Fun Holiday Team Building Ideas for Work

17 Jul 2023 - 6:56 PM

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A video guide of fun holiday team building ideas, activities, and games to do with groups during December. These ideas are ideal for company and office holiday parties, December team outings, and end of year employee engagement.


  • 00:00 - Intro1
  • 00:34 - Gingerbread Cookie Decorating34
  • 01:12 - White Elephant Excahnge112
  • 01:47 - Merry Mixology Lesson147
  • 02:29 - Card Crafting229
  • 03:28 - Be Holiday Inclusive328
  • 03:59 - Give the Gift of Workday Fun359
  • 04:32 - Celebrate All Season Long432
  • 05:05 - Surprise and Delight505
  • 05:34 - Final Thoughts & Bonus Resources534


Welcome to’s guide to holiday team building ideas.

In this video you’ll learn 4 activities and 4 tips to boost camaraderie on your teams during the holiday season.

The holidays can be stressful both at work and at home. Team building gives employees a chance to blow off steam and build goodwill with coworkers.

Let’s start with some super fun holiday team building activities that you can include in your holiday party or schedule separately.

Activity #1: Gingerbread Cookie Decorating

That age old rule of not playing with your food goes out the window when gingerbread comes out! Decorating these spicy cookies is one of the most beloved holiday pastimes. This activity is a great way to bring out employees’ creativity. However, you can also get competitive with the exercise by holding a contest.

You can give employees cookie decorating kits, and assign a fun theme like “superheroes,” “celebrities,” or “alien invasion.” Or, you can book a facilitator to run a decorating tutorial or contest for you, and ship or bring the supplies too.

Activity #2: White elephant exchange

White elephant exchanges are gift swaps that inspire lots of laughter. In these exchanges, participants gift each other unusual or gag gifts, like loch-ness-monster-shaped soup ladles or voice changing keychains. There is also an element of stealing to this activity, as players can choose to unwrap a new gift or swipe a gift from another player. The game is all in good fun, and recipients might actually love what they get. Either way, players will walk away from the game with memories of a good time.

Activity #3: Merry Mixology Lessons

The holidays are peak cocktail party season, and you can hop on this trend by hosting a team mixology class. Simply invite a bartender to show your group how to whip up a festive beverage. This activity has all the hallmarks of a great team exercise – it’s hands-on, social, skill-building, and tasty! Employees can use their new drink making skills to impress guests at their holiday gatherings, or just make themselves a treat to unwind during the busy coming weeks.

You do not even have to have alcohol to have fun with this idea! There are plenty of delicious holiday mocktail recipes your team can master if they prefer not to drink.

Activity #4: Card crafting

There is something so nice about the holiday tradition of sending cards to loved ones to catch up and wish them well. You can revive the tradition in your office by holding a card crafting event. Simply set out tables with supplies like envelopes, specialty paper, scissors, and markers. You can even bring in an artist or a calligrapher to lead employees through a tutorial. Or, if you’re short on time, you can put out a selection of nice pre-made cards and let staff put the finishing touches by writing messages.

This activity is great because it encourages creativity and gives employees something to do with their hands while spending time together, which is great for nervous socializers. For extra team bonding, encourage team members to exchange cards with each other, or turn the event into volunteering by writing cards together for nursing home residents or overseas soldiers.

Now that you have some ideas, here are a few tips.

Tip #1: Be holiday-inclusive

The whole point of holiday team building is uniting the group, so you should welcome all winter holidays. There are plenty of fun ways to celebrate, like holding holiday potlucks with dishes from any culture or occasion, ice-skating, or gift exchanges without holiday-specific language.

Even if your entire team does celebrate the same holiday, there is no guarantee that they celebrate in the same way. Don’t make assumptions – just make merry!

Tip #2: Give the gift of workday fun

The season is a busy time, especially for employees with young families. Scheduling some activities during working hours gives more team members a chance to participate.

It’s fine to plan an end of day holiday happy hour at that local bar with those scrumptious peppermint martinis, or wait until dark to take a holiday light tour. However, you should also encourage workday bonding through ideas like volunteer days, office parties, and playing holiday games in meetings.

Tip #3: Celebrate all season long

The holidays come once a year, but that doesn’t mean the fun needs to be only one day! So much goes on during the season that it is easy to find fun for your team.

You can take full advantage of local happenings and attend a community event like a concert or festival as your team’s holiday outing.

Or, you can plan multiple activities in-office to keep the spirit high in the weeks leading up to PTO, like a holiday icebreaker of the week or month long scavenger hunt.

Tip #4: Surprise and delight

Holiday surprises don’t have to be limited to presents! You can knock your team’s fuzzy socks off by planning a super fun and unexpected holiday activity. Think beyond the usual present swap or catered lunch and feel free to try out-of-the-box outings. A holiday card-making contest with photos of your pets? Feeding reindeer? A cookies & milk team storytime with the CEO? Your imagination is the only limit!

There you have it. Now, you know how to get your employees into the holiday spirit and the team spirit!

Want more activity inspiration? Google “holiday team building by” for even more ideas.

If you want to spread this video’s cheer to even more teams, hit “like” and “share” to help them find this video. Then “subscribe” to get notified when we post our next one!

A question for the comments – what is your dream holiday team event?

Happy holidays folks!

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