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Tis the Season: 10 Holiday Games for Making Your In-Person or Virtual Party Merry and Bright

A group of young adult friends gather at a home for Christmas celebration over the holiday, dressed to fit the occasion with various Christmas accessories and ugly sweaters. They pose for some photos, direct camera flash.

Let’s face it — the past year wasn’t on anyone’s holiday wishlist. With uncertainty and worries on our minds, we’ve learned to be agile and to adapt, adjust, and adjust again when our plans are interrupted. Your friends at AVentPro understand the struggle. That’s why we’re here to help bring the merriment back to the holiday season with 10 ideas for making your holiday party the best yet. Whether you’re gathering virtually or in-person, these cozy, creative holiday game ideas will bring everyone a little closer together.

Get in the holiday spirit with AVentPro! Tis the season of togetherness, no matter how near or far your party guests are.

1.) Improv Day at the Office

If there’s one thing we missed during last year’s holidays, it’s the fun of a good theater production. Bring the play to the office with a day of improv.

Improv is a great icebreaker for virtual team building and a hilarious addition to any workplace holiday party. Every office has its own stories to tell. Bring those tales to life by assigning each guest a true or made-up story from their workplace. The rest of the group will use their narrative in an improv performance.

Whether you’re reenacting the time a client’s cat became the star of a Zoom call or reminiscing about the mystery of stolen breakroom snacks, improv is a sure way to entertain the group while learning more about your colleagues.

Don’t limit improv to the office! Add this to your list of holiday game ideas for family game night, too.

2.) Two Truths and a Lie — with a Holiday Twist!

Host a holiday-themed edition of Two Truths and a Lie! The rules of the game are pretty simple. Pick two truths and one lie, then see if your guests can spot the lie. The twist for this virtual holiday party game or in-person activity is that each statement must be on theme. Think of the worst gift you’ve ever received, your ugliest Christmas sweater, or a particularly eventful last-minute holiday shopping trip, and see if your family and friends can spot the lie.

3.) Gingerbread Cookie-Double

Ready to test your arts and crafts skills? This yummy activity is a fun twist on gingerbread cookie houses, which makes it perfect for either in-person or virtual holiday parties.

Send each guest off with their own gingerbread cookie decorating kit (Family gatherings may want to bake their own!). Include the name of another guest on a slip of paper inside each kit. The guests will then decorate their gingerbread cookie to be the cookie-double of the person they receive. Who wouldn’t want a cute, little cookie doppelganger for Christmas? 

This holiday game idea is sure to bring plenty of laughs and holiday cheer!

4.) Naughty or Nice List 

Naughty or Nice List is a festive version of Never Have I Ever. This addition to our list of holiday game ideas is best paired with cocktails, but can also be modified for a more family-friendly version.

Every guest starts the game by hanging 10 candy canes on a cup. Each person takes a turn making a statement starting with “You’re naughty or nice if…” and if a guest has committed the naughty act, they will take one candy cane out of the cup. The game continues for about five to 10 rounds, or until only one “nice” person has candy canes in the cup.

Whoever has candy canes left at the end of all the rounds wins the game. You can download the Naughty or Nice list template here or design your own!

5.) Holiday Character Contest

To get in the spirit, you’ve got to dress in spirit!

Ring in the new year with a holiday masquerade. Have each guest draw names from a hat prior to the occasion or assign names via a top-secret email for virtual gatherings. Each guest will be assigned one iconic holiday character and tasked with coming up with an outfit for the party. For extra fun, have your guests act out their favorite scene. Vote on the winner and award prizes for first, second, and third place.

When it comes to team building icebreakers for virtual gatherings, this game is at the top of our virtual office party nice list. Of course, it’s a great activity for in-person parties as well.

Need some inspiration for characters? Try these holiday icons:

  • Santa 
  • Charlie Brown
  • Rudolph
  • Home Alone 
  • Grinch
  • Mrs. Claus
  • Frosty
  • Jack Skellington
  • The Leg Lamp
  • Buddy the Elf
  • Sally
  • Yukon Cornelius
  • Scrooge
  • The Three Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future
  • Krampus
  • Clark Griswold

6. ) Murder at the Ugly Sweater Party

Who says holiday parties aren’t exciting? Add some intrigue to your gathering by hosting your own in-person or virtual murder mystery holiday party.

