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M48ortal  (Level: 263.5 - Posts: 3847)
Mon, 14th Dec '09 12:44 PM


I need something that a large group can do together at a Christmas party. Last year I was drafted to provide the activity, so I gave them a booklet of Christmas Trivia and some Christmas games and riddles. We did some of them there and told them to take the rest home for their holiday guests.

I've been out of town last week and returned to find I've been drafted to do it again. Problem is, we have low turnover, so it's mostly the same folks as last year. Any ideas? (It's too late to catch the flu or schedule surgery...)

Achad  (Level: 213.6 - Posts: 661)
Mon, 14th Dec '09 12:48 PM


Asor  (Level: 162.7 - Posts: 595)
Mon, 14th Dec '09 1:13 PM

At summer camp, we used to have song challenges, whereby the person in charge would say a word (e.g., blue, winter, girl), and each group (going in a specific order) would have 10 seconds or so to start singing a song with the word in it (title or lyrics). You could do that using holiday-themed words.

Or maybe something using global holiday traditions--match the tradition to the country, identify the bogus ones you've concocted, have people vote on the best bogus ones others concoct (most realistic, most likely to end with a 911 call, most sexist, etc.).

Daveguth  (Level: 268.9 - Posts: 1636)
Mon, 14th Dec '09 2:06 PM

There's always the gift exchange. Two steals and all that.

One silly game we played one year was to wrap a present extremely well. (Lots and lots of layers). Then, with folks sitting in a circle, have them take turns rolling two dice. When someone gets a pair, that person quickly puts on a scarf, a knit hat, and ski gloves, and then tries to unwrap the present. They keep pawing away at the present until someone else rolls a pair. That person then takes the scarf, hat, and glove from the previous person and puts them on so they get a try at opening the present. The person who can actually get to the present inside wins the present. (This works really well if the package has lots of layers, including lots of tape.)

Does it have to be a Christmas activilty? Lots of board games work well with teams. This year, I bought a board game called "Urban Myth" where teams have to decide whether a claim is a myth or it's true. We'll play that at my work group's party tomorrow.

If you're really industrious, and you have some time before the event, you can poll folks on various odd questions, e.g., "Have you ever parachuted from a plane?" and then have folks guess what the percentage in the group was.

Felix  (Level: 109.3 - Posts: 2500)
Mon, 14th Dec '09 2:20 PM

The gift swap is fun. We used unwrapped gifts except for two One really good gift and one not so good (usually a photo of myself in a speedo. The gifts remained wrapped until the end of the game. Or punch Bowl Horse Shoes also works.

Mickeym  (Level: 88.2 - Posts: 1803)
Mon, 14th Dec '09 2:45 PM

How about a gift swap with this twist, ask everyone to bring a wrapped present that is a REAL white elephant, something really awful. The kind of thing that goes into the regifting pile but you don't hate anyone enough to give! Candy only if it is outrageous. Think purple long johns, stupid holiday stuff, anything. You'd be surprised at how fun this is, as people try to get rid of something they really really hate! Also some surprises will happen -- someone will actually want something. Use the usual rules for putting stuff back in the circle so you can choose next time, but only do 2 put backs! Playing with silly stuff is part of the fun. You can seed the pile with some dollar store finds; remember outrageous is the message.

Salzypat  (Level: 162.6 - Posts: 5426)
Mon, 14th Dec '09 3:21 PM

One "mixer" that can be fun is to do an autograph game. make up a list of items such as:

Find someone who:

1. Now or has ever eaten ketchup on eggs
2. Attended country school
3. Is left-handed
4. Has sung in front of an audience.


About 10-15 items is enough. It gets people up and moving around and mingling. You can easily turn it into a holiday theme by using things like:

1. Who buys a real tree
2. Does not decorate for Christmas
3. has all their shopping done and gifts wrapped


Have a small prize for the first one done (and be prepared if several complete the task first) -- maybe a bag of Christmas M&Ms or big candy canes.

This can take about 15 minutes.

