Christmas Party Ideas | Christmas Games & Gift Exchange Ideas

I love looking through ideas of how other people have done things to build my own ideas, and this huge post of Christmas party ideas is intended to do just that for you – there are SO many ideas shared within this post from our years of hosting Christmas parties and I hope some of these Christmas party ideas resonate with you and inspire you to start building your own cozy memories each year!Christmas Party Ideas to make your own Christmas party unique and funThis is a large collection of Christmas party ideas collected and used over the years – there are Christmas game ideas, Christmas gift exchange ideas, types of Christmas parties to host, Christmas food ideas, and other little ideas tucked in throughout this Christmas Party Ideas post. I hope you find lots of inspiration for your own Christmas Party!
This HUGE post has all sorts of Christmas party ideas – so just keep scrolling! I have organized each section with a “tabbed” photograph and label telling you what is in each section, so watch for those as you scroll. Here is what you will find: 

Christmas party ideas - lots of ideas for christmas games for large groups, gift exchange ideas, party food and so much more!Christmas Games are a fabulous addition to a Christmas gathering – whether it’s an informal group gathering, a more formal gathering or a family Christmas – Christmas games make for fun times!
I have collected an assortment of more unique Christmas party ideas for the game portion of your party that I hope you and your friends and family will enjoy! These are all games that we have enjoyed – either as a small gathering of four, an extended family gathering, or larger parties with oodles of friends!

Pass the Parcel – give everyone a pair of mittens or gloves (we used medical gloves and had each person wear three pairs.) Hand one person a gift wrapped in many layers and well taped and give the person to the left of them a dice. At the word “GO” the person with the gift starts unwrapping while the person with the dice starts trying to roll a 5. When a 5 is rolled they grab the gift and start unwrapping while the person to their left grabs the dice and starts rolling to get a 5. Game continues until the gift is unwrapped. Great for any group size.  Supplies needed: mitts, dice, a wrapped gift that is wrapped in many layers. Plastic wrap works really well to incorporate on some of the layers!

Back to Back – There are a variety of versions for this game, but my favorite is this: Have two people sit back to back and hand each of them identical lego pieces. Instruct player 1 to create a Christmas ornament with their pieces (does not need to be able to hang on the tree!) Once theirs is completed player 1 gives verbal instructions to player 2 so that player 2 can try to build an identical ornament. Once player two has finished their ornament compare the two lego ornaments and see how similar (or un-similar!) they are. **You can make it a wreath, candy cane or leave it up to player 1 to chose what they wish to create.  Great for any group size.  Supplies needed: lego bricks, enough for two people to have identical pieces.

Gingerbread Decorating Contest – Buy enough Gingerbread houses to have 1 for every 2-3 people {or use graham crackers or even just cardboard!} I always stock up at after Christmas clearance if I find them for 90% off. Have a predetermined amount of time for each group to work on decorating their Gingerbread house. Create score cards and have everyone rate each others creations. Highest scored team wins. Great for any group size. Supplies needed: gingerbread house making supplies.

Christmas Macaroni Game – Buy a couple bags of alphabet shaped pasta and give each team their own bag. Give them 5 minutes to spell out as many Christmas related words as possible. Make sure the words are left out for all to see. Each pasta letter may be only used once. Supplies needed: bags of alphabet macaroni.

Drawing in a Snowstorm – The game host instructs everyone to hold a paper plate on their head and to draw what the host instructs them to draw without looking at what they are drawing. At first, those drawing don’t even know what they are drawing. You can of course use anything you’d like. Ours was a snowman and the instructions were as follows;

  1. Draw a circle.
  2. Draw a line under the circle for snow.
  3. Draw a smaller circle on top of your original circle.
  4. Draw an even smaller circle on top of the second circle to complete your snowman.
  5. Add 2 arms to your snowman.
  6. Add a carrot nose to your snowman
  7. Give your snowman a scarf
  8. Add eyes and a mouth to your snowman.
  9. Put a hat on top of your snowman.

