Post Category: Gifting

30 Office Christmas Party Games Yule Totally Love (Sorry)

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Office Christmas parties have a lot of awkwardness potential. You’re trying to sound normal to your boss’ S.O., you’re drinking in front of HR, and you’ve realized you officially can’t talk to Chas from accounting about anything other than expense reports. Luckily, there’s a way to change what’s bah humbug-ging you: with office Christmas party games. These Christmas party games for work will test your creativity, brilliance, aim, balance, competitiveness, and even your stomach: there are office Christmas party games for every office. Now dash away, dash away, dash away all and get started.

1. Jeopardy: Christmas Edition

holiday jeopardy printable

This is a great game for a nerdy-and-proud of it group.

You’ll need:

  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Printed point sheet, answer sheet, and questions key.
  • A jingle bell for every team

How to play:

Start out by splitting into 3-5 teams with two people left out: one who will host, the other who will keep score. Before the game begins, the host and score keeper should cut up the point sheet grid and lightly tape the point amounts over the answers on the other sheet. Once this is finished, the board is ready for display. Also, the host should make sure not show anyone else the question bank (aka, the answer sheet… but it’s Jeopardy and answers are in the form of a question. You get it).

The team with the player with the birthday closest to Christmas gets to choose the first category. The moderator will remove the paper over the blank, read the answer, and whichever team rings their jingle bell first should answer in the form of a question. If they get it right, they get nice list points. If they get it wrong, they get naughty points. The team that gets a turn right gets to choose the next spot on the board to tackle until all of the answers have been uncovered. At the end, naughty points get subtracted from nice points, and the nicest team wins.

Print Game Here

2. Pin the Face on the Elf

Pin the face on the elf

It’s basically pin the tail on the donkey, but Christmas-y and less dignified.

You’ll need:

  • Printed elf
  • Printed faces
  • Tape
  • A blindfold

How to play:

To set it up, start by printing out the four-sheet elf drawing (below) and taping the halves together on a wall. Next, print out a photo of every participant’s face (the faces should each approximately fit the blank space where the elf’s face would be) and then cut them out and put a tape loop on the back of each one. When it’s a player’s turn, have them hold onto their printed face and then blindfold them. Approximately six feet away from the elf body on the wall, spin the player around five times, and then see if they can stick their printed face where they elf’s face should go. Whoever gets closest to the most anatomically correct face placement wins.

Print Game Here

3. Guess the Carol: Emoji Edition

Guessing Holiday related emoji game
Emoji literati, this game is for you.

You’ll need:

  • A writing utensil for every player
  • A sheet for every player

How to play:

In order to play, print out a game sheet (see below) for every player. Make sure everyone has writing utensils, then set a timer for five minutes, and ask everyone to guess what Christmas song the emojis represent. When the timer goes off, the person who guessed the most carols correctly wins.

Print Game Here

4. Bingo All the Way

holiday bingo

This is a great option for an adventurous, energetic group with a high embarrassment threshold. It’s pretty much guaranteed to bond you to your team for life.

You’ll need:

  • A board for every person or team playing
  • Markers for every person or team playing
  • A phone for each person/team playing

How to play:

To set it up, print out these boards and distribute one to every team. The goal of the game is to cross out a full line of five spaces on the board (it can be vertical, horizontal, or diagonal). To cross something off from the board, a team needs to take a picture or video with their phone that proves that it happened. The first team to get a full line crossed off on their board must (humiliatingly) yell “Bingo all the way” to win eternal bragging rights.

Print Game Here

5. Holiday Scavenger Hunt

holiday scavenger hunt

On the scale of peak adventure to peak #couchlyfe, this game is definitely on the daring side. But trust us, as soon as you see Clive from legal chugging his eggnog you’ll know it’s all worth it.

You’ll need:

  • A print out for each team
  • A phone for each team

How to play:

To set it up, start by splitting into teams. Each team should get one sheet (see below) and be given 30-45 minutes to complete as many items from the list as they can. Teams should also take photos (or videos where it makes sense) to prove that they have completed their tasks. The team that completes the greatest number of tasks on the list wins.

Print Game Here

6. Christmas Jenga

Here’s how to add a Christmas-y twist to this classic game.

You’ll need:

  • A Jenga game
  • Permanent markers
  • Holiday food and drink (if included in the dares)

How to play:

To add a festive twist to this classic, take a regular Jenga game and write a holiday dare on 25 of the wooden blocks (holiday dares like, “hum Jingle bells until your next turn” or “hang a candy cane on each ear,” etc.). Each turn, you have to try to remove a piece of wood from the stack without toppling the pile, and then do any dare written on the removed piece. The one who knocks over the game loses and gets pelted brutally with coal (just kidding, the shame of losing is punishment enough).

