Science of People - Logo

135 Best Christmas Icebreakers And Games (For Any Situation)

Bring joy, laughter, and meaning to the Christmas season, both in and out of the office, through fun and engaging gatherings with icebreakers and games. Here are 136 of the best games, activities, and icebreakers for virtual meetings over the holidays, as well as questions for holiday gatherings and games to keep everyone on the nice list. 

15 Christmas Icebreakers & Activities for Remote Teams

Icebreakers and activities help teams establish and maintain connections and can boost employee engagement by as much as 50%. Yet 52% of companies reported not conducting any team-building activities with remote employees, 

During this holiday season, put some jingle and mingle into your virtual meetings. Some require no preparation, while others require a little planning. All are appropriate for Zoom meetings, and you can adapt most for in-person meetings too!

No-preparation holiday activities

During your meeting, invite meeting attendees to participate.

  1. Share your favorite holiday tradition or holiday YouTube video. Maybe start with one of these Christmas-themed music videos as an icebreaker:
  1. One-minute random fact about yourself related to the month of December.
  2. Ask me anything. This is an opportunity for anyone in the meeting to ask the facilitator anything. It could be work-related, a personal question, or a random factoid.
  3. Chat karaoke. Start with the line from a Christmas song and take turns adding the next one in the chat.  
  4. Summarize your day in the chat with an emoji or a sequence of emojis. Then ask if anyone is open to sharing more about why they chose those symbols. 
  5. Describe your perfect Christmas Day in a series of emojis in the chat or aloud.

Thirty minutes before the meeting

  1. Ask each meeting attendee to wear a favorite holiday hat to the meeting, festive footwear, or holiday pin, whether crafted, purchased, or a virtual hat with a filter.
  2. Show and tell. Show off the best swag you’ve ever picked up at a conference.
  3. Find a fun Christmas fact, like:
  4. 1 in 3 men waits until Christmas Eve to do their shopping. 
  5. Christmas came from the words Cristes Maesse meaning “mass of Christ.” 
  6. Christmas trees usually grow for close to 15 years before they can be sold. 
  7. Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer, got his start as an advertising gimmick for Montgomery Ward in 1839. 
  8. Invite someone else to share a random holiday fact at the next meeting.
  9. Play find the change. Ask one person to adjust their virtual environment by adding or removing an item. See if anyone spots it before the end of the meeting.
  10. Caption competition. Show a funny Christmas picture and ask participants to put a caption in the chat. Then vote on the best one and crown a virtual caption champion. 

One day to one week before the meeting

  1. Pick a Christmas movie or theme (like Elf, Nightmare Before Christmas, or White Christmas) and ask attendees to dress in that style or theme for the meeting. Encourage creativity.
  2. Wear your favorite Christmas PJs.
  3. Make a Christmas hat out with office supplies.
  4. Wear an ugly Christmas sweater.

7 Funny Christmas Games for Online Meetings

16.   Who Am I?

Who Am I helps employees get to know each other through fun facts? This is best for groups of 3 to 10 people, preferably with people who have met at least once. If your group is larger, break into smaller groups.

How to play

Before the meeting, send an open-ended survey (through Google forms) or email asking a light-hearted question.

  • What was your childhood nickname?
  • What is the weirdest food you’ve ever eaten?
  • Have you ever received a lump of coal in your stocking?
  • You can have an unlimited supply of one thing for the rest of your life. What is it?
  • What’s the best Christmas vacation you’ve ever had?
  • Where would you go if you could visit anywhere for New Year’s Eve?
  • What was the last Google search you did for Christmas presents?
  • What is your most used emoji?
  • You have your late-night talk show. Who do you invite as your first guest?
  • If you were infamous, what would it be for?
  • What was the worst Christmas gift you have ever given?

Then, during the meeting, the facilitator can share the responses while the others guess who it is. 

17. Riddle icebreakers

Riddles can be a great way to engage your team and can be done with groups of any size, whether they know each other or not. Larger groups may want to break into teams so that the individuals get to know a smaller number of people.

How to play

Look for brainteasers that are challenging yet solvable. Check out our 150 Icebreaker Riddles to get you started. Read the clue to the group and ask them to guess the answer. Here are 3 to get you started.