Once completed we were allowed to take the plates off our head and admire one another’s artistic talents. Supplies needed: a paper plate and Sharpie, pen, or pencil for each participant.

The 12 Days of Christmas – I really love this game! Each team is given 1 bin and in it were 12 objects, one to represent each of the 12 gifts given in the song The 12 Days of Christmas. The bin also held a post it note numbered 1-12. It was up to the team to remember the song, determine which item was representing which gift, and tag them with the correctly numbered post it note. The funny part was, each teams bin was slightly different from each other so there was no cheating going on! Supplies needed: (per team) sticky notes numbered 1-12, one item to represent each of the 12 Days of Christmas. Note: You can make it complicate and add items that do not belong.

Christmas Family Fued – This Christmas themed Family Fued game is so much fun to play together with friends and family and is easy to print off and play at your next Christmas party. See download here.


Taboo – a fun group game for a larger gathering. It isn’t Christmas-y per say, but it is a really fun game to pull out when there are lots of people together! The object of the game is for you to describe a word that you want your team to identify and say outloud, without you accidently saying the taboo descriptive words. Read more about it and purchase here.

Story Cubes is the perfect game to cross generations – roll some dice and tell a story from the pictures that are rolled. A few variants are suggested on the game box, and creative family members may offer their own twists. Young and old have enjoyed this in our family and it is well worth owning. Great for any size group, but smaller would be more intimate. Read more about it and purchase here.

Christmas Party Ideas to make your own Christmas party unique and funApples to Apples is another fun group game for larger gatherings. This is probably the number one game to have on hand for larger groups of mixed ages. Anyone that can read can play this game, it is lots of fun, and no one is put on the spot to do something embarrassing! Great for any group size. Read more about it and buy here.

Spot it! is a fabulous little game that will fit right in your purse for you to pull out when a little fun is needed. It’s an intriguing matching game that any game lover is sure to enjoy – and would work well at a restaurant waiting for your meal or around a table after an enjoyable meal at home.  The Christmas version is perfect for the holidays. Great for a small group, specifically recommend for places you need to keep your children entertained such as lines and sitting waiting places.

Christmas Party Ideas to make your own Christmas party unique and funPlay THE FLOUR GAME – an hilarious group game for families and great for all ages. Great for groups of any size, but an intimate family is recommend due to the mouth contact with the flour.

Holiday Charades is a game of charades but with a Christmas twist! Great for any group size!

Mennonite Manners is a really fun and simple to learn game that is great for large groups. All you need is one die, one pencil or pen, and a piece of paper for each player. Players need to be able to write from 1-100 in order to play. Read more about this game here.

Christmas gift exchanges can add a fun element to a Christmas party AND tastefully deal with the complicated issue that can arise from trying to figure out what to do about gifts. There are several ideas shared below that we have used.
There are several ideas you can use to approach the gift that people bring for the gift exchange. White elephant gift exchanges can be funny, encouraging people to just bring an item no longer used item from around their house. Or you can have a theme, such as kitchen items, books, gift cards. Or just a nice, generic gift with a set dollar amount. One of my favorites is tacky Christmas accessories – people come decked out in Christmas gear and then we end up exchanging it throughout the evening. It’s lots of fun!

Gift Auction with Play Money – a fun twist on a Chinese Auction or White Elephant gift exchange. Everyone brings a wrapped gift for the gift exchange. Give each person a sealed envelope with a varied amount of play money inside {You can have a few persons with the same amount of money}. Make sure that each player keeps their dollar amount a secret. Have a predesignated auctioneer hold up a wrapped gift and start the auction at a dollar amount close to the lowest amount. Highest bidder wins that gift. Each person may only win one gift. Great for a medium-large group.

Left Right story is a classic gift exchange game! Have everyone hold the gift they brought and sit in a circle. The narrator can join in the game or stand on the outside of the circle. Read our Left Right story in link or make up your own. Every time the word left is read the packages need to be passed to the left. When the word right is read the packages must be passed to the right. Great for any group size. Download and print a left right story here.

