Seven Easy Christmas Party Games

Christmas! The time when people around the world celebrate the birth of Jesus and share wonderful times with their family, friends and other people who are special to them. And who could forget the abundance of Christmas parties?

Christmas parties can be hard to organise, but these seven easy Christmas party games make it easier to handle that side of the preparations.

All I Want For Christmas is a fantastic icebreaker game to help introduce people who may not know each other very well. Everyone sits in a circle. One player introduces herself and starts the game by saying, "My name is ... All I Want for Christmas is..." and names one item. The player on her left must say, "All (name of first player) wants for Christmas is..." before naming the first player's item, and then repeating the phrase with their own item. Players take turns around the circle listing the name and gift each previous player wants, and adding their own. Any player who cannot repeat the list is out.

Christmas Stocking Story is a fun game for younger children, involving an adult who is an excellent story-teller. Each children sits on the floor in a circle and is given the name of an item that could be found in a traditional stocking, such as a doll, colouring book, teddy bear, train and so on. The adult begins to tell a story. Each time a child's item is referred to, or their name is mentioned, that child stands up and turns around before sitting back down. However, when the word "stocking" is mentioned, all the children should stand up, turn around and sit down as quickly as possible. As the story unfolds, the story-teller should attempt to include every child's name and item at least once. There are no winners or losers in this game.

All Tied Up is an active team game for everyone, with the players forming two teams in separate circles. One team is given a ball of green twine and the other team a ball of red twine of the same length. At a given signal, the first player on each team starts by winding the twine once around their waist and passing it on to the next player who does the same. This continues around each circle until one team (the winners) has finished unwinding the entire ball of twine and is all tied up!

Christmas Treasure can be played by two players at a time, but you can have multiple rounds. The first two players are blindfolded, one with a small Christmas' treasure' (such as a small candy bar) in their hand. They start on opposite corners of a table and must keep one hand on the table at all times. The player with the treasure quietly moves around the table trying to avoid the other player who attempts to sneak up and 'capture' the treasure by touching the first player on the top of the head within thirty seconds. If successful, the hunter gets to keep the treasure. Otherwise, the first player can keep it.

Snowman provides a Christmas variation to the classic party game "Beetle". About three to eight players are seated around a table. (You can have more than one table playing at any time.) One player at each table starts by throwing the die once. (The plural of die is dice.) Depending on the number of spots shown on the die, the player can add a different part to his or her drawing of a snowman. They need to throw a 'one' to start drawing the body. On each successive round, the die is thrown once and the player can add to their drawing. Players must throw a '2' (head) before they can draw a hat (by throwing a '3'), eyes (a '4'; two eyes required) or carrot nose (a '5'), as well as throwing a '6' three times (once for each button). When the rest of the diagram is complete you will need to throw another 'one' before another 'two' and so forth up to 'six' to draw a scarf around the snowman's neck. It is not necessary to throw them in a row. For example, it would be okay to throw 1, 5, 4, 2, 1, 3, 6, 2, 4, 5, 3, 1, 6. A player forfeits their turn if they have already drawn one part of the snowman and throw that number again (except for the two eyes and three buttons). The first player to finish their drawing and shout ‘Snowman!’ wins the game.

Christmas Memory Game requires some prior preparation by putting various Christmas-related objects on a tray (for example, a small gift, wrapping paper, manger, baby, tinsel, star, cookie, candle, little tree, ribbon, etc.) Each player also receives a pencil and sheet of paper. Players are seated in a circle with the tray in the middle, in view of all players. Everyone has about thirty seconds to look at all the items before they are covered with a cloth. Players then attempt to write down as many items as they can remember from the tray within two minutes, before the tray is uncovered again. Allow each person to count how many items they remembered correctly. The winner is the person with the greatest number of correct items.

Parcel Frenzy is an easy but fun Christmas party gift exchange game. When invitations are sent out, arrange for each person to bring a gift to an agreed value (for example, $5-10) that is suitable for males or females of any age. Gifts should be wrapped neatly in an old shoe box (or similar), so that all the gifts are almost identical, and they are placed on a table. When the game starts, players choose a gift at random and then sit in a circle. As Christmas music is played, everyone passes the gifts in a clockwise direction. When the music is stopped each person holds the gift they have at that time. Players can then choose to keep the gift they are holding and retire from the circle, or they can choose to stay in for subsequent rounds and continue passing the remaining gifts. Players can choose either to retire at the end of any round or to continue playing until five rounds are completed. The game ends after the fifth round, when everyone opens their gift. Once a gift is opened, players cannot exchange them (unless a gift is totally inappropriate).

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