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Holiday parties are back on the rise and planning is in full effect! But here’s the thing—placing gifts under the tree and waiting patiently for each person to pull theirs out only to act halfway surprised can get boring year after year.
Whether you handmade a gift, opted to order it online, or chose something fun from a local boutique, having your unique gift revealed in an unpredictable and exciting way can create wonderful memories and bring about great holiday cheer.
If you’re ready for your party to be the talk of the town to the point that your guests are reserving their spot for next year by the end of the night, check out these five fun holiday gift games.
1. Holiday Trivia
Who doesn’t love a night filled with family and friends jumping up and down, laughing out loud, and screaming fun facts at each other? If you can easily name Santa’s nine reindeer or one of the top five most popular Christmas songs, holiday trivia is the game for you.
With this game, you can find a bunch of printable holiday trivia activities that have fun questions about Christmas food, carols, traditions, and so much more (provided below in the directions). The variety of questions will give everyone an opportunity to take a stab at getting a question right. Here’s how it works.
How To Play:
- Have everyone place their wrapped gifts on the floor to form a big present pile.
- Select a designated host or hostess to call out questions. You can come up with your own trivia questions or find pre-written questions here.
- The host will stand and call out the holiday trivia questions as everyone else sits and waits in anticipation for the questions.
- The first person to get the answer right gets to choose one of the unique gifts from the present pile.
- Once someone gets a trivia question right and chooses a gift, they are out of the game.
- At the end, the host gets to either choose the last gift remaining or steal a gift from somebody else—a one-time-only privilege for all of their hard work and positive energy they put into the game.
Get ready for your cheeks to hurt from smiling so much and for your voice to be gone by the end of the night. This game will most definitely be the highlight of your party.
2. Secret Santa
This traditional game of mystery and curiosity is a top favorite for any gathering during the holiday season. Whether you end up pulling the name of your sweet little cousin or a long-time coworker, this game gives you a chance to find the best unique gifts that will leave them with a big smile. Here’s how to get started.
How To Play:
- Prior to pulling names, surveys can be sent out ahead of time asking about favorite colors, foods, restaurants, and more so each Secret Santa has an idea of what to get their person by the time they have selected a name.
- Determine the gift price range. Price ranges often stay between $5 and $20.
- Have all participants write their names on a small piece of paper.
- Place the pieces of paper in a hat and shake, shake, shake!
- Everyone will draw a name out of the hat days or weeks before the party.
- Each person serves as a Secret Santa for the person whose name is drawn and will purchase personal and unique gifts for them. Don’t forget to put the recipient’s name on the gift!
- On the day of the party, everyone will eagerly open their gift and then try their best to identify who their Secret Santa is.
Remember, it’s not only about getting a gift, but also about having a chance to bond with your guests throughout the party and seeing the smile on the face of the person you picked as they unwrap their gift.
3. Musical Chairs
We can all remember a fun (or competitive) childhood memory involving a game or two of musical chairs. This active holiday game gets everyone up and moving and puts their quick reactions to the test. The best part of this game is that it’s great for any age! So gather up your guests and get ready for some fun by playing a few rounds of holiday musical chairs.
How To Play:
- Set up chairs back-to-back in a circle.
- Ensure there’s always one less chair than the number of people participating.
- Spice things up by playing Christmas-themed music and tossing in Santa hats for all the participants.
- Have everyone walk clockwise as they enjoy the music.
- Once the music stops, everyone must try and sit in the nearest available seat they can find.
- The person left standing gets eliminated.
- After each round, a chair is removed from the game.
- The last one sitting is the winner of that round and gets to choose their gift.
- You can continue playing rounds until everyone has a chance to choose a gift.
Playing this favorite childhood game with your loved ones, friends, or coworkers will have your face hurting and your stomach in knots from so much laughing. If you are ready to create amazing memories, grab your favorite holiday playlist and make it a great night.
4. White Elephant
Nothing brings fun and holiday shenanigans into the atmosphere quite like the well-known Christmas game, White Elephant. This gift exchange game involves the spirit of giving— and taking—and that’s what makes it so much fun! To get your party started, turn on some holiday tunes, pass around the Christmas cookies, and let the games begin!
How To Play:
- Before the fun starts, you may wish to set a spending limit ahead of time so everyone’s unique gifts are around the same price range.
- When your guests arrive, have them place their wrapped, anonymous gifts on the designated gift table.
- Draw numbers to determine what order gifts are selected and unwrapped.
- The first person chooses a gift from the table, opens it, and holds it up for all to see.
- The next person can either steal that gift or choose to unwrap another mystery gift from the table.
- The game continues in such fashion, with each person getting the chance to steal someone’s gift or unwrap their own surprise.
- When there are no more unwrapped gifts, the person who drew first gets one last turn. If they decide not to steal a gift, keeping the one they have, the game is over. If they do steal a gift, the game continues until someone decides to keep their gift, rather than steal.
Remember, the point of the White Elephant gift exchange game is to have fun—not necessarily to walk away with the best gift. What we do know is that you will leave with great memories!
5. Roll Of The Dice Gift Exchange
Whoever thought to incorporate Christmas gifts and dice rolling was a genius! This game is fun, interactive, and unpredictable because you have no idea what you will end up with until the game is finally over.
The only supplies needed for this game are a single die and an instruction sheet telling the players what to do with the die number they roll. Grab your players and let’s get this party started!
How To Play:
- Set a monetary budget ahead of time to make all gifts similar in price and value.
- Have all participants sit in a circle holding the gift they brought.
- The first person (chosen randomly) rolls the die. They will follow the instructions provided on the die instruction sheet:
- Steal any gift
- Make two people swap gifts
- Everyone pass left
- Everyone pass right
- Leave game or stay
- Unwrap your gift
- The die continues to be rolled until every person has opened their gift.
This could be the perfect gift-giving game for your next holiday-themed ugly sweater party! Start searching around now for unique gifts your friends, family, or coworkers will appreciate and enjoy.
Are you ready to spread some serious holiday spirit at your next party? Include one of these games and in return, you’ll experience bonding with great people, throwing your head back and laughing out loud, and most of all creating long-lasting memories for you to look back on!
Before laughter and great moments begin, don’t forget to spend time choosing the right present for your holiday function. Whether you choose to make something by hand, support a local boutique, or buy from a small business specializing in one-of-a-kind and unique gifts—your present will bring life to these games. Pick your favorite game and get ready to laugh the night away!
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