If you’re hosting this year’s family Christmas party or the office holiday present exchange, it’s time to kick up the merriment a notch or two and inject some novelty into the gift-giving season. Instead of the same old rule of choosing a name from a bowl full of folded-up papers and being someone’s “Secret Santa,” try these ideas for some fun that everybody will enjoy.
“Pass the Trash”
The name of this game may not sound very enticing, but it can be hilarious and exciting, plus it’s an inexpensive way to ensure everybody ends up leaving the party with a gift in tow.
1. Everyone playing must bring a wrapped, untagged gift to the party, but it may only cost between one and eight dollars. You can play around with these numbers, but keep the price under ten dollars. The more outrageous, useless or jokey the gifts are, the more fun the game will be. Of course, any present can also be a nice one, even at those prices.
2. Once guests or co-workers arrive, their packages are spread out on a table or in a designated area for everyone to view.
3. Count the packages and write a corresponding number on a piece of paper. Fold up the paper so the number is now hidden from view. For instance, if there are 12 wrapped gifts, there will be 12 pieces of paper, each numbered anywhere from 1 through 12. These papers are placed in a bowl.
4. Each person takes a turn drawing a number from the bowl. This will determine the order in which the game will proceed.
5. The person who chose number 1 gets to go first. He or she may choose any wrapped gift desired, open it in front of everyone and their turn is then over. It may be a funny item, a useless thing no one else would want, or something desirable, like a box of chocolates. The person who picked number 2 then gets to take a turn.
6. Here’s where the game gets interesting. If partygoer #2 does not like what they chose, they get to steal and trade gifts with person #1. This continues down the line, with each subsequent chooser able to trade for anyone else’s gift with a lower number. Obviously, possessing #10 when first picking out numbers places that person in the best position of having prime choice of any trashy gift they want from anyone else.
7. The fun of the game is that the stakes are low, the gifts are usually obnoxiously funny and no one knows who will end up with what until the very end, when the passing of the “trash” is all over.
1. Before the party, have a holiday story or song in mind. For example, the lyrics to Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer can be used. Type out the lyrics to the song, inserting the words LEFT or RIGHT throughout, in no particular order, and print this out. For instance, your copy may read:
- Rudolph the RIGHT-nosed reindeer
- Had a very shiny LEFT
- And if you ever saw LEFT
- You would even RIGHT it glows
You can use a song, a nursery rhyme or a very short story, inserting the words LEFT or RIGHT. You may even make up your own story, perhaps making it about those at the party.
2. At gift-exchange time, everyone will gather in a circle holding the item they brought. The host will read the story or song aloud, giving instructions for each person to pass the gift in their hands to either the right or the left when those words are heard. At the end of the reading, everyone can open the present they’re holding.
3. This is a game that can have the party breaking out in hysterics as people get confused when passing to the left or right. It’s also loads of fun if the story is humorous, makes no sense, or some people end up leaving with the very gifts they brought.
This is a trivia game that can determine how well each co-worker or family member knows one another.
1. Everybody brings a wrapped gift. Keep the costs within a certain predetermined limit.
2. Every person must write down a personal fact of which most other people aren’t aware. The papers are placed into a bowl.
3. The host or person in charge of the party proceedings then pulls out one slip of paper at a time and reads that bit of trivia out loud. The first person to guess correctly as to who wrote the piece of information is the first one to choose a gift.
4. The game continues until all of the presents are given out. This game can be a fun way for employees or family members to connect, especially if they don’t know one another as well as they think they do. Secrets may be learned and new stories can be shared.