16 Hybrid Christmas Ideas, Games & Activities for Work in 2021

Home » Holidays » Hybrid ChristmasUpdated: September 30, 2021

You found our list of fun hybrid Christmas activities.

Hybrid Christmas ideas are holiday activities for groups with members meeting both in-person and online. For example, photo scavenger hunts or happy hours. These celebrations may take place between dispersed teams, international teams, or groups that contain traveling team members. The purpose of these gatherings is to inspire camaraderie and promote unity between in-office and remote colleagues.

These ideas are a type of holiday team building and are similar to virtual holiday parties and office Christmas parties.

This list includes:

  • hybrid holiday games
  • hybrid holiday activities
  • ideas for hybrid Christmas parties

Here we go!

List of Hybrid Christmas ideas, games & activities

From movie nights to holiday parties to seasonal speed dating, here is a list of Christmas activities for hybrid teams to get employees near and far into the holiday spirit.

1. Xmas Photo Scavenger Hunts

Holiday Photo Hunt template

Xmas Photo Scavenger Hunts are picture-based treasure hunt activities. Players receive prompts and must capture photos of the listed items. Participants can either take new photos, or submit older photos. You can play the game live and give teams a time limit to complete the challenge. Or, to accommodate teams in different schedules and timezones, you can run the activity over the course of a week or two and ask participants to upload submissions to a shared album or social media.

For more ideas, check out this list of holiday scavenger hunt templates and this guide to remote scavenger hunts.

2. Secret Santa

Even if you work in a hybrid office, you can enjoy this holiday workplace tradition. To host a hybrid Secret Santa exchange, first have participants sign up on a website like Elfster or Giftster. Remote recipients should input home addresses, while in-person partygoers can put the address of the office. To keep the sender a secret, gift givers can put HQ’s address as return to sender.

Be sure to set a budget for the activity. Asking participants to suggest a few presents is helpful, especially since hybrid teams may operate out of different locations and teammates may not know each other well. Finally, choose a date for the exchange, meet up on video call, and watch each other open presents.

Here is a guide to doing Secret Santa exchanges online.

3. Fully Hosted Virtual Holiday Party

If you are unsure about the logistics of entertaining in-person and remote guests at the same time, then booking a hosted Virtual Holiday Party is a good solution. Our hosts have experience engaging teams of all kinds, including hybrid groups. This 90 minute event involves seasonal activities such as trivia, treasure hunts, and lightning rounds. Teammates mingle in the main room and breakout rooms while engaging in Christmas-themed competitions.

Learn more about our facilitated Virtual Holiday Party.

4. Holiday Trivia

Holiday Trivia is one of the best games for hybrid holiday parties. There are many ways to structure teams, for instance, within-person groups against virtual players, splitting players into breakout rooms, or dividing the group by devices. For maximum mingling, mix up virtual and in-person participants.

Before the game starts, tell competitors to come up with festive team names like the Noel-it-alls or Santa’s Helpers. Then, ask holiday-themed questions out loud or via fillable form. Categories might include movie quotes, carols, traditions, xmas around the world, winter holidays, and winter weather. You can also make questions more secular to appeal to global or mixed groups. Feel free to add multimedia elements like pictures, music, videos, and act-it-out challenges to make the game more engaging.

Here is a collection of Christmas trivia questions.

5. Gingerbread Decorating

group standing in front of screen with gingerbread house

Gingerbread Decorating is one of the best hybrid holiday activities for teams. The hands-on nature of the event can help virtual teammates feel as included in the action as physically-present guests.

The first step of this activity is to find a gingerbread house or person decorating kit, and order the kits for attendees. Then, either meet up on a video call and decorate together, or perfect your creations off-camera and share to a collaborative photo album or a cloud drive.

For competitions, you can assign a theme like “90’s Christmas” or “horror movie holidays,” or give participants free range to use their imaginations.

Pro tip: Remember to take pictures of the finished products before taking a bite!

6. Treat Tasting

Treat Tasting is one of the most delicious ideas for hybrid Christmas team outings. First, prepare a food tasting kit for each participant. For instance cookies, chocolates, seasonal coffees, or flavored candy canes. You can also do paintings, for instance, cookies and cocoa or cookies and wine.

Be sure to mail remote attendees packages, leaving enough time for delivery before the event. Then, meet up on a video call, try the treats one by one, and share your impressions with each other. A guide can lead the tasting, or you can DIY your own experience.

