30 Fun Christmas Contest Ideas for Work

Christmas contest ideas for work are entertaining activities to get the team in the holiday spirit. Examples include asking team members to decorate their virtual or in-person office space or door, hosting a Christmas cookie decorating competition, or playing Name that (Christmas) Tune. These contests encourage employees to interact socially while bringing the feel of Christmas to the office during the season.

These contests are examples of holiday team building ideas, Christmas party entertainment ideas, and Christmas spirit week activities.

This article includes:

  • virtual Christmas contest ideas for work
  • Christmas door decorating contest ideas for work
  • Christmas party contest ideas for work
  • office Christmas competition ideas

So, here are the best Christmas contest ideas for work!

Virtual Christmas contest ideas for work

When team members are remote, getting the whole group in the spirit of Christmas is hard. Hosting a virtual contest is a fantastic way to encourage team building while celebrating the holiday season.

1. Best Office Decorations

One of the best virtual Christmas contest ideas for work is to challenge each team member to decorate their office space. You can choose to set a theme or simply allow each participant to decorate however they desire. You can turn decorating into a virtual competition by encouraging team members to decorate their home office and show it off to the entire group. Then, have all participants vote on a few different categories for winners. For example, most creative, most colorful, and most traditional. You can also have separate categories for Zoom backgrounds and fully decked desks.

Check out this list of Xmas office decorating ideas.

2. Lightning Scavenger Hunt

A lightning scavenger hunt is a perfect game to tweak into a great Christmas contest idea. For this activity, schedule a Zoom meeting, but do not give attendees any idea what the contest will be. During the meeting, challenge each team member to find the most festive item in their house. You can give the group a time limit, for example, 30 seconds. After participants return, allow time for the whole group to describe their item and why it should win. This activity has the double benefit of encouraging team members to practice essential skills, like communication and sales pitches.

3. Virtual Charades

It is easy to play a Christmas version of virtual Charades. For this game, ask team members to join a Zoom meeting. After members log in, privately message a participant a Christmas song, movie, story, or tradition. Next, pin or spotlight the player, so the actor appears large and on center screen rather than being another small box in gallery view. Then, the player acts out the word using only motions and gestures while the rest of the team guesses. The first player to shout the correct answer or type it in the chat wins the round.

4. Christmas Tree Creations

This virtual game takes some preparation. Before the scheduled party, either send a package of items to each participant or send a list of items to buy. The supplies are simple and affordable. For the game, ask team members to create the best Christmas tree using only a pipe cleaner, tinsel, and beads. After everyone finishes their creation, ask team members to vote on the best tree.

Here is a list of office Christmas tree ideas.

5. Remote Secret Santa

Secret Santas are a classic holiday activity that many offices hold. While pulling off this event virtually is a bit more challenging, it is a great way to build relationships among the team while getting the group in the holiday spirit. A few weeks before the holidays, assign a Secret Santa to each team member. You can find various apps and generators that will assign Secret Santas for you. Then, ask each participant to send a special holiday gift to their designated person within a set budget. Once team members have received their gifts, schedule a Zoom meeting where the whole group can open their presents in front of each other. To make this activity more like a contest, ask participants to follow specific rules, then have all team members vote on the best gifts. For example, have a category for the best bang for your buck, most useful, and most creative.

Check out these virtual gift exchange ideas.

6. Christmas Costume Contest

Hosting a virtual costume contest is a wonderful way to make team members feel connected at Christmas time. The entire team can meet with members dressed as their favorite Christmas characters over Zoom, or you can upload photos to a shared online photo album. You can even expand the dress-up options into songs. As team members hang out virtually, they can share why they chose that character and enjoy the holiday season remotely. You can have a few categories for the contest, like most festive, traditional, and creative. Then, ask all attendees to vote on their favorites.

7. Is it a Christmas Movie?

You can find so many Christmas movies to watch during the holiday season. Simply turn on the television in December, and you can choose between about 101 films to watch. Team members imagine how non-holiday movies could become a holiday favorite in this fun game. For example, create a deleted or extra scene in which an elaborate Christmas event happens. The contest shows which team members can create the best “new” Christmas movie.

Christmas door decorating contest ideas for work

Office doors are wonderful places to show the holiday spirit. Here is a list of fun and unique, door-decorating ideas to involve the whole team.

1. Movie-Themed

One of the best Christmas door decorating contests is a movie-themed challenge. You can limit the movie choices to holiday options or open it up to all movies. You can find so many movies to get inspiration. A few examples might be turning the door into Rudolph and making the doorknob his shiny, red nose or recreating the snowball scene from Elf with a collection of paper snowballs next to Buddy’s arm.

2. Door Wrapping

If you are looking for a creative door decorating theme, then consider a wrapping contest. You can encourage team members to treat their door like a present and challenge participants to wrap it creatively. You could even encourage entrants to hide a present beneath the paper and leave clues for coworkers to guess the object.

