For years I have been the official game leader at family gatherings, and Christmas games for family play became a challenge for my creativity. I always wanted to do something different to make family Christmas games more exciting and relevant to the season, and where all family members had the opportunity to participate. I find that Christmas is the best time to get in touch with the child in all of us. So here are some ideas for family Christmas games that give everyone the opportunity to play together, learn about each other, reconnect and have fun together. People from 3 to 83 years old can have fun with these special family Christmas games. Some are new and some are popular games that I have modified and could be used at any family gathering.
Christmas games for the whole family
Gift wrapping: divide into pairs. Each pair stands around a table in front of a piece of wrapping paper, a roll of tape, scissors, ribbon and a box. Each pair of players stands with one arm around the other person by the waist. Start the game and the players have to wrap their box with their available hand: one uses the right hand and the other the left hand (the players have to keep their other hand wrapped around the waist of the partner). The first pair to pack their box wins!
Don't lose the ball: one of the funniest Christmas games to play with the family. You need Vaseline, bowls, cotton wools, a stopwatch, a camera (optional). Everyone sits in a circle on their knees or around a table. Place a little Vaseline on the tip of each player's nose. Place a bowl in front of each player with a pile of cotton wools next to the bowl or scattered in front of them on the table. The object of the game is to get them to use their nose to pick up cotton wool, then somehow remove the cotton ball from their nose and drop it into the bowl without using their hands. The hands should always be clasped behind the back. After 1 minute, the player with the most cotton wools in their bowl wins a prize!
Two Truths and a Lie (Christmas version): Two Truths and a Lie is a classic game that doesn't require much work. You can turn this game into a Christmas edition and ask the players to come up with a total of three Christmas presents. Two of the Christmas gifts must be gifts that the player has actually received in the past while the third gift must be a lie. The participants will do their best to guess which Christmas present is a lie.
Cotton ball race: You need a bag of cotton wools, bowls and wooden spoons. Set a start line and a halfway line. Players stand at the start line and are each given cotton wool and a spoon. Ring a bell to start the race. Players must place the cotton ball on their spoon, and run halfway and back to the start without losing their cotton ball. They cannot touch the cotton ball after initially placing it on the spoon. If it falls off, they must return to the start line and start again. The winner is the one who returns to the start line first.
20 Questions for Santa: One player (Santa) chooses a Christmas-themed object but does not reveal it to the others. All other players ask questions that can be answered with a simple "Yes" or "No". If 20 questions are asked by the players without the correct answer, Santa gets another turn, this time with a new object. For Santa: make it difficult for the participants by choosing a Christmas object that is difficult to guess. For the participants, ask specific questions in order to guess the object. The player who finds the object takes the place of Santa.
The Christmas drawing: provide a few paper plates and a pen or marker for each player. Ask the players to put their plates on their heads. One person gives the following instructions which everyone tries to draw on their plate:
- Draw a line to make the floor
- Draw a Christmas tree
- Add a few baubles
- Draw a star above your tree
- Add two presents under the tree
- Draw a chimney next to the tree
- Add a stocking to the chimney
Once everyone has finished drawing, ask them to take the plates off their heads and look at their masterpiece. The point system is:
- 1 point if the star touches the tree
- 1 point for each ball that touches the tree
- 1 point if the star is above the tree
- 1 point if the chimney does not touch the tree
- 2 points if the tree touches the ground
- 2 points if the sock touches the chimney
- 2 points for each gift under the tree
- The player with the most points wins a prize!
Christmas Treasure Hunt: A treasure hunt to find Santa's friends is a great way to have a friendly game where everyone wins. After collecting a variety of plastic elves and reindeer (or printed images), you can hide them around the house. Some of Santa's friends should be easy to find, especially if there are young children playing, while other friends should be more difficult to find. Each player who finds one of Santa's friends will receive a Christmas present.
Christmas Alphabet: This family Christmas game requires only a little movement and a lot of thinking. First, gather some sheets of paper that include the entire alphabet written vertically on each sheet. Teams must then compete to complete the entire alphabet list with a Christmas-related word for each letter. The first team to complete their list wins. Tip: you can simplify the game by removing the most difficult letters like X, Y and Z!
Christmas Story: This is an easy and creative game for any family Christmas party. Everyone stands in a circle and someone starts a Christmas-themed story with one sentence. The next player in the circle verbally adds a spontaneous sentence to the growing story, etc. You'll have lots of laughs and a hilarious story by the time the last person in the circle finishes their sentence.
Human Christmas Tree: Any game that involves decorating a family member provides many photo opportunities at your Christmas party. This is a hilarious and fun game that requires at least two family representatives to serve as a figurative Christmas tree. One team will gather around each representative of a tree and try to decorate it with different Christmas decorations provided for the game. You can give both participants an oversized green cloth to wear over their clothes before decorating them. The best "human Christmas tree" wins the game, determined by the elders of your party.
Family Christmas parties are some of the most memorable and enjoyable celebrations of the year. As well as delicious food and drink, Christmas games to play with the family can create a little extra laughter to share. These family Christmas party games are easy to understand and inclusive. Here are two more tips to make your family Christmas party a little more fun:
Incorporate past family traditions
Christmas parties are the perfect opportunity to pass on family Christmas traditions to future generations. Whether it's drinking hot chocolate while playing cards or singing Christmas songs while limboing with the family, make sure you carry on the traditions each year.
Take lots of photos
Capture the moments of your family Christmas party by taking photos during Christmas games to play with your family. Not only will you love seeing how the family has grown over the years, but you'll also enjoy reminiscing about the traditions and stories of Christmas party games for years to come.