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“I Hope Santa Brings Me…” Memory Game

Materials Needed

  • A good memory
  • If you have a sharp and focused group of players this game can last a surprisingly long time. Try to keep the pace of play rapid, sometimes guests will take forever trying to get it right.

    The Set Up: Have your guests sit in a circle in a large open area and select a random player to start.

    The Rules: The first player will say, “I hope Santa Claus brings me __________” filling in the blank with whatever present they choose. It can be realistic like “a new bicycle” or outrageous like “a sports car”. For purposes of example the first person said ”a new bicycle”. The person to the left of the starter(clockwise) goes next. They will say, ” I hope Santa Claus brings me a new bicycle and __________” filling in the blank with whatever they choose. The third person would say the entire phrase including both of the previous answers(in order) and add a third.

    This continues moving left around the circle with each person repeating what the previous person said and adding an additional present from Santa until someone forgets a present, messes up the order or in some way makes a mistake. That person is out and leaves the circle. The person to the left of the person that is now out starts the game over again from scratch. Continue playing and eliminating players until only one person remains. That person is a very deserving winner.

    If the Game is Taking Too Long: Sometimes this game can bog down with guests taking long turns. If your game starts to slow down or even from the very beginning you can add a five second rule. So if any player on their turn goes for more than 5 seconds without adding to the list they are eliminated.

    Christmas Memories

    Materials Needed

  • A large tray
  • 15-20 small Christmas related items
  • pens and paper for each guest
  • Get a large tray and place 15-20 small Christmas themed objects on it. The more the better, just make sure the items are easily identifiable. For example: a Christmas ornament, a candy cane, clear tape, a DVD of It’s a Wonderful Life, mistletoe, a cup of eggnog, a Christmas candle.

    Keep the tray hidden at the start of the party, when you start the game have the hostess bring it out and tell your guests that they will be playing a memory game. The guests should study the items on the tray. After five to ten minutes take the tray into another room and pass out pen and paper to all of the guests and challenge them to write down as many of the items on the tray as they can remember. The person who correctly remembers the most items is the winner. If there is a tie use something on the tray to break the tie. For example, if you had a piece of ribbon on the tray ask the guests who tied to guess the length of the ribbon, The person closest to the actual length wins. Of course if the winners prefer they can just agree to spilt the honor of winning and the prize. The items on the tray make a great prize for winner.

    This game works great for kids, you just needs to adjust the numbers of items to best meet their age and ability. For an office Christmas party try and incorporate related item from work onto the tray.

    The Twist: This game is very popular, especially at bridal and baby showers. If you suspect that some of your guests will be familiar with the game and want to play a friendly prank on them then mix up the rules. Have the hostess come out with the tray, but instead of telling your guests to study the tray suggest that they should pay close attention to the person with the tray. Most will assume that you are referring to the items on the tray. Once the hostess leaves, she should remain out of the room. Now pass out pen and paper, but instead of the items on the tray ask your guests question about the hostess herself. What color is her nail polish? Do her shoes have heels or are they flats? Does she have on a bracelet? Is her skirt above or below her knee? Come up with ten or more questions, whoever gets the most correct wins.

    Head Elf’s Hat Game

    Materials Needed

  • Santa or Elf type hat for each guest
  • Special "Head Elf" hat for the head elf (optional)
  • Make one person the “Head Elf” (the hostess, or the Boss if it’s an office party, is a good choice). As each guest arrives give them a Santa hat to put on and point out the “Head Elf” to them.

    You can usually find Santa hats for $1 (or in packs for less) at the Dollar Store. If you are creative you can also make them from triangles of felt and a white pom-pom at the top.

    Let the guests know that the object of the game is to NOT be the last person wearing a hat, and as soon as the “Head Elf” takes off his hat (not before), everyone should take off their hat, too.

    This game has a loser instead of a winner. Basically, the last person wearing a hat after the leader removes his hat loses and will have a penalty, usually singing a Christmas carol in front of the room or doing something silly.

