15 Best Adult Christmas Party Games 2021

15 Best Adult Christmas Party Games 2020

15 Best Adult Christmas Party Games 2021

christmas games for adults 

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The lead-up to Christmas is hectic, with lots of hunting around for the best gift ideas, Christmas decorating, meal-prepping and the like. But Christmas night, or at the end of the holiday party that’s been long in the works? After the gifts are opened, the food’s been eaten and the good cheer has been spread? That’s when you get to let you hair down. Send the kids off to bed and burn off that excess holiday adrenaline with one of these adult Christmas party games.

Whether you’re looking for a new board game, a different twist on how to exchange presents or the chance to show your friends and relatives your skills in snowman stacking, gingerbread house making or cocktail shaking, challenge your fellow grown-ups to one of these contests. (Of course, the rules can be easily modified for children if you want to find some more Christmas games for kids, but where’s the fun in that?) Whether or not you make it harder by adding in a hot toddy or two is up to you. Make a new rule that the winner has to plan the games for next year, and then see who can take home the title. (Remember: Cheating gets you on the naughty list.)

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White Elephant Gift Exchange

You can call it a White Elephant, Dirty Santa or Yankee Swap, but whatever you call it, it’s a fun and often oddly competitive way to introduce a little adrenaline into gift-giving. The gist: Everyone brings a wrapped gift, an order is established and revelers take turns either choosing to open a wrapped gift or “stealing” one that’s already been opened. Every family has their own rules about how to set the order, how many “steals” are allowed and what happens once a present gets stolen. If you expect shenanigans, the gift exchange kids from the Solid Roots game company come with official rulebooks (so your guideline-bending uncle can see everything in black-and-white), numbered tokens and stickers to keep track of steals.

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Holiday Movie Drinking Game

It’s perhaps the easiest holiday game ever: Pick a Christmas movie and then identify certain phrases, words, or actions that will signal to everyone that they have to drink. (For example, take a sip every time Will Ferrell’s Buddy the Elf says “Santa”). To get everyone excited to take a sip, swap out throat-burning shots for glasses of eggnog, sparkling ginger sangria or any other fun boozy Christmas cocktail.

Gift Wrap Physical Challenge

Divide your group into teams of two, and see who can wrap a gift the fastest — with each person keeping one hand behind their back. (Teamwork!) You can also see who can unwrap gifts fastest while wearing holiday oven mitts. Players can keep the mitts as a party favor!

RELATED: 45 Easy Gift Wrapping Ideas to Give Your Presents That Extra Sparkle

Plastic Wrap Ball Game

First, create a giant plastic wrap ball, layering in little presents like mini liquor bottles, gift cards, candy, cash and more, says Berger. How you play: One person starts unwrapping the ball while another rolls a pair of dice, trying to roll doubles. Once doubles are rolled, the ball passes to the next player and the sequence begins again. The person with the ball can’t stop unwrapping until the person to their right rolls doubles, so it creates urgency to keep rolling as fast as possible so the ball can pass to you. You get to keep the items items you unwrap during your turn, so everyone is bound to go home with something fun!

RELATED: Fun Gift Ideas Under $5 That’ll Still Impress

“Favorite Things” Gift Exchange

A “Favorite Things” gift exchange is essentially a positive spin on a white elephant gift exchange, says Tara Berger, founder of One Stylish Party, an entertaining blog and online party boutique. Instead of a silly gag gift, each guest brings three, low-cost items they absolutely love. The gifts are placed on a table and everyone takes turns picking out three items to keep. “It is a great way to introduce your friends to some of your must-have items and it doesn’t require you to tailor the gift to a specific person.”

The Carolling Challenge

While everyone sits in a circle, one person starts by singing a line from a holiday song, and the person to the right has to sing the next line of this song and so on, says Kaitlin Moss, editor of the entertaining blog The Every Hostess. Pick from the classics like “Jingle Bells,” or try a more modern holiday hit like Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas is You.” The first person to mess up the lyrics has to take a shot!

RELATED: 56 Festive Christmas Songs to Get You in the Holiday Spirit

Two Truths and a Lie

Everyone is probably familiar with this classic icebreaker game: You make three statements, and everyone else tries to guess which are true and which is false. This season, give it a holiday twist by making all the stories related to Christmas, suggests Seri Kertzner, chief party officer at event-planning company Little Miss Party Planner. You can talk about funny holiday mishaps or name the three strangest gifts you’ve ever received. The player with the most correct guesses at the end takes home a prize.

Minute to Win It Snowman Game

Set a timer for a minute, and see who can make the most “snowmen” by stacking mini marshmallows on top of each other. You need three to make a stack (but, no, they don’t need faces or arms). Too easy? Try making everyone use chopsticks. Use the leftovers in some cocoa.

Costume Contest

Instead of going the ugly-sweater route, incorporate a costume theme into your Christmas party, suggests Marcy Blum, celebrity event planner and HomeGoods style expert. You can go with classic options like Santa and his elves, or get creative by dressing up as a citizen of Whoville, a ghost from the A Christmas Carol or one of the Home Alone bandits. (The possibilities are truly endless). For the best dressed guests, coordinate holiday-themed prizes like festive ceramic mugs or peppermint bark.

Memory Game

Gather an assortment of 30 or so fun Christmas items (try different types of ornaments, wrapping supplies, holiday candy or any other fun trinkets from the Dollar Store) then give players one minute to memorize everything on the tray, says Kertzner. The player with the most correct items written down gets to keep an item or two from the tray.

RELATED: 45 Easy Gift Wrapping Ideas to Give Your Presents That Extra Sparkle


This classic game is truly fun no matter how old you are. Create a holiday-specific version by choosing popular holiday phrases, songs and movies to act out. Plus, when you’re playing with just adults, you can make the prompts as difficult and obscure as you want!

Christmas Cook-Off

Since whipping up delicious treats is already a beloved holiday pastime, consider turning it into a Top Chef-style competition, says Blum. You can choose to bake cookies, fry up Hanukkah latkes or ask everyone to cook something off the cuff based on a surprise holiday ingredient. (Think peppermint, turkey, cranberries … or, dare we suggest, fruitcake?) Anyone who doesn’t want to put on an apron can be part of the judging panel.

Gingerbread House Competition

That’s right, decorating gingerbread houses isn’t a just-for-kids activity, says Berger. Pair guests up to form teams and start with pre-built houses to minimize hassle and mess. The decorating portion of the party should have a time limit, followed by an anonymous vote to pick the winners by the end of the party. To give it a grown-up twist, serve spiked hot cocoa!

Dramatic Reading

You may not consider reading a natural group activity, but it can be just as fun as watching beloved Christmas movies with your friends. Host a reading of A Christmas Carol or another holiday literary classic and assign different parts to your guests, suggests Blum. It’s a unique and untraditional way to get everyone in the spirit.

Dress the Snowman

Split your friends into teams, and have each team wrap one member in rolls of toilet paper to transform them into a snowmen, says Moss. Then each team can jazz up their “snowman” with accessories and any other fun props they find hanging around. The most ridiculous one wins!

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