Whether it’s a gathering at the office, a happy hour or a cookie exchange at home among friends, holiday parties tend to gravitate toward two extremes: either they’re somewhat dull events with people making awkward small talk and checking their watches, or they’re raging booze-filled evenings that veer on the edge of out of control. The good news is that it’s perfectly possible to have a holiday party that falls somewhere in the middle: upbeat and fun with a sprinkling of mischief, but also pretty PG rated. These adult holiday party games will ensure your guests have a great time at this year’s bash.
Adult Holiday Party Games: Ice Breakers
Whether it’s a book club’s annual holiday soiree or a group of acquaintances, some holiday parties may require some ice breakers if the people don’t know each other well. These ideas are fun, fabulous and will have everyone chatting in no time.
Ornaments. If your holiday party will have a Christmas tree, you can use an ornament guessing game to break the ice a bit. When each guest arrives, have them write down the number of ornaments they think is on the tree – along with their name – on a piece of paper that will be placed in a bowl. Halfway through the party, look at the guesses. Whoever gets the closest without going over wins! You can even find ornament-themed holiday party invitations to tie the look of your party all together.
Find out Who. Make a list of common and uncommon holiday experiences, using examples from the list below. Make a copy of the list for each guest. Your guests will go around to the other party guests, who will sign their name next to something they’ve done. Whoever gets their list completely filled out first, wins! Here are some samples of list items:
1. Never has had a “White Christmas”
2. Has done no Christmas shopping yet
3. Has been kissed under the mistletoe
4. Re-gifts holiday gifts
5. Has seen a real reindeer
6. Has gone caroling this year or last year
7. Has never seen “It’s a Wonderful Life”
8. Actually likes fruitcake
9. Doesn’t like eggnog
10. Peeked at their presents when they were younger
Holiday Sticker Stalker. This game will keep everyone on their toes! Give every guest ten holiday stickers upon arrival. Their goal will be to get rid of all ten by sticking them on other guests without them noticing. If someone catches you in the act, they get to stick a sticker on you. The first one to empty their sticker sheet wins.
Adult Holiday Party Games for the Office
Office holiday parties usually involve groups of people with varying tastes. Luckily, these work-appropriate adult holiday party games will keep everyone happy.
12 Days of Christmas. This one is best for larger groups and will take some advance planning, but it’s always a hit! Group everyone into 12 teams. Give each team one verse of the 12 days of Christmas. The team will not only be responsible for singing the verse of the song, but they have to act it out each time! Imagine how funny it will be to see your co-workers acting out “six geese a’laying.” Make sure to give each team plenty of time to plan out their verse…and don’t forget to record this gem!
Name that Christmas Carol. This is one of the best adult holiday party games for a work function because it creates a little friendly competition among the camaraderie. Divide everyone into teams (4-8, depending on how large the company party is). Give each guest a buzzer, bell or some other kind of noisemaker.
Play a very small part of any holiday carol, then turn it off. The first team to ring the bell and correctly state the carol wins a point. If they get it wrong, they lose a point. If no one guesses, play another small part of the song. The team that ends up with the most points wins.
Unwrapped Gift Exchange. Gift exchanges are fun at office holiday parties, but usually everyone has grown tired of the white elephant method. Put a twist on it and choose to not unwrap any of the gifts until the end of the exchange. This variation adds an extra element of mystery and luck. Imagine your co-worker’s shock when he sees the giant tub of caramel corn he thinks he’s been fighting for the entire time is actually a cleverly disguised mixed CD.
Secret Christmas Stocking. The object of this game will be to figure out what is stuffed inside a Christmas stocking. Fill a Christmas stocking with items that will be tough to guess by touch, and make sure the stocking is closed tightly. Have your colleagues try and guess what’s in the stocking. Whoever comes the closest in the winner!
Know Your Colleagues. A few days before the party, privately email each guest that will be attending and ask for a funny holiday story or a holiday trivia fact about themselves. Provide them with examples, such as “I actually love Christmas carols” or “the family dog ate an entire tray of my mom’s freshly baked sugar cookies when I was 13.” Print off each fact or story. Read them at the party and have guests try to figure out who each story belongs to. This game is usually good for a lot of laughs.
Adult Holiday Party Games: Fun with Friends
If you’re planning a glamorous gathering in your home during the holidays, give your friends a chance to let loose and de-stress from the crazy season with these great games.
Deck the Balls. This game is meant for teams of two. Using an empty wrapping paper tube, the first player uses suction from his or her mouth to lift an ornament with the tube and transfer it to the second player. The second player must receive the ornament in the same fashion (with a wrapping paper tube and suction), and then hang it on an awaiting string hung like a clothesline. To win this game, players must hang three ornaments in this method in a minute or less.
Forbidden Words. Give each guest a bag of Christmas cookies or small candies as they arrive. Each guest who is caught saying one of the banned words or phrases (“snow,” “Christmas Eve,” and “drink,” for example) must forfeit one of their treats. Whoever is able to collect the most treats is the winner of the game and the party!
How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Turn this children’s movie into a drinking game! Play the movie and make everyone at the party take a drink every time the word “who” is used. Your entire party may be speaking in rhymes by the time the night is over.
Plan to mix some of the adult holiday party games into your next holiday bash to ensure your guests have a great time. After all, season’s greetings are a lot more fun when you’ve got fabulous parties to look forward to. If you’re looking for custom holiday party invitations to kick off the festivities, check out your options at PurpleTrail.