6 Things NOT To Do For a Virtual Holiday Party

November 18, 2020

Anna Webber

Marketing Assistant

Our Podcast brings you ideas, inspiration, and best practices for Team Building from cities around the globe. Learn More

Listen to Yuki Noguchi from NPR interview TeamBonding’s Founder & C.O.O. David Goldstein on re-creating Holiday Parties in 2020.

It’s a holiday season unlike any other because it’s mostly happening online. While most companies are scrambling for virtual holiday party ideas, we’ve already got you covered with Virtual Holiday Party Ideas for the Workplace. But nothing spoils good cheer like a classic holiday faux pas, so we’ve put together a list of things you shouldn’t do at your virtual holiday party.

Below, a list of virtual holiday party DON’Ts:

1. Forgetting to dress up in the spirit of holiday cheer

Your company went through all the trouble to find and execute the perfect virtual holiday party idea and you show up in your usual grey button-up shirt? Not very festive! Show your team that you know how to get into the holiday spirit with an outfit that’s on-theme. There are tons of options: 

  • You can dress up to the nines as if you were attending a formal holiday party in real life. (When else do you have an excuse to get fancy for an online gathering?) 
  • If your Fa-la-la is more low-key, a sweater in some classic holiday colors like burgundy and forest green will make just the right statement. If you’re leaning toward the ugly sweater tradition, make sure you show off your top’s most unfortunate details so your colleagues get the full effect. A Santa hat or reindeer horns on a headband are optional, but encouraged. 

2. Having too much alcoholic eggnog during the meeting

Yes, it’s a virtual holiday party, just don’t go too hard on the “party” part too early. A mug of eggnog is always an appropriate idea for a virtual holiday party, but once you catch yourself drinking directly from a giant bowl, you might want to switch to a less dangerous cup of apple cider. Virtual holiday parties are of course an occasion to loosen up and have fun, you just don’t want to be that colleague who slurs through a rendition of Silver Bells.

3. Only dressing up your top half and having your pajamas on the bottom half

Since it’s a virtual holiday party you may be tempted to only wear half-an-outfit, particularly the top half. Why not? You’ll just be a talking head on a grid, right? Wrong. It’s still a holiday party, so you never know what kind of games or activities that might require you to get up and move around. What if there’s an impromptu dance party? You wouldn’t want to kill the mood in an old pair of sweatpants. However you’re dressing for the festivities, make sure you do it from head to toe.

4. Forgetting to put yourself on mute while making fun of the ugly sweaters

Even if it’s a virtual holiday party, there’s a risk of holiday party gossip. You don’t want to be the mean girl (or guy) who makes a little too much fun of Cheryl from Accounting, who literally dressed up as a Christmas tree, star on top and all. If you must snicker to a coworker, please remember not to broadcast your quip in the group chat, or forget to mute yourself.

5. Making it feel like a normal meeting – remember, this is a holiday party, not an everyday team meeting!

One of the worst virtual holiday party blunders? Pretending it’s not a party at all. This isn’t a status call or an all-hands meeting, so don’t be afraid to have some fun. You don’t want to be the party pooper who reminds everyone of a looming deadline or checks in with a colleague on a project’s status while everyone else is doing Christmas Karaoke. Put your to-do list away, close all your browser tabs and get into the spirit instead!

6. Coming with no activities planned – just like an actual holiday party, it’s important to make sure your participants are having a great time!

If you’re responsible for your company’s holiday party, no matter how small or casual, it’s a good idea to have some holiday-theme activities or games to play in your back pocket. As mentioned, this is a whole new season of company holiday parties and we have to do some extra thinking and planning to make sure your people are getting into the swing of things. Simple options like TeamBonding’s Holiday Happy Hour , complete with your own expert mixologist who teaches your group to make specialty cocktails, can turn a ho-hum evening into a holiday hit. 

Planning a virtual holiday party is easy. Saving face and keeping the holidays upbeat for your colleagues can be a little trickier, so now you know what not to do. Looking for more inspiration for this season’s celebration? See all of our virtual holiday parties here

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