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The holidays are here, which means festive cheer for everyone. From family dinners to parties with friends, there are lots of things to do during the holiday season.
One of the best ways to celebrate is with a social gathering, such as Christmas parties with family and friends or office parties with work colleagues.
However, in case you get bored, here are the best Christmas party games to play with family, friends, work colleagues, and/or complete strangers…
1. Cards Against Humanity Holiday Packs
If you’ve ever gone to a party then you’ve probably played Cards Against Humanity at some point. It’s one of the most popular party games out there, and it classifies itself as “a party game for horrible people.” The aim is to use your deck of cards to get the most laughs.
The core Cards Against Humanity game costs $25, and there are also expansion packs. You can buy three separate holiday packs, which ran from 2012 to 2014, and each pack nets you 30 festive-themed cards. Also, the company donates all profits from them to charity.
2. Heads Up!
Ellen DeGeneres has a game called Heads Up (read our Heads Up review), which is often played on her show. It’s a perfect game to spice up your holiday parties. In the game, one side acts things out while the other side guesses.
Heads Up! comes with a handful of complete decks, each one having a unique central theme like Animals or Celebrities. You can download plenty of other decks for a small cost.
There’s a special free Holiday Deck that shows up around the beginning of December. The deck is filled with popular holiday-themed songs, items, and characters. You can have the perfect holiday Heads Up! game with this.
You can also build your own deck for 99 cents. If you need some ideas for creating a custom holiday-themed (not necessarily Christmas) deck, try items and celebrations for Diwali, Hanukkah, and so on. Or think of some general winter terms, like “snowball fights” or “hot cocoa”.
3. Tell a Holiday Tale
The aim of this party game is to tell a collective holiday story as a group. Get everyone to stand up in a circle. The youngest person begins, opening up with the first sentence of a holiday story. Then, going clockwise round the circle, each person adds another sentence.
The trick is that you also need to repeat what everyone has said before you. If someone forgets something, they’re out of the game. It continues until there’s only one person left standing.
4. Christmas Pictionary
Pictionary is a commonly played party game that’s a ton of fun for people of all ages. It can also be a great hit for Christmas parties.
Pictionary is similar to Charades, except you illustrate words or phrases rather than acting them out. Everyone is split up into teams, given a word or phrase to illustrate, and one minute to draw it. If the team guesses the picture correctly, they get one point. The first team to 20 wins.
Since holiday-themed Pictionary could be a little too vague, try focusing on certain elements of the holiday season. For example, an interesting theme could be “Christmas Carols”. To illustrate this, a team could draw bells with musical notes coming from them for “Jingle Bells”. Or a scribble of a planet Earth with smiling people can symbolize “Joy to the World”.
Do you need to brush up on your Christmas song titles or want some backing tunes for the party? Don’t forget to download some free Christmas music.
5. 20 Questions
This definitive party game requires zero extra tools or materials, and anyone can join in on the fun. It’s also easy to make this one all about the holidays.
In 20 Questions, you pick one person as the Answerer. Everyone else is a Questioner. The Answerer picks one Christmas (or otherwise holiday-themed) object, but does not reveal this item to others.
The Questioners take turns asking a question, and the Answerer responds with “Yes” or “No”. If 20 questions are asked and the object is still a mystery, then the Answerer picks another item, and the process repeats itself.
For the Answerer, the goal is to stump the Questioners with a hard-to-guess Christmas object. Answerers want to ask questions that narrow down the possibilities so they can guess the object.
6. Christmas Movie Trivia
When it comes to the holidays, we all love some good Christmas movies. It’s a rightful tradition for everyone, unless you’re the literal Grinch.
But who’s the biggest Christmas movie fan? The only way to determine that with a trivia showdown! You’ll want to find a template for a quiz, like those from Holidappy or Trivia Questions. Alternatively, feel free to create your own trivia questions.
To play, divide everyone into two teams. Then ask the question and have the teams guess the answer or pick from a multiple choice selection. The team that gets the right answer gets a point. Whichever team ends up with the most points is the winner. Perhaps their prize can be choosing which movie everyone watches?
7. Human Christmas Tree
This game is perfect for groups looking to flex their creative muscles. Split the party into groups and designate someone from each group as the tree. Someone will also need to be the judge.
Then, the aim is to decorate that person as the most festive tree possible. You could provide some materials to help out—tinsel, lights, baubles, and so on—or you could make it wild and get people to use what they find in the room.
8. Penguin Waddle
Remember those relay races you had in grade school? They always brought out the competitive side in people, and there’s a winter-themed one that’s sure to brighten up your holiday gatherings.
First off, the Penguin Waddle requires a bit of space, so make sure your party has enough room. Split everyone up into teams of four—there can be an unlimited number of teams. For each team, set up some cones (or whatever objects can represent a marker) to indicate where to stop. These should be 15 to 25 feet apart.
For the race, have the first player on each team place a balloon between their knees and then waddle to the cone. Once they reach the cone, they turn back and hand off the balloon to the next player. But if someone drops the balloon, they must restart from the beginning.
The waddle is similar to how a penguin walks, hence the name. The first team to have all four players complete the relay is the winner.
9. Gift Relay
Another option is to do a gift relay instead. This one calls for a minimum of two teams of 10 people each. Set up two tables for each team about 20 feet apart. Put five gifts (or empty wrapped boxes) on each table. The teams should have five people at each table.
The first player takes one gift and carries it to the other side, then passes it along to the next team member. The next person who goes grabs another gift or box from their table and stacks it on top of the first gift. Then they carry both gifts back to the other table. The third person stacks another gift on top, and rinse and repeat. Don’t drop any gifts though, because then you’ll have to start over.
The Gift Relay ends once a team has successfully stacked and carried all 10 gifts back to the original table without dropping any. Again, these two office party games take some space to set up, but they’re sure to result in some interesting action shots and videos at your gathering.
10. Two Truths and a Lie
Here’s another staple that doesn’t need much work on your part. The original game has guests tell each other just what the name says: two true statements and one that’s completely made up.
To give this timeless game a holiday twist, have your guests think about Christmas gifts. Everyone should come up with three gifts. Two of these must be actual gifts that they have received, while the other one is a lie. Then the participants try to guess which gift was falsified.
This is a super simple party game that is also a great way to break the ice amongst your guests.
Christmas Party Games to Entertain Everyone
The holidays are upon us, and these Christmas party games are definitely good ones to help liven up boring office parties.
While these are some of our favorites, they’re far from the only ones. If you’re after some alternative ideas, check out the best board games for your Christmas party.
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