Fun Ideas for Christmas Games:
Also Printable and Trivia Activities

Knowing some fun Christmas games can make you a popular person at this time of year. Whether you're hosting your own party or not, it's always a good idea to know some games that can be played off-the-cuff, just in case you get stuck at a boring work party and you need to liven things up a bit.

We've put together and extensive list of games to give you the arsenal you need to make any occasion fun during the holiday season.

What Makes a Good Christmas Game?

When it comes to choosing the best games for Christmas, it helps to understand what makes a game actually work well. This helps you avoid the awkward situation where you suggest a game, start talking it up ... and then nobody likes it.

Printable Christmas games for all the family
 

  • For starters, a good game is one that is inclusive and not exclusive. This means that everybody present can play, and that every player should have an equal chance of winning. It also means that all players should be involved in the game most of the time it is played.

  • Next, a good game should be enjoyable; while this sounds self evident, it isn't in fact all that easy to find a game that everybody enjoys.

    Some people prefer games based on memory, others prefer games of luck, or games that require teamwork, or games based on reaction times, dexterity, artistic or manual skills, still others prefer games of tactics or games based on different sorts of communication - there are many possibilities and like with so many other things, games remain a matter of taste.

    In the end you may opt for having prepared several different kinds of games, just to be sure there's something for everybody.

  • Thirdly, a good game should have a reasonable pace (no excess waiting time, which is often a problem if there are many players - consider playing in teams instead) and it should be challenging - in several respects.

  • Fourthly, a good game should have some element of (mounting) excitement or surprise or both.

    Fifthly, good Christmas games get people to let their guard down without pushing them beyond their comfort zone too far, too fast.

    Dress up games, for instance, can be perfect for this sort of thing - people are moving around, putting on clothes they wouldn't normally wear and generally feeling a bit ridiculous, but in a fun way.

    The only problem with dress up games is that you usually need to do some planning well beforehand to make sure you have some funny clothes on hand. Let's start by looking into those kinds of kinds of games.

Dress Up Games for Christmas

Dress up Christmas games are fun for all ages and can be an excellent way to get party guests active and enjoying themselves if the life of the party is starting to flicker out.

These games don't have to cost much either - most people have old (and ugly!) clothes lying around at the bottom of a closet somewhere that can make perfect props. Otherwise you can head down to a thrift store a few days before Christmas and see what you can find.

Let Your Kids Go Nuts ... as Adults

If you're entertaining kids, you have a couple of options. Either give them a big pile of clothes (and perhaps some make-up too) and let them go crazy dressing themselves up - or ... you let them dress you up.

Kids love having the chance to dress up an adult. Make sure you provide plenty of strange and hilarious clothes so you all get a laugh out of the final result.

Playing Chrismas Improv. dressing up game: Man with Chinese MaskChristmas Improv.
- a Fun Dress Up Role Playing Game

Here's a fun twist on the dress-up game idea: Christmas Improv.

If you've ever seen (or been to) an improvised comedy show or watched a TV show like 'Whose Line Is It Anyway', you'll have an idea of what we mean here.

You'll need a bunch of random 'props' - they can be items of clothing or just random objects, but the more bizarre they are the better. Then each person grabs a prop and has a turn acting out a 'role' that goes along with the prop.

You can even take this one step further and get everyone to act out a whole scene together. The key here is to give everyone a funny scenario to work with. For instance: Santa and his elves discover Rudolph has broken the toy-making machine. What happens next? Act it out.

Online Dress Up Games Are Also an Option

For a less active option, if you only have a child or two who need to be entertained, find some online dress up games. These games usually give kids a 'model' to work with - a cartoon character - and they get to choose what clothes their model will wear. This is a particularly good option for girls who love dresses and fashion.

Christmas Trivia Games

Trivia games are ideal because they can be played anywhere - all you have to do is bring along a printed sheet of questions and answers, or ask questions off the top of your head if you happen to have a good general knowledge of Christmas.

Christmas trivia games can have different themes: you can do Christmas music trivia, for example, or Christmas movie trivia. Naming famous people who were born or died on December 25 can also be fun, although it's not one to play with kids of course.

Adapt the trivia questions to the group you're spending time with at Christmas time - are they film aficionados? History buffs? Literature enthusiasts? Diva devotees (into famous people)? Go with a topic everyone will enjoy - or mix them up so there's something for everyone.

 

Printable Games for Christmas

There are plenty of cool Christmas activities that require some sort of printed materials. Like Christmas Bingo, for instance. It's easy to find the templates for games like Christmas Bingo online and simply print them out. You can do this on the fly wherever you are as long as you have access to the Internet and a decent printer.

Lots of free Christmas quizzes are also available in downloadable formats around the web. If you want to have a trivia game, this saves you having to think up questions and answers. You can simply find a list of questions you think will work well for your guests and print it out.

Choosing the right list is important though - if you're playing with young kids, choosing a quiz about 80s Christmas movies is a recipe for a dull afternoon as the kids stare at you blankly, not knowing any of the answers. And vice versa, if you were to pick a subject such as computer games or Xbox games (see further below).

 

Want Play Something at no Cost?
How about 'Match the Phrase'?

Match the phrase Christmas version. Picture of pieces of paper with half sentences.We all want to make our budgets go as far as possible at Christmas time - so it is lucky that fun doesn't have to cost anything. In fact, some of the most entertaining Christmas games are completely free.

One good free game is called Match the Phrase. It's simple - everybody gets to write a bunch of phrases, each on its own little piece of paper. Some of them should be the beginning of a sentence, and some should be the end of a sentence.

The more out-there and ridiculous these half-sentences are the better.

You might have guessed already what happens next:

  •  You grab two bowls - one for the sentence beginnings, and one for the endings.

  • You mix them all up together.

  • Then someone reaches into the 'beginnings' bowl and pulls out a random sentence beginning and reads it to the group.

  • The sentence 'endings' bowl then gets passed around the group and each person gets to pull out a piece of paper, and then say the whole sentence with their random ending.

This Christmas game can be played with people of all ages, but of course if you have young and old together you need to be careful to keep it eye-level.

Christmas Activity Ideas for Teenagers

Teenagers can be particularly hard to please when it comes to making them play something. Often they'll find trivia too boring, and claim to be too old for dress-up games - as well as lots of other games you care to dig up.

There are a lot of good Christmas games for teenagers which are perfect for a youth group setting where you have a group of ten or more. If you have a big meeting hall to work with and a lot of clear space, even better - the teens can get some exercise as well!

Relay with a Twist

Relay games, for instance, are fun for teenagers. One version of a relay game involves having the teen kids hold a Christmas tree decoration under each of their arms and under their chin. They then have to run (or fast walk, depending on your venue) to a certain point and back and pass on the decorations to the next person.

To make it a little harder, use some flimsy plastic decorations and make a rule that any team who breaks one automatically loses (for a different variation of this, you can use eggs instead of decorations - but make sure everyone is wearing some old clothes and make sure you don't play it on good carpet!)

To make it even harder still, you can introduce a rule that they aren't allowed to pass the decorations to each other using their hands - this leads to some pretty funny bodily contortions!

Christmasy Musical Chairs

Playing musical chairs with Christmas carols and teens: Young woman on a chair. Another one that often works well is plain old musical chairs - with a Christmas twist. It's the same as a normal game of musical chairs: when the music stops, everyone has to sit down and the person who can't get a chair is eliminated.

The other difference is that it's played with Christmas songs. New albums of Christmas carols come out every year around this time, so you have plenty of choice in that regard.

Online games can also offer a solution to keeping teenagers entertained, as they provide some interactive entertainment in a form most teenagers have grown used to.

Be prepared to accept that you won't be able to get some teens interested in games no matter what you do - some kids are just 'going through that phase' where they think anything someone else suggests is not as good as what they've already decided that want to do.

You're wasting your energy trying to get these teens into an organized game - it's an uphill battle. Acceptance is usually the best way forward here. They'll be back once those dreadful teen years pass.

Online Games about Christmas

Need something to keep the kids occupied while you wrap gifts or cook the Christmas dinner? There are plenty of free Christmas games online that will keep them occupied for a few hours - there's no reason to limit yourself to trivia and dress up games. Most kids would much rather play on a computer these days anyway.

Here are a couple of good suggestions of Christmasy games you'll find online that seem to keep most kids entertained:

- Santa's Workshop

- Christmas Mahjong (many versions of this around the web - a puzzle game, better for older kids

- An assortment of basic games

In addition to these games there are hundreds of online jigsaws, puzzles and other creative entertainment online to keep your kids occupied through the holiday season.

The beauty of online games is that even though many of them are simple, they can often be just as entertaining as expensive games for a PlayStation or Xbox - so they might even end up saving you some money.

Be careful though - there's nothing worse than having a kid who's addicted to a free online game and won't get away from the computer when the family comes around for Christmas dinner.

You can even download Christmas games designed for smart phones - if you're getting someone a cell phone for Christmas, downloading a couple of games for them can add a nice touch.

Top Console for Xbox and PlayStation to Play During the Holidays

Now, if you've already bought a PlayStation or Xbox for your kids, or you're giving them one for Christmas this year, you'll also need to be clued in on the best games to give them.

Kids will be bitterly disappointed if they get a console but don't have anything good to play on it.

Here are some good choises:

- The Beatles: Rock Band (ideal because it's a good family game where the 'oldies' and young ones can make some noise together)

- FIFA '12 (a soccer/football game)

- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (a war game - definitely not for younger kids)

- Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception

- inFAMOUS 2

That's a little selection of the best Xbox games to get you started - when it comes to games, you're better off avoiding the 'surprise gift' and just asking your kids what they want. It may not seem as special as getting to watch your child's excitement as they unwrap their unknown gift - but at least you know they'll like it. Who wants to spend $100 on a game that ends up never getting played?

Funny drawing of man with a Christmas hat: Playing fun drinking games, Follow Santa.Fun Drinking Games

Alright - now something for the adults. If you're going to be having a full-blown party with plenty of alcohol, a few drinking games always make the night more interesting. Let's look at a few Christmas-themed drinking games you've probably never tried before.

Follow Santa

One easy drinking game is Follow Santa.

Only one person at the party is allowed to wear a Santa hat. That person is allowed to put their right hand on their head at any time, and when they do so, everyone else has to put their right hand on their head as well.

The last person to do it has to take a drink. Every twenty minutes or half an hour, the hat gets passed on to the next person. This is a good game because it can be played in the background while you do something more active, like playing a card game.

You can also just bust out some of your old family board games and turn them into drinking games. Get creative and re-write the rules of Monopoly or the Game of Life (taking a drink instead of paying rent went you land on a property, for instance).

Have fun! :-)

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