Secret Santa and white elephant gift exchanges are two of the most popular holiday party games around. These standbys are great for holiday office parties and gatherings of groups of friends, but it’s always fun to introduce new games into the mix.
If you’re planning a holiday party, here are some games to consider for children and adults of all ages and persuasions.
Holiday Gift Wrap Relay
Do you want to have some kind of fast-paced, frenetic contest at your holiday party? With a stack of gifts or boxes, wrapping paper, ribbons, scissors, and tape, have teams race to wrap their gifts first. Some rules, such as neat creases and no tears, can give everyone a standard to wrap by and make the contest more fair.
Are photo booths ever going to stop being fun?! We don’t think so. If you can manage to rent or set up a photo booth in your apartment, complete with a prop table, guests will have a wonderful memento they can take home and remember your party. Get creative with the props, mixing seasonal accessories with the fake mustaches and 1920’s flapper boas that are de rigueur.
Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer replaces the anonymous donkey in this holiday twist on the classic children’s party game, Pin the Tail on the Donkey. Print a giant photo of a reindeer and make a red nose on your own or buy a pre-fabricated Pin the Red Nose on Rudolph set. While traditionally a children’s game, this can also be a fun for adults who’ve been drinking holiday cheer.
From retail store soundtracks to music streaming playlists to actual carolers, holiday carols are a style of music many of us are familiar with. But while you and your guests might know carols by tune, deep familiarity with lyrics is another thing entirely. Write out short refrains from popular holiday songs and stump your friends and family by having them “name that carol!”
A deck of cards, candy canes, and willing participants are all you need to play this holiday spin on the classic card game Spoons. As soon as you have four of a kind, reach for a candy cane. If you see someone else reach for (and actually grab) a candy cane, test your reflexes by trying not to be the one who gets snubbed. Beware of false starts and elbows!
When was the last time you played Hot Potato? A significant twist on this classic game is at least as thrilling as hot potato was when you were a kid. Pass a camera phone or point-and-shoot camera, equipped with a self-timer, around in a circle. Each contestant has to pose briefly, as if for a selfie, before passing the camera on. This uproarious game results in a lot of funny selfies of friends in ugly sweaters and other holiday attire.
Line your guests up for a game of Santa limbo. The twist is that participants have to hold a pillow under their shirt and wear a Santa hat as they pass under the bar. The Santa hat can’t touch the bar. If your playing with adults, set the bar at 48 inches to start, and lower it each round until there are only a few contestants remaining. Then, start lowering it one inch at a time.
Now that you have several ideas fresh in mind, it’s time to decide what holiday party games you’ll play at your upcoming gathering and plan accordingly. We wish you a joyous time, and a happy holiday season!
Have a fun holiday party game you’ve played in the past? Share the gist of the game, its rules, and equipment needed to play in the comments.
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