Christmas games may play an important role in your Christmas party, so you want to make sure you have some crowd favorites as well as some unique games that people may not have played before.
The types of games you choose also depend on your guests – if you’re throwing a family Christmas party, you want games people of all ages can enjoy, or you may want to arrange some separate Christmas party activities for the kids to keep them occupied while the adults eat and talk. But of course, there are also plenty of Christmas games for adults.
With the right choice of games you can make your Christmas party one your guests will never forget.
The Gift Wrapping Race
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 before.
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 🙂
Christmas Games for Kids – Hilarious Scavenger Hunts
Many of the other Christmas games here can be played with kids, but you just have to simplify them a little bit.
Charades is a good idea – it can work with kids, but if it’s too hard they’ll get bored straight away.
The problem is, if you make it too easy any adults playing will get bored. That’s why it can be good to have separate games for adults and kids to play, so everyone is entertained.
When it comes to kids’ games, the sillier the better!
Scavenger hunts are always a big hit with younger kids, and they’re perfect when you have a big group of kids that needs to be kept entertained.
Before anyone arrives, hide a whole lot of candy all over your property – not just in the house, but in random places in the back yard and garage as well.
When all the kids have arrived, tell them there’s candy hidden all over the place… they’ll keep themselves occupied for quite a while (depending how much candy you put out, of course!).
What’s In the Stocking? Christmas Bingo and Christmas Charades
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.
One good free game is called What’s In The Stocking?
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!
They then have to feel the object through the stocking and try to guess what it is.
This is a great one because it can work with people of all ages.
Obviously the downside is that you have to take turns, so let’s look at a free group game.
A popular choice is Christmas Bingo.
It 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.
Trivial Pursuit with a Christmas Twist and Christmas Whispers
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.
If you don’t have any very young kids in your group, a good family game is trivial pursuit – with a Christmas twist, of course.
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 Jesus.
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?’
Christmas Whispers is another good Christmas party game for the whole family
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.
Games for Adult Christmas Parties
– Silly Christmas Boat Race and The Dress Up Game
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.
One idea is a bit like the ‘boat race’ drinking game
There are 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 ten people.
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! 🙂
Another game we like is known by many names, but let’s call it the Dress Up Game
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 boxes.
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.
Ideas for Christmas Decorations and Arrangements
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 🙂
Other Christmas Party Activities
– Christmas Tree Decoration and The Secret Santa
Everybody expects activities when they go to a Christmas party, even if it’s something basic like pulling Christmas crackers.
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.
But activities don’t have to be limited to games – there are plenty of other ways to have fun together around Christmas time.
Christmas carol singing is one example, where a group of you knock on random doors in your neighborhood and sing Christmas songs. Many people appreciate this show of goodwill at Christmas time.
Tree decorating is another great one for the family to participate in. If you have young kids, let them play a part in decorating the tree, and give the littlest one a boost to put the star or angel on top – this is a little thing to grown-ups but it can be a big deal to a kid. As we get older we often forget it’s the little things that make Christmas special for children.
The Secret Santa is another fun activity, which is perfect for work places. Everyone gets designated a ‘secret Santa’ who has to buy them a gift – but no one is allowed to know who is buying for them, even after they receive the gift. This gives you a chance to play an anonymous joke on a work friend, and no one will ever know it was you! (Unless you tell them, of course.)