7 Fun Holiday Games ...

Laughter makes the heart sing, and the holiday season is the best time to sing with family and friends gathered together spending time with each other. I love getting some friends and family together and playing games, bring joy and laughter to us all! Here are a few games I think are so great for a group of family to play!

1. Charades

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Photo Credit: drurydrama (Len Radin)

No talking!!! Can you get across what you're trying to say by body language and movement alone? Try it with the family! There is sure to be lots of laughter with this game!

2. Meet Your Match

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Meet Your Match is a good warm-up, mingle game.
prep: You'll need pictures of things that belong in pairs, one picture for each family member. Think: peanut butter and jelly, bird and birdhouse, cake and candles... etc...

setup: In a room away from most of the guests, lay the pictures out and stick a piece of tape at the top of each. (Packing tape works best.) Invite the kids to take one picture at a time and stick it on someone's back, then take turns taping them on each other's. (They have to be sneaky — not so sneaky that they startle Grandpa, but sneaky enough so he doesn't see which picture is on his back.) Warn everyone (not just the kids) not to talk about other people's pictures.

Play: Everyone asks each other questions to figure out what's on their own back. (Examples: Is it something you can eat? Is it an animal, vegetable, or mineral? Is it bigger than a toaster?) Make sure the youngest kids understand that they're not supposed to tell people what picture is on their back until that person figures it out for them selves. Once you discover what you are, you have to find your match: If you're a basketball, look for a net; if you're a mouse, look for cheese, and so on.

Results have been that both adults and kids love this game! A real winner for the entire family!

3. Object of My Affection

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Photo Credit: CMesker

The Object of My Affection is a dinner game that will keep the kids engaged and everyone's stories flowing.

prep: A few days before your family gathering, ask everyone to pick out a small object to bring with them, something that has a story behind it. Explain that other people will have to guess who it belongs to, so you don't want something with a name or picture on it (or anything breakable, since it'll be passed around — perhaps not so gently). Ask them to conceal it in gift wrap or newspaper.

setup: Leave a basket or canvas bag near the door where people can drop off their wrapped objects.

play: Starting with an adult, pass the basket and have each person unwrap one object and guess whose it is. They also have to guess the story behind it. (Outlandish stories hold the kids' attention better than serious guesses, as in, "I bet Grandma found this seashell when she was washing behind her ears.") Then pass the object to the person you just named. If the guess is not correct, that person has to take a turn guessing who the owner is. (Grandpa says, "It's not mine. I bet my sister bought it at a gift shop in the desert," and passes it to her.) Set a limit of two passes before the owner must 'fess up with the real story.

our results: Kid testers kept forgetting to make up a story to go with the object before they passed it, but they loved listening to the wacky stories the adults came up with, like Jeff's guess that a small garden gnome was Nora's..."and it's a statue of her grandpa." The real stories can be amusing too: When 7-year-old Michaela found out that an object belonged to her mom, she exclaimed, "You're my own mother, and I didn't even know that!"

4. Dirty Santa

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Photo Credit: CMesker

Though it's not recommended for smaller children that won't understand, Dirty Santa is a fun game to play with the adults and older kids in your family. Nothing like a good game of gift stealing!

5. Wooden Spoon Knows You

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Photo Credit: Joe Thorn

You must have a group that is very comfortable around each other for this game, but it's definitely packed full of laughs for you and your family!

After being blindfolded, one player has to guess the identity of another by touching that person with the spoons only. Meanwhile, the "touchee" tries not to crack up while being poked and prodded. "The best part is a five-year-old can play it with a forty-five-year-old," says Jan, whose family had a blast playing this touchy-feely game of Guess Who last Thanksgiving. "The kids laugh -- it's so hysterical."

6. Secret Snowman

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Photo Credit: Pictures by Ann

This game involves lots of pats on the back and laughs, so it's perfect for family gatherings.

Players try to stick a paper snowman (ours is made of card stock with a loop of painter's tape to attaching it) on a person's back without her noticing. When that person realizes the snowman is on her, she has to stick it on someone else's back. Don't worry about the snowman staying on just one back for hours -- giggling kids are sure to give the person a clue before too long. Try to have the snowman visit everyone's back by the end of the day.

7. Pictionary

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Photo Credit: Bill & Nina Senn

For a group, grab your kid's chalkboard or dry erase board and gather around for a good old fashioned game of Pictionary. Just make sure to remember a timer! Kids will love this one too!

Your family will love and appreciate being able to do more than sit around and eat as a holiday tradition together for Christmas!!! Make a new Game tradition today! What is your favorite holiday game?

Top Photo Credit: Jess J

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