Top 5 Christmas Party Games

Christmas is the time for friends, family, and games!

Christmas is a time for  celebrating those closest to you.

Christmas is a time for celebrating those closest to you.

By Jaclyn Rodriguez, Social Media Editor

No matter how you celebrate Christmas, the holiday parties are endless. If you’re thinking of throwing a holiday party yourself, or if you’re just in the Christmas spirit, here’s a list of 5 holiday games to entertain any party!

  1. Secret Santa
    1. This a popular game to play, but has to be played in advanced.
    2. Have every participant write their names down on a piece of paper, and place them into a box/hat/bucket.
    3. Go around the group having each participant pick a name out of the box— they are now the secret Santa for the name they picked.
    4. Set a date for everyone to bring their gifts and find out who got who!
    5. Remember to set a price limit on gifts.
  2. White Elephant Exchange
    1. This game is also called Yankee Swap or Dirty Santa, and rules may differ.
    2. First, everyone should bring a wrapped gift to contribute to the pile. There can be a theme to the presents or it can be random.
    3. Players will draw numbers to determine what order they will go in.
    4. The first player selects a gift from the pile and opens it. Make sure the other players can see the gift.
    5. The following player can either choose a new gift from the pile or steal a gift from one of the previous players. If a player has their gift stolen they may do the same— steal another gift or choose a new one.
    6. Here is where the rules may differ:
      1. You can continue playing until all players have had a turn. Then the first player has a chance to swap the gift they have for any other gift. Any player who has a gift stolen may pick a new one. The game will continue on like this until someone chooses not to steal and keep the gift they have.
      2. Another version states that a gift can only be stolen three times. After a gift is stolen three times it becomes “dead” and the person who has it can keep it.
  3. Right/Left Ornament Exchange
    1. This is another game that requires every participant to bring a gift. The gifts can vary between ornaments to big presents, it is up to the host to decide, but make sure the gifts are consistent (i.e. every person must bring an ornament).
    2. Have every person sit in a circle holding their gifts.
    3. One person (usually the host but can be any person who doesn’t want to participate) will read a Christmas story with the words left and right throughout the story. If you don’t have a story with those words throughout it, the reader can add them in random places.
    4.   When the narrator says the word ‘right’, every player must past their gift to the right. When the narrator says the word ‘left’, every player must past their gift to the left.
    5. This continues until the end of the story and each person will unwrap their gift/ornament.
  4. Unwrap The Gift
    1. For this game you must have a gift wrapped in layers and layers of wrapping paper (For a challenge add an extra layer of saran wrap), and a person controlling the music.
    2. Have each participate stand or sit in a circle and pass the gift around the circle as music plays.
    3. When the music stops the person holding the gift must unwrap one layer and pass it on. (For a challenge have each participate wear oven mitts while trying to unwrap the gift).
    4. The music will play again once one layer is unwrapped and the game will continue until all the layers are unwrapped. The person to unwrap the last layer wins the game and takes the gift.
  5. Name that Carol
    1. This fun Christmas game can be played with clues on pen and paper or with music.
    2. Version 1:
      1. Print out some Christmas carol quizzes for each guest and an answer sheet to keep handy. Each can be found here.
      2. Give each guest the quiz and a time limit to answer each of the questions.
      3. Once everyone has finished, call out the answers. The person with the most right answers wins!
    3. Version 2:
      1. Have a person play the “DJ” and play clips of Christmas carols to the players. Be careful not to play more than ten seconds of the song, so you don’t give the answer away.
      2. Have the players guess what song was played. They can shout the answers out or write them on a notepad or white board.
      3. If a person guesses the correct carol they receive a point. The person with the most points wins the game!