You measure my life in hours, and I serve you by expiring. I’m quick when I’m thin and slow when I’m fat. The wind is my enemy. 

Answer: A candle.

I never was, but I always will be. No one ever saw me, but everyone knows I existed. I give people the motivation to better themselves every day. What am I?

Answer: Tomorrow

How can you make six into an odd number?

Answer: Remove the letter S, and you have IX, which is 9 in roman numerals.

18. Christmas “Would You Rather”? (work version)

A round of Would You Rather? It helps employees get to know each other better and lightens the mood before a meeting.

How to play

Before the meeting, develop five to ten questions for the employees to answer. It’s best to include a mix of questions to inspire conversation.

  • Would you rather give up Christmas trees or Christmas cookies?
  • Would you rather get one fantastic holiday gift or ten okay holiday gifts?
  • Would you rather eat 1,000 chocolate Hanukkah coins or eat just one with the wrapper on?
  • Would you rather be an elf in Santa’s shop or a reindeer on Santa’s sleigh?
  • Would you rather get up early on Christmas Day or stay up late on Christmas eve?
  • Would you rather lose the ability to see stars or lose your ability to hear carols?
  • Would you rather live in the desert or at the North Pole?
  • Would you rather travel back in time to meet the ghosts of Christmas past or see the ghosts of Christmas future?
  • Would you rather lose all of your gift money or all of your Christmas pictures?
  • Would you rather be the funniest or most intelligent person at the Christmas party?
  • Would you rather win the award for most improved or most likely to succeed?
  • Would you rather do something you love and make just enough money to get by or do something you hate but make billions of dollars?
  • Would you rather have a cook or a housekeeper during the holiday season?
  • Would you rather be a FedEx driver or work at See’s candy between Thanksgiving and Christmas?

You can facilitate a virtual game of Would You Rather in several ways. Here are two options: Break into pairs or trios and have them answer each question. This allows deeper connection and, likely, some laughs. Wrap up by having each person share the most unexpected answer from the other person.

Another option that works for larger groups is to do a poll. When showing the results, ask one or two people to share their answers and a bit about why they chose it.

19. Christmas Mad Libs

Since being created in 1958, Mad Libs has been entertaining for individuals of all ages. If you haven’t done it before, one person (writer) asks the other player(s) for a word. The writer records them on the story worksheet. Once completed, the writer reads the hilarious story to the entire group.

Mad Libs is great for any size group because your employees partner up. If you end up with an odd, have one team form a trio.

How to play

Before the meeting, find a story you’d like to use, usually 100-200 words long, then cross out some of the nouns, verbs, and adjectives. Try using your company’s mission statement, taking out 10-12 keywords, or visit Mad Libs for printables that can be adapted to the office.

Pair your employees in breakout rooms. Identify one as the reader and the other as the word giver. The reader will then ask the word giver for an adjective, noun, or adverb. When the pair finishes, bring them back to the group and enjoy the laughter.

Christmas Mad Libs

Source: Printablee

20. Christmas Zoom bingo 

Zoom bingo is a fun way to keep employees engaged and paying attention during a meeting. You can add some holiday flair, such as eating Christmas cookies, drinking from a holiday mug, or displaying a Christmas tree in the background.

How to play

Create bingo cards ahead of the meeting, and try listing everyday virtual meeting occurrences as your first bingo card. Use a free bingo card generator to create your cards, or take inspiration from the following list:

  • Someone loses connection
  • Speaking when muted
  • Speaking to someone not in the meeting while unmuted
  • Texting while meeting
  • Child in the background
  • Pet in the background
  • Dressed for work from the waist up
  • Someone uses the word pivot
  • Someone uses the word spreadsheet
  • Someone says pandemic

Consider creating other squares that can be marked off right away:

  • Someone is wearing a watch
  • Someone is wearing earrings
  • Someone is wearing slippers
  • Someone is wearing a company shirt
  • Someone got a haircut

Send each person a bingo card before the meeting. When the meeting begins, ask everyone to get out their card and mark off the appropriate boxes. The first one to get five in a row says BINGO or types it the chat.

