Virtual holiday party ideas for work: person attending a virtual party

Virtual holiday parties are a great way to bring the team together for some fun and laughter during the happiest season of all. Office holiday party activities can help bring remote employees together and give everyone a chance to get to know each other better outside of the formal office setting. 

Plus, what’s better than having a jolly good time? 

From virtual Secret Santa events to holiday-inspired happy hour and gingerbread decorating contests, you’ll find a great way to celebrate the holiday season with this list of virtual holiday party ideas for work.

9 Virtual Holiday Party Ideas for Work

Reward the team after another year of hard work with a holiday activity that builds holiday spirit as well as team spirit. These virtual holiday party ideas for work can be as elaborate or simple as you like. You can put together baskets with ingredients for a DIY cocktail night, or you can have guests don their favorite holiday attire and have a contest for the best outfit. 

Whatever activity you choose, your colleagues are sure to have the hap-happiest time. Here are some great virtual holiday party ideas for work and invitation ideas to match so you can get invitees excited about the upcoming event.

1. Ugly Sweater Party

Virtual holiday party ideas for work: Let's Get Ugly Invitation

Design: Lisa Travis

Invitation Pick: Let’s Get Ugly Invitation

No holiday is complete without an ugly sweater party. This light-hearted activity is a surefire way to get employees ready for the holiday season. Ask guests to wear their favorite holiday sweaters. If they need some ideas, you can suggest sweaters featuring quotes from popular Christmas movies or fun takes on holiday animals like snowmen, penguins, and reindeer. 

The beauty of an ugly sweater party is that guests can get as involved as they want. Have employees who like to go the extra mile? They can make their own ugly sweater design from scratch. Are other employees too busy for a full custom design? They can order an ugly holiday sweater online or pick one up at a local department store or thrift shop. This way, everyone can participate in the fun without feeling like the party is a burden.

Ugly sweaters aren’t just fun for a virtual Christmas party. They’re also a great holiday activity for celebrating Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and secular holiday get-togethers.

2. Holiday Scavenger Hunt

Holiday Whimsy Invitation

Design: Jen Montgomery

Invitation Pick: Holiday Whimsy Invitation

A scavenger hunt is another merrymaking virtual holiday party game and makes for a great team-building activity. If your office consists of a lot of team members, you can divide individuals into different teams. Split people up by department or mix up the departments so employees can mingle with people they don’t work with on a day-to-day basis. 

Some holiday scavenger hunt items include tinsel, candy canes, dreidels, and dressed-up pets. Have participants look for these items in their own homes, or have them find pictures online to make it an even playing field.You can also include activities like having to give your best “ho-ho-ho” impression or list five different names for Santa Claus from around the globe.

3. Virtual Happy Hour

Frosty Cheers Invitation

Design: Vivian Yiwing

Invitation Pick: Frosty Cheers Invitation

Another easy way to get the team together for some holiday cheer is a virtual happy hour. Gather on Zoom, Facetime, or another conferencing call or video call tool. Ask invitees to make their favorite cocktail or mocktail and share how it’s put together. Alternatively, you can turn this activity into a holiday gift for your employees. Select a holiday drink and use a local delivery service to drop off the ingredients. During the happy hour, have a mixologist join the call and teach employees how to make the special drink.

During the virtual happy hour, it’s a good idea to set aside some time for icebreakers or an activity. This way all invitees can chat and join in on the fun. 

You can do cocktail trivia or holiday trivia to lighten the mood and add a competitive flair. The winner can take home a gift card or a special cocktail basket designed by the mixologist. Alternatively, you can go around and ask everyone to answer a holiday-inspired question about their favorite holiday movie or favorite holiday tradition.

4. White Elephant Gift Exchange or Secret Santa

Virtual holiday party ideas for work: Retro Santa Invitation

Design: Signature Greenvelope

Invitation Pick: Retro Santa Invitation

Secret Santa is a popular in-person holiday activity, but it can also be tweaked for a virtual event. For Secret Santa, guests draw a name and select a gift for another employee. During the virtual event, participants try to guess who gave them the gift. 

A White Elephant gift exchange is a little bit different. It works similarly to a Secret Santa, but the gifts are typically gag gifts. That means they are usually funny or weird items. 

Gifts can be sent by mail in advance if you have a tight-knit office, or you can ask participants to choose digital gifts if your employees prefer not to share their mailing addresses. Some great virtual gift ideas include online classes and memberships as well as subscription boxes and gift cards.