    You can also create small penalties for anyone caught taking off their hat before the leader does, too, such as hopping on one foot and saying loudly “I am a naughty little elf and took off my hat! Shame! Shame!” (then they can put their hat back on to finish the game and wait for the Head elf to remove his hat).

    It’s a great game to play with lots of laughs and can be used for kids and adults. For a kids holiday party you can allow them to make their own hats and then play the game with the ones they made.

    Singing Reindeer Game

    Materials Needed

  • A pair of pantyhose for each team.
  • 8-10 balloons per team.
  • Split your players into teams. You will want about 4-8 people per team.

    Give each team 1 pair of pantyhose (not the support type since they are too tight to use), and give each player on the teams one balloon. If your teams are small (less than 5 or 6 people) give each player 2 balloons. You will want each team to have about 8-10 balloons between them.

    Then it’s time to start. On the “ready, set, go!” have each player blow up their balloons and put/shove them into the legs of their team’s pantyhose to make “reindeer antlers.” When the team has made the antlers, one team member must put the antlers on their head and sing the first verse of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”, “Jingle Bells”, “Frosty the Snowman”…. whatever Christmas tune you choose.

    The first team to complete the task wins.

    For a fun party souvenir let each team finish their antlers and take a group picture with them on!

    Dinner with Santa

    Materials Needed

  • 2 Teams of players
  • Break your guests up into two teams and have them stand or sit together on opposite sides of the room.

    There are two ways to play; a shorter game and a longer game.

    Longer Game: Have the people on the first team take turns and ask one person on the other team a simple question (e.g. “What do you eat your dinner with?” or “What do you want for Christmas?”). The other person is only allowed to answer the question with one of 3 words; “a candy cane”, “chestnuts”, or “figgy pudding” and they can not laugh, giggle or smile when doing it.

    The answering team gets a point for each question they answer without smiling or laughing. If they do laugh or giggle, their team’s turn ends and the answering team now gets to ask the opposing team questions until someone on their team laughs, and then it switches again. This goes back and forth until everyone has had a chance to ask a question. The team with the most points after everyone has asked questions wins.

    Shorter Game: This works the same as the longer version, but instead of going until everyone has asked a question, have the first team ask questions until the other team laughs or giggles, then switch. Have the second team ask questions until the other team laughs or giggles and then end the game and add up the points.

    The turns can end pretty quickly, sometimes after 2 or 3 questions if they get naughty, so the game can end very fast. Play two or three shorter games and add up the full totals if it’s too short.

    This is a great game for adults and office parties, since most adults will laugh at the innuendos pretty quickly.

    Christmas Card Toss

    Materials Needed

  • 10-12 Christmas Cards
  • Laundry basket
  • Get about 10-12 holiday cards. Place a good sized basket, such as a laundry basket, in the middle of the room about 6 feet away from the players. Have each player take a turn and try to toss the Christmas cards into the basket one by one. This is much harder than it seems at first, you will be surprised how those cards fly about!

    The winner is the one who gets the most cards in the basket after everyone has had a turn. For a tie have the tying players shoot 4-5 more cards each and the one with the most in the basket wins.

    Great for office parties where they usually receive a ton of Christmas cards from other companies each year.

    Don’t Say “Christmas”

    Materials Needed

  • Tokens, jingle bells, clothes pins or some other easily worn and removed item
  • Pick a word that is taboo to say. Christmas is commonly used but you can choose any word that is likely to be said repeatedly at your Christmas party. For example Santa, present, and tree could also work. Tell all the party guests the taboo word and pass out a token to each guests. With smaller parties consider giving each guest more than one token.

    For tokens clothes pins work very well since that are easy to clip on and take and will not damage anyone’s Christmas outfits. If you are the crafty type you can decorate the clothes pins to match the Christmas theme. Some people prefer using a small Christmas themed object on a string or ribbon like a plastic ornament or candy cane. Your guests can keep these tokens around their neck and remove it should they say the taboo word.

    Now just continue with your party normally but, whenever a guest says the taboo word the first person to call them out gets the token from the guest that said the taboo word. This continues until near the end of the party when the person who has collected the most tokens is declared the winner and awarded a prize.