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Remote Holiday Party Inspiration: The Virtual Elephant

Updated: Nov 18, 2020

Ideas and inspiration for a very Covid Christmas party online for your team. Just because you can't have your usual party doesn't mean you can't still have some fun.

A lot of the joy and camaraderie of an office begins – or is cemented – at the office holiday party. We put our heads together to come up with a viable alternative that was fun, functional and not too long... The Virtual Elephant!

A virtual gift exchange is the perfect way to have some holiday fun and while staying safe. This tutorial will tell you all that you need to know so that your team can still take part in that company gift exchange that we all secretly love.

To start, set a $ limit, pick up a gift and send it over to your boss' house, who will be hosting the event. Pick a date and time, but keep it short and sweet. We all love our work team, but a 2 hour zoom call is a big ask. 30 minutes is all you need for the gift exchange, a holiday cheers and a few laughs. Don't forget to bring a drink for a toast 😉

This does involve a fair amount of shipping. Still much cheaper than a full on party and the effort will pay off. Staff need to pick up their secret gift and send it to the office or bosses house, and then the gift will need to be sent out again to the winners. We had the idea as well if you want to send everyone a little care package with a 1/4 size champagne bottle and some treats, you could also include a shipping label and box to return the gift to the bosses house to host the event. You might be thinking you could have everyone show their gift on camera but it makes the event more complicated and the 'stealing' component is very hard to track.

Read on...

How Each Round Works: Selecting a Gift

To establish the order of gift selection, the host Colin (middle, top) draws names out of a hat one at a time. After each name has been pulled, you will get to pick a gift either first, last or somewhere in between. Fret not, there's pros and cons to each position. Once the order is established, whoever's up first gets to select a present from the pile. In our case, Sarah (top right) was lucky #1 and picked the gift of her choice.

The Reveal: Open and Present the Gift Selected

The host unwraps the gift and reveals what it is to the group. In our case, Sarah received a lovely pinecone scented candle. The host then places a name card on the gift so it is clear who the gift belongs to. For now.

Next team member is up! They can choose or steal.

In our sample party, Jonathan (lower left) had decided to pick a wrapped gift rather than to steal, resulting in a very handsome sweatered mug.

Third team member is up, and she goes for the steal!

Megan couldn't resist the very handsome sweater mug and stole it from Jonathan. Everything can be stolen 1-3 times, which is set at the beginning. The host keeps track of the steals. Since Jonathan's gift was stolen, he can either select an unwrapped gift or steal himself. However, you cannot, under any circumstances, and I mean never, steal back a gift that was just stolen from you. The game continues until everyone has selected a gift. Once the exchange is over, the host is responsible for sending each person their gift.

That's it! Hopefully this provides some fun and excitement for the team together, even if they can't be in the same room this year. Happy Holidays! 🎄

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