For this event to be successful, it’s helpful to give participants some ground rules. Most versions implement a budget of $10-$30 to ensure all participants receive a valuable but not overly expensive gift. Gifts should be funny but also desirable since your colleague will be keeping the item after the game is over. 

5. Holiday Bingo

Virtual holiday party ideas for work: Remote Bingo Invitation

Design: Jen Montgomery

Invitation Pick: Remote Bingo Invitation

Want to get your remote team together for some friendly holiday-inspired competition? Play holiday bingo. Sites like My Free Bingo offer custom holiday-inspired bingo cards, or you can create your own to use during your virtual holiday party. The card spaces can include things like “bakes cookies,” “drinks eggnog,” and “wears an ugly holiday sweater.” Participants who make bingo first win a special prize.

6. Gingerbread House Decorating Contest

Gingerbread Cottage Invitation

Design: Signature Greenvelope

Invitation Pick: Gingerbread Cottage Invitation

Want a hands-on event that you can do virtually with the whole team? Host a virtual decorating party. You can send gingerbread decorating kits to each employee or opt to decorate Christmas cookies or other goodies. Either way, make sure each employee receives the same kit or decorating tools. 

Set aside 30 minutes for participants to decorate their items. When time is up, have everyone share their masterpiece. Conduct a vote and reward the winner with a holiday gift card or a special gift.

7. Charades

Elfin' Good Time Invitation

Design: Stacey Day

Invitation Pick: Elfin’ Good Time Invitation

For a lively virtual holiday party, play charades or Pictionary. Divide the group into virtual teams and start the fun. Keep the charades or Pictionary cues to holiday-inspired items. For example, you can have someone act out Will Ferrell’s role in the movie “Elf” or you can have colleagues draw Frosty the Snowman.

8. Karaoke

Virtual holiday party ideas for work: Iconic Santa Hat Invitation

Design: Jen Montgomery

Invitation Pick: Iconic Santa Hat Invitation

If your team really likes to have a roaring good time, think about doing holiday karaoke. Participants can belt out their favorite Christmas songs or holiday songs. They can do an authentic rendition or make it funny depending on what team members prefer.

For some colleagues, singing karaoke in front of the whole team can be uncomfortable. Instead, you can play “name that tune.” Queue up a playlist with holiday tunes using Spotify or iTunes. Play only a few seconds of the beginning, middle, or chorus of a song and have participants raise their hand to answer. Whoever names the most tunes wins a prize.

9. Holiday Trivia Party

Virtual holiday party ideas for work: Most Wonderful Time Invitation

Design: Lori Danelle

Invitation Pick: Most Wonderful Time Invitation

For large companies, make it a virtual team-building activity by dividing participants into teams with colleagues they don’t often work with. For small teams, you can have each individual compete on their own. 

Select a list of 10-15 trivia questions that you can ask all participants or teams. They’ll need to write down the answer on a piece of paper or whiteboard. Give everyone about 20 seconds to formulate an answer. When time’s up, have them show their answer. The correct answer gets a point and the team with the most points at the end wins a gift box or special gift. Have a few extra questions on hand just in case there is a tie at the end.

Need some help figuring out holiday trivia questions? Here are some ideas to get the creative juices flowing:

  • Name all eight reindeer in “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”
  • What movie is the phrase: “Santa, I know him!” from?
  • What is the Jewish New Year called?
  • What holiday was established by Dr. Maulana Karenga in 1966?
  • What is the best-selling Christmas song of all time?
  • Do more Americans buy real or fake trees?
  • How many days of Hanukkah are there?
  • What country started the Christmas tree tradition?

Host the Hap-Happiest Virtual Holiday Party for Work 

Virtual holiday party ideas for work: people having a virtual Christmas party

Virtual holiday parties are a fun way to boost employee morale and support friendly company culture. With these fun games and virtual holiday party ideas for work, your virtual holiday event is sure to be a success. 

At Greenvelope, we make hosting an event a breeze. Start customizing your holiday invitations and virtual event invites. All of our online invitations can be personalized so you can design the right invite for your work event. Plus, you’ll save time and money with online invitations since you don’t have to pay for postage or head down to the post office or mail room.

From virtual holiday party ideas to remote team-building activities, there are more ways to make your virtual office parties even better.