This post may contain affiliate or referral links which means I may earn a sales commission. Please see my full affiliate disclosure here.
You don’t often think of playing games on Christmas Eve, but playing a game or two can be a lot of fun for the whole family. Try one or all of these Christmas Eve games to add even more fun to your holiday celebration.
If you haven’t already, add a Christmas themed family game night to your list of Christmas Eve traditions.
Bonus: if your kids are bouncing off the walls waiting for the big day, these games will keep them occupied until it’s time to go to bed.
Christmas Eve gift scavenger hunt
If your family opens a gift on Christmas Eve, make gift giving more fun with a Christmas scavenger hunt. This is a fun game for children and adults. Hunting for their present is a fun new way to have them open one gift on Christmas Eve if that is your family’s tradition. It makes opening the gift a little more exciting and will make the excitement last a little longer.
Create a scavenger hunt with age-appropriate clues, then have the kids follow the clues to find their gift. Hide the gift in a creative and age-appropriate place instead.
For this game, use something simple or creative to write your clues on. You could use note cards, paper Christmas shapes, holiday post-it notes, Christmas cards, gift tags, or you might even want to use ornaments.
Whichever method you choose, write a clue on each of your items and leave those around the house. Start by handing each child the first clue.
Some scavenger hunt clue examples for younger children might be:
- “Where you lay your head and snooze is where you will find clue number two,” and the children will run to their beds where they will find another clue.
- “To stay on Santa’s nice list, don’t be a grouch. Clue number three is under the ______,” and the children head to the couch where they find another clue.
- Depending on your children’s ages and attention span, the final clue will be the gift itself. For older children, add more hints to extend the game further.
Find more great Christmas scavenger hunt clues at Between Us Parents
Christmas card toss
By Christmas Eve, your Christmas cards have likely been on display for a few weeks and you may be thinking about starting to clean them up. Instead of just tossing them out, why not play a game with them first?
Have someone set up a gift box or laundry basket (better yet, a Christmas laundry basket!) a few feet away; the distance depends on your players’ age and ability. Have the kids stand away from the box or basket and try to toss the cards in. The one who gets the most cards in is the winner.
This may sound easy, but Christmas cards come in different sizes and styles that will behave differently when tossed. It can be more difficult than expected to get them into the box or basket.
Ring around the antlers
Make rings by twisting two red and white or red and green pipe cleaners together to look like a candy can, then form the pipe cleaners into a circle to make a ring.
Have someone where a pair of reindeer antlers on their head while everyone takes turns trying to get a ring on the antlers.
Holiday stocking circle game
If you have a large get-together for Christmas Eve, try playing a Christmas themed alphabet circle game like “what’s in my stocking”.
Have everyone sit in a circle. The first player will begin the game by saying, for example, “in my stocking, there is an artichoke.” The next person will add, “in my stocking, there is an artichoke and a book.” Go around the circle in order until you get to the letter Z.
Each person will continue, remembering the previous items and adding one of their own, in alphabetical order. If you miss an item, you’re out of the game.
Whoever successfully remembers all the stocking stuffers in order is the winner.
Form two teams then have each team come up with a list of as many words about Christmas as they can.
Write each of the words on small pieces of paper, then fold the papers in half. When finished, place each team’s words in two separate containers and give them to the opposite team.
One player at a time will then draw a paper from the opposite team’s words and act out the word given. If the current player’s team guesses the word, they receive a point.
The team that guesses the most words and has the most points at the end of the game wins.
Christmas music musical chairs
For some physical activity to work off all of those delicious cookies, how about trying a game of musical chairs set to Christmas music?
This game is even more fun if you use cheerful, well-known Christmas music. Play with popular songs that everyone knows and require them to sing along and dance while they run around the chairs.
Play this game like any traditional game of musical chairs, with the loser being the one who doesn’t get a chair when the music stops.
Candy cane hunt
Instead of Easter eggs, hide candy canes around the house for the kids to find.
Alternative idea: if you get an ornament for your kids every year, hide their ornaments for them to find then put them on the tree.