16 Christmas Games That'll Have Everyone Feeling Jolly

Whether you want to spring for a new game or liven up the office Christmas party, these games will get even the Grinchiest people into the holiday spirit.

christmas-games: family playing a Christmas game together
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My Christmases growing up were filled with games—whether it was "who can stay quietest the longest" on Christmas Eve with my cousins (there were eight of us born within a decade of each other, all competing for a cash prize), or playing the latest fresh-from-the-Christmas-wrap board games with my aunts and uncle on Christmas night.

So Christmas just doesn't feel like Christmas without a game or two. While pretty much any party game or board game can be a fun addition to your holiday party, choosing a game with a Christmas twist can help boost the festive feel. Of course, when you're choosing games for Christmas, you need to consider the audience (some of the racier options won't work as office Christmas party games—or for families where little ones or grandparents are in the mix), the size of the get-together, and of course, the fun factor.

Check out these Christmas game options to help you make this year's holiday even more fun. (We've divided them down by appropriate audiences, but feel free to steal from another category—Christmas Music Name That Tune could be just as fun with an adults-only crowd as it is with the kids.)

All-Ages Christmas Games to Play With Your Family

Whether you're looking for a quick Christmas game to keep the kiddos occupied while they're waiting for dinner, or you just want a fun game that'll get everyone involved once the unwrapping is done, try these Christmas game options.

Christmas Gift Bingo

Have a big family and a very generous gift exchange? Help kids stay interested when it's not their turn to get a gift by creating Christmas gift bingo cards, so they can earn their marks when their relatives open up socks, something electronic, something you can eat, jewelry, and more. Give out small bags of candy to the bingo winners.

Santa Cookie Elf Candy Snowman

This fun, fast-paced card game (by the people who brought you Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza) is an all-ages treat.

To buy: $10, amazon.com

Christmas Guess Who

All you need is a pack of sticky notes for this game. You stick a name to each person's forehead, and they have to try to figure out who they are by asking questions of everyone else.

Limit the game to holiday characters like Frosty and Rudolph to give it a Christmas touch.

Find the Pickle

This simple German tradition involves hiding a pickle ornament on your Christmas tree. The person who spots it first gets a prize.

Don't have a pickle ornament? Choose another oddball from your current ornament stash, and have the kids hunt for it.

Christmas Music Name That Tune

All you need is a music streaming service and a fast hand to shut the song off after just a few notes to play one of the best games for Christmas.

Note: If you're playing with a lot of young ones, opt for Christmas Music Freeze Dance instead.

Crowd-Pleasing Party Games for Christmas

Whether you want to add a competitive twist to your annual holiday cocktail party or want to have a little fun with your older family members once the little ones are in bed or occupied with their new gifts, these more adult games for Christmas will make your holiday.

Christmas Murder Mysteries

For a dramatic crew, hand out the parts to one of the many holiday-themed murder mystery games out there. (We're partial to the holiday-themed sets on Masters of Mystery, which let the host play along, can be scaled for up to 20 players, and can be played both in-person and virtually, if you want to gather far-flung family members and friends into the game.)

Holiday Decorating Smackdown

Unload your craft closet for this game, which pits teams against each other to create a festive holiday decor item (a wreath, centerpiece, ornament, or gingerbread house), and be judged the best.

Christmas Minute to Win It

Look to the old game show for inspiration for some fun feats, such as marshmallow-on-a-spoon relays, eating a cookie that's placed on your face (without using your hands), or moving candy canes from one container to another using only a candy cane and their mouth. (Give prizes to the winners to encourage people to compete.)

Merry Dissmas

The creators of superstar game What Do You Meme are back with this spicy new contest, which asks you to roast your fellow participants with the funniest diss to questions like, Who gave you the worst gift? or Who's the biggest prankster—and what's their best prank? (Note: This game works best with family members or the friends you consider family.)

To buy: $20, target.com

Great Holiday Baking Competition

Who makes the best sugar cookies, and whose chocolate goodies steal the show? Have guests bring their Christmas baking finest for judging. (Bonus: Your party's desserts are already covered.)

Christmas Party Games to Play with Co-Workers

For the office Christmas party, you might have to be a little more creative to get the gang to participate. And you'll probably want to stick to games with more of an overall holiday or winter theme to be mindful of the many ways your co-workers may be celebrating the season.

Virtual Holiday Party Games

Consider looking for virtual options to bring the fun for far-flung co-workers, like escape rooms. Breakout IQ has an escape room game with a holiday theme (Frosty the Snowman!) that can be booked for up to 600 people. Virtual Game Night Out is perfect for smaller groups—up to 12 can play—and features a host walking teams through a series of fun contests.

White Elephant Gift Exchange

Turn the annual gift exchange into a game with the classic White Elephant gift exchange. For a White Elephant, people bring wrapped inexpensive or gag gifts, and take turns picking them—or swapping them.

Gingerbread House Competition

Grab a few of those gingerbread kits, some extra candy and frosting, and a few teams of co-workers to turn this fun and festive tradition into a fun and festive team building exercise.

Christmas Games for Couples (or Small Parties)

Hosting a more intimate holiday get-together? You can still bring the fun with one of these games for Christmas.

Holiday Scrabble

Give the classic word game a more challenging twist by requiring that every answer fit the holiday theme. (Try jingle or jolly for a lot of points!)

Christmas Movie Drinking Game

Get set up for a night with the classics (or a Hallmark Christmas movie binge-fest) by taking a sip of a festive cocktail or mocktail every time a holiday movie cliche happens. (Just coming up with the categories will be fun: Someone drinks hot chocolate! Nobody recognizes Santa in disguise!)

The Couples Game

See how well you really know your significant other with this set of questions—where you both try to see if you mind-meld and guess correctly.

To buy: $20, uncommongoods.com

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