A million articles about Christmas’ propensity for stress and strain later, and it’s time to admit something; there’s a lot of downtime during the festive season. We regress into familiar familial roles and spend far too much time sprawled on the sofa in our pyjamas. Reruns of programmes we didn’t like the first time round become de rigueur, you find yourself on first name terms with every hopeful single on Dinner Date and you take your annual trip to the stale, musty ‘local’ twice in the same day, just to kill time. Suddenly someone’s suggestion of Monopoly sounds like a masterstroke…..

Well, if you’re looking for a time filler which has a bit more festive personality and gets the whole family involved and on their feet, then look no further. Here is our list of 5 alternative Christmas party games IDEAL for all the family.

THE WRAPPING RACE

A way of recycling the plentiful used wrapping paper if nothing else, The Wrapping Race may seem a silly proposition when first voiced, but in reality, it’s a hoot. All you need is scissors, wrapping paper, ribbon and sellotape (all likely to be lying around anyway), plus a willing participant to be mummified. Two teams race to wrap up one of their members, with scores awarded for neatness, flair and body coverage. Frivolous, sure, but we all know how families can get surprisingly competitive! Store your most irritating family member wrapped up under the tree until the New Year for bonus points.

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FESTIVALLY THEMED BINGO

First things first, you’re gonna need your very own festive bingo cards. Get them here, or make your own. Set up your living room as a Bingo hall for extra ambience, and replace the traditional Bingo calls of Legs Eleven, Up To Tricks et al with some amusing, creative Christmas versions; 24 Santa Claus, 33 Christmas Tree, 56 Saint Nick…..you get the idea! If competitiveness gets the better of you and you’re in need of a little practice.

CHRISTMAS SONG QUIZ

An easy, fun way to get festive, this one. You’ll need Apple Music or Spotify and an encyclopedic knowledge of Christmas music. Download a playlist of festive hits and shuffle the pack, playing a few seconds of each song. In teams, points are earned for the song title, who it’s by and the year it was released. Simples.

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HEAD’S UP 

Drunken charades a bit cliched? Used up all your Pictionary paper? Played 20 questions just one too many times? Well, we’ve found a game which incorporates the best of all these festive family favourites and then some. Heads Up is available on Android or Apple and is an absolute blast! Leave your pride, dignity and any semblance of humility at the door for the best possible results. Holiday Charades is a Christmas themed version of the game if you want to go the extra merry mile.

CHRISTMAS BELLY LIMBO

If you have an old Father Christmas suit lying around in the attic (hey, who doesn’t?) then you’re good to go. Don