3. Holiday Characters

One of the best ways to decorate a door is to turn it into your favorite holiday character. Team members can choose examples like Frosty the Snowman to Santa or The Grinch. Using only paper and other office supplies, participants can make a character to adorn their door.

4. Ugly Christmas Sweater

Ugly Christmas sweaters are a staple every holiday season. Turning office doors into oversized Christmas sweaters is one of the best door decorating contest ideas. Participants can use paper, fabric, ribbons, and bows to make their entry look like an ugly Christmas sweater. Team members can choose a pattern or even create a picture. If you would see it on a sweater, then it can be a door for this challenge.

Pro tip: Crafty and ambitious entrants can yarn bomb the door.

5. Traditional Holiday Scene

It is hard to find a more idyllic holiday scene than a fireplace with stockings over it next to a tree and presents. You can ask team members to recreate the homiest holiday scene possible using only paper and office supplies. Participants should attempt to build a fireplace with stockings across their door or choose another vista that feels like Christmas.

6. Christmas Tree

While there might not be space for team members to put entire trees in their office, they can turn their doors into one. A fun door decorating competition is to see which employees can recreate a beautiful Christmas tree on their door. You can encourage team members to use paper, ribbons, ornaments, and tinsel to make a decorated evergreen across their door.

Christmas party contest ideas for work

Contests are an excellent way to encourage participation at work parties or events. This list of Christmas party contest ideas for work includes fun ways to get the whole team involved.

1. How Many Ornaments?

A great party contest idea is to have team members guess how many ornaments are in a large container. To make the challenge even more complicated, choose a variety of sizes and styles of ornaments. You can place some small sheets of paper, pens, and a bowl to hold folk’s guesses. Sometime during the party, reveal the actual number of ornaments and the closest guesser. Be sure to have a prize for the winner, as well.

2. Reindeer Antlers

Reindeer Antlers is a contest idea sure to get lots of laughs from the whole group. For this game, divide the team into two groups. The only supplies you need are two sets of pantyhose, 15 to 20 small balloons, and ribbon. For preparation, cut the toes off of the pantyhose. During the game, one player from each team must put the pantyhose on their head while the rest of the team blows up the balloons and fills the legs to create the antlers. Then, tie off the ends of the ribbon. The team to finish the fastest wins.

3. What’s in the Stocking?

If you are looking for a fun game to play at a Christmas work party, then consider What’s in the Stocking? In this fun game, participants attempt to figure out what is in a large Christmas stocking by feeling the outside. Before the party, fill a stocking with fun Christmas items. For example, candy canes, decorations, and ornaments. During the party, allow team members to pass around the stocking and only feel the outside. Then, ask each participant to write down their guesses. The player who gets the most correct answers wins.

4. Holiday ABCs

A unique contest idea is asking team members to create a holiday item for each letter of the alphabet. If you divide the group into teams, then you also encourage team building, as well. This activity becomes a contest if you add in unique challenges along the way. For example, team members must complete physical challenges at certain letters or set up letters in different areas of the room, so teams must race around to each location as they think of words. The first team to find a word for every letter wins.

5. Baby’s First Christmas

A fantastic way to encourage team participation and host a contest is to post a baby picture wall where guests try to figure out which picture belongs to which teammate. Before the party, ask team members to bring in a photo from their first Christmas. Then, arrange the images on a board with only a letter underneath each one. The contest involves participants guessing which picture belongs to which team member. The player who identifies the most correct answers wins the contest and receives a prize.

6. Christmas Meme-off

Most folks love a good meme, and hosting a Christmas meme contest is one of the best ways to kick off the holiday season. To play this game, have several screenshots from classic Christmas movies. After you hang up these photos on a wall, place a black sheet of paper under each one. Then, allow time for participants to jot down a phrase that goes with the picture to create an epic holiday meme. Finally, ask a group of judges to choose the best line for each photo for the ultimate collection of Christmas memes.

7. Christmas Trivia

Christmas trivia is one of the best party contest ideas for your holiday soiree. Trivia is a fantastic way to get the entire team involved and in the holiday spirit. You can find Christmas-themed trivia examples online or come up with your own based on questions from classic holiday songs and movies. To make this a fun competition, plan a trivia tournament, where teams compete to get to the final round.

8. Christmas Brackets

Team members who enjoy fantasy football will love this Christmas party contest. For this activity, have a list of favorite Christmas songs or movies. Then, assign a song or movie to each team member. Next, create a bracket of all the songs or movies, whichever you choose to use. Each participant must “sell” their song or movie, and then all attendees at the party must vote for their favorite in each head-to-head. Continue through the bracket until you have a single winner.

9. Hold Your Tongue

Many words are common to hear around the holidays. In fact, some of these words are incredibly difficult to avoid. Hold Your Tongue is a fun and unique holiday party contest. The point of the game is to catch team members who say a specific word. At the beginning of the party, give each attendee a list of words to avoid along with five clothespins. Some examples are snow, Santa, elf, Christmas, and travel. Participants should place the pins on their shirts. During the party, challenge team members to catch each other saying a word on the list. If a teammate catches another saying a banned word, then they get to take one of the clothespins. The participant with the most clothespins at the end of the night wins.

