I’ll never forget the day my great aunt showed up with a cooler of champagne on Christmas Eve and announced that we were going to play a game she called “Crazy Christmas.” We had a blast, nothing too over the top – but needless to say, Christmas Day involved a crazy headache.
Games can add so much to your holiday party. (No alcohol required!) And frankly, relieve a LOT of stress. Holidays are stressful and often times, you are bringing together people who don’t necessarily always get together. (Or don’t get along!)
I began employing the idea of a Christmas Eve game back when I started hosting 6 years ago. For awhile, we did the game where you wrap something and there’s opening, stealing etc. Now, I’ve started to shake things up and everyone seems to like it. (Ok, well maybe it’s just me but everyone goes along with it.) It occurred to me that these ideas might be something that you could use and enjoy – so I’m sharing.
1. COOKIE EXCHANGE TURNED COOKOFF: Looky here, we have all participated in a cookie exchange at some point. I challenge you to a COOKIE COOKOFF instead. My sister did this with chili at Valentine’s Day (and I have the trophy to prove it!). Get people to bake their favorite cookies and have at it.
I suggest secret voting and prizes for things like Most Beautiful Cookie, Tastiest Cookie, Craziest Cookie. You get the idea. Set a theme or make everyone use similar ingredients. The possibilities are ENDLESS and look – you don’t have to make dessert! Everyone wins right??
2. BINGO BLAST: Bingo isn’t just for cruise ships anymore. It’s something everyone can get excited about. (it’s saved me at several parties) Even that relative that “doesn’t like to play games” can sit there with a bingo card. For $5 at Five Below or a similar store, anyone can own a bingo cage. There’s also tons of free themed Bingo print outs on Pinterest. Just search Christmas Bingo and WOW!
Again, I suggest a theme. And fun (cheap?) prizes. Trust me, you can’t go wrong. Your quietest guest will jump up and scream “BINGO!” at some point – I promise.
3. UGLY SWEATER PARTY? HOW ABOUT AN UGLY OUTFIT CONTEST? Ok, this is not for the faint of heart, but I did this last year and let me tell you, it was AWESOME. The Littlest One put everyone’s name in a hat, drew them out and sent the assignments with the invitations. Everyone was required to buy that person the craziest Christmas outfit they could find. I set an expense limit so that no one would be burdened. Then we took turns opening them up, putting them on and voted. We had prizes for different categories and took photos. As long as you promise not to post any unhappy guest’s pictures on Facebook, I think you will have achieved greatness as a party host. We absolutely loved this one. Here’s my crazy (but totally cute) apron my sister did for me:
4. COSTUME PARTIES AREN’T JUST FOR HALLOWEEN: Here’s what I’m doing this year. So, this is an UNTESTED idea mind you. I told my guests they had to come in Christmas PJ’s (no sharing in advance!) and that we are having a Pajama Party.
First of all, I think this is brilliant because I am tired of dressing up on Christmas Eve. Secondly, I get to sit around in PJs. It doesn’t get better than that. Again, I told folks not to spend very much. Since we did the outfit contest last year – people have plenty of gear available. We will be voting and awarding prizes. There will also be pictures. I can’t share my PJs with you yet, but let’s just say Scooter was an inspiration to me as always.
Two more things about these games: A. If you don’t celebrate Christmas, you can change the theme to any type of party. B. All of the above can include kids AND adults. I love that! It gets everyone working together which means the whole family is interacting and creating memories.
You can’t beat that during the holiday season, right?