In need of a little something to elevate your Christmas Eve? Here are the best ice breakers, guessing games, and other activities for just about any kind of Christmas party to make it a memorable one. Now, most of these games are G-Rated and entirely family-friendly, but if your guests are seeking a little more devilish fun, pretty much all of them can easily be turned into drinking game—just add shot glasses and a holiday-appropriate spirit (such as egg nog, if you’re so bold)! And for more ways to have a killer holiday this year, check out 20 Super Fun Christmas Eve Activities.
The game involves getting your guests to guess the number of ornaments you have on your Christmas tree while they walk into the party hall. The winner can get an ornament to take home. And for the activities you should avoid, here are the 22 Worst Christmas Traditions.
Christmas Carol Pictionary Relay
Everyone knows Pictionary, but this version turns it up a few holiday-themed notches. Teams of party gamers race to depict familiar Christmas carols. As soon as the team figures out which carol has been drawn, they have to sing the song to score more points. And for more ways to spend Christmas Eve, here are 6 Classic Christmas Movies You Can Enjoy in Real Life.
Similar to Spoons, only with candy canes. To play this game, grab a few candy canes, a deck of cards, and a group of three-to-six individuals or any number of people that can be accommodated by your dinner table. All the gamers must be able to reach the center of the table. And for more great holiday coverage, here are the 16 Ways Christmas Was Way Better in the 90s.
Christmas Movie Trivia
Print out some questions about your favorite Christmas movies, then split your guests into teams and test your knowledge of classics like A Christmas Story, Elf, and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Bonus points if you know about the 13 Worst Christmas Films of All Time.
Name That Carol
This game, care of OrnamentShop.com, challenges guests to figure out which classic Christmas song is being referred to. For example, “A Dozen Twenty-Four Hour Yule Periods” is “The 12 Days of Christmas.”
No, this is not a traditional snowball fight like you might have done as a kid. This one involves a person tossing marshmallows to fellow team members, aiming for his or her mouth. The team gains a point every time a marshmallow is caught—just make sure everyone washes their hands before and after the game.
More marshmallows! Pick up a few bags of large marshmallows and place a coaster in the center of your table. Each guest takes a turn placing a marshmallow on the coaster until they have to start stacking them. It’s like Jenga: When the stack of marshmallows falls, that person loses.
Holiday Preparedness Pop Quiz
This game is a good fit for those parties where guests come dressed in their full holiday getup. It puts every guest on the spot to see how “prepared” they are to party—giving them a point for each holiday-themed item (Christmas sweater, gift receipt, red or green socks, etc.) they have on themselves when they arrive to the party.
Christmas Guess Who
This party game is a good way to get guests to relax and know more about each other. Each guest works off a list of Christmas-themed prompts (“Has seen a real, live reindeer,” “Returned a gift he/she received last Christmas,” etc.), and requires him or her to find someone who fits each question.
A holiday twist on the favorite party game, Christmas charades requires participants to physically act out Christmas-themed phrases, titles of Christmas movies or songs, and characters like Santa and Rudolph, without speaking.
Two Truths and a Lie, Christmas Edition
Another popular game that works great with a Christmas makeover is Two Truths and a Lie. For example, ask each guest to announce the “Worst Christmas gifts they’ve ever received,” and let each guest tell about two actual terrible gifts they received, and a fake story of a third gift. Those who can figure out which is the lie get a point.
Christmas Win, Lose, or Draw
You can make use of practically any Christmas carol, movie, or Christmas-related object of your choice (jingle bells, mistletoe, gift wrap), then adapt that chosen object into a Win, Lose, or Draw, giving it an extra holiday boost.
Blind Christmas Tree Ripping
Everyone gets a sheet of green construction paper. Holding it behind their backs (and making faces at the other guests) they then have to attempt to rip the paper into the shape of a tree. Chances are, it will look nothing like a proper tree. In this game, you can award points or presents to those who get closest to a classic tree, or give a bonus for those who get most creative.
Paper Plate Christmas Scene
Similar to the Blind Christmas Tree Ripping, this game asks players to draw a holiday scene on a paper plate—only while it’s on top of their head. Points go to those who pull it off.
Christmas Exchange Game
If you’ve got a group that has brought presents to your event, this is a great way to add some excitement to the gift exchange. Read the story here aloud while the guests stand in a circle, each holding their gift. Every time you say the word “right,” everyone passes the gift to the right. Every time you say the word “left,” everyone passes to the left. Ditto for “across.” If done right, it should lead to maximum confusion.
Like Trivial Pursuit with Santa, this game asks guests multiple-choice questions about various holiday traditions and famous figures, awarding points for every correct answer.
Jingle in the Trunk
The aim of the game is to bang as many jingle bells as you can out of a tissue box that’s hanging over you’re your head. The trick: you have to do this without making use of your hands.
Take a Bow
Give every guest a handful of bows at the start of the night. Their goal: to secretively stick them on the backs of as many of the other guests as possible (and avoid getting “bow-ed” themselves). When time is called, guests have to take a shot for every bow on their backs.
For Adults: the Christmas Movie Drinking Game
If trivia doesn’t have quite the edge you’re looking for, add some alcohol. You can create a drinking game for practically any movie. Take Home Alone: drink every time someone gets injured, every time Macaulay Culkin screams (and continue drinking the whole duration of the scream), and every time pizza and/or John Candy is on screen.
For Adults: Hallmark Christmas Movie Drinking Game
Even if the Hallmark Channel’s made-for-TV, feel-good flicks are generally lower quality than a typical Christmas classic, the rules, created by a woman in Fort Worth, TX—and described in Country Living—are far more complicated. Among the moments you are expected to take a drink: Any time someone disses a fake Christmas tree, any time a newcomer takes part in an old family/town tradition, and any time a big-city person is transplanted to a small town. Just remember to drink a lot of water, too.
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