7. Seasonal I Spy

Seasonal I Spy is one of the easiest hybrid holiday games. To play this challenge, teammates take turns naming off wintery objects seen on screen. To make the game fair for remote players, these items must be visible on webcam. For instance, in-person partygoers cannot pick an ice sculpture located behind the laptop. The objects should be holiday or winter related, however there is wiggle room for this requirement. For instance, a player could choose to call jewelry “ice,” or point out a red or green object.

8. Holiday Happy Hours

Holiday Happy Hours are one of the best ideas for hybrid Christmas parties. These gatherings are virtual cocktail parties where teammates can gather to share drinks and chat. For in-person attendees, bring in a bartender or mix up some Christmas-themed cocktails. Meanwhile, reimburse remote guests’ first rounds, or send kits with dry ingredients for holiday drinks.

During the event, attendees can chat and play festive games.

Check out this guide to online happy hours, and here is a list of Zoom drinking games.

9. Never Have I Ever: Xmas Edition

Never Have I Ever is a popular icebreaker game for large groups that works well at hybrid holiday events. To play the game in a hybrid setting, ask teammates to take turns sharing Christmas never have I ever statements. Virtual players who are guilty of the deed will keep webcams on while the innocent temporarily switch webcams off. Meanwhile, in-person players will move off camera or sit down if innocent, or stay standing and stay on camera if guilty.

Here are some starter Xmas Never Have I Ever prompts:

  • Regifted a present
  • Opened a present and re-wrapped it
  • Told a child Santa was not real
  • Forgot to get a present for someone on list
  • Made a Christmas list as an adult
  • Cried as a result of opening a present
  • Proposed to someone or been proposed to at Christmas time
  • Fell while ice skating
  • Gotten drunk at a holiday party
  • Smooched someone under the mistletoe
  • Sled off the roof

Here is a list of clean Never Have I Ever Questions for work.

10. Wrap Battles

Wrap Battles are fun hybrid Christmas games. To start, at home players grab a roll of wrapping paper, scissors, and tape. In-person players name random objects, and virtual participants must grab the item and wrap it in under one minute. Then, the in-person players judge the contestants on presentation. You can use a random object generator to come up with prompts for the game.

11. Carolyoke

Carolyoke is a Christmas song version of karaoke. There are a few different ways to do the activity in hybrid settings.

  1. If each group is calling in on one computer, have them each prepare a xmas carol for the group. Props and costumes are encouraged!
  2. Do carolyoke roulette, and spin a wheel to choose random attendees and Christmas songs.
  3. To play Finish the Lyric, pause a song and spotlight a group or individual, kiss-cam style, to keep singing.
  4. Stick with the traditional method and have singers or groups pick out songs to sing and take turns.

You can turn this activity into a competition, or just sing for fun.

To launch carolyoke at hybrid holiday parties, pull up a playlist of lyric Christmas videos, and share the screen so singers can follow along with the words.

12. Merry Movie Night

Movie nights are one of the easiest hybrid Christmas activities for teams. For in-person attendees, set up a large screen and connect a laptop via HDMI hookup. You can start a Zoom call and share the screen from the presentation computer, or use an app such as Teleparty or Watch2Gether to sync video with remote participants.

Here are some festive film suggestions:

  • It’s a Wonderful Life
  • Miracle on 34th Street
  • Christmas Vacation
  • Klaus
  • The Grinch That Stole Christmas
  • The Year Without A Santa Claus
  • A Christmas Story

The holiday movie genre is huge, and there are hundreds of options to choose from. To make the experience more interactive, encourage watchers to add commentary, or stop the film to play games like trivia or charades. Providing snacks is a nice touch, too. You can set up a snack station with holiday treats for attendees, and send remote participants boxes of goodies.

Here are more films for coworker movie nights.

13. Christmas Cards

Receiving a handwritten note feels more intimate than getting an email or printed card. One easy way to foster a sense of closeness among dispersed teams at the holidays is to encourage teammates to send each other signed cards.

To do this activity, first send around a list of participating teammates and accompanying addresses. If teammates would rather not share their addresses with coworkers, then the organizer can take on the task of collecting and sending the cards.

Participants should jot a personal note to each participant, for instance a sincere compliment, a memory, an anecdote, or the answer to an icebreaker question.

For inspiration, here is a collection of work-friendly holiday messages.