21. Santa Shark Tank

Shark Tank is a fun game that requires little preparation for the group leader and is based on an individual’s ability to convince the other players to “buy” their item. While it works for groups of all sizes, it’s helpful to break into groups of 4-6 people for the sake of time.

How to play

At the start of the meeting, ask each person to grab something on their desk or something they’ve received at a white elephant exchange. Once each person has their item, explain that they have one minute to sell it to the others with a creative sales pitch to Santa. They set the price and give a one-minute pitch with one minute to answer questions. After the final pitch, attendees vote for the best pitch—either verbally or in the chat.

22. Online rock, paper, scissors

Many played rock, paper, and scissors as kids to pass the time or settle a dispute. Playing online can offer some entertainment at the beginning of the meeting.

How to play

Play rock, paper, scissors on Zoom. Watch this short video for inspiration. To make it into a bigger competition, you can continue onto semi-final and final rounds to have the winners of each pairing compete for a fun award, like an RPS Champion certificate.

23. Christmas wordplay

Test your team’s mental dexterity to see how many words your coworkers can make from 7-9 letters.

How to play

Come up with 7-9 letters—perhaps they’re letters from a popular Christmas phrase, the company name, or a word frequently used in your work. Set a timer for 60 seconds and ask people to come up with as many 3-letter words as possible. When the timer beeps, see who has the longest list and have them read it to the group. Anyone who has a duplicate word crosses it out. Whoever has the unique words wins.

24. Create a team holiday card

One fun way to spread cheer to colleagues and clients is to create a cheerful holiday greeting. A popular and easy way is by using one of JibJab’s animated templates.

JibJab's animated template "Santa's Twerkshop"

Source: JibJab

25. Make a Christmas or end-of-the-year movie 

Ask each person to submit a 30-second video with answers to specific questions, such as, “What do you miss about working together in person?” or “What’s your favorite Christmas quote?” or “What is the best thing about our company?” Bonus points for people who dress in their Christmas best—their Christmas pajamas, an ugly sweater, or their holiday finest. Once you have all the videos, put them together and play the compilation at your last meeting before Christmas break.

26. Support a shared cause

During the holiday season, there are many opportunities for collaboration—from adopting-a-family in need, serving meals to the less fortunate, singing carols at a nursing home, and donating to the Salvation Army or numerous other charities. Ask the team for suggestions, then choose one together and support that cause.

Share your favorite Christmas cookie recipe with the team. Have each person write a paragraph or short story about why it’s their favorite or the recipe’s history.

28. Hold a gingerbread house competition

Just because you’re not in person doesn’t mean you can’t do an activity together. Have each person order a gingerbread kit (or send it to their house). Set up an online meeting just to construct the houses together. Put on Christmas music while each person frosts and decorates their house. At the end of the hour, show off the final creations.

29. Set up a stress-free holiday wellness challenge

Set a group goal of how many minutes each person will walk or meditate each week to center themselves during the busy season. Create an online tracker through a Google sheet to track progress. Send each other encouraging texts, slacks, or emails along the way. At the end of the challenge, award small prizes, although the true reward is a bit more serenity through the season.

30. Seasonal show and tell

Have everyone share a quick tour of their holiday decorating, Christmas tree, or baking extravaganza. This creates a sense of intimacy by bringing each other into the home.

22 Christmas Icebreaker Questions for Any Gathering

  1. What is your favorite family tradition?
  2. Describe what your ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future would look like.
  3. What would be the strangest thing to see inside a snow globe?
  4. Which person at this event would make the best game show host?
  5. What new—and unexpected—hobby have you started this year?
  6. What is the next trip you’re going to take?
  7. Who is the funniest person at this party and why?
  8. If you could only eat three things for the rest of your life, what would they be?
  9. If you could be famous for something, what would it be?
  10. What is your holiday guilty pleasure?
  11. Do you put up your Christmas tree before or after Thanksgiving?
  12. Is it acceptable to listen to Christmas music before Thanksgiving?
  13. Did you ever stay up to try to see Santa as a child?
  14. Do you bake cookies for Santa?
  15. What’s your favorite holiday beverage?
  16. What’s the worst gift you’ve ever received?
  17. Have you ever snooped or opened a present and rewrapped it?
  18. What’s the earliest you’ve ever put on Christmas carols?
  19. Where did you spend your best Christmas?
  20. What Christmas movie can you watch over and over?
  21. Who is the best gift wrapper in your family?
  22. Who do you most enjoy buying gifts for
  23. Who do you most enjoy receiving gifts from?

