By Lisa Iannuci
Holiday get-togethers with family, friends and even your co-workers is fun. You’re eating, drinking, and opening gifts, so how about playing some games too? Here are some ideas to get you started.
Do you know how many ghosts appear in “A Christmas Carol?” (Four) Do you know what real-life store the movie “Miracle on 34th Street” is based on? (Macy’s). Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer? If you know a lot about the holidays, challenge your friends and family to a trivia contest.
“When I was a kid, we would play Trivial Pursuit at our holiday party, and no one in my family was terrific at the sports category, so we would replace the sports questions with a holiday trivia question,” said Bob Richter, the author of “A Very Vintage Holiday: Collecting, Decorating, and Celebrating All Year Long.” “Now if you Google holiday trivia, you can find endless lists of holiday trivia questions.”
To switch things up, Richter also suggests personalizing the questions. “Each family member writes 10 questions based on their own experience – holiday movies they love or questions about their favorite or not-so-favorite gifts from Christmases past – and it's a lot of fun. If you have a road trip to get to your family for Christmas, you can play this one the way too.”
You can also change many games to become holiday themed. For example, Pictionary can be played with holiday-only clues. If you enjoy the game 25 Words or Less, change to holiday words.
Play the pickle game
Richter’s family also plays the pickle ornament game. If you haven’t heard of this tradition, it starts with an ornamental pickle that is hidden on a Christmas tree. On Christmas morning, the first person to find it gets an extra gift.
“My mom was really good at hiding stuff and the pickles come in lighter colors and you can even make one out of paper or draw it in black and white,” said Richter.
Saran Wrap ball game
The Saran Wrap ball game is an exciting fast-moving game. First, you need to do some prep work. Collect whatever small gifts you want to give away – such as Chapstick, money, candy, gift cards, lotto tickets, small prizes and more. Wrap them tightly in Saran Wrap, wrapping one
over the other until you make a huge Saran Wrap ball. If you want, put the most valuable or treasured gift in the middle to be unwrapped last.
To play, one person takes the ball and puts on a pair of oven mitts. They try to unwrap the ball while the person next to them is rolling dice. The person with the ball continues to unwrap as much as they can until the next person rolls doubles. Then that person takes the ball and the mitts and continues unwrapping the ball. The person unwrapping keeps whatever prize they have unwrapped until the end of the game. This hilarious chaos continues until the entire ball is unwrapped.
If you want your games to be specific to you and your family’s love of a special Christmas movie, do some research. There are many tailored just for you. For example, if your favorite movie is Elf, you can enjoy some Elf fun with multiple board game options, such as The Elf Card Scramble Game, Elf Monopoly, and The Elf Game.
Candy cane hunt
It’s a new twist on the Easter egg hunt. Hide candy canes around the house and the yard and set your family and friends on a scavenger hunt. Mark a special one as the big prize or give out a prize for whoever collects the most.