Fun “door prize” type game you can play easily at a family party or office holiday party.
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.