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12 Great Ideas to Celebrate the Holidays With Your Team

The holidays offer a great chance to take a step back and unwind, especially following a probably tough or productive year. During this season, office festivities are essential to fostering a vibrant and encouraging corporate culture.

However, planning a fun, inclusive celebration that speaks to everyone can be difficult for a lot of HR directors. If you have questions about throwing an office dinner party, coming up with the right activities, or picking a location, we've got some 12 great ideas to help you celebrate the holidays with your team.

1. Holiday Party

A well-planned Christmas party offers a happy conclusion to the year's work and a chance for team members to relax, interact, and celebrate the season. Include games for team development, a dance floor with a combination of popular hits and Christmas music, or even a picture booth to record fun moments. Remember that food and beverages are essential to any celebration, so make sure your menu offers a wide selection of mouthwatering choices.

2. In-Office Decorations

If your team works in the same location, encourage everyone to decorate their workspaces.You can spark some friendly competition by hosting a "Decorate Your Workspace" contest. For remote teams, this could involve virtual backgrounds or festive attire. In the office, encourage team members to deck out their physical workspaces to create a festive atmosphere for all.

3. Holiday Recipe Swap

Food has a magical way of bringing people together. Organize a virtual holiday recipe swap where team members share their favorite festive recipes. Create a cookbook with the collected recipes so everyone can enjoy a taste of the holidays from the comfort of their homes.

4. Carolling Session

Consider compiling a list of popular holiday songs in advance or ask team members to submit their song preferences. This way, you can create a caroling lineup that includes a mix of classic tunes, modern favorites, and perhaps even songs specific to your team's cultural or regional traditions.

To add an extra layer of fun, encourage team members to get creative with their performances. They can incorporate festive costumes, props, or even funny adaptations of lyrics to inject a bit of humor into the caroling session. This not only showcases individual personalities but also contributes to a lighthearted and enjoyable atmosphere.

5. Volunteer Together

Give back to the community by organizing a volunteer day. This could range from organizing a virtual charity fundraiser to participating in a virtual charity run. Coming together to support a meaningful cause adds a sense of purpose to your holiday celebrations. 

6. Ugly Sweater Contest

The Ugly Sweater Contest has alwys been fun. It encourages team members to show off their creativity and wear the funniest mismatched holiday sweaters as part of this well-liked and lighthearted custom. Participants can really make their sweaters stand out by accessorizing them with festive accessories, bright colors, and quirky patterns. The Ugly Sweater Contest is a great way for team members to show off their individuality and creativity, while also adding a humorous element to the festivities.

7. Movie Marathon

Choose a holiday movie, and organize a movie night for the team. If your team is virtual, you can use platforms that allow for synchronous watching and chat about the movie in real-time. To make the experience more interactive, you could organize a holiday movie trivia session before or after the screening to test everyone's knowledge of festive films. Alternatively, you might encourage team members to dress up as their favorite holiday movie characters or share their top holiday movie recommendations.

8. Secret Santa Gift Exchange

The excitement of getting a surprise gift from a coworker is always fun, especially in close-knit groups. A gift exchange provides a fun and informal environment for staff members to strengthen their relationships. Just have team members choose names at random, set a maximum amount for each gift, and watch as creative and considerate gifts start to pour in!

9. Holiday-Themed Awards

Make funny trophies with holiday themes to add some holiday spirit to your office party. These awards give a lighthearted touch to showcasing the variety of skills on your team. As everyone gathers to celebrate and have fun, throwing a fun awards ceremony not only boosts spirits but also fosters a cooperative and happy environment.

10. Team Retreat

A well-organized team retreat offers the chance for members of the team to relax, refuel, and form personal connections. A team retreat offers a welcome change of pace and fosters more casual and fun connections among team members. It fortifies ties, cultivates a healthy team environment, and sets a good tone for the future year.

11. Personalized Virtual Backgrounds

This is another fun yet inexpensive way to celebrate the holiday with your team. Your team members can create or select virtual backdrops that showcase their preferred holiday customs or even a hint of humor. It could be a backdrop adorned with twinkling lights, a cozy fireplace scene, or a snapshot of a cherished holiday memory. For added engagement, during a virtual holiday party or team-building event, team members can vote on the most creative or festive virtual background.

12. Game Night

Break away from the normal work routine with an office game night. Incorporate games that encourage teamwork and collaboration. Multiplayer games that require communication and problem-solving can strengthen team bonds. Consider adding an extra layer of motivation by offering small prizes or recognition for winners. It could be as simple as virtual badges or shout-outs during team meetings.


Remember to consider the preferences and traditions of your team when planning holiday celebrations. Consider what is truly important to your team and adjust your office holiday party accordingly. The goal is to create an inclusive and enjoyable experience for every employee. Beyond the fine details of the party, your team members or employees should feel appreciated.

For more HR tips and ideas on how to create a workspace atmospher that makes every team member feel valued and heard, feel free to contact us at The Mission. We offer ongoing HR outsourcing services, including PEO services, payroll management, talent outsourcing, and several other HR-related services.


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