PART THREE: Modern party games everyone will love at your mid-winter Christmas party.
While those of us in the Northern Hemisphere are swanning by the pool from May to September, those of us down South are hitting the ski slopes. Come December, the Southern half of the globe is celebrating Christmas on the beach. We’re convinced that those closest to the South Pole have the seasons sorted. The only hiccup is that whether it’s July or December cold weather reminds us all of Christmas. Enter the mid-winter Christmas party.
A lovely reader asked for mid-winter Christmas party ideas so we've created a three-part series. On a silver platter. Sprinkled with festive spirit. You’re currently reading PART THREE.
Your décor is beautiful and everyone has eaten and drunk to their hearts content. Congrats, you’re hosting a successful Christmas in July. It must be time for the laughing fits to begin! Our favourite game replaces White Elephant, Secret Santa, or Kris Kringle gift giving with a modern take on pass the parcel. There’s less disappointment and more laugh-out-loud hilarity. Gifting is about giving from the heart so instead of buying throw away trinkets write a collection of favours on pieces of paper. Put the funniest favour in a small box and gift wrap it. Continue wrapping the box layer by layer, randomly trapping a new favour every few wrapping layers. Your guests sit in a circle and pass the parcel around, each unwrapping a layer. The person who handed the un-wrapper the parcel owes them whichever favour they unwrap. If a player unwraps an empty layer, they pass the parcel on. If they unwrap a favour they throw the parcel to a person across the circle who unwraps and then passes the parcel.
Don’t tell your guests how the game works until they’re sitting in a circle in the hope that they’re sitting with someone they don’t know very well. Personal favours like foot massages are even funnier when passed to a stranger or acquaintance. Some favour ideas: coffee date, one hour of housework, romantic walk in the park, babysitting, round of mini golf, movie night with popcorn, home DIY, gardening, a cheese and wine picnic, couch accommodation after a big night.
If your mid-winter Christmas party has more of a raucous tone here’s a drinking game to try. Play a Christmas carol album without lyrics. Everyone sings the lyrics together and if players get the words wrong they drink. The trick is to watch each other closely and call out people who are struggling. Host Tip: Watch for people mumbling the start of the second verse. There’s something elusive about the start of a second verse. If you don’t know the lyrics this is your opportunity to detract attention from yourself by calling someone out!
An all ages option is Christmas Charades. It’s the same as normal charades but Christmas themed. Write Christmas related actions, objects, or ideas on pieces of card for guests to pick up on their turn. Each person mimes what’s on their card and the others need to guess correctly before that person can sit down. Be careful to match the difficulty to your audience. Young kids will mime ‘snowball fight’ or ‘ice skating’ well, but could struggle with ‘Mrs Claus baking cookies’. Christmas Musical Chairs is a great one for very young kids. Play Christmas songs while the children circle a grouping of chairs with two less chairs than the number of children playing. When the music stops they race to find a chair. One or two chairs are removed each round until there’s only one child left on a seat.
Header Photography: Joanna Kosinska