With the festive season inching closer by the day, you’ve probably started thinking of virtual Christmas-themed team building activities for work, and for good reason too.
After all, the Christmas season is a great opportunity to strengthen your remote team with the help of fun holiday games, activities, and events.
So to help you get started, we’ve put together a list of 9 virtual holiday team building activities your teammates will enjoy, ranked from least to most expensive for your convenience.
Need some more inspiration for a virtual Christmas party? Veertly did an amazing job in their last Christmas Party
Christmas-themed virtual team building activities - ranked
A list of memorable virtual team building games and activities to enjoy over the Christmas season.
1. Shared holiday playlist
Best for: Discovering new music
One of the things that makes Christmas so great is the wide range of amazing Christmas songs, so why spend the holiday jamming?
Create a shared playlist on Spotify or Apple Music and encourage each teammate to add at least one holiday song to the collection. Let them know that the genre doesn’t matter - anything from pop, RnB, and worship, to more traditional Christmas jams, are all welcome.
This activity is awesome because it helps your teammates discover new and shared tastes in music. You can also encourage them to learn more about each other by asking them to share the reason they chose their song in your next team meeting.
2. The naughty list
Best for: Fun holiday icebreakers
The naughty list team building game is similar to ‘Never Have I Ever’, but with a unique holiday twist.
To play, you’ll have to come up with a list of holiday-themed statements that could get someone on the naughty list.
For example, I’m on the naughty list if I’ve…
- Regifted a present
- Pretended to like a gift
- Never believed in Santa
- Decorated my Christmas tree last minute
- Bought a present last minute
- Been late for a holiday party
- Know a naughty Christmas joke or jingle
Once you’ve come up with your statements, it’s time to play.
- Each team member starts by holding up all 10 fingers.
- Call out the statements one by one, and if any team member has committed the naughty act, they’ll need to lower a finger.
- Whoever has the most fingers still up at the end of the game is the winner.
Also see: How to improve your team building online
3. Christmas time in the city
Best for: Virtually exploring new places
One of the benefits of remote teammates working in different cities is that they might experience different, interesting Christmas traditions. While it might be common for some to put up Christmas trees and build snowmen, others celebrate by attending parties. This is why this virtual Christmas team building activity is so great - it gives people the chance to experience Christmas from another person’s perspective. Besides, it’s an opportunity for people to travel virtually without even leaving their homes.
To set up this activity, encourage teammates to take videos and pictures that showcase how Christmas is celebrated in their hometowns or cities. Things like tree-lighting ceremonies, traditional Christmas meals, and classic Christmas parties can be included in their shared media.
Employees can then compare and contrast Christmas celebrations.
Also see: Free virtual team building activities
4. Cookie decoration competition
Price: $10-20 per person
Best for: Some competitive fun
If your teammates are big on holiday cookies, they’ll definitely love this team building idea. A cookie decoration competition is simple, fun, and will have everyone in a good mood.
To organize this event,
- Give teammates the option of either baking plain, homemade cookies or purchasing plain, store-bought cookies.
- Ensure everyone has purchased their decorating ingredients ahead of the event
- Get everyone on a video conferencing platform together
- Choose a theme for the decoration. For example, Christmas.
- Read out any rules you may have for the competition. For example, you cannot have anyone in your home help you decorate.
- Set a timer - 15 to 20 minutes works well
- Once the timer is up, have all participants vote for the best-looking cookie and crown the winner.
At the end of the competition, you can all unwind over some lighthearted conversation and beverages.
Pro-tip: Send everyone an ingredient list and a small budget to purchase what they need so they don’t have to pay with their own money.
5. Ugly sweater party
Price: $20 per person
Best for: Unique holiday celebrations
One of our favorite Christmas-themed virtual team building activities is an ugly sweater party. Not only is it a classic holiday party idea, but it also gives everyone a chance to be creative and enjoy a fun time together.
To organize this, ask your teammates to find or make their ugliest holiday sweaters. Then set a virtual party date to give everyone the chance to showcase their creation. You can even turn it into a lighthearted competition to get them motivated. For example, the person with the funniest, ugliest sweater wins an extra day off for the holidays.
6. Virtual Secret Santa
Price: $20 limit per person
Best for: Small virtual teams
Who doesn't love a secret Santa gift exchange? This virtual Christmas team building activity is great because it allows remote workers experience a popular office holiday tradition.
To host this event, you can start by using a gift exchange generator like Secret Santa Organizer to help randomize the selection of names and communicate the spending limit.
Once everyone has sent out their presents, host a virtual conferencing meeting so they can virtually open gifts together.
Pro tip: Give teammates the options of either shipping physical presents to their recipients or sending virtual gifts like online gift cards.
7. Holiday cocktail party
Price: $20-30 per person
Best for: Learning new recipes
A holiday cocktail party is a great team building activity to do over a cocktail hour during the holiday season.
All you need to do is choose a cocktail you want to make. You can find quick and easy cocktail (or mocktail) recipes online. Once you’ve found the one you like, make a list of ingredients and send them to your teammates, along with a stipend to purchase what they need.
Then on a virtual call, read out instructions for everyone to follow.
Once all the drinks are ready, relax with your cocktails and enjoy nice, engaging discussions.
8. Holiday costume dress-up
Price: $20-40 per person
Best for: Getting in the holiday spirit
While physical offices have Christmas trees and lights to get them in the holiday mood, remote employees often miss out on this tradition. So why not host a costume event to get your teammates in the Christmas spirit? Besides, a holiday costume dress-up is one of the most fun virtual holiday team building activities.
Simply invite your teammates to a virtual party and tell them to arrive dressed up as their favorite holiday character.
Some dress-up ideas include:
- Santa Claus
- The Grinch
- Santa’s reindeer
- Santa’s elves
- Mrs. Claus
- Christmas angels
- A snowman
You can even up the stakes by announcing the best holiday costume competition and giving the winner a prize.
9. Send holiday gift boxes
Price: $30-100 per person
Best for: A fun surprise
One of the ways you can show your appreciation for your team is by sending them surprise holiday gift boxes. Once they’ve been received, you can have them open the boxes during your virtual party for a nice team bonding moment.
You can find a variety of great holiday gift boxes online. For example, SnackNation has a collection of well-curated gift box ideas for you to choose from and purchase.
Alternatively, you can go the DIY route by making your own custom gift boxes to send out to your employees.
Some ideas to consider include:
- Beverages - hot chocolate, coffee, or tea mix
- Snacks and sweets - cookies, candy cane, candy
- Christmas goodies - wine and spices for making mulled wine
- Cosmetics - bubble bath, essential oils, hand lotion
- Accessories - scarves, hats, headbands
- Online shopping gift cards or subscription services
Also see: Virtual team building software
Virtual Christmas team building activities - simple, fun, and effective
Christmas-themed team building activities can be fun, easy to organize, and best of all, affordable. However, they’re also quite effective at strengthening team bonds. As your teammates share these memorable holiday experiences, it encourages them to communicate and learn more about each other, which in turn, results in better working relationships.
To learn more about team building and how to organize team bonding activities that work, you can also check out some of our other resources, like communication team building activities, leadership team building activities, and problem-solving team building activities.