An Evening of Games & Giftcards – Ask each person coming to bring a $10 gift card to a store of their choice. Place the gift cards in identical envelopes to hide where they are for. Have an assortment of games to play – traditional board games, brain teases, puzzles, etc. When we played this we included the Gingerbread decorating winner in this.
Spend the evening playing games – the winner of each game gets to chose an envelope with a gift card in it and open it. The next person to win a game can either chose the opened gift card or they can chose an unopened envelope. Each person can only win one gift card – unless you have a very competitive group and want to allow some to leave without winning anything!  Great for any group size.

You can’t host a Christmas party without food! Below you will find recipes and thoughts on how we have handled the food side of our Christmas parties!The best solution I have found for handling food at Christmas parties is to involve everyone. People have always been so happy to help by bringing a dish or two, and it eases the stress of having to provide all that. It also addresses any allergy issues that may exist – if people bring a dish they can be assured that they will at least be able to eat their own contribution!

Rootdeer and Snowman floats are two of my favorite annual Christmas drinks. It gets cheesier the older my boys get. haha. But we have been doing them since they were itty bitty. The rootdeer floats are your classic root beer floats, simply renamed. The snowman floats is peppermint ice cream with ginger ale soda. You can get a free printable sign for each of these drinks if you have need for those. Click here to read more about the rootdeer drink, see pictures of it, and get the free printable.

I don’t go a holiday season without making these shortbread cookies. I was given the recipe in the late 90’s and they’re hands down the best shortbread cookies I have ever had! You can find the recipe for these here.Charcuterie boards are a really great way to pull together something that is sure to have something on it that will please everyone. Costco has a great assortment of meats and cheeses during the holiday time that are perfect for such artistic foods. Pinterest also has many amazing ideas for creating your own charcuterie board.

Christmas Party Ideas to make your own Christmas party unique and fun

One year we hosted a Christmas party for the teenagers at church – complete with a mystery dinner menu! The menu was coded in Christmas-y names and the teenagers ordered off of it, without knowing what they would get at each dinner course. It was so much fun! You can read more about the details of that Mystery Dinner Christmas party here.

All my other thoughts on Christmas parties are tucked in here!

Prizes can make Christmas games so much more fun – but they can also eat into the budget! Stores like Aldi have festive candies at a reasonable price, but a favorite resource for me has been AliExpress – your direct from China shopping option! I can vouch for the stickers, washi tape, and knock off dinosaur Lego as being great quality. Check reviews before ordering, but truly – it’s a labyrinth of amazing options. Shipping takes 3-5 weeks so calculate that in as you consider ordering your prizes from here. click here to shop AliExpress.
Another fun and silly prize are these Christmas themed rubber duckies. I like them because you can always turn around and use it as a gift topper on a child’s present! You can read more about them and purchase them here.

In 2015 we started hosting an annual Christmas party with our church friends. The party notes have been documented for reflection and helpful tips for future parties.
You can read about the 2015 Christmas party notes here.
And the 2016 Christmas party notes can be read here.

http://www.jessicalynette.com/holidays/christmas-activities/I wrote this post with a months worth of Christmas ideas to do with kids, including the above build your own snowman kit. It has some fun ideas that can easily be slipped into a Christmas party, too! Check out the post and all of the ideas here.

If homemade gift ideas is up your alley, this post I compiled on sweet and simple homemade gift ideas might just be your thing! Check out the post here.And should you find yourself in need of some Christmas gifts for creative women, this is a list of some of my very favorite things that I have enjoyed and would highly recommend! Check out this list here and maybe it will help you knock off some Christmas gifts you need to buy!

fun and unique gift ideas for boys

And finally, a collection of gift ideas for the boys in your life! This would primarily be focused on boys nine and under. Check out the Christmas gift ideas for boys here.
Christmas Party Ideas to make your own Christmas party unique and fun

 

 

 

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5 Replies to “Christmas Party Ideas | Christmas Games & Gift Exchange Ideas

  1. For my husband's family, Christmas Eve is game day! We pack in as many games as we can. Coming from a family who never played games, I love it! I am excited to bring a few new games to the table this year – thanks for the ideas!

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