In the age of remote work and socially-distanced celebrations, holiday festivities are going to look a little different this year. To celebrate the holidays with a festive + jovial spirit while keeping a safe distance from friends, family, and your remote team members, all you need to do is log into your favorite video conferencing platform, hit play on your holiday playlist, and tap into your creativity.
Just because holiday celebrations are going to look differently this year doesn’t mean that you can’t still connect with friends and colleagues in a bit of down time. So slip into your coziest party sweater, send out a video meeting invite, and enjoy our top 10 best virtual holiday hang ideas.
Whether you have been WFH (or Work-From-Anywhere #WFA) for years or your team went remote when COVID-19 ushered your company to embrace remote work, there is no time like the holiday season to celebrate all you have accomplished as a team. Just because you can’t all attend your organization’s annual holiday party IRL doesn’t mean that you can’t celebrate your teammates and the successes of the year. To get a jump on planning this year’s festivities, here are some unconventional virtual holiday celebration ideas perfect for celebrating an unconventional year.
When celebrating your colleagues virtually, there’s no need to stray too far from what you are used to. A winning virtual holiday remote team hangout can be as easy as transferring your usual holiday party into a Zoom room. Get in the celebratory spirit by sending out an evite to your remote team members that includes the virtual party details and a festive drink or baked good recipe to even further replicate that communal in-person party feel. To take your party to the next level, extend the invite to all team members’ partners, roommates, and pets. This way, you don’t have to miss out on hearing that embarrassing egg nog story your teammate’s wife tells at the party every year—the more, the merrier!
To virtually celebrate the achievements of your team while celebrating the individuality of your team members, have every remote team member write down the recipe for their favorite holiday dish. Then, have all of your team members randomly swap recipes and make the recipe they picked. At your virtual holiday hangout, each team member can enjoy the recipe they made while guessing which one of their teammate’s recipes it is. This 2020 version of a classic potluck dinner party is a great way to add an extra element of creativity to your virtual celebration, while enjoying some tasty treats along the way.
A holiday classic retailored to be enjoyed while prioritizing the health and safety of all your remote team members, a Secret Santa gift exchange is always a fun way to celebrate the holidays. Put a price cap on the gifts, anonymously pull names out of a free Secret Santa generator like Elfster, send out a Zoom meeting invitation, and you’ve got yourself a party! Once all team members have joined the meeting, take turns opening your gifts and guessing who your Secret Santa was.
Festive Bonus Tip: To safely deliver the gift to your recipient, you can either mail your gifts to one another or set up a place in the office to safely drop off and pick up your gifts. Remember, if you use the office as your North Pole be sure to abide by all CDC health and safety guidelines for office buildings.
A holiday party isn’t a party without games! One way to add some easy virtual games to your remote holiday party is to zhuzh up your favorite icebreakers to give them a festive flair. Instead of two truths and a lie, play two truths and a lie: holiday edition where each team members tells their three silliest holiday stories, the three best gifts they ever received as kids, or their three favorite holiday traditions and the other team members have to guess which one of the three is the holiday lie.
Does your team or group of friends love to share favorite Cabs or Merlots on Slack? Try a virtual wine tasting with In Good Taste. Groups who order 6+ kits get a virtual tasting session for free, so combine your team holiday gift with your virtual holiday hang and come out as sommeliers-in-training!
Spending quality time with your family is a key component of the holiday season for many of us. And just because you can’t see all of your aunts and uncles, grandparents, and cousins all in person this year doesn’t mean that you can’t all still spend time celebrating the holidays together. Use one of these virtual holiday hang ideas to get the most out of celebrating this festive time of year with your family.
Festive Bonus Tip: This year, take the opportunity to throw an even bigger family holiday party than usual by inviting the relatives that usually don’t make the trek to your in-person parties to join in on your virtual celebration.
To add a digital spin on a well-worn holiday tradition, take your family’s annual bakeoff into the virtual realm. Choose a classic holiday treat like gingerbread houses or sugar cookies, stock up on frosting and sprinkles, and have a remote bake-off and decorating competition (Nailed It! Or GBBO anyone?). Each household can work together to creatively decorate their sweet treat as best they can. Then, when the family all comes together on a video call they can take turns showing off their creations. Everyone can vote for their favorite, with Grandma acting as tie-breaker, of course.
If your family holiday parties are more about singing than baking, raise the stakes this year by making your usual caroling around the piano into a full-fledged virtual festive talent show. Each household can prepare an original holiday song, or choreograph a dance to their favorite holiday hit. On the night of the show, each household gets to show off their routine as the whole family cheers them on from behind their screens. Bonus points for coordinated outfits and the most creative props!
A family friendly game for all ages (and an inventive icebreaker!), circle storytelling is a great way to get the creative juices while spending quality virtual time together as a family. Circle storytelling is a game where the whole family makes up a new holiday story all together. Starting with one family member kicking off the story with a prompt— something like, “Christmas Eve in the North Pole” or “New Years Day on Mars”, each family member takes turns adding to the story one sentence at a time. The more creative you are, the sillier your story will become until you have all worked together to write a new classic holiday tale.
In addition to celebrating the holidays with your remote teammates and family, it is also the time of year to partake in virtual festivities with your friends. While you may have been remotely hanging with your pals for months now, there is no time like the upcoming holiday season to take your remote hangs to the more-festive level with one of these holiday hang ideas.
To pretend for a moment that you are all celebrating the holidays like normal, plan your virtual celebration to reflect your typical party atmosphere as much as possible. Depending on your friend group, this could mean donning your favorite ugly Christmas sweaters or creating your own signature cocktail list. However you choose to safely celebrate the seasons with one another, just remember that: there ain’t no party like a virtual ugly holiday sweater happy hour, because a virtual ugly holiday sweater happy hour don’t stop!
To add an artistic flair to your holiday festivities or a holiday flair to your artistic festivities, host a virtual festive paint party. Meeting attendings can all pour their own bubbly of choice while you all paint the same classic holiday scene on canvas or make it even more festive by handcrafting ornaments for your trees.
Festive Bonus Tip: If you host your festive paint party early enough before your gift giving holiday, you can take it as an opportunity to save yourself a trip to the store by making your gifts this year!
For a competitive holiday hangout with your friends, utilize the screen sharing tool on Zoom to transition your game night into a virtual night of fun. Partake in one of the endlessly silly Jackbox Games or get creative by playing one of these classic board games over Zoom. Whichever games you choose to play, you and your friends will cherish your virtual game night and no doubt make it a holiday tradition for years to come.
If you are new to virtual hangouts or events, don’t worry— here is everything you need to know about remote meetings and our top video conferencing software to choose from. Our friends at Zoom have generously removed their 40 minute limit for the holidays so get online and enjoy your family and friends’ company for as long as you like.