Holiday Party Games

Everyone shows up for Christmas dinner, but the turkey’s not quite ready…uh-oh! How do you keep a group of family and friends entertained in a pinch? Do not break out the vacation videos! Grandpa has a hard enough time staying awake as it is. And don’t ask everyone to sing. You don’t want anyone to lose their appetite! Instead, try these quick games to soothe the crowd until dinner’s ready.

Going Camping: Player 1 and 2 need to know the trick to this game prior to starting. Everyone sits in a circle, and Player 1 says, “I’m going on a camping trip in January, and only my friends and family who bring the right items can come along. Player 2, do you want to come?” Player 2, of course, says. “Heck yeah, I want to come!” Then Player 1 asks, “Well, what will you bring?” Player 2 pretends to think for a moment, then names an item that begins with the last letter of Player 1’s first name. If Player 1 is Chris, Player 2 might bring a Sleeping bag, Soda, Sugar snap peas, or Shoes. Player 1 says, “Sure, you can come.” Then Player 2 asks someone else, “John, what would you bring?” John guesses something, but it must end with the last letter of Player 2’s name. If John fails to catch on, Player 1 could suggest some items that would work–and some that wouldn’t. Then another player is asked, and play continues until everyone gets to come on the camping trip. This is a great party game, and as people catch on, the energy picks up.

Christmas ESP: Again, Players 1 and 2 would need to be aware of how this game works. With everyone gathered in a circle, Player 1 says, “I can guess any item Player 2 thinks about.” Player 2 feigns ignorance. “What? Read my mind? Yeah, right?” The part to remember is that Player 1 only has to say “yes” or “no”. Player 2 asks, “Am I thinking about that lamp in the corner?” Player 1 says, “Nope.” Player 2 asks, “How about the angel on top of that tree?” Again, Player 1 says, “No.” Here’s the trick: when Player 2 mentions a Christmas related item, Player 1 knows that the very next item will be the one he’s supposed to say “yes” to. Playing the game this way, Player 2 can write down the item he’s thinking of or whisper it to the player sitting next to him to prove there’s some real live mind reading going on. This game drives people nuts! You’ll be surprised how long it takes them to figure out the trick. Tell the group that once they “get” Christmas ESP, they shouldn’t share it, but play along. The game can go on for hours.

Team Charades: Everyone should group into teams of 2 or 3. Choose a team to start. The team can determine one Chrismas item/movie/song to act out. The key is that the entire team must act together. For instance, one player may act “Silent” and the other “Night”, or one player may use his arms as reindeer antlers on his teammate’s head while the teammate is on all fours, pointing to his nose–Roudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. If you don’t require pre-written cards for charades, everyone can play and there’s no prep time. It’s a wonderful way to involve all ages in a fun, interactive game.

After dinner’s over, your guests may want more games. Now that you have a captive and joyful audience, a sing-along to the Florida videos may be the best way to say good night.