The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
Like most things, my family’s Christmas traditions were interrupted last year by Covid. We usually rent a hall on Christmas Eve and the whole one side of my family goes and we have a good time and do things like raffles and we have a Santa come down for the little ones. We weren’t able to do this last year, so instead, we stayed home and did a bunch of fun games and made some new traditions that we are going to do this year as well. Here are some things that we did that I think other families would enjoy too.
Okay, I know that this is super Cheezy, but there is a way to make it fun. My family loves the National Lampoons Christmas Movie so as a surprise, my mom bought us all red plaid pajama pants and Clark Griswold-inspired t-shirts. It ended up being really funny and something we wanted to continue doing, so this year I am making the shirts with my Cricut. I am doing the theme of “Most Likely To” such as Most Likely to be on the nice list (me), Most Likely to Deck The Halls November 1st (my mom), and more funny ones like that. They are also a surprise to my family so I am excited to see how they react.
Plan some fun activities like cookie decorating or gingerbread house decorating, and make some hot chocolate! For those who are 21+, there are a bunch of fun Christmas-themed cocktails that you can make. Just look some up online, or there are a bunch of cocktail books at Barnes and Noble such as the Winter Cocktail book that I bought for my sister, that has fun drinks like Sugar Cookie Martinis. It can be an early Christmas gift that they can use that night!
My family loves games, so I have a lot of suggestions for people of all ages!
- The Dice Game: This requires a bunch of small, inexpensive, wrapped gifts, at least 2 per person, two die, and somewhere to roll them like a shoe box. You put all of the gifts in the middle and give the die and the box to one perrson to start. That person then rolls the die and if they get a double, they grab a gift from the middle and roll again. If they get a double again, they repeat. If a double is not rolled, the dice and the box are passed to the person to the right or left of you, whichever way you want to go. Everyone does this until all of the presents in the middle are gone. Not everyone will necessarily get a gift. But here is the fun part. When all of the gifts in the middle are gone, you will set a timer for 5 minutes and repeat the game, except when someone rolls a double, you get to steal a gift from someone else! When the timer is done, everyone keeps the gifts that they have in possession and they can be opened. This might not be the game to play if you have younger family who will be upset by a gift being taken from them, but it is super fun and usually leads to the family ganging up on who ever has the most gifts. Pro Tip: If you end up with multiple gifts and you see that a family member has none, maybe give them one of yours.
- The Celophane Ball Game: This game is popular so you might already know it. Again, this game can get competitive. Some one (possibly you) will have to get lots of celophane and little gifts like gift cards or money. You start by wrapping the best gift in the middle of the ball and cover it with layers of celophane. While making the ball, you add the gifts throughout so that you end up with a big ball of celophane with gifts dispersed throughout. I have also seen this done with boxes (Start with a small box, wrap it, and put it in a bigger box, wrap it and repeat). For the actual game, you need the celophane ball, a hat of some sort, gloves/mittens/oven mits, scarf if you want, and dice. All these items go to one person at the start of the game, and they start by putting on the gloves, hat, and scarf. Once they have those on, they can start trying to unravel the celophane ball. While this is going on, the person next to them is rolling the dice. They continuously roll them until they get doubles. When they do they give the die to the next person and get the celophane ball and the clothing items from the person before them. They then put the clothes on and try to unravel the ball and this continues until the whole ball is unraveled, and one person ends up with the big prize at the end. Throughout the game, people should get the small prizes that were wrapped throughout the ball while they are unraveling it. Trust me, it is more difficult than it sounds.
- Board Games/Video Games: These aren’t necessarily Christmas games, but are still fun to play. Any board game that you have will do, bonus points if it is a Christmas version of a classic game such as National Lampoons Manopoly. It is also fun to play video games if you have a game consol and games that allow multiplayers, or even games on your phone. Some of these include Heads Up (on the phone) and my personal favorite, Jackbox Games, that you can buy on different gaming consols. I bought mine on Nintendo Switch. There are so many different game packs to choose from, and it is hilarious whether you are playing or just watching.
Last, but definitely not least, at the end of the night to get ready for bed (after the excitement of the games) put on your favorite Christmas movie and watch it as a family. My personal favorite is The Year Without A Santa Claus but any of them will be good as long as you are surrounded by the people you love.