Whether you are having a Christmas party with family and friends or an office party with co-workers, here's a list of games that will add some fun to your celebration.
1. Fill the Christmas stocking. Divide into teams and have the participants race to fill their team's hanging stocking with a spoonful of wrapped candy.
2. Christmas gift wrap relay. Set up assembly lines of gifts, boxes, scissors, wrapping paper, ribbon, and tape for each team. Either have each player wrap one gift or make an assembly line of workers. Then race to wrap!
3. Word Find. Using Christmas words—Christmas, Poinsettia, Candy cane, etc.—have each person make as many smaller words from it as possible before the timer runs out.
4. Christmas Carol Charades. Get dramatic! You can’t beat this crowd pleaser, as it is sure to bring the laughs.
5. Photo booth. Provide silly props and backdrops for guests to use to get silly in front of a photographer (keep in mind it doesn't have to be a professional).
6. Two truths and a lie. This is a great ice breaker! Each person tells two stories about themselves, two of which are true and one that is not. A great Christmas twist is to name their three worst Christmas gifts; two would be true and one would be false.
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7. Snowman building contest.
Judge on speed or originality.
8. Snowman wrapping contest. Wrap a person as a snowman in toilet paper and decorate. First or best one wins.
9. Snowball throwing contest. Make a large bulls-eye in the snow with food coloring from spray bottles. Indicate points for each circle of the target, like in darts or shuffleboard. Everyone makes the same amount of snowballs and throws for points.
10. Decorate a person as a Christmas tree. Using green crepe paper, ornaments, tinsel—whatever you can find—decorate your “tree”. First or best one wins.$
11. Pin the red nose on Rudolph. The Christmas version of Pin the Tail on the Donkey.
12. Build an ice sculpture. Freeze colored water ahead of time in ice-cube trays, jello molds and yogurt containers. Place all materials on outdoor tables and have participants build sculptures or totem poles or whatever else you designate.
13. Ornament guess. Have guests guess the total number of ornaments on the tree as they come into the party. The closest guess wins.
14. Christmas stocking guessing game. Fill a large stocking with items around the house and let the kids guess what items are in the stocking.
15. Christmas memory game. Put Christmas items on a tray and give people one minute to memorize the items. Take the tray away and have them write as many down as they can remember in 30 seconds.
16. Holiday ABC's. Give each child or team a piece of paper with the alphabet written vertically from A to Z. Have them write a holiday word that starts with each letter. The first one to complete the list wins.
17. The night before Christmas. Give each person the name of some part of Santa Claus' outfit—sleigh, reindeer, belly, etc. As the host reads “The Night Before Christmas”, each participant listens for his word and when he hears it, he stands up, turns around and sits down. When the host mentions Santa Claus, everyone changes places and participants try to get a seat. The one left out continues the story until it is complete.
18. Name that carol. Make a list of lyrics from songs that only provides 3-4 words from each song (not the title). The person who names all - or the most - songs in a certain amount of time wins.
19. Christmas dice gift exchange. Have everyone sit in a circle and start with a gift. Play a Christmas carol while 1-3 dice are being passed around (space them out). Each person rolls and passes the dice. If they roll a six, they can trade packages with whomever they want. At the end of the song, everyone keeps the package in front of him or her.
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20. Christmas gift fact exchange.
Number each gift as it arrives. Give the person who brought the gift a corresponding number. Have them write a little known fact about themselves and throw it into a bowl. When gift exchange starts, the host draws a fact and reads it without mentioning the package number. The person who guesses who it is first is given the package with the corresponding number. Once someone guesses correctly, they are out of the game. The game ends when there is one gift left for the host.
21. Gift hot potato. Pass around one unwrapped gift at a time. When the music stops, whoever holds it is out of the game, keeping the gift they are holding.
22. Themed gift exchange. Pick a theme for gifts to be exchanged. Everyone brings a $25 gift with that theme in mind. (example: gifts that begin with M, gifts that are red, etc). Then play the traditional take a number, steal the present game.
23. Get what you really want gift game. Have each person bring a wrapped gift for himself. Gifts are all mixed up and passed out. Everyone opens one gift, then must guess who bought it. Have a list of everyone at the party so people can write down their guesses. Whoever has the most correct guesses wins. To spice it up, have everyone donate $1 to the pot. The winner gets the pot.
24. Birth year gifts. Before drawing names, have everyone write down the year they were born. When you buy for that person you drew, buy a gift relating to the year they were born. Be creative!
25. Christmas tie game. Use those old Christmas or ugly ties to have some fun. Give each team of two a tie. Using only one hand one person must tie his partner's tie. First one done wins.
No matter what holiday games your group decides to play, remember the point is to let go and have fun. Strive for good sportsmanship and have a sense of humor! After all, embracing the holiday spirit is the true name of the game.
Janis Meredith writes Jbmthinks, a blog on sports parenting and youth sports. After being a coach's wife for 27 years and a sports parent for 17, she sees issues from both sides of the bench.