7. Chubby Reindeer

You may have played a version of this with marshmallows before. That is mere child’s play compared to this fruitcake-y gauntlet of regret. We mean that in a good way, we swear.

You’ll need:

  • A bunch of fruitcake
  • A knife
  • A lack of dignity

How to play:

Begin by slice up a fruitcake into small even cubes and then place it into bowls by the poor, poor competitors. During every round, each player needs to put a new cube of fruitcake in their mouth and say the words, “chubby reindeer” clearly enough to be understood. Players cannot chew or swallow the pieces of garbage fruitcake. A player must drop out of the game when they can no longer fit another fruitcake cube in their mouth, or when they can no longer be understood saying, “chubby reindeer.” The person who keeps going longest wins and deserves a serious medal.

8. Deck Your Coworker

Word to the wise: make sure you’ve got a camera rolling for this one. Of all the office Christmas party games, the photos from this one might give you the best blackmail material.

You’ll need:

  • Tree decorations like tinsel, plastic ornaments, stars, and garlands

How to play:

Divide into teams of 3-5 people with someone left out to be the judge. On each team, one person will have to volunteer/be forced to be the “tree” and a variety of decorations like garlands, ornaments, tinsel, and stars should be provided for the teams to use for the tree’s decorations. When the judge says “go” teams will have have 90 seconds to try to deck out their “tree” as well as they can. At the end of the 90 seconds, the judge will decide which team did the best job speed-decorating their “tree.”

Cat tied up in mess of Christmas lights

Grumpy Christmas Cat Illustration by cartoonbeing

9. Holiday Newlywed Game

This works just like the game show, but instead of partnering up with a spouse, you’ll partner up with your work BFF. The Dasher to your Dancer, holly to your ivy, the mistle to your…. Toe. You get it.

You’ll need:

  • A pad of paper for every player
  • A writing utensil for every player

How to play

Whoever decides to host should start by writing up a bunch of holiday-related questions ahead of time (e.g., what’s the most stressful part of the holidays, what do you most want for Christmas, what’s your favorite carol, etc.) that the work BFFs will have to answer about one another. Work BFFs should each get their own pad of paper and shouldn’t be allowed to peak at their team member’s.

Partners should also all decide which of them is partner A and partner B. The host will ask a question to all the partners like, “What’s partner A’s favorite holiday food?” and partner A will write down their answer and partner B will have to guess what partner A’s answer was. BFFs get a point every time their answers match. The one who has the most points at the end wins an all expenses paid trip to the candy cane forest through the gum drop mountainside. Or you know, a gift card.

10. Holiday Song Game

You don’t have to be a great singer to be good at this song game, you just have to have a good head for lyrics.

You’ll need:

  • A list of words
  • Paper
  • Writing utensils

How to play:

To get started, split the players into teams of 3-5 people. At the same time, appoint a host and have them make a list of pretty generic winter holiday words (like snow, sugar, gift, december, white, green, bell, and tree).

For each round, the host give all teams the same word (“white” for example) and then the teams have five minutes to write down as many song lyrics as they can think of that include the word white (like lines from “White Christmas” or “White Wedding”). When the time is up, the teams go around in a circle and sing the lyrics that include the word (like, “It’s a nice day for a white wedding) one at a time (N.B.: if another team sings a song that’s also on your list before you get a chance to sing it, you can’t use it). Teams can also challenge a lyric from another team that they think is fake, but if they’re wrong, they have to come up with two songs on their next turn.

The team that goes the most rounds gets a point, and a new round can start up with another word. The team with the most points at the end wins and officially jingle bell rocks.

llama in a red scarf caroling with green background and snow falling

Holiday Llama Illustration by agrapedesign

11. Holiday PJ Competition

Time to find out whose bedtime couture can #sleighallday.

You’ll need:

  • Participants will need PJs
  • A scoring rubric
  • Awards for first, second, and third place

How to play:

Tell everyone two weeks beforehand that there will be a PJ competition at the holiday party and that they’re encouraged to wear their finest holiday PJs. Establish judges and let competitors know what they’ll be judged on (creativity, commitment, Christmas-y-ness, etc). Throughout the party, judges should go around and meet all the competitors and assign scores. First, second, and third deserve a major award.