Here are more office Christmas party ideas.

Office Christmas competition ideas

These competitions are unique ways to get team members active and involved. You can host these at a party or simply incorporate them during workdays throughout the holiday season.

1. Candy Cane Relay

Hosting a candy cane relay at work is one of the best office Christmas competition ideas. You need a boxful of small candy canes, several pairs of chopsticks, some large bowls, and a few stockings to play this game. Before the game, divide the group into teams. Then, provide each team with a bowl full of candy canes. Once the teams are ready, give each player a chopstick. The game’s goal is to transfer as many candy canes as possible to the team stocking using only a chopstick held in your mouth. The team with the most candy canes in their stocking at the end wins.

2. Living Snowman

Having the team create living snowmen using basic office supplies is one of the best challenges for a Christmas party. First, divide the team into groups of three or four participants. Each team needs one player to be the snowman. The rest of the team must decorate the volunteer like a snowman using toilet paper and basic office supplies. You can encourage groups to complete the look by making hats, scarves, and buttons.

3. Name That Tune, Christmas-Style

The music lovers in the group will love this office competition. You can easily adapt Name That Tune to a holiday version where a host plays small bits of a Christmas song or reads a single line. The team member to finish the line or shout out the title wins.

4. Holiday Bowling

If you are looking for a Christmas competition idea to get the entire team having fun, then consider Holiday Bowling. For this event, you need some Christmas ornaments and giant jingle bells. Be sure to get shatter-free ornaments. Then, remove the top part of each ornament and set them up in formation on a table upside down. Ask team members to bowl a jingle bell from a couple of feet away. You can even turn this into a whole, ten-frame bowling game.

5. Snowball Fight

Hosting a snowball toss is a fantastic way to encourage teamwork, and you do not need actual snow. This tasty twist on the classic winter favorite only requires some bowls and marshmallows. For this game, ask each team to have one player hold a bowl on their head while the other tosses marshmallows into the bowl. The team with the most marshmallows in the bowl wins.

6. Ugliest Christmas Sweater

When planning your holiday party, be sure to announce this competition on the invitation. You can encourage team members to wear the ugliest Christmas sweater they can find. At the party, ask a judge or a panel to rank the sweaters, or choose the best example at the party. An easy voting method would be a wall with polaroid snapshots of each contestant where all attendees can vote. Or, hand out a sticker to each guest to place on their favorite sweater. You can also choose categories, like ugliest overall, most creative, or brightest.

7. Christmas Cookie Challenge

One of the most delicious office Christmas competition ideas is to host a cookie challenge. Before the event, be sure to set some ground rules. Bakers should bring a couple dozen of their favorite cookies and copies of the recipe. At the event, lay out the cookies, but do not label who made each batch. Guests can taste each cookie and take one home to enjoy later. Then, ask participants to vote on their favorite baked goods.

8. Christmas Cookie Decorating Competition

Cookies are a favorite part of Christmas. Hosting a Christmas cookie decorating competition allows team members to show their creative side while enjoying a tasty treat. All you need is cookies, icing, and sprinkles. You can make this competition easy by purchasing break-and-bake or pre-made cookies from the grocery store, along with icing and sprinkles from the baking aisle. Then, have participants vote on the most festive cookie, and then everyone can enjoy the results together.


Christmas contest ideas for work are fantastic ways to get the entire office in the holiday spirit. Whether your team is in-person or remote, you can find various ways to encourage festive and friendly competition. You can keep this activity uncomplicated by hosting a Christmas song or movie bracket or choose a more elaborate competition by having team members create antlers out of balloons and pantyhose. Whatever activity you choose, some friendly competition is a fun and unique way to kick off the Christmas season while encouraging team building and relationships.

Next, check out holiday swag ideas.

FAQ: Christmas contest ideas for work

Here are the answers to common questions about Christmas contest ideas for work.

What are office Christmas contests?

Office Christmas contests are games and activities that encourage team members to compete in a friendly way. These competitions can be as simple as Name that (Christmas) Tune, where participants try to figure out a holiday favorite from only a short clip or single line or more complicated like hosting a Christmas cookie decorating contest.

What are some good ideas for workplace Christmas contests?

You can find a variety of Christmas contests to play at the workplace. For example, host an ugly Christmas sweater competition where the team member in the ugliest sweater wins a prize. Or, you can challenge team members to decorate their office doors festively.

How do you hold a company Christmas contest?

You can find many ways to host a company Christmas contest. For example, if your team is virtual, then you can have a Christmas-themed show and tell and challenge participants to find the most festive item in their house to share with the group. A cookie competition is a delicious and fun way to host a contest for in-person offices. Or, team members can play a fun game like Snowball Toss, where pairs try to toss and catch marshmallows in a bowl.

Author: Carly Hill

Arguably the #1 Christmas fan. I believe it’s never too early to get started decorating your next tree!

Carly Hill

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