Holiday Planning Kindles Creativity And Making Spirits Bright In 2020

Posted on November 3, 2020 by BWBacon. Tagged: Resources for Entrepreneurs, Colorado Culture, For Clients, Blog

We don’t have to say it twice, this year’s holiday season will be different. If you are working on your company’s holiday planning to commemorate the year and celebrate your team, don’t stress about the details. We have got you covered with this post including more than 25 ideas for your team’s holiday celebrations, from virtual party ideas to gift giving in 2020.

Finding ourselves already in the middle of the fourth quarter, it’s difficult to imagine a December without holiday parties, community building events, and thoughtful gift exchanges. However, employees need team bonding and recognition more than ever. Re-imagining how we connect during the most sentimental season of the year will take measured effort, and creativity, but is well worth it.

Getting Started With Holiday Planning And Virtual Parties

Holiday planning comes with many challenges, from choosing the right gifts, to coordinating deliveries, and setting up events online. To get the most out of your plans for the holiday season, consider these steps in getting your team on board and excited.

  1. Plan Your Party’s Agenda and Give Advanced Notice
    • Even with a year of less traveling and events, it is still optimal to give people plenty of notice if you plan to have a virtual event. Plan times for your group’s activity or address from leadership, so everyone can participate in those most important moments.
  2. Lean On Recognition and Look Ahead With Optimism
    • Whether you are hosting an online party, or simply sending gifts and kudos out to your team, focus on what has been done well this year. Give meaningful recognition by celebrating individual and team accomplishments in a public space. It’s also a great time to get people jazzed about the upcoming year and future goals for the company.
  3. Be Inclusive and Genuine
    • If you have started your holiday planning, make sure your ideas are inclusive and accessible to everyone on your team. Can everyone participate easily? Is it fun? Think about what your team would genuinely appreciate. This year, holiday parties are less about buying over your people with glitz and glam, and more about showing genuine care and appreciation.

Top Gift Ideas For The 2020 Holiday Season

With the blending home and office life, opportunities for gift giving have expanded for businesses. Gifts focused on wellness, self-care, and family experiences are rising in popularity. Other companies are gravitating towards cooking classes, or virtual gaming platforms.

The bottom line is that it no matter what route you choose, it is possible for us to break bread and share genuine moments together as we say goodbye to 2020. With so many ideas out there, we came up with a range of gifts for employees, take your pick:

  1. Help your team take care of themselves and consider offering a choice of subscription to online wellness platforms, virtual fitness classes, healthy meal delivery, or wellness services that people may not spend money on themselves.
  2. Give the gift of paying it forward. It’s an elating feeling to give support to non-profits and organizations helping others. Empower your team to provide a donation on behalf of the company, as giving is what this season is really about.
  3. Team experiences can bring people together safely. We predict seeing a revival online painting, cooking, decorating, gift wrapping, or other virtual classes in upcoming winter months. These fun ideas often support small businesses, and help people learn something new, what’s not to like?
  4. To bring the festive mood, you could also send a cocktail kit with all the fixings, or an ingredient list for everyone to practice their mixology skills together. We love this list of magical holiday cocktails.
  5. Send a cookie decorating box! As many local bakeries prepare cookie decorating kits with everything you need, this is a great way to support local and get people laughing when comparing their cookie-decorating skills.
  6. Send supplies for a virtual photo booth. If you are hosting an event online, send hats, elf ears, lights, reindeer ears, and other holiday garb to then take digital photos of your team having a blast. Such a unique year is worth documenting.
  7. Virtual white elephant: Whether you have team members bring and wrap a gift to show the group, or actually send the present, opening white elephant gifts together is both economical and hilarious. Get more ideas for virtual white elephant here.
  8. More generic gifts, like gift cards or extra days off, are simple, but meaningful. For example, an Amazon gift card gives your team ample choice, and an extended long weekend shows you want them to recover and spend time with family.
  9. Facilitate a Secret Santa gift exchange. Using a gift exchange tool, help your team pick names and even include a small budget or gift card to lessen the financial burden of this idea. Wait to exchange gifts virtually, and have each person guess who their Secret Santa is.
  10. Like online classes, try the budget friendly version of streaming a holiday movie for employees. Have team members vote in a poll to choose the film, and send a basket with popcorn and hot chocolate so everyone can spend time together from the comfort of home.

The Best Themes And Activities For Holiday Parties This Year

Once you’ve set the date and chosen gifts, picking a theme and a few fun activities is what really makes a great party. Encourage people to dress up, get in the spirit, and dive into that fuzzy holiday feeling. Here are some themes and other activities to plan a holly, jolly night:

  1. Start off the conversation with a few ice-breaker questions like:
    • Star Wars or Stark Trek?
    • The Grinch or Scrooge?
    • What’s your favorite holiday food or dessert?
    • What was your first email address?
    • Most random job you’ve ever had
    • What’s your favorite holiday song? Least favorite?
    • What’s your secret talent?
    • What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?
    • Or best gift you’ve ever given?
    • If you could commit any crime and get away with it what would it be?
    • Favorite seasonal drink?
    • What’s your favorite holiday movie?
  2. Or, play this holiday-themed version of Never-Have-I-Ever:
    • naughty-list
  3. Choose a song and start caroling on Zoom! Fa la la la la!
  4. Get dressed up for a sophisticated wine tasting party.
  5. Sign up for a virtual escape room with the team, there are tons of options available.
  6. Check out Goose Chase, an interactive scavenger hunt gaming platform!
  7. Ugly Sweater contest: self-explanatory, may the ugliest sweater win.
  8. Try a holiday costume dress-up theme where everyone comes as their favorite winter characters from Rudolph to the Grinch.
  9. With the Kindness Quest, your team will participate in activities that promote gratitude and also make a meaningful impact on the community.
  10. Get everyone involved in making a shared holiday music playlist for your celebration.
  11. Host a decorations tour, where you ask each team member to share their most cherished holiday decorations from home.
  12. Start a gift-wrapping party! It can be more fun to wrap gifts with a cocktail in hand, and see who has the best-wrapped gift at the end of the evening.
  13. The “Chubby Elf” game… If you’ve heard of Chubby Bunny, Chubby Elf puts on a holiday spin by asking participants to tell the plot of a holiday story or movie stuffed with marshmallows while everyone else guesses.
  14. Holiday tradition or not? We like this idea: similar to two truths and a lie, have each team member share two real and one fake holiday family tradition and try to uncover the lie.
  15. Holiday talent show. Let your team’s talents shine and give everyone five minutes to share a talent, a song, a story, or something significant from their year.

Let’s be honest, we can either view this year as lacking the spirit we are used to, or spin it into an opportunity. This year is unique in that everyone should be recognized for their flexibility and the sacrifices that had to be made. Perhaps holiday planning in 2020 is really a chance to thank, and spend time with those you love and love to work with. However you plan to celebrate this year, we wish you the best.


Here at BWBacon Group, we know and live what you are experiencing as an employer or job seeker in Denver, Boulder, Dallas, San Francisco, New York City or any of the other cities we work in. We believe great recruiting starts and ends with understanding people.

If you have any questions about living, working or playing any of the areas we serve, please contact us. We are happy to help. Seize the day, every day, that’s what we say!