Ideas To Take Your Remote Holiday Celebration To The Next Level

With the pandemic still bearing down on the world, tens of millions of people continue to work from home.  It’s a solution that allows businesses to remain productive, while minimizing the risks to their employees. 

It’s far from perfect, however, because it leaves many employees feeling isolated and disconnected.  It has also, of course, upended the traditional Holiday Office Party.

If you’re like most business owners, you’re not having an in-person Holiday Party this year.  It’s just too risky.  Some companies are simply cancelling their Holiday Party altogether, though many more have decided to move the festivities online. 

If you’re worried that a virtual Holiday Party won’t be nearly as exciting or engaging as an in-person event, this article is for you.  Below, we’ll outline a number of ways you can liven up your virtual get-together to make it every bit as memorable as the in-person parties you’ve thrown in previous years.  Let’s take a closer look at some of the possibilities:

Have Your Party Professionally Hosted

Believe it or not, professionally hosted virtual parties are a thing!  Since the pandemic began, virtual party hosting has become something of a cottage industry.  Sure, if you want to, you can just get everyone together on Zoom or Skype and treat it like a virtual meeting, but if you’d rather have a more professional, seamless party experience, it’s well worth checking into some virtual party hosting companies.

The biggest difference is that on Skype and other virtual meeting platforms, only one person can speak at a time, while party-centric platforms allow for a number of conversations to take place simultaneously, which better simulates what goes on at an in-person gathering.

Combine that with the fact that having a professional host available to keep things running smoothly and handle all the details, and it’s easy to see why this is such an attractive option!

Incorporate Virtual Gingerbread Wars

If you decide you want to host the party yourself, you can still take cues from professional virtual party hosts.  One of the mainstays used by the pros is a Virtual Gingerbread War, which is a fun little competition that involves actual cookies.  Here’s how it works:

In the days leading up to the party, you send your employees a gift basket that includes gingerbread cookies, frosting, candies, and other sundries that can be used to decorate the cookies. 

Then, when the party begins, one of the games is to have everyone break out their cookies and decorating raw materials and create self-portraits.

Hilarity invariably ensues because most people aren’t terribly artistic.  The results are judged by all participants and prizes awarded for the best in whatever categories seem most appropriate to your gathering.

If you’re not interested in having a Gingerbread War, it’s easy enough to substitute some other game in its place.  There are all sorts of possibilities here, ranging from holiday Bingo to “The Naughty List,” which is a variant of the ‘Never Have I Ever’ game.  To play, have each participant start with ten fingers raised in the air.

Each participant takes a turn by making a statement that begins with: ‘You are on the naughty list if…’

Some examples of what to say next include things like:

  • …you have ever re-gifted a present.
  • …you don’t believe in Santa.
  • …you tidied your background before this virtual party.
  • …you purchased a present at the last minute.
  • …you haven’t wished anyone ‘Happy Holidays’ this year.
  • …you know a naughty Christmas joke.
  • …you peeked at presents in advance.
  • …you knocked over a Christmas tree.
  • …you were late for the holiday party.
  • …you can sing a naughty holiday jingle.
  • …you’ve bought more coal than cupcakes.
  • …you pretended to like a gift.

And the like.

Every participant for whom the statement applies lowers one finger.  The person with the most fingers left sticking up after everyone has taken a turn, wins!

Holiday Gift Giving

No Christmas party would be complete without handing out gifts!  Of course, in a virtual setting, that does take a bit more setup and preparation than it otherwise would, but it’s really not all that complicated.

Just as we described in the case of the Gingerbread Wars, above, decide what gifts you want to give to which employees and send them out several days in advance of the party.  Ideally, they’ll be wrapped and include instructions not to open them until the day of the party.

Then, when the time is right, everyone pulls out their gifts and takes turns unwrapping them and showing off their new treasures.

Employers are discovering that since they’re not shelling out top dollar for a venue and expensive decorations, they can actually afford to splurge on gifts and get high end products that their employees appreciate even more, while still spending less money overall.

If money’s tight this year, and you can’t afford top of the line gifts, however, not to worry!  There are a wide range of absolutely awesome gifts to choose from at virtually every price range.  In fact, gift sets are all the rage this year, which give your employees an assortment of goodies to enjoy.

If you’re struggling to come up with ideas for what to give, this page will certainly help simplify your search.  Note that the gift sets on the page we just linked to is very food and candy-centric, but we offer a wide range of other gift sets if you’re looking for something beyond sweet treats.  Here are just a few of the other great gift sets we have available:  Gift Sets.

The bottom line is simply this:  Not even a global pandemic can extinguish the Holiday Spirit!  Your Christmas party might be different this year, but that doesn’t mean it has to be any less special.  With a bit of thought and creativity, you can make this year’s virtual Christmas Party one that your employees will be talking about for years to come, and who knows?  It might wind up being such a big hit that it becomes the new normal, long after the pandemic is a distant memory.