12. Cocoa Pong

This one is pretty messy. You’ve been warned.

You’ll need:

  • 20 cups
  • Plenty of warm cocoa
  • Two big bags of large marshmallows
  • A sweet tooth

How to play:

First, separate into two teams. Next, set up some festive cups (red plastic cups will do) in a triangle shape on each end of a large table. Fill each cup with warm cocoa about ½ full (spike the cocoa if that’s your office’s vibe) and give each team a big bowl of large marshmallows.

Each team will take turns trying to throw a marshmallow into one of the cups. If your team successfully throws it in, someone on the other team has to drink it, and you get to try to throw again. The one with cups left at the end wins the glory (and avoids the cavities).

hot chocolate in blue snowflake mug

Mug of hot chocolate with cute marshmallows Illustration by peppermintpopuk

13. Holiday Karaoke (Carol-oke?) Challenge

In the immortal words of Buddy the Elf, “The best way to spread Christmas Cheer, is singing loud for all to hear” (clearly Buddy has never heard me try to go for the high notes in “Silent Night,” but let’s move on).

You’ll need:

  • A karaoke machine
  • 100% fearlessness
  • Possibly earplugs, RIP

How to play:

To get the most out of this game, let people in your office know a few weeks in advance that there will be a Holiday Karaoke competition. This gives them time to prep and confirm what songs will be available, and they can either choose to sing holiday classics or re-write other songs to make them holiday themed ( e.g., “I’ve Got Yule Babe,” “I’m Every Snowman,” or “You Oughta Snow”). Next, rent a Karaoke machine (and make sure it has the promised tracks). After this, appoint a few judges from different departments who are willing to shoulder the massive responsibility of ruthlessly judging their coworkers’ performances. Judges will award first, second, and third place based on creativity, spirit, and commitment.

14. Holiday Charades

If you don’t feel like doing an insane amount of set up, this game might be just what you’re looking for.

You’ll need:

  • Paper
  • Writing utensils
  • A timer/phone

How to play:

After forming teams, have everyone write down three holiday phrases, words, or lyrics on small slips of paper. Next, everyone should fold their papers in half and throw them in a bowl. When it’s your team’s turn, pick a piece of paper randomly out of the bowl and try to get your team to guess what holiday word or phrase is written on the paper in 60 seconds using only non-verbal cues. Whichever team gets the most right wins.

15. Secret Santa

Ah yes. The ultimate holiday party classic where your coworkers get to discover just how little you really know them.

What you’ll need:

  • Paper
  • Pens
  • Presents

How to play:

Two weeks before the office Christmas party, see who wants to participate in this time-honored tradition, and then establish a price limit for gifts (e.g., $25). Write the name of each participant on a slip of paper, fold them in half, put them in a bowl, and have each participant pull out a name. The name they select is the person they’ll need to buy a gift for (if you select your own name, you’ll have to re-draw). Have everyone bring their gifts to the holiday party and put them in a pile. When everyone is gathered together, each person should open their gift, say thank you, and pretend that they really did like that flan recipe book you got them.

guinea pig holding christmas present with tree topper hat

Cute Fluffy Christmas Guinea-pig Illustration by zoel

16. Dangling Cookie Eating Contest

This game measures more than just your sugar tolerance: it’s about coordination, strategy, and willingness to get frosting up your nose.

You’ll need:

  • A bunch of holiday cookies
  • String (to hang the cookies with and to tie hands)
  • Duct tape (to attach the cookies to the ceiling with)
  • A small screwdriver useful for drilling a hole in the cookie (so you can put a string through it)

How to play:

To set up this game, hang a bunch of Christmas cookies from the ceiling with string (they should range from about 2-5.5 ft off the ground). Each person who wants to compete will need a partner (to keep track of their points) and will need to have their hands tied behind their back. Someone will shout “go” and start a timer for 90 seconds. Whoever can eat the most dangling cookies with their hands tied behind their back wins.

17. Holiday Sticker Stalker: Stick it to the (Gingerbread) Man

Sticky Bandits, this one’s for you.

You’ll need:

  • 10 stickers for every player

How to play:

Before the game starts each player is given a sheet of 10 holiday-themed stickers. The objective of the game is to be the first to stick all your stickers on your coworkers without their noticing. If someone does catch you sticking a sticker on them, you have to take it back and they get to stick one on you. If you’re falsely accused of trying to stick a sticker on someone when you’re not, you get to stick a sticker on your accuser. The one to get rid of all their stickers first wins.