Kimoira  (Level: 214.9 - Posts: 1200)
Mon, 14th Dec '09 3:42 PM

I just learned of a gift exchange idea done by a friend's family that sounds like fun:

Everyone gets the best deal they can find for $10.00 to give as a gift and the receipt must be saved to prove you spent no more than that. Everyone votes as to who found the best deal. You can substitute any amount you wish, but I would recommend starting early than mid-December for this one.

Pennwoman  (Level: 163.1 - Posts: 2476)
Mon, 14th Dec '09 3:51 PM

I recently went to a boardgame party, and it was a blast, there were are about 20 people, we divided up into groups and the hosts made sure people switched around and played different games... we played this ridiculous game called Quelf and it had you do bizzarre things, which was hilarious and such a great ice breaker....

Leaston  (Level: 42.6 - Posts: 839)
Mon, 14th Dec '09 4:49 PM

How about the word game,someone says a word like, peanut, and you have to say the other half like butter or brittle ,you know what I mean, I hope LOL! Do it with Christmas words.

Bbear  (Level: 168.0 - Posts: 2297)
Mon, 14th Dec '09 4:54 PM

The game "Cranium" is an absolute blast. I recommend it for groups.

Pepperdoc  (Level: 152.5 - Posts: 4285)
Mon, 14th Dec '09 4:57 PM

Go buy a bagful of kazoos and hand them out and either:
1. Have the group "kazoo" songs (in harmony, of course)
2. Have someone do a kazoo solo
3. Form a kazoo marching band.

Generation X'ers I'm sure would find this lame, but anyone older will probably laugh themselves silly.

Asor  (Level: 162.7 - Posts: 595)
Mon, 14th Dec '09 5:57 PM

I love the idea of a kazoo marching band

Garrybl  (Level: 293.8 - Posts: 6801)
Mon, 14th Dec '09 6:43 PM

The cutlery game.
Each person takes it in turn to say , truly, 'I've never XXXed' -- smoked a cigar, had a threesome etc etc,

Should be something as normal as possible since everyone who HAS done that gives you a piece of their cutlery.
You take it in turns, and try to collect all the cutlery.

I'm going to start a game in a new thread!


M48ortal  (Level: 263.5 - Posts: 3847)
Mon, 14th Dec '09 6:54 PM

Wow. Thanks for all the suggestions. If I can find 50+ kazoos, we'll work the kazoos into the caroling, for those who (like me) can't sing. Here's where I'm leaning now, if I can pull it together by Friday (actually Thursday, since I'll have to print and copy the cards.

Normal Bingo card with 25 squares (Considering dropping the "Free" square if I have enough topics).
Each square will contain a condition (e.g. Someone who is giving underwear for Christmas.) and a signature blank.
First person to collect five in a row wins (May increase the board size if this is too easy).

Now, here is where I need more help.
Do you have an idea for a condition to go in each square? Think in terms of activities that you do for Christmas that are not something everyone does.
So far I have ...Is giving an appliance for Christmas.
... Has a birthday within a week of Christmas
...Looks like an elf.
... Could pass for Santa Claus
...Will be in their church nativity scene
...Will perform in their church Christmas cantata (Can't be the same person as the one above)

Also, If you'd like to suggest a better (more Christmas-related) name than 'Bingo.'
Again, Thanks!

I knew this was the place for this question.

Pepperdoc  (Level: 152.5 - Posts: 4285)
Mon, 14th Dec '09 7:20 PM

How about calling it J-I-N-G-L ?

