How Our Remote Team Celebrates the Holidays

secret santa
While we’ve written about what it’s like working for a remote team, we’ve never yet written about how we celebrate the holidays — that is, until now!
Even though we have team members all around the world, we still love to celebrate the holidays together. As a remote-first company, we’re always thinking up unique new ways to celebrate in-office traditions.
And we’re not the only remote team that celebrates the holidays together, either — for example, some remote teams have taken part in “Ugly Sweater Day” (via webcam, of course!) or virtual happy hours. No matter what kind of theme you’re going for, the possibilities are endless.
We want to show you what it’s like celebrating as a remote company, and how it can be just as fun celebrating from afar with just a little creativity!

How it all started

This year to celebrate the holiday season, we held a Secret Santa gift exchange.
First, we needed to find a way to easily hold a gift exchange without one person having to manage it all. We were looking for something that got the job done, while still being time-efficient.
One of our employees was tasked to find the best solution. He ended up going with Elfster to host the gift exchange, and each team member was paired randomly with another member of the team, AKA their mysterious Secret Santa.
remote team gift exchange
So, people quickly began adding their wishlists to the Elfster app. Not everyone made a wishlist, but there were certainly some unique items on the lists that were created.
To give you an idea, here were a few wishlist items from the team:
funny wishlist
funny wishlist
funny wishlist drone
After the wishlists were created, there was a short wait while everyone’s presents shipped out. The real Secret Santa was a mystery.
And it doesn’t end there… oh, no…

The result

Of course, we HAD to ask everyone take selfies of their Secret Santa gifts (for science). Check out the photos below!
Drumroll, please…


Andrea Hall!

Mike Karlin

Mike Karlin!


Deborah Kim!

Steven Watkins
Cedric Savarese

Cedric Savarese!


Jaret Manuel!


Andy Hall!


Ben Wasser!


Valerie Mertsock!


Terry Corley!


Hannah Wright!

What we thought

All in all, our team thought this was a pretty cool (and interactive) way to celebrate the holidays as a remote company. It was also interesting attempting to guess who our Secret Santa was. Would we do it again? Most definitely.

Does your office (remote or not) celebrate the holidays in a unique way?

Does your company celebrate the holidays? Share your story with us in the comments below, or tweet with us @FormAssembly. We’d love to hear from you!

Hannah lives in Alaska and is a Digital Marketing Specialist at FormAssembly. She enjoys hiking mountains with her husband and reading.


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