Want a break from these icebreakers? Learn how to truly level up your conversation skills like a pro:

Communicate With Confidence

Do you struggle with small talk? Do you often run out of things to say or feel awkward and self-conscious in social situations?

💪 Speak so people listen,
🤐 No more awkward silences,
🚫 No more small talk.

18 Funny Holiday Icebreaker Questions

54. What would your elf name be?

55. What Christmas song would you prefer never to hear again?

56. Have you ever told someone their present was “in the mail” when you hadn’t actually bought it?

57. Have you ever been accused of being a grinch?

58. Would you rather go to an awkward work Christmas party or an awkward family dinner?

59. What is the item most often found in your Christmas stocking?

60. When do you remember learning Santa wasn’t real?

61. Do you believe in Santa?

62. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer?

63. Which reindeer best fits your personality?

64. What’s your favorite Christmas carol?

65. What was your funniest Christmas memory?

66. What is the strangest wrapping paper you’ve ever used or seen?

67. Who has the best laugh in your family?

68. What was the funniest Christmas card you ever received?

69. Have you ever regifted a gift? (And ever gotten caught?!)

70. Who is the jolliest person you know?

71. Who played Santa the best?

72. What would you be on the naughty list for doing?

22 Deeper Christmas Icebreaker Questions

73. How do you get cozy during the holidays?

74. Which foreign country would you like to visit during Christmas?

75. Are there things that you were once unhappy about and are now grateful for?

76. Sometimes, we learn the most from life events we would never have chosen. Have you had any of those this year? What did you learn?

77. What do you hope we have learned this year as a society?

78. Who (or what) are you most grateful to have in your life? Has that changed at all this year?

79. What would you like to do more of in your family?

80. What three words do you think best describe your family?

81. When do you feel the proudest of your family?

82. What is a quality you wish you could have more of?

83. What challenges did you overcome this year?

84. What things are you not great at yet that you want to be good at someday? How much would you have to practice to get good at those things?

85. If you could ask anyone for help, who would it be and why?

86. Do you celebrate Advent?

87. What is your most treasured memory?

88. Which person here do you wish you knew better?

89. Pretend you just won $5 million. What’s the first thing you would buy?

90. If you could redo yesterday, what would you do?

91. Describe a moment you felt like “scrooge.”

92. What’s the best holiday hack?

93. What’s the best last-minute present?

94. What’s a unique way your hometown celebrates Christmas?

95. Finish this sentence: It’s not Christmas without…

96. Which relative do you most enjoy seeing at Christmas?

Holiday Would You Rather: Family & Friends Edition

Ask your friends and family if they would rather:

97. Sit by the fire or play in the snow

98. Binge Christmas cookies or bake them

99. Naughty or nice

100. Open presents on Christmas eve or Christmas day

101. Home Alone or Elf

102. Eggnog or hot chocolate

103. Real tree or artificial tree

104. Tinsel or popcorn

105. Peppermint or cinnamon

106. Rudolph or Frosty

107. Ice skating or sledding

108. Wrapping paper or gift bag

109. Customized present or gift card

110. Christmas PJs or a fancy outfit with a fur coat

111. Snow boots or slippers

112. Multicolored lights or white lights

113. Snowman or snow angel

114. Snowball fight or paper snowflake making

115. Fudge or cookies

116. Flannel or velvet

117. Nativity scene or Santa inflatable

118. Mistletoe or poinsettia

119. Homemade or store-bought gifts

120. Red and green or blue and silver

121. Stay home or travel at Christmas

122. Die Hard or Scrooge

123. Joy or peace

124. Buy all your gifts before Thanksgiving, or wait until the last minute

11 Unique Christmas Games to Play with Family and Friends

Because family celebrations can increase well-being, develop traditions with games to make your gatherings fun and memorable.

125. Christmas Freeze Dance Party

Turn on the Christmas tunes and jingle around the tree. Turn the music off when the dance crew least expects it. The last person to stop moving is out. The last one standing gets a special prize.

