Christmas Games For Family Fun
Family Games Instead of Exchange Gifts
Christmas is a perfect time for playing family games. By that I mean all the family members are engaged in playing games instead of just exchanging gifts. Kids love the attention and remember these moments will be memories that will last a lifetime.
There is nothing as satisfying, to a grandparent, as having the family gathered together and hearing your children talking about Christmas family games that they played as kids.One thing you can say for a large family, the members are flexible: willing to try something new, but not afraid to admit the old way was better.
Deciding What to Do
The first thing that we had to do was to come up with some games or activities that the kids would be able to do and that the adults wouldn't find too boring.The first game that came to mind was "Pin the Nose on Rudolph. I'll explain each of the games in more detail later in this article.
Then I bought a couple of games, "Headbanz" and " Apples to Apples " because the age ranges of the games would be appropriate for the littler grandkids and they would be able to enjoy them.
The third idea for an activity that I thought all should enjoy, was one with all participating with singing Christmas songs, with the help of a Karaoke machine.
And last, but not least, we'd have a game for the kids to win Santa figurines. The reason for the Santa figurines is that I've had two large boxes of Santa's that had been given to me or that I had bought over the years when I was collecting them, stashed away in an upstairs closet. I've started de-cluttering and the closets were part of that plan. I may have to write about that sometime.
Pin the Nose on Rudolph
On a large white poster board, I drew a picture of Rudolph and two of the grandkids, Blake and Hope, colored Rudolph with colored markers. They applied colored chalk to the background and then wiped off the excess with a Kleenex. Lisa took the poster to school and laminated it so we could use fun tack on the back of the nose to attach it to Rudolph.
I made the nose by painting a wooden ball that had one side flat, with red paint. I actually made a bunch of the noses, but we found out that two would have been enough because after a nose was stuck to the poster, we just took it off and wrote the initials of the player with a dry erase pen.This was the first game that we played and I have to admit it was a job to get some of the adults to quit visiting for awhile and to go downstairs.
But, after about ten minutes of threats, they all assembled in the family room where we had taped the poster to the wall. We hung the poster low and everyone that played had to adjust their thinking to that height.Once the game started, everyone had a good time, not only pinning the nose on Rudolph, but laughing and trying to confuse the one doing the pinning. And let me tell you they had no mercy, no matter what age the pinner was.
Pin the Nose on Rudolph
What is an Experimental Christmas?
"What," you ask, "is an experimental Christmas?" Well, I'm about to explain it to you. In the past our family Christmas' always included the grandchildren exchanging names. There was a price limit of about $20.00 or so and the adults who were sponsors over the different kids would also give them a gift.
As a grandmother I tend to think that gift giving at Christmas can get out of hand. Santa is very good to all the grandchildren and they really don't need more gifts. Also I was interested in finding out if the kids wouldn't like it just as well, or maybe even better, if instead of gifts, everyone including the adults, would play some games with them.
We have two levels of grandchildren: there are the "older kids," who are in the upper elementary grade, high school kids and a few colleges aged. And then we have the "little kids," who are anywhere from about the 4th grade to a baby.So, in 2011, when we celebrated our family Christmas on the 31st of December, we tried our "experiment" out. This article is about what we did and how it went over with both the kids and the adults.
Headbanz and Apples to Apples
After the Rudolph game the kids went back to whatever they had been doing and some of high school and college kids played Apples to Apples-----go figure. So I have few pictures of them. The little kids, as far as I know, didn't play these games.
Karaoke Christmas Carols Game
The object of the karaoke game was to get two singers to sing a Christmas carol. But, to make the game fair, we took cards from two card decks (matching cards from each deck, one card for each adult and child). So we had 32 participants, half of them got cards from a red deck and the other half got matching cards from the blue deck. The red card and the blue card that matched (like each had a 3 of hearts) were partners.
We had a CD with Christmas songs for the Karaoke machine, the partners didn't get to choose the song they were to sing. The partners with the aces started and sang the first song, the second group sang the second song, etc. (This will change next year-I'll get a couple more CD's and let the partners choose which song they want to sing. Some songs are just too hard or too serious for this kind of setting.)
If you thought the teasing and annoying was bad during the Rudolph game, this was even more intense. All the partners attempted to sing their song, if you could call most of it singing. There aren't any "America's Got Talent" contestants from this group I'm afraid.
Worst Christmas Karaoke Duo
Best Christmas Karaoke Duo (Questionable)
Dice For A Santa Game
We placed 32 Santa figurines in the center of the table for this game. All of the grandkids participated in this game of dice. Two dice were thrown, if the total of the two dice was a 7 or an 11, you could choose a Santa; but if you threw total of 2 or 6, you had to put one back. With 15 kids playing, this took too long to make a round and the chances of them throwing a 7, 11, 2 or 6 could take some time.
The rules for this game have to change for next year----I still have more Santas to give away next year. If anyone has an idea for this I’d like to hear it. We ended up making sure that each child got at least one Santa. The kids all seemed to like the idea of getting the Santa figurines so I figure that after I get rid of all the ones I have, I can always buy some when the season is over and they are quite cheap.
What Was The Decision?
Everyone seemed to love all the games and also the opportunity to harass each other. We'll be doing Christmas in this manner in 2012, and I'll take pictures and report back to you next year to let you know if we've learned anything about making a Christmas without a gift exchange even more fun.As soon as I can look through my Christmas decorations, I'll put a picture of our Rudolph poster on this lens.
© 2012 Loraine Brummer