I love a good game at Christmas. Simple games that cause maximum hilarity are always winners with me, and I thought I’d share a few family Christmas games ideas we’ll be trying out Chez RLC this year, that are a bit different from Hunt the Thimble and Charades. They’re easy to prepare, don’t cost a fortune and the kids can help to get things ready as well – winners all round!
Hide the Coin – in Plain Sight
Number to play: can be done with 2, but ideally 3+
You need: a coin and a blob of blu-tack
To play: everyone leaves the room, apart from one person – the Hider. They place a coin (any will do) somewhere in full view of the room, the very opposite of hiding, in fact. Everyone else comes back in, and looks around to spot the coin. As soon as you see it, sit down as quickly as you can (on the floor if you’re under 30, chair optional if you’re over). First person to sit is the winner, and last person to sit becomes the Hider for the next round.
It’s a lot of fun, and so simple – all you need is that coin and a blob of blu-tack, which can be helpful for fixing it to nice, obvious places – ones that will make everyone kick themselves who doesn’t see it immediately.
Undercover Christmas Dinner
Number to play: however many are at the table
You need: a selection of slightly unusual words or phrases, enough for one per guest, each written on a different slip of paper
To prepare: hide one slip of paper under each dinner guest’s plate.
To play: Everyone reads their own paper, and keeps the contents secret – but they must try to drop their word or phrase into dinner table conversation without anyone noticing!
You can try different variations depending on the age of your guests. Give little ones an animal, festive theme or favourite TV programme to mention – or if guests are older, try affirmation mottos, phrases that don’t quite make sense, or even a bit cheeky. Nothing like getting a straight-laced relative to say something a little out of character, especially after a glass of vino!
Everyone who wasn’t caught must confess to their undercover phrase after dinner.
The Sock Game
This one requires a little more prep beforehand, but is also very simple and doesn’t cost a penny.
Number to play: minimum 2, but you can scale up to any number across two teams
- a large pair of socks – nice and stretchy is best
- a collection of 15-20 small items from around the house, two of each – such as lego pieces, screws, paperclips, safety pins, hair bobbles, rings, coins, pebbles, washers, uninflated balloons – as long as you have two of each thing! Enlist children to help here – mine love a good scavenger hunt.
- A list of all the items written out, cut up individually and put in a bowl or bag
To prepare: put one of each item into each sock, and create your “lucky dip” bowl of each item on its own slip of paper.
To play: choose two players to begin, or divide into two teams. Then have someone pick a slip of paper from the lucky dip bowl – and go! The players must plunge their hands into their respective socks, and be the first person to find the nominated item, using only the power of feeling around blindly for it. The winner is the first to pull said item completely from the sock – winning a point for themselves or their team.
Lots of variations you can do on the play process – individuals, teams, relay races within teams, or even timed rounds against the clock.
And there’s always the Chocolate Game…
The Chocolate Game, one of my personal family favourites since I was a child, and which has created many laugh-so-much-you-can’t-breathe moments over the years. Full details in this post from a previous Christmas, but briefly: two or more can play, and you’ll need a bar of chocolate, dice, hat, gloves and a scarf, and a knife, fork and plate. Take turns to throw the dice, and if you roll a six, put on the woollens and attack that bar of chocolate with the cutlery as quickly as you can – ideally to get a chunk in your mouth before someone gets a six and takes over!
On my experience, lifelong memories are made with games like these, when everyone can tap into that inner child on Christmas Day for a little while. So wherever you find your fun on Christmas Day, I hope it’s very merry and beautifully bright – and that you have some time to be a child as well!