126. Name that Christmas Carol

Play a 3-clip from a classic holiday song and see who can guess it first. Here’s a Christmas playlist from Spotify.

127. Finish the Song

Similar to Name That Tune, in Finish that Song, people try to finish the line in a holiday song correctly. Play a 3-second clip from these top 100 Christmas songs to see who can guess it correctly.

128. Christmas Scavenger Hunt

Put together a list of holiday items to search for, and the first person to find everything on the list wins!

  • Present
  • Candy
  • Gingerbread
  • Christmas lights
  • Poinsettia
  • Stocking
  • Snow globe
  • Dessert
  • Hot chocolate
  • Bow
  • Ornament
  • Candle
  • Tree
  • Cookie
  • Candy cane
  • Holly
  • Mistletoe
  • Christmas card
  • Advent calendar
  • Nativity scene
  • Fruitcake
  • Snowman
  • Reindeer
  • Santa
  • Elf on the shelf

129. Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt / Photo Scavenger Hunt

Break into teams and ask your neighbors if they have some items on the list above that they will share with you so you can win the game. Or, turn it into a photo scavenger hunt and have people snap pictures of the items and return home as quickly as possible to see who can get the most items within 60 minutes.

130. Oven Mitt Unwrap

Gather dice, two oven mitts, and a wrapped present. One player puts on the oven mitts and attempts to unwrap the gift, while the second player rolls the dice. Once the second player rolls doubles, they take the present and the oven mitts and continue unwrapping while the next person tries to roll doubles. This continues until the gift is open, and the player that unwraps it gets to keep it.

131. Old-Fashioned Telephone

Sit in a circle and take turns coming up with Christmas phrases, movie titles, or song lines. To start the game, whisper a phrase of your choice to the person next to you. They whisper it to the person next to them and continue until the last person hears it and repeats it to the whole group aloud. Enjoy the difference between what was whispered and what the original phrase was!

132. North Pole Limbo

Like the original limbo game, put on some Christmas music and use a broom, garland, or ribbon to make a limbo bar. Have each player put on the Santa hat and try to make it under without touching the bar. The player is out if the hat falls off or the bar/ribbon/garland is touched. To make it harder, have each person stuff their shirt with a pillow, like Santa, and try to limbo!

133. Build a Snowman

Divide into teams and designate one person from each group as the snowman. Then set a timer to see who can create the best Frosty out of toilet paper, wrapping paper, or other crafting supplies or household items. This is a great activity for larger groups. 

134. Snowball Fight

Hang a wreath with an open center in a doorway. Gather some socks or wrapping paper crumpled into snowballs. Set a timer for a minute. Have each person throw as many “snowballs” through the wreath as possible—the person with the most wins.

135. Candy Cane Relay

Split into two teams with an even number of players. Give each person one large candy cane to hold in their mouth. Take a second candy cane and pass it from player to player down the line, only using the candy cane in the mouth to touch the second candy cane (not using hands!). If the candy cane drops, you must start over. The first team to get it to the end without breaking it wins!

For more ideas, Google “minute to win it Christmas games,” download and print a free word search, or purchase Christmas Mad Libs, holiday bingo, or a Christmas puzzle to keep the fun going for hours. 

Wrap Up Christmas With a Bow

Set your Christmas shining brightly at work and at home with some simple preparation.

  • Plan activities and icebreakers for teams working remotely and in-person to encourage collegiality and boost employee engagement.
  • Make social gatherings less intimidating by arming yourself with some funny icebreakers to get the conversation rolling.
  • Deepen your connection with friends and family during the season of celebration through meaningful questions.
  • Develop family traditions that inspire fun and connection. Set up games to keep people interacting and laughing.

Have a jolly good time at your Christmas gathering with our How to Survive a Holiday Party

Guide armed with tips and tricks.

How to Deal with Difficult People at Work

Do you have a difficult boss? Colleague? Client? Learn how to transform your difficult relationship.
I’ll show you my science-based approach to building a strong, productive relationship with even the most difficult people.

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Get our latest insights and advice delivered to your inbox.

It’s a privilege to be in your inbox. We promise only to send the good stuff.

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.