Stay indoors but plan festivities for all to participate in.
Much like last year, this year’s holiday parties, whether for work or for family and friends, will be entirely virtual or, where possible, a hybrid celebration. While we were still beginning to come to terms with the pandemic around this time last year, this year we are better prepared with more options to safely get together online or in a socially distanced manner. With that in mind, here are some ideas for activities to plan for the festive season, to help bring together your teams at the office or toward a family and friends reunion online.
Plan a fun game show, scavenger hunt or escape room experience all done entirely online. Available for teams of all sizes and offered on different platforms by many party-hosting companies, you can easily find an option for your group. Remember though that it is held on platforms accessible to everyone to make it an inclusive experience for all to participate in.
Catering businesses and meal-prep companies offer several options for meal delivery that your colleagues and friends will surely appreciate so they can get some time off during the holidays. This is everything from custom curated and branded boxes to goody bags filled with treats, snacking options or elaborate multicourse meals.
One that has found many takers these past few months is virtual wine tasting events where wines are mailed across to participants ahead of the tasting and a sommelier or winemaker guides attendees through the virtual session. Take it up a notch by also sending along some cheese, chocolates, or other snacks to accompany the tasting.
Why host only a tasting when you can encourage more involvement from attendees in a cocktail mixology class hosted virtually. Ingredients are sent to guests ahead of time or a shopping list provided, and all participants make the cocktails together to imbibe later. Want an alcohol-free version? Turn this into a mocktail mixology, hot chocolate, or healthy smoothie session!
Don’t want to ask too much of your teammates and family? Then simply send them a selection of gifts to hail the holiday season. Think potted plants, decorations, fruits and nuts or candy and chocolates – things they can enjoy at their own pace and will remind them of your kind gesture. Remember though that not everyone celebrates the same occasion during the festive season so keep in mind your recipients when choosing the items for the gift box.
Watch a holiday movie together with a group by coordinating a screening. Netflix Party is just one option to do that. Have a large yard or access to a big party space? You can still do this in-person but with socially distanced seating – some event venues offer pre-marked spots for members of a group to be seated together through the duration of the event.
Host a community gift wrap session to decorate presents for local or nonprofit organizations. They need the help during the holidays, and you can turn this into a team-building activity or something fun for the family to do together. Items can be picked up from the venue or purchased if you are donating. Schedule a time for everyone to join the event online and enjoy.
This can be a formal or informal undertaking depending on what your organization has planned for the year. If heading for a casual holiday party-themed awards ceremony, then get creative with the categories – you can still have an ugly sweater party and print one-of-a-kind holiday gift certificates or send participants elf hats for their wins.
Take the work out of party planning and opt for a fully hosted holiday party held virtually by companies specializing in just that – you are provided a moderator to handle the schedule of events, host any games such as bingo or trivia, or conversation breakers, and it allows everyone to enjoy the party without any added responsibilities.
Many have picked up new skills, talents, hacks, tricks, or other knowledge over the last few months either out of necessity or curiosity. Have your team members or family members come together for a happy hour where they can share this new passion or hobby with everyone else – a demo of a newly learned craft, a pre-recorded musical piece, and more.
Something family-friendly like a magic show, live music performance or other performance art could be a great activity that requires minimal participation from attendees but to show up. Send them a goody bag to enjoy while viewing or items from the artists after the show to continue the experience at home while supporting the local theater, opera, or other arts groups.
Nothing like telling people you care for their health by offering them a yoga class or mindfulness meditation to destress at a venue of their choice, accompanied by a curated box of candles or incense, healthy snacks, essential oils and face masks or other themed gifts to continue enjoying the experience well after their session.
Many museums, galleries, holiday homes and other venues are hosting virtual tours during the holidays that you can sign up for as a group and enjoy the story behind the decorations and take advantage of a guided tour all from the comfort of your home. Include an ask the curator session or some such interactive element for those interested in learning more.
Gift giving gone digital means you can send a link over email and be done with your holiday gifting, but it could very well be a gift that keeps giving through the next few months or well into the new year. Consider subscriptions to wellness apps, grocery delivery or home cleaning services, or other monthly subscription services that the recipients would cherish.