After the second helpings of ham and mashed potatoes have been passed around the dinner table, you can keep the Christmas camaraderie going. Without even getting up from the table, family members and friends can play a variety of Christmas games designed to promote interaction and laughter. You might consider serving the dessert between some of the games.
Unwrap the Gifts
The Party Game Ideas website suggests one version of Unwrap the Gifts that is easily adaptable for Christmas. Before the party, you wrap a small present, such as movie tickets or a box of chocolates, in Christmas gift wrap paper–and then wrap it again and again until you have twice as many layers as you will have guests. Between some of the layers you’ll put slips of paper with directions for a task, such as “Sing Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” or “Laugh like Santa.” To play the game, you start some music on a CD player. Guests pass the gift around the table, and when the music stops, the person holding it tears off one layer of paper. When a guest comes to a slip of paper, he reads it aloud and follows the direction. Then the music starts again, and the game continues until the winner gets to unwrap the gift.
Christmas Trivia Contest
For a Christmas trivia game, guests on each side of the table become teams. Before the party, the host, who serves as moderator, prepares a list of Christmas trivia questions. Some questions should be simple enough for the kids to answer; others should be challenging for the adults. The questions might be about Christmas traditions, Christmas carols, Christmas movies or any other subject relating to the holiday. For some suggested quizzes, you might want to check out the Christmas Trivia website. The moderator asks one team a question and sets an egg timer for one minute; if the team answers correctly the reward is two candy canes. If the team is incorrect, the other team gets an opportunity and can win one candy cane. Teams take turns answering questions. The first team to amass 20 candy canes is the winner.
Bingo is a familiar game that takes on a Christmas slant with this version from the Celebrations website. Using card stock, the host makes up enough Bingo cards for all the guests, using the letters in “angel” instead of the word Bingo at the top of the cards. In place of numbers, you can use stickers, Christmas-related words, or computer graphics for each of the 25 spaces; it’s important that no two cards are exactly alike. Celebrations suggests using graphics. You might use graphics of Santa, elves, reindeer, star, tree, snowman, candy can, mistletoe, angel and gingerbread men. For each sticker, word or graphic, you’ll need to make individual cardboard squares for calling the game. For example, “G-star” might be one.
Draw the Carol
In addition to singing carols at the table, guests can play a World of Christmas version of Draw the Carol. You will need to prepare about 15 slips of paper, each with the name of a Christmas carol. Opposite sides of the table each comprise a team. The team member who is going first pulls one slip of paper from a bowl, picks up a plain sheet of paper and a pencil and tries to make her teammates say the name of the carol. No letters, words or symbols are allowed. You may want to use a two-minute timer, and ask each team to sing the first verse of the carol when they get the answer.