In light of the recent pandemic, the holidays might not feel as merry as they usually do. Still, what better way to ring in the holiday season than with a holiday get-together? Why not a virtual get-together that is fun and safe for everyone?
When most people hear “Virtual Holiday Party,” they automatically assume something rushed, cheap, and not in the holiday spirit. But hosting holiday festivities online doesn't have to be limited to a 15-minute Zoom call.
You know that you can host a pretty awesome holiday party, entirely online. Your guests will love being plugged in and socially distanced while still having quality holiday fun. It is more important than ever to stay connected to the people you care about during the holiday season, especially after the year we’ve had.
A virtual event is one of the best ways to ensure safety for your coworkers and employees while delivering a fun event that gives back to the employees.
Virtual holiday parties are also a great way to get everybody in the office involved. People can join and participate as little or as much as they would like to. This helps even the shyest of coworkers to get involved in the holiday fun.
Another big win to hosting a virtual event also comes with expanding your guest list. This is a good thing to do, especially with online or remote companies. This means more people can get involved with fewer travel expenses.
The future of festivities is online, and we want to help you get there. Here are some of the best creative ways to enjoy the holiday season on the web.
How to Add Holiday Spirit to a Boring Zoom Call
Nothing is more boring than Zoom meetings with blank screens. In many professional environments, especially those who regularly meet online, a black screen is preferred—but this is the holiday season we are talking about.
Let’s add a little spice for our once-a-year holiday party.
1. Use Zoom Backgrounds
Now that the holidays are here, it is time to whip out fun holiday backgrounds (with permission, of course). This is an easy and fun way to add a little cheer to your next meeting or event.
2. Live Entertainment
Even though you’re meeting remotely, you shouldn't rule out is the option of live entertainment. During the pandemic, lots of musicians and artists switched over to an online format.
Call up a local band or pianist and see if they would be willing to play as an introduction to your holiday party or Zoom call. Rather than waiting for guests to arrive virtually with a quiet, black screen, they can enjoy some holiday music and get excited about the coming festivities.
3. Holiday Playlists
One easy way to bring some holiday cheer to a Zoom event is to have the participants create a holiday playlist of their favorite Christmas and other holiday songs. Have everyone add to a collaborative playlist or make their own.
Have this playlist faintly playing in the background to get your guests in the mood for a holiday event. This is a great way to personalize the event and have people bond over holiday tunes.
4. Breakout Rooms
Utilizing the breakout room feature is a great way to make sure your guests feel comfortable interacting one on one with each other. This encourages intimacy and helps guests feel comfortable in a smaller setting.
Have the breakout groups play an icebreaker game or participate in another small bonding activity.
5. Community Cause
Why not get everyone together to give to a charitable cause? It doesn’t have to be a huge or expensive endeavor, just something small and local to make your people feel good about giving back.
Make an Event Out of It
Now that your screen has been doused in holiday cheer, what is something that your guests can participate in? Why not bring some festive games into the mix?
There are super easy ways to bring some fun into a regular online call (it definitely helps if prizes are involved, too!). Here are some top ways to bring the holly and jolly in the form of games and events at your next virtual party.
6. Pick a Theme
Even online, having a theme for the event is a good time and a good idea. Picking a theme helps give you and your party go-ers an immersive experience. The theme could be based on a holiday movie or a specific era or song. It really is up to you.
Regardless of the holiday theme you pick, your guests will love having this element thrown into their holiday party, even behind a screen.
7. Holiday Bingo
Who doesn't love bingo? This is a great way to be interactive with your guests no matter where they are. Tons of games can be made into holiday versions and moved online.
There are many templates online that your guests can print and play along with, no matter where they are in the world. All they need is a stable internet connection to participate in this classic, fun game.
8. Cooking Class
Hosting a festive bake-off or hosting a cooking demo is a great way to get virtual party guests engaged and excited about your event. It is interactive, delicious, and just an all-around solid way to get people involved. Not to mention, you get to eat something delicious when it's all said and done.
Nothing says the holidays are here like the smell of warm cookies baking or chestnuts roasting on a fire—whatever you’re into.
9. “The Naughty List”
This is such a fun, creative ice breaker for the holiday season. It’s a holiday-themed “Never Have I Ever.” The rules break down to:
- Each player starts the game with ten fingers up.
- Each player takes a turn by creating a statement starting with “You are on the naughty list if…”
- If a player has done the act, they lower one finger.
- The game continues for a designated number of rounds or until only one player has fingers left in the air.
- Whoever has fingers left up at the end wins.
This game is simple, easy to pick up, and works for virtual or in-person events. This is also a great way to get to know your coworkers a little better than you did before.
10. Virtual Gift Exchange
The only thing virtual about this part is the opening of the gifts. This is such an easy and fun way to have a gift exchange.
The easiest way to do this is to mail each other gifts or leave packages on people’s doorsteps for them to open on camera during your party.
11. Virtual Christmas Trivia
Much like holiday bingo, you can never go wrong with a game of Christmas trivia. It’s a fun way to test your guests' knowledge of holiday facts and figures and an easy way for people to win fun little prizes.
There are lots of different downloadable trivia sheets online, or you can easily create your own with questions that you and your guests will love.
12. Virtual Karaoke
Even the crankiest of coworkers can’t resist the festive pull of Mariah Carey… We guarantee it. Grab a track off of YouTube or another free streaming service and sing the night away with Christmas classics.
It’s easy to feel more comfortable being silly and singing when you’ve got some eggnog, and you are behind a screen. This is a fun way to break down walls and get people comfortable.
13. Virtual Cocktail Party
While having lots of planned events and games is a good tool for a virtual event, it is important to have time when guests can just interact with one another. Hosting a “cocktail party” is a great way to do this.
For this, you can teach participants how to make a drink or have them bring their own. This is also a great time to utilize those breakout rooms mentioned earlier.
If you don’t want to fuss with creating your own cocktails, the easiest way to do this is to have Ohza delivered to all your guests (21 years of age and older, of course). Just in time for the holidays. Have delicious canned mimosas delivered straight to your guests' doorsteps.
Better yet, Ohza has versatile flavors that can be easily made into Christmas-flavored cocktails. You can bond over video by cracking open a cold one with a warm fire.
14. Holiday Movie Night
One of the easiest ways to engage your people is by having a holiday movie night. It’s easy to pull up a Christmas classic on a streaming service, have everyone tune in and cozy up!
From the comfort of their own homes, employees and friends alike can bond over nostalgic movies. Grab some kettle corn and cocoa and enjoy a classic no matter where you are.
15. Gratitude Ceremony
This is a sweet, sentimental way to give back to your employees and coworkers. Have a moment in the night to make sure your people know that they are loved and valued by you and your team.
Give out superlatives or awards or simply raise a toast to the people you love. This is a great way for your employees to know that you love and appreciate them. We recommend doing this towards the end of the night to end on a high note for the holidays.
Home For The Holidays
Being home for the holidays doesn’t have to be a “Bah Humbug” moment. There are so many options for virtual holiday parties that will be a smash hit with everyone. Whether you decide to have karaoke, cocktails, or both, there are tons of ways to ring in the holiday season, even on the web.
However you decide to celebrate, friends and employees alike will love getting to spend the holidays with you, even if you’re not in person. Thankfully for us, we live in an era where people are more connected than ever. It is important to utilize these tools that have been given to us and be more intentional than ever before.
2021 Christmas doesn’t have to be the same as 2020. The holidays can be hard, but quality time with family and friends makes it all worthwhile despite the hardships. Happy Holidays, both on-screen and off!