Christmas means different things to everyone but most often it is a time to celebrate with your family, your work family or your chosen family (your friends!). As a bunch of games masters- we think games are the best way to lighten the mood and celebrate the holiday that gets everyone in the holiday spirit. After all, there is only so much you can eat and there are so many hours in the day! Playing some interesting games over the Christmas period makes the holiday way more fun, more memorable and joyous. So if you are wondering what some easy activities you can do to bring your group together- we’ve made a little list!
· MONOPOLY/ BOARD GAMES
Monopoly has been voted as one of the most preferred and common board games played in families and the holidays are no different. If you are spending time with family, this is perhaps the easiest way to lighten the mood as it is a game for most ages. If Monopoly is not for you, there are so many board games, branded and non-branded available. The best thing about a pre-made game is that you don’t have to make up the rules or be the enforcer.
· COOKIE DECORATING
Cookie decorating can be done on the cheap. You’ll need to stock a different lot of cookie toppings, decorations and icing etc. There are now affordable cookie decorating kits available at department stores and supermarkets and you can be as simple as decorating a few starts or even making a gingerbread house! You can split up into few small or big groups and give prizes for the team that decorates the best. This is more involved but a great way to pass the time and even get the family doing Christmas dessert preparation without knowing it.
· CRAFTY CONTESTS
If there are a lot of parents attending and you are looking to combine kids and adults, why not try some art and craft contests? It will be equally interesting and fun for kids as well as parents. You just need to get some craft and decoration supplies. The families could make stockings, santa faces or even just Christmas artworks to hang around the house. Primary school teachers have been doing this for years and I’m sure we all have that one parent who has kept all those macaroni pasta frames and toilet roll tree-topping Angels we made years ago.
This works as an icebreaker in a group of strangers. Ask everyone to bring a childhood photograph to place in a basket. Each person takes turns randomly picking out a photograph and matching it with the person. This is free, fun and get’s people sharing stories from their childhood that you may never have learnt otherwise.
· MOVIE DRINKING GAMES
This game is for adults only and we recommend responsible drinking! You can find pre-made drinking game rules for almost any movie online and we suggest starting with your favourite childhood Christmas movies. It combines the joy of getting to watch Home Alone again with the pain or realising you have to drink everytime someone says ‘Kevin’!
TIPS FOR CHOOSING THE RIGHT GAME
Kids or not
If you are going to have a lot of children at your party they are going to need supervision. They may want to join you but chances are they will want a separate section where they can play their own little games. Take it in turns looking after the kids and everyone gets to have a good time spending the holidays they way they want.
Number of People
Board games often have a set amount of people who can play. If you know in advance how many people are turning up, make sure you cater your games accordingly. Games that can have two or so big teams would be a great choice if you have a large group and want them all involved.
How well do you know each other?
If there are people who don’t know each other at all or much, start with ice-breaking games to get the festivities going. We love playing games that gives strangers something to talk about and a common purpose. Icebreakers lighten the mood and help make all the attendees far more comfortable with each other.