14. Seasonal Speed Dating

Season speed dating is a hybrid networking idea for the holidays. To set up this activity, arrange a series of work laptops around the in-person party room. Next, assign virtual attendees to breakout rooms. Each breakout room should have a maximum of three or four participants, to keep conversation more intimate. Physical partygoers move from laptop to laptop when a jingle bell rings, and mingle with remote teammates. Participants can ask each other holiday icebreaker questions, or just chat and enjoy each other’s company. If you have more remote participants than in-person attendees, then you can assign virtual partygoers to breakout rooms with each other as well.

15. Santa’s Spies

Santa’s Spies is a fun hybrid Christmas game that plays into the, “Santa is always watching” trope. At the start of this challenge, each player or team receives a misdeed or list of misdeeds. For example, eating chips in bed, giving “bunny ears” to a nearby companion, or imitating a colleague. The point of the game is to do the deed at some point during the call without getting noticed. If a teammate catches the person doing the act, they yell out “naughty list!” Players who pull off the bad behavior yet remain on the nice list win the game.

16. Christmas This or That

Christmas This or That is a question game that reveals personal preferences. To play this game, display a choice of two options on the screen. One word should be red, and the other green. Players can swap out virtual backgrounds, hold up signs, or put on a piece of clothing in the corresponding color to announce their choice.

Here are some Christmas-themed This or That questions:

  • Eggnog or Mulled wine?
  • Gingerbread or Sugar Cookies?
  • Xmas eve or Xmas morning?
  • Colored lights or white lights?
  • Reindeer or elves?
  • Snowmen or snow angels?
  • Gift wrap or gift bags?
  • Giving or receiving?
  • Snoop or be surprised?
  • Sweaters or Socks?
  • Handmade or store bought?
  • Finish shopping early or wait until 12/24?
  • Red or green?
  • Star tree topper or angel tree topper?

Check out this master list of This or That questions.

Final Thoughts

Entertaining hybrid teams at the holidays can be a challenge. Some event planners make the mistake of organizing fun parties for in-person guests and simply broadcasting the festivities for the virtual teammates. The best hybrid holiday events meaningfully connect virtual guests with in-person guests and involve participation for all attendees.

Christmas is a time of togetherness, and an opportunity to promote goodwill and bonding among employees. By planning fun, active, and engaging hybrid activities for holidays, you can spread holiday cheer and create belonging among distributed teams. The holidays may be one of the few times of year when the whole team gathers, and it is worth investing extra effort to make the occasion memorable for all attendees.

Next, check out this list of swag ideas for employees, and this list of hybrid activities for work.

FAQ: Hybrid Christmas celebrations

Here are answers to common questions about hybrid Christmas celebrations.

What are hybrid Christmas celebrations?

Hybrid Christmas celebrations are gatherings that some guests attend in person, while other participants join via video call. The best versions of these gatherings involve activities that both remote and physical present participants can engage in, instead of merely livestreaming the in-person festivities for virtual partygoers to watch.

What are some good hybrid Christmas ideas for work?

Some good hybrid Christmas ideas for work include photo scavenger hunts, gingerbread decorating, Secret Santa, and wrap battles.

What are the benefits of a hybrid Christmas party?

The main benefits of hybrid Christmas parties are accommodating guests near and far, keeping costs down, and entertaining virtual and in-person attendees simultaneously. Hybrid events allow participants the power to choose which way to attend. For instance, parents with young children may find it easier to attend virtually, even if they live in the same city as their coworkers. Parties are also useful in case of winter weather, since guests can pivot to virtual attendance in case of snowstorms.

How do you throw a hybrid Christmas party?

To throw a hybrid Christmas party, first choose a date and time. If inviting guests across different time zones, then try to choose an hour that is convenient for as many attendees as possible. Next, send out invitations, and ask guests to RSVP with a note as to whether they plan to attend in-person or online so that you can get an accurate headcount and ready enough food and drinks. Plan to send out materials to virtual guests at least two weeks in advance. Sending care packages or stipends to remote guests can help make virtual partygoers feel more included.

Sending the virtual meeting link to all attendees is a good idea, in case of last minute plan changes. Secure, setup, and test your equipment for the event, for instance a virtual events platform, a projector, and a high-definition camera to livestream. Finally, meet up and enjoy your party.

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Author: Angela Robinson

Team building content expert. Angela has a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and worked as a community manager with Yelp to plan events for businesses.

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