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July 17, 2024

Where Every Family Matters

How to Create That Holiday Magic!

Since this year's so different, why not start new traditions and turn up the fun in the evenings with some family room party games?

Are you all caught up in the hustle and bustle of your online shopping? Maybe it’s time to take a look around, reprioritize, and make a little Christmas magic at home for the family. Get into the spirit! Here’s how:


Advent Calendar 
Kids want to check the days off until Christmas. All kinds of calendars are available, even if you’re new to this, go ahead and get one and pop it up in the kitchen. Let your kids be the ones to do it every morning, rotating turns. It’s never too late to start a countdown to Christmas!

Lights Inside, etc.
This is the year to pull out the stops with the decorating. And with kids in the house, let them help! Go to town with stringing lights up and down your staircase, on your mantel and more. Let the kids use their imaginations to decorate their rooms, too.

Display holiday kids’ books
Start a Christmas book collection that you keep in a basket year after year and do nightly readings.

See Santa.
In person or virtually.

Track Santa with NORAD
The government agency North American Aerospace Defense Command has tracked Santa’s progress across the globe for children for more than 50 years. Find the official site at and watch video progress of Santa’s flight starting on Christmas Eve.

Leave a Magic Santa Key
The magic key lets Santa in the front door if you don’t have a fireplace.

Have Christmas pajamas for all.

Sprinkle reindeer food in the yard on Christmas Eve
Find a recipe and free printable tag to make reindeer food here.

Let the kids bake and decorate cookies for Santa
Kids especially love Christmas cut-out cookies and leaving them out for Santa on Christmas Eve.

On Christmas Eve, make a pretty table for dinner and put one gift in front of everyone’s setting along with a Christmas cracker.

Wrap Santa gifts in special paper & write tags out in squiggly handwriting
Kids love seeing the heap from Santa and his funny penmanship!


Family Party Games

Christmas Wrap Up
With each person using only one hand, have everyone try to wrap a Christmas present. Time teams for a fun competition.

Human Christmas Tree
Split your family into teams, with one person from each team as the designated human Christmas tree. Dress that person up like a Christmas tree and judge everyone’s creations at the end.

Stocking Fill Up
This is very similar to the traditional game of egg and spoon. Instead of an egg, use wrapped candy on a spoon and try to fill up a stocking!

Elf Toss
Have duos stand across from each other and toss a toy elf. If it’s caught, have them take a step back. Continue until the elf is dropped and only one team remains.

Christmas 20

Try to figure out who each person’s character is with this holiday themed version of 20 questions.

Have everyone stand in a circle with a present. One person stands in the middle and reads a simple story that mentions the words “left” or “right” several times. Everytime they read a directional word, presents are passed in that direction. At the end of the story, everyone opens the present they’re holding.

Santa Limbo
This non traditional limbo game features a pillow under the shirt of each contestant to make it even harder and more festive.

Family Feud Christmas
Play a game of family feud themed entirely on Christmas.

Secret Santa 
Twist this by having each person in your family present assigned to buy or make a gift for someone else in the group. Do Secret Santa on Christmas Eve at the table!

Saran Wrap
Wrap a series of small prizes within a giant ball of saran wrap. Have each person try to roll doubles with dice. If they do, it’s their turn to try and unwrap the saran ball and get the prizes inside until the next person rolls doubles.

Blindfold Christmas
Blindfold each person and have them try to draw Christmas imagery such as a Christmas tree, stocking, presents, and more. The winner can either have the most realistic drawing, or the most creative representation.

Using all holiday cards you received, place them on one end of a flat table. Try to blow them to the edge without them falling off. The team with the most cards on the edge wins.

Pair O’ Carolers
Have each player pick a carol out of a hat, with two of each song in the hat. Then have everyone hum their song and try to find their match. When they do, they then have to sing the song aloud together for the rest of the party. If they finish the song, they get a prize.

Christmas Charades
It’s now time to teach your kids how to play Charades. The fun, classic miming game will delight all ages. Don’t know how? Check it out on YouTube.

About the Author

Susan Swindell Day, Editor

Susan Swindell Day is the editor in chief of Nashville Parent and the mom of four amazing kids.