Every year my family plays Dirty Santa for Christmas. There are about 20 of us that play so it gets pretty interesting. If you aren’t familiar with Dirty Santa, it is a game where everyone buys a gift (we put a $20 limit on ours), and wraps it, but does not put a name on it. Put all the gifts in a pile in the middle of the room. You put numbers in a hat that equal the number of people that are playing. Everyone draws a number and you start to pick gifts from the pile in numerical order. You wait for the person to open their gift before the next person chooses. The twist is that you can steal a gift from someone on your turn instead of choosing a new gift from the pile. (That’s where it gets fun!) We play where a gift can only be stolen 3 times and then it is dead. If you have never played this before I recommend you start something new this year!
I decided to do a little twist on the Christmas tradition last year and came up with more games that led up to Dirty Santa. Each game there was a winner or 2 that drew a small, wrapped “dollar store gift” from a bag. Each small gift had a number on it that they would use as their number for Dirty Santa. If you and your family like to play games, you should try some of these out. (I’m going to do my best to remember all the ones that we played.)
- Stocking Stuffer– Everyone needs a sheet of paper and pencil for this game. Put about 20 different objects dealing with Christmas into a stocking… ornament, wrapping paper, pine cone, candy cane, scissors, etc. Pass around the stocking to each person and give them about 10-15 seconds to feel the stocking from the outside and without peaking in. Then, they write down what all they think was in there. Once every one has had their turn, you empty the stocking and see who got the most right.
- Oven Mitt Challenge– You have to wrap the “dollar store gift” inside a box, inside a box, inside a box and so on. Wrap it with wrapping paper each time and do as many layers as you can. (That’s not part of the game- it’s just what you need to play this game). The game actually starts by rolling a die. Whatever number it lands on is the special number for the game. Give one person a pair of oven mitts, one for each hand. They get to start trying to unwrap the gift wearing oven mitts as quick as they can. As they are doing that, the die is being passed around the circle, each person taking a turn rolling it. Whoever lands on the lucky number gets to switch with the person unwrapping the gift. They must then put on the oven mitts. Keep going until the winner gets to the prize inside.
- The Night Before Christmas- Everyone needs a sheet of paper and a pencil for this game. You need to print out the poem “The Night Before Christmas.” Highlight a few selected words throughout the poem. Start reading the poem out loud and skip over the high lighted words. This is when everyone guesses what goes in the blank. The person with the most correct at the end is the winner. (You would be surprised at how well you think you might know the story but really can’t figure out the missing words.)
- Partner Gift Wrapping– This game is played in pairs. We only played with 2 pairs of people, but you could really play with as many as you want. You need an empty box, a roll of wrapping paper, scissors, and tape for EACH pair. The game is played by simply seeing who can get their box wrapped the quickest. The trick is that each person can only use one hand!
- 21 Questions– I’m sure some of you are familiar with this game. You pick an object and put it in a bag. In this case, you would have a “dollar store gift” as your item with a number on it. As you go around the room each person must ask a yes or no question. You answer it, and they have one chance to guess. Then continue to do this with each person in a circle until someone guesses it right. But, you can not guess unless it is your turn.
- Memory Game– This game can be played using Christmas items or just any items from around the house. The options are endless! You put some items on a tray and then walk around the room for everyone to look at it. Only give them about 10-15 seconds to look at everything. Then leave the room. Have them right down everything that they remember from the tray and see who guessed the most.
- Christmas Quiz– Everyone needs a sheet of paper and pencil. You make up a quiz ahead of time asking questions about Christmas: whether it has to do with lyrics to a Christmas song, the year a Christmas movie was made, or the history behind Christmas. You can really come up with all kinds of questions and use the Internet to help you. Ask the questions one at a time and give every one a chance to answer them on their paper. See who has the most right at the end!
I can’t think of anymore games right now but that should be enough to get you started. It definitely will cause lots of memories and a good laugh!