18. Boss Elf on a Shelf

This is more of a “leading up to the holiday party” game than a game you actually play during the party. But it’s fun so we’re including it.

You’ll need:

  • An elf
  • A photo of your boss’ face
  • Prizes

How to play:

Starting a week or two before the holiday party, add a photo of your boss’ face to an elf doll. Every day, your boss should hide it in a new place in the office and leave a (funny) note commenting on nice and naughty stuff they’ve see their employees do the day before. When the holiday party rolls around, your boss gives prizes to the nicest and naughtiest people they have observed.

19. Coworkers Against Holidays (IOW, Cards Against Humanity for Office Christmas Parties)

The set up for this game is pretty intense. It requires time, thorough knowledge of inside jokes, and a pretty lenient HR department. But it will so be worth it.

You’ll need:

  • A customized deck of cards
  • Some time on your hands

How to play:

Well in advance of the party, you’ll be creating “Cards Against Humanity” cards based on stuff from your office. You’ll need to create around 50 question cards will be things like, “Karen is WFH today because ________,” and around 200-500 fill-in-the-blank cards with content like, “Ronald left a tuna sandwich on his desk over the weekend again.”

You’ll play following the standard Cards Against Humanity rules, and the person who collects the most cards at the end of the game wins.

Dinosaurs, t-rex in xmas hat and longneck in scarf and christmas tree thinking asteroid is santa claus
Merry Extinction Illustration by Teo Zirinis

20. Jingle Bell Hunt

A great way to RING in the holiday season, amirite? (Sorry).

You’ll need:

  • A ton of jingle bells

How to play:

Before the party starts, hide a bunch of jingle bells around the office (the way you would for an Easter egg hunt). At the party, give players ten minutes to find as many bells as they can, and the one who finds to most wins.

21. Christmas Relay Race

You’ll need:

  • Depends on the events you choose
  • Agility, balance, speed, and problem solving: these are the qualities necessary for success in a relay race. These are also the qualities that disappear first after several servings of tipsy eggnog. So plan accordingly.

How to play:

Before the party, decide on what holiday-related events make sense for your office (stuff like carrying an ornament on a spoon, hiding something in a pile of wrapped presents, and carrying a gingerbread man on your head) and get them set up. When the party starts, have everyone separate into teams and then explain the events. Whichever team is completes the events fastest wins some serious bragging rights.

22. Holiday Spelling Bee

Because not all holiday party games should be about brawn. Give us nerds a chance.

What you’ll need:

  • A bunch of holiday vocab

How to play:

Before the party, the host should come up with a list of holiday words. It should start off with easy ones (e.g., eggnog, fruitcake, Blitzen, etc.) and escalate to more challenging stuff (e.g., Hanukkah, myrrh, mele kalikimaka). Ask each participant to spell a word on their turn, and if they spell it incorrectly, they get eliminated. Keep it up until only the winner is left.

23. Don’t Say These Words: Christmas Break Edition

There are certain topics that feel pretty unavoidable during an office holiday party: Christmas plans, visiting family, food, travel, and the weather. This game however, will force you to change up these standard conversational topics through some holly jolly bloodthirsty competition.

You’ll Need:

  • A jingle bell necklace for every participant
  • A list of taboo words

How to play:

Start out the game by giving every participant a jingle bell necklace and a list of taboo words. The point of the game is to keep that bell as long as you can and to collect everyone else’s. To do that, you’ve got to avoid saying any of the common holiday words on the list (e.g., travel, plans, presents, shopping, diet, and snow) for the remainder of the party. If anyone uses one of the forbidden words, they’re forced to give up their necklace to the person who calls them out for it. By the end of the party, the one with the most necklaces wins. And is also very jingle-y.

happy avocado in christmas sweater with reindeer and christmas tree design
Avo Merry Christmas Illustration by daisy-beatrice

24. Stocking Decorating Contest

This is a nice activity for your office Christmas party because it let’s people be creative and learn about each other. It’s also nice because it allows one master artisan to reign supreme over their coworkers. And victory is what this holiday is all about.

You’ll need:

  • Stockings
  • Arts and crafts supplies
  • Prizes

How to play:

First, set up a workspace with all kinds of decorations: fabric paint, sparkles, glitter-glue, pom-poms, rhinestones, etc. Then, give every participant a blank holiday stocking and give them 30 minutes to decorate their stocking. If you’d like, you can choose a theme for everyone’s stocking to follow like “favorite part of Christmas” or “stockings that represent your year.” When the time is up, a judge should choose their first, second, and third favorite stockings and award them a prize.