Bring your favorite characters to life with a thrilling plot, brain-bending clues, and prizes at the end of the evening for best costume, best detective, and worst detective. Put your super sleuths to the test for a cozy night in. There are several fantastic holiday-themed murder mystery game kits available, as well as our personal favorite for the most magical season, a Wizarding World Heist.

 7.) Celebrate Diversity, Enjoy Festivity

There’s no need to limit your holiday gatherings to simply include the traditions you grew up with. The most wonderful thing about the holiday season is the different ways people celebrate. Embrace diversity with creative holiday games ideas.

Use this time to learn more about each other’s holiday traditions over wine or cocktails. If virtual, support your local businesses by arranging for beverages to be shipped or giving each guest a gift card beforehand to select their favorite bottle or brew. Once everyone has settled in, go around the room and invite each guest to share one unique way they celebrate the holidays. This can be culturally rooted or simply a family tradition. Encourage guests to think outside the gift-wrapped box by sharing a recipe, a game, a dance, holiday outfit, photos, and more.

When we appreciate the diverse range of holidays and traditions celebrated during the winter months, we bring our friends, family, and colleagues a little closer together and have the opportunity to learn more about those around us.

8.) Virtual Holiday Card Photo Op

If you’re ringing in the festivities over Zoom this year, don’t skip out on the quintessential cheesy holiday photo op.

Snap a group photo and turn it into a virtual holiday card to send out to your customers, clients, and company friends. Get creative with seasonal Zoom backgrounds for extra laughs. Consider adding props such as goofy hats, scarves and mittens, reindeer antlers, and snowman accessories. Set your background to your favorite holiday movie scene or encourage each guest to come in costume. No matter how you do your virtual photo booth, the final photo is sure to be merry and bright.

9.) Not-So-Silent Trivia Night

Everyone loves a good, old-fashioned trivia night.

When it comes to virtual holiday game ideas and in-person activities, trivia can be hosted just about anywhere, any time. To play, prepare your questions, split the group into teams, and get ready to quiz your friends, family, or colleagues on their very merry knowledge. Questions can range from the history and traditions of holidays around the globe to famous holiday movie quotes and more. For extra holiday fun, each team can choose holiday-centric names like “The Grinches,” “Bah-Humblebrag,” or “The Wisepeople.”

Need a little inspiration to get started? Download our free holiday trivia question starters here.

10.) Holiday Movie Dubbing Game

Of course, we’ve saved the best for last!

Holiday movie dubbing is the best team-building icebreaker. It’s a great virtual or in-person party warmer. Grab your favorite holiday movies, mute your television/device, and have your guests make up what they think the characters are saying. If you are hosting virtually, “screen share” the film over zoom or use something like Disney+ group watch to get everyone engaged. Be sure to review the licensing agreement of the platform you are using to ensure you are not violating copyright laws.

If there are more guests than characters, have guests take turns portraying the characters. Assign guests to the characters at the beginning of the movie and set a timer for a one- to two-minute turn at dubbing. Then, the next set of guests will take over. Each group will go in order of groups (1, 2, 3, 4, etc.), which are assigned at the beginning of the game. Hold the applause until each group has had their turn! End the game by hosting an official holiday party Oscars ceremony, awarding Best Actor, Best Supporting Cast, and Best Script accordingly. 

Relax and Enjoy These Holiday Game Ideas!

Tis the season for relaxing with a warm mug of cocoa and good company. The past year may have been hectic, but the holidays are the perfect time to enjoy the moment.

If you’d like to check hosting an amazing holiday party off your worry list, leave the planning to the professionals at AVentPro. We’re simply a call away for all of your virtual event planning and in-person gathering needs. Reach out to our team today!

With more than 16 years experience producing events, AVentPro ensures that each of our clients has what they need to achieve their ideal outcome.

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