Reindeer Games

By Jeanelle Horcasitas

November 10, 2014 5 min read

It's Christmas Eve. The holiday feast, desserts and drinks have been consumed. Now it's the time to anxiously wait for the midnight hour to strike so that the gift-opening fun can commence. But what is there to do in the meantime? Well, to limit the cellphone, computer and television activities, make the most of your time together as a family with a few Christmas games to get everyone in the spirit and pass the time!

Here are a few ideas to get the fun started:

*Christmas Bingo

Coming from a large Mexican family, my all-time favorite Christmas game is loteria (lottery in English). However, this game is not limited to just Mexican tradition; it can be played by anyone and everyone! Although, if you are a not a Spanish speaker, this might prove difficult. So I have another great alternative to this game: Christmas bingo! Loteria is essentially a bingo game, however, using images such as la sirena (the mermaid), la luna (the moon) and la mano (the hand). Therefore, adopting the basic rules of bingo and the image as opposed to numbers of loteria, you can create your own Christmas bingo! However, if you're crunched on time, check out noelladesigns.com for some pre-made Christmas bingo cards and rules (for those who might have forgotten). You can even raise the stakes by offering a prize to the winner. This could be an actual prize or even just giving the winner the privilege of opening the first gift of Christmas. The greatest part about Christmas bingo is that it's ageless -- your grandma and grandpa, and even your energetic nieces and nephews will all enjoy playing this game together during the holidays!

*Gift-wrap Relay

Who will be the gift-wrap master in your family? The gift-wrap relay is an awesome game for the ultra-skilled and ultra-competitive folks. First, you will split into teams of three, and this group could be comprised of adults and children. However, I would recommend purchasing the Scotch Gift Wrap Cutter from your local Target or even Amazon.com to use instead of scissors (we wouldn't want any injuries this season). The most successful teams designate a specific duty of the gift-wrapping process to each member. One person cuts the paper, another prepares the tape, and the last member strategically wraps the paper around the object to produce a beautifully gifted product! Time the simpler items by a minute, and about two minutes for the harder-to-handle ones. Include easy geometric shapes to wrap (rectangle, squares), as well as the challenging odd-shaped circular and triangular objects. Furthermore, even if a team finishes first, if their gift looks like something that was stuffed into the garbage disposal, they may not be the winners! Be sure to compare the competitors' results, too. Keep in mind that the object of the game is not only to finish first, but to also produce a good-quality gift-wrap! And for those family members that may be too competitive, give them a gentle reminder to take the competition light heartedly to avoid any fights. Ultimately, the goal is to have a good time together with a bit of friendly competition. Happy wrapping!

*Battle of the Carolers

I'm sure you've heard of "Battle of the Bands," but have you ever witnessed a Battle of the Carolers? For all of you "Pitch Perfect" fans, this is an aca-mazing opportunity to show off those pipes with some classic Christmas tunes. However, if you have any musicians in the family that want to play the guitar, piano, drums, etc., that works too! This game can be played two ways. The first option is a game of which team can sing an entire song word-for-word. Although we are familiar with the Christmas songs that get played out on the radio, we don't always pay attention to the lyrics. Therefore, this is a great way to get people thinking and working together to sing the full song as they (think) they know it. However, it's also an opportunity to have a few laughs at those who get the songs entirely wrong or decide to improvise with their own lyrics. The second option is a full-on performance. These are always a favorite because the groups can actually memorize the lyrics and plan beforehand. Additionally, the groups who incorporate a few dance moves always have the best performances. Finally, there should be at least three judges to score each team's performance. And once again, offering a prize is a helpful way for people to get motivated to rock the mic. Also, if the winning team is willing and feeling confident, they can perform an encore to all their fans!

These are a few examples of games that can engage you and your family this Christmas. However, there are so many more options to choose from, depending on what you and your family prefer. But the most important rule is to simply have fun and enjoy one another's company this holiday season. Have fun!

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