25. Two Truths and a Lie Holiday Edition

Know who’ll be good at this one? That coworker with all the suspicious sick days. Yep, we’re looking at you Reggie.

You’ll need:

  • Paper
  • Pens
  • Lying skills

How to play:

To play this twist on the classic icebreaker, every player has to write down three holiday-related facts about themselves (things like, “I actually love fruitcake, 45 people are going to my mom’s Christmas dinner, and I believed in Santa until I was 12). Two of these facts should be true, and one should be false. On a player’s turn, they share their facts and everyone else has to guess the lie. You get a point for everyone you fool with your facts, and everyone gets a point who guesses correctly. The player at the end of the game with the most points wins.

26. A Dashing, Dancing, Prancing, and…Blitzing? Obstacle Course

This is another game you’ll want to play before you break out the eggnog and while you still have the will to move.

You’ll need:

  • Depends on the events you choose

How to play:

To play, create an obstacle course for teams in your office with events like popcorn garland limbo, balance an ornament on a spoon, and “wrapping paper is lava” (where you’d cover large sections of the floor in wrapping paper and make people try to avoid stepping on it). The person with the fastest time through the obstacle course wins.

Orange T-rex tries putting star on top of christmas tree but has short arms
The Struggle Illustration by Rebekie Bennington

27. White Elephant

Shameless re-gifting, theft, and manipulation. If that doesn’t sound like a Christmas game we don’t know what does.

You’ll need:

  • Paper
  • Pens
  • Each participant will need to bring a wrapped present

How to play:

In order to play, all participants need to bring a wrapped, unlabeled gift of predetermined value on the day of the party. At the beginning of the game, players will draw numbers to establish their order. The person who draws the number one gets to go up and choose the first gift out of the gift pile. They then unwrap it so everyone can see what they got. The person who drew number two then can either take another wrapped present from the pile or can instead choose to steal the first person’s unwrapped gift. If they choose to steal the gift, the person who was robbed can then select another gift. This process goes on until all gifts from the pile have been unwrapped and someone chooses not to steal when it becomes their turn.

28. Holiday Trivia

Here’s your chance to prove that you really DO know Dasher, and Dancer, and Prancer, and Vixen.

You’ll need:

  • 15-20 questions
  • A marker for each team
  • A notebook for each team

How to play:

Before the party, the trivia host should come up with a list of 15 to 20 holiday trivia questions (like, “What department store is featured in the 1947 version of “Miracle on 34th Street?), ranging from easy to difficult. To start the game, separate players into teams and have each team assign a scribe (someone to write down the answers). The host will then read out the questions one at a time, giving teams about 30 seconds to discuss the answer and then write it down on their sheet of paper. When the minute is up, each team will hold up their sheet of paper displaying the answer. The host will then award points to whoever got it right. At the end of game, whoever has the most points wins.

29. “Who am I:” Holiday Edition

This is a fun low-prep game that’s a good option if you don’t feel like going crazy on the prep.

You’ll need:

  • Sticky notes
  • Markers

How to play:

All you need to do is create as many sticky notes as you have players and write down a holiday person, place, or thing on each one. Next, put a labeled sticky note on everyone’s back who wants to play. To play the game, your coworkers have to go around and ask other people yes-or-no questions about what’s written on their back (e.g., “Am I an animal?” or, “Do I have a flavor?”). The first person to guess what’s on their sticky note wins.

30. Gingerbread House Decorating Contest

You can do a version of this where everyone makes a casual graham cracker house or you can go extra as hell with a nice big gingerbread one. It’s really up to you.

You’ll need:

  • Graham crackers or gingerbread house kits
  • Frosting
  • A crazy ton of candy

How to play:

To set up the contest, provide plenty of colorful candy, cookies, and frosting to go on everyone’s house. A few people should decide not to participate in the decorating so they can judge everyone’s work. Participants should be given a set amount of time for decorating and the judge should give out fun awards for things like, “most creative use of frosting,” “I’d actually live here,” and “most disturbing.”

holiday gingerbread unicorn cookies
Gingerbread Unicorn Illustration by JessieSima

As you’ve seen, there are Christmas office games for everybody, so there are no excuses for Christmas party awkwardness. We hope you have yourselves a merry (/super competitive) little Christmas with these office holiday party games, and that you forgive us for putting the idea of cocoa pong into the universe.

Happy holidays.

(Header Image Illustration by designwoori)

 

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