Square ideas:

1. Someone who was given an 8-track tape player as a Christmas gift, back in the day.
2. Someone who is wearing plaid at this party.
3. Someone who will have to put together a gift on Christmas Eve.
4. Someone who knows the opening line of "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer"
5. Someone who waits until Christmas Eve to do all their Christmas shopping
6. Someone who collects fruitcakes they just can't throw away
7. Someone who has decorated the outside of their house with Christmas lights

Christiansinger  (Level: 93.7 - Posts: 61)
Tue, 15th Dec '09 12:39 AM

Someone who makes some/all the gifts they give
Someone who won't watch any sports on Christmas Day
Someone who can recite Twas the Night Before Christmas
Someone who made a pecan pie for the party
Someone who will be up before dawn on Christmas morning to open presents

For gift exchange:
Have everyone bring a small wrapped gift and place on a table. When it is time for the exchange have everyone takes a gift and sits in a circle (could have several circles for a large group). Have someone read Twas the Night Before Christmas - each time the word 'the' is used, pass the gifts to the left - each time the word 'a' is used pass the gifts to the right. Which ever gift you have at the end of the story is yours to unwrap and keep. Lots of fun!


Daveguth  (Level: 268.9 - Posts: 1636)
Tue, 15th Dec '09 12:42 AM

Someone who has ever secretly unwrapped and re-wrapped one of their Christmas presents before the big day.
Someone who ever bought someone a present for less than a dollar.
Someone who has re-gifted a present.
Someone who has never seen A Charlie Brown Christmas.
Someone who thought Jim Carrey's How the Christmas Stole Christmas was better than the original animated version.
Someone who has ever worn underwear with a Christmas theme.
Someone who has seen It's a Wonderful Life more than 10 times.
Someone who has actually been at a store at 5:00 AM on Black Friday.
Someone who has waited in line over an hour to purchase a Christmas present.

Surreyman  (Level: 274.4 - Posts: 2775)
Tue, 15th Dec '09 4:52 AM

A sort of Kazoo game but needs no preparation!
(Apart from it helping if a few drinks have been quaffed!).

All gather round and the leader starts off singing (you'll need to fix your own tune since Sploofus doesn't have sound!)

"I'm going to play my party hat, party hat, party hat ... I'm going to play my party hat - just like this ...

(Then pretends to play the party hat to the same tune, humming, whistling, whatever. Doesn't have to be 'party hat' of course - each player just chooses the most stooopid thing at hand going - my ear 'ole ... my mince pie ... my Teddy bear, etc.).

Next player then does the same, only a 'third' line is added when all combine:
"We're going to play our instruments, instruments, instruments ... We're going to play our instruments just like this"
(Then all play their various instruments to the tune together).

Then that repeats for each new person, the 'band' gradually growing.

Best if the players also march around a la a display band! Sounds odd, maybe, but if all are 'in the spirit' it can be an absolute hoot!

Mickeym  (Level: 88.2 - Posts: 1803)
Tue, 15th Dec '09 7:07 AM

This would be good with or without kazoos!
It's a song about the problems of thinking up gifts. Each person can make up their own verse, like the schoolbus song. Use your own melody or see the one I use below.
Everyone's getting a beer.
A delicious imported dark beer.
I'm totally confused, this way I can't lose, sooooo
Everyone's getting a beer.
I wrote this verse in honor of our famous post about Sploofus points:
Everyone's getting a pony.
Hope that I brought enough mony.
This year I'm fablunget, so out with the budget, sooooo
Everyone's getting a pony.
As you can see, the gifts get sillier and sillier, and rhyming is erratic!

Pepperdoc  (Level: 152.5 - Posts: 4285)
Tue, 15th Dec '09 7:49 AM

CJ said:

'Have someone read Twas the Night Before Christmas - each time the word 'the' is used, pass the gifts to the left - each time the word 'a' is used pass the gifts to the right. Which ever gift you have at the end of the story is yours to unwrap and keep.'

CJ, Do you read the story at full speed or very slowly? If at full speed, I could see a train wreck happening!

Clevercloggs  (Level: 27.4 - Posts: 1246)
Tue, 15th Dec '09 7:58 AM

Have a whip round for Justin ?

M48ortal  (Level: 263.5 - Posts: 3847)
Tue, 15th Dec '09 3:58 PM

I am incorporating as many of these ideas as possible. We will be doing a gift swap (everyone brings a wrapped ornament) but that's someone else's responsibility. Whew!

We've come up with enough "Someone who"s that we can do a 7X7 grid so we decided to call it "Jingle-O."

