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Tips to Plan Your Virtual Holiday Lunch

The team at Arden Solutions is excited to come together for our Virtual Team Holiday Lunch. We would love to be together in person but know during these times it is better to share virtually.

The first step was selecting a party lead. That is me! I am planning, but I’m also also pulling ideas from the team, so we are all a part of the festivities. It helped create buy-in and has also brought excitement and a morale boost which is always welcomed to any team.

When and How Long?

For the date of the event, we picked a Monday since why not make that a fun day! We normally have a holiday lunch, so we decided to continue that tradition. We have a small team, so the boss chose to pick up the tab on everyone ordering their own lunch to be delivered to their homes. There will be a dollar maximum, with the thought that each person can provide their own favorite beverage at home themselves. We’ll simply provide the credit card and the spending limit which frees the planner from having to track and coordinate everyone’s order. The choice between DoorDash, Uber Eats, another delivery service, or driving to picking it up themselves is up to staff, as long as it remains under budget. We selected a two-hour event held over lunch time: one hour for the lunch, the second hour for holiday activities.

Secret Santa / Drawing Names

We are planning a Secret Santa gift exchange. Instead of pulling names out of a bag we used which has been very helpful. The free program lets you put in the names and email addresses of everyone on your team. They get an email where they add their address, list their hobbies, and make a wish list of things they might want. The price point we chose was a very low $10, and Draw Names still had a large number of suggested items. You could also search and find items to add to your wishlist that they didn’t suggest. All items seem to be linked to Amazon. We do have someone on our teammates not on Amazon Prime, that person would pay for shipping or use the ideas they get on their Secret Santa to find and mail their own gift. When ordering you just ship with the gift option checked and write “Secret Santa” so that everyone knows to wait until our lunch to open the gift. Fun!

Backgrounds / Festive Setting

To celebrate and bring us together we will surprise each other with our virtual backgrounds, props, and outfits. Find some great free virtual holiday background downloads here at: Hallmark and Havenly. Don’t forget to encourage staff to wear or bring all things festive! Reindeer ears, hot chocolate, and ugly sweaters are welcome!


Activities are a fun way to engage your team and give them something to do that’s different than regular talking to one another.

Here’s an excellent article with a selection of 22 fantastic holiday activity ideas from Museum Hack. Several of the articles tie into activities they offer themselves for a price. But the ideas are good, and they provide enough details and templates that you can use many ideas yourself. They also provide a solid option for those with a budget who would rather not drive merriment and excitement doing virtual building activities themselves. Not a bad option, especially if you are tasked with engaging a tough crowd.

We chose a scavenger hunt as described in the article which will have participants finding an assortment of items around their home, and might have a bit of show and tell to it. An activity we planned that is not on the list, is we’ll also be sharing favorite memories to help us get to know each other better.

Virtual Team Holiday Event

Our team eagerly anticipates celebrating our Virtual Team Holiday Lunch. Have fun planning your event and using some of the tips we have shared. In these trying times, it is wonderful to share happy ideas!

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