Those Reindeer Games: Holiday Games For The Whole Family

Santa Claus riding on sleigh, Lapland, Finland

As I have mentioned several times in the series already, the holidays are very much about spending quality time with your family. A very simple way to do this is by playing games. My family actually spends the majority of Christmas Day playing board games together, which sounded like torture to the 16 year old me who wanted to play with all the new tech she got. But it was actually a great way to spend the day, and I especially appreciate it now that I am away from home for the majority of the year for school. You can always lay your tried and true board and card games (Uno for my family), or try these holiday themed games, which are great for families and parties!

White Elephant

This is not a a brand new never before done type of game, but the way my family plays is a bit different, and in my opinion, simpler. Everyone brings a small, wrapped gift (traditionally goofy and funny). Then, you will have 2 decks of playing cards. Shuffle both decks separately and pass out on deck to all players until all cards are gone. Then, you will have a designated drawer, who will take the second deck and draw the top card. They will announce what the card is (for example the ace of spades) and whichever player has that card in their hand (the ace of spades) will get to  pick a gift. Continue this until all cards have been drawn. If you run out of gifts in a pile, players can take from other players. This is a great game to get everyone playing without worrying about skill or abilities of players.

Guess That Carol

This game tests everyone’s knowledge on popular Christmas carols with a fun twist. This can be played as individuals or in teams. One person will be the reader and will read each of the below sentences allowed. Each sentence is a twisted carol, meaning that the title has been replaced with synonyms and related phrases. Players will guess which carol they think it is, and if they are correct they get a point. Pretty simple, right?

Far back in the hay bin (“Away in the Manger”)

Elderly matriarchal victim of a hit-and-run with a bell-ringing, airborne beast of burden.  (“Grandma Got Run Over by Reindeer”)

Obese personification of scooped ice crystals in a stolen hat.  (“Frosty the Snowman”)

General jubilation to the overarching material universe.  (“Joy to the World”)

Decorate the entryways. (“Deck the Halls”)

Yuletide request: Forward incisors. (“All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth”)

Sir Lancelot with laryngitis.  (“Silent Night”)

O supreme deity, bestow feelings of well-being and respite to your humble, yet good-hearted followers.  (“God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”)

Hark, perforated post-twilight.  (“O Holy Night”)

Behold the bedecked Douglas fir!  (“O Christmas Tree”)

Small, hollow, metallic globules producing vivid, high-pitched tintinnabulations (“Jingle Bells”)

Stepping on the pad cover.  (“Up on the Housetop”)

Leave and do an elevated broadcast. (“Go Tell It on the Mountain”)

Diminutive percussionist.  (“The Little Drummer Boy”)

Altruistic sovereign lord once declares deficit.  (“Good King Wenceslas”)

Ode to a birthplace. (“O Little Town of Bethlehem”)

Supplication for the entire congregation of the devout and loving to approach. (“O Come All Ye Faithful”)

Winged seraphs we have perceived upon great altitudes (“Angels We Have Heard on High”)

Platinum chimes. (“Silver Bells”)

Do you perceive the same longitudinal pressure which stimulates my auditory sense organs?  (“Do You Hear What I Hear?”)

Listen for I sense the melodious invocations of the ministers of the omniscient, omnipotent creator in his clouded bower. (“Hark the Herald Angels Sing”)

Jovial, rubicund fellow to whom I whisper treasures and secrets.  (“Jolly Old St. Nicholas”)

That which arose in the empty darkness of a new morning.  (“It Came Upon a Midnight Clear”)

As guardians of little wooly creatures protect their charges very late in the day.  (“While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks by Night”)

I’ve taken a fancy to the concept of a monochromatic end-of-the-year.  (“I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas”)

Blessed triumvirate over the Eastern World.  (“We Three Kings of Orient Are”)

Ambulatory in the ice-capped magic of the season.  (“Walking in a Winter Wonderland”)

Duodecimal enumeration of the passage of the season of Noel.  (“The Twelve Days of Christmas”)

Patron saint of the children is due in our hamlet upon the hallmark of the season.  (“Santa Claus Is Coming to Town”)

Yours truly envisioned a trio of nautical vessels.  (“I Saw Three Ships”)

Appeal for peals. (“Carol of the Bells”)

I was unfortunate enough to witness the bearer of me reach first base with a cultural icon known to frequent department stores this time of year.  (“I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”)

Hale and hearty well-wishing for joyous Yuletides south of the Rio Grande.  (“Feliz Navidad”)

I declare you are a foul, heartless, curmudgeon, sir growling unit of measure.  (“You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch”)

Polynesian wish for an exultant celebration of a savior’s birth.  (“Mele Kalikimaka”)

Uncouth dolf has his beezer in the booze and thinks he’s a dark cloud’s honey.  (“Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer”)

The apartment of two psychiatrists.  (“The Nutcracker’s Suite”)


(This is not the name of the song, but the very well-known first line.)

Inquiring about the note after mi and a quadruple set of playing cards of singular value.  Russian yes questions the entrance’s World War II pilot.  (“Fahoo Foorhes Dahoo Doorhes”)

What games do you like to play during the Holidays?


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