I will post the finished game when we've got it together.
Thanks to all.

Felix  (Level: 109.3 - Posts: 2500)
Tue, 15th Dec '09 4:31 PM

Still looking online for a game call Quief?

M48ortal  (Level: 263.5 - Posts: 3847)
Tue, 15th Dec '09 11:08 PM


We came up with enough ideas to create a 7x7 bingo card (Jingle-O) and another 5x5 card (Jingo) if the group is smaller or for future use. I'll shop for kazoos and prizes for the winners tomorrow. You all have saved the day!

If anyone else has a Christmas party coming up and wants to use the bingo grids, just drop me a PM with an email address I can send them to.
Thanks to everyone,

Summertime  (Level: 115.7 - Posts: 1123)
Tue, 15th Dec '09 11:31 PM

Thanks for the offer Michael...but how about working on a couple's game for Valentine's Day...

M48ortal  (Level: 263.5 - Posts: 3847)
Wed, 16th Dec '09 6:41 AM

I'm sure the creative minds here can come up with something. The first thing that comes to mind is a quiz like you find in magazines ("How Romantic Are You?). "Have you ever..." Then come up with a ranking scale ("0-1 - You have all the passion of the Turd Bug..." Or maybe for a small group, a 5x5 bingo grid of romantic things to do. First one to mark off a row in any direction wins.

If you plan to do a New Year's Eve party, the Christmas Bingo grid can be modified for that. You're on your own for the big Groundhogs' Day bash. I'll be too busy until then just decorating for it. Plus baking! Yum! Tastes like greasy chicken. He's not gonna see his shadow this year!

Summertime  (Level: 115.7 - Posts: 1123)
Wed, 16th Dec '09 8:42 AM

Ha, ha....well done Michael!!!!

Smaug  (Level: 145.4 - Posts: 2765)
Wed, 16th Dec '09 8:53 AM

Casino Night. Or poker tournament.

Christiansinger  (Level: 93.7 - Posts: 61)
Wed, 16th Dec '09 10:30 AM

Pepperdoc said 'CJ, Do you read the story at full speed or very slowly? If at full speed, I could see a train wreck happening!'

You have to read slowly with frequent stops while people laugh and discuss if the gifts move right or left!


M48ortal  (Level: 263.5 - Posts: 3847)
Wed, 16th Dec '09 7:48 PM

We've done the gift swap. Everyone brings a wrapped ornament. We've swapped them in three different ways. The only thing in common is that everyone was given a numbered slip of paper to determine order of selection.

1. First person picks out a package. Each person after that can either select a package from the pile or take a package from someone who went earlier (who then gets to select from the pile or sometimes is allowed to take a gift away from someone else, but not someone who has stolen from them.) This works best with a group larger than 6-8, but smaller than 20-30. It's also best if the gifts are exposed. It can lead to anger if the gifts are nice. Has different names based on location - in the South we call it "Yankee gift swap."

2. Everyone picks up a package, then forms a circle. Similar to the reading of "T'was the Night..." we used a story someone had written about "Mr. Wright" who left his house, etc. The story included several Wrights, rite, rights, and writes, and also many "lefts." Every time you hear any form of "right," you pass the gift in your hand to the right; "left" means, of course, pass left.

3. Last year someone had written a poem, and after all had a package, the poet would star with person #1, and say something like "Number one, we begin with you. Swap with a person who's wearing blue." It was fun, but with fifty or more people, the poem became very long and the rhymes, well... didn't. Plus some people lost their number after they picked a package, and at least one person picked a package and left.

Wonder what we'll do Friday. If it's fun, I'll let you know.

Pepperdoc  (Level: 152.5 - Posts: 4285)
Wed, 16th Dec '09 8:00 PM

M48ortal said:
"It was fun, but with fifty or more people, the poem became very long and the rhymes, well... didn't. Plus some people lost their number after they picked a package, and at least one person picked a package and left."

I think I attended that party.

(Note to CJ: Slowly makes sense, but I was hoping for a speed round of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas.)

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