To. In this game, participants ask a list of questions to see which co-worker is most likely to perform in specific ways during the holidays. Here are sample questions of who is most likely to:

  1. 1.  Spend a fortune on decorations or gifts?
  2. 2.  Procrastinate Christmas shopping until Christmas Eve?
  3. 3.  Cry while watching a Christmas movie?

Whichever employee’s name comes up most wins the round. Name the most-mentioned employee as the king or queen of Christmas. 

The traditional holiday party may not be possible during this pandemic but a virtual one can be just as fun and enjoyable. Holiday parties allow employees to gather, reflect on the past year and get excited for the next. Use the suggestions and ideas above to plan and prepare a virtual holiday party ensuring remote employees stay connected and don’t get left out on the fun.