It's that time of year again – time to enjoy a few Christmas party games, buy presents, and of course get together with cherished friends and beloved family.
Although there are many
classic Christmas party games that have been played around the world
for decades, we don't all want to follow the crowd. If you have a
fairly off-beat group of friends or family together for Christmas,
you might want to try unveiling a unique game they haven't heard of
Here's a good one, courtesy of the Moms Who Think website: turn wrapping gifts into a Christmas party game.
You don't need to use actual gifts for this – empty boxes will do the trick. You need the box, wrapping paper, scissors and tape.
Put each of these items at a different place around the room (you need one of each per team – in other words, for two teams you need two rolls of wrapping paper, two pairs of scissors, and two rolls of tape).
The game works as a relay race. There should be one box for everyone competing, as well as one person to referee and judge the competition. The judge says, 'Start,' and then the first person from each team must race to wrap their box. Once the first person finishes wrapping their 'gift,' the next person in the team can begin – until everyone on each team has wrapped a box.
Obviously, the main aim is to wrap all the boxes faster than the other team – but the fastest team doesn't necessarily win. That's what the referee is for.
Points can be won not just for speed, but also for how good each gift looks and any other criteria the judge wants to use, like points for wrapping style, straightness of taping, or how good each team looks with their boxes at the end of the game.
This is a game better played with older guests – rushing around with scissors doesn't work so well for young kids :-)
Many of the other Christmas games here can be played with kids, but you just have to simplify them a little bit.
You don't have to buy a bunch of props and extras for great Christmas party games – we all know our finances tend to get stretched to the limit around Christmas time, so here are some suggestions for good free party games to play during Christmas.
It's very simple – find some random objects from around the house, and get a stocking ready for the game. One person plays at a time. Blindfold the person who is playing and put an object in the stocking – make sure they don't see!
Christmas Picture Bingo
Christmas Charades & Pictionary
can work with big groups and can be played with guests of any age.
Most people know how to play Bingo – the twist with Christmas Bingo
is that instead of numbers, everyone has Christmas words on their
card. One person can be the game leader, pulling words at random out
of a hat.
As each word is called out, the guests note it on their score card (this can be done by placing a button on each word, rather than marking the card, so you can use the cards over and over again). When someone crosses off every word along a column or row on their card they yell out, “Bingo!” and the game is over (until the next round).
Of course, one easy way to find free Christmas party game ideas is to simply take non-Christmas games and give them a Christmas theme.
– why not play charades where everything relates to Christmas?
You can watch
your friends, coworkers or family members trying to imitate Rudolph
the Red-nose Reindeer or try to mime what 'snow' looks like – should
be a funny experience!
The same can be done with Pictionary, although you'll have to choose some topics that won't be easily guessed from a simple picture.
It can be tough to choose the right party games when you have
the whole family gathered together, young and old.
Games like charades often don't work very well when you have a group that spans three generations, so it's a good idea to keep a few whole-family games in your back pocket.
You'll need to do some planning
for this, coming up with plenty of questions and answers and writing
them on cards. For question ideas, think about common Christmas
songs, the story of Santa and Rudolph, and the story of the birth of
A good example question could be: 'Who helps Santa make his toys?' (Answer: the elves.)
Obviously, you'll want to tweak the difficulty of the questions depending on your group of guests. If you have very young and very old together, throw in a few questions only they will know the answer to – for instance, a reference to a 1950s Christmas song for the older people, and a reference to a Disney movie for the kids.
Look up some Christmas facts and trivia online to get ideas for tricky questions. A tougher question could be something like: 'The Three Wise Men brought the baby Jesus frankincense, myrrh, and what?'
You probably have some idea of how it works:
you all sit in a circle, close enough to whisper to each other.
The first person makes up a phrase that has something to do with Christmas – it should be fairly long and complicated.
They tell it to the person on their left, in a quiet whisper, and then person number two tells the next person in the circle, and so on, until the phrase goes all the way around the circle. The last person in line then says the phrase out loud.
The whole idea is that usually the original phrase gets lost in the whispers, and the final phrase is completely different – and often hilarious.
The bigger the group, the better.
Work parties or gatherings with close friends give you a chance to kick back and relax, and not worry about doing anything 'inappropriate' in front of the kids or grandparents.
So there are quite a few games for adult Christmas parties which are a little more 'risque' than the ones we've talked about so far.
two props each team is given to play the game: balloons, and a pair
of pantyhose. Divide your group into two teams – it can be played
with large groups but it's better for smaller parties of eight to
The aim of the game is to blow up your balloons and stuff them inside the pantyhose until no more can fit. When the pantyhose are full of balloons, one of the team members puts them on their head like a pair of reindeer antlers and yells out, “Rudolph!” You can add some extra fun by having red noses for the two team leader to wear.
Be warned – this game can get very competitive! :-)
Here's how you prepare
for the game: you choose a prize, and put it inside a small box and
wrap it up. You then put that wrapped box inside a bigger box, and
wrap that. Keep doing this – try to get six or seven layers of
Now, to play the game itself, you need some props. You can choose and Christmas-related clothes – Santa hats, a coat, even some silly glasses if you like. The most important thing, though, is oven gloves. There needs to be something for people to put on their hands that makes unwrapping the boxes tricky.
You all sit in a circle, with the wrapped up prize in the middle. You roll a dice, and whoever rolls a 6 has to put on every item of clothing and all the props, including the gloves, and start trying to unwrap the prize.
As this is happening, everyone else keeps rolling the dice – until the next person rolls a 6. When that happens, the new 6-roller has to take all the props off the other person, put them on, and start unwrapping the boxes.
Whoever unwraps the prize wins.
This Christmas party game works best when no one knows what the prize is. If you choose the prize, it can be funny to choose something silly and worthless, but talk it up as if it's something really valuable.
Then watch your friends go crazy trying to unwrap it... only to discover it's actually something lame.
Let's look at a few more general
Christmas party ideas.
After all, games are important but they don't make a party on their own – good parties need things like food and drinks, comfortable seating arrangements, gifts and so on.
Decorations are one aspect of a good Christmas party that allow you to let your creativity run wild. Your choice of decorations can also link in with the games you choose to play – if you really plan it well, you can create a 'theme within a theme' for your party where the whole party becomes one big game.
It's your Christmas party, you make the rules – literally, you can make up all kinds of crazy rules to do with food, Christmas crackers, giving presents, wearing Santa hats – whatever you can think of.
Obviously, you need to be careful with your arrangements for seating and tables – make sure you have enough room for any food you'll be eating as well as areas cleared for playing games before guests arrive.
Arrange a 'kid's table' if the children will be eating
separately from the adults.
This can make the whole affair a lot easier. For decorations themselves, colored lights are always a hit if you have the time and money to put into them. If you're not willing to spend a bunch on ornaments and lighting, you can always make your own simple decorations – some colored paper and creative cutting are often enough to bring the Christmas feel to a dining room or living room. Plastic reindeer or a little Santa Claus make for great front yard ornaments.
Beyond that you'll also want to be selective with food and drinks. If you're planning to put on a whole meal, you might want to enlist a few helpers – arrange Christmas dinner is rarely a one-person job. If it's just a casual party for adults, you can stick with light finger food – but you may want to make sure there's plenty of champagne on hand :-)
Everybody expects activities when they go to
a Christmas party, even if it's something basic like pulling
Activities are especially important if there will be a few people at your party who don't know each other – Christmas party games are a great ice-breaker and let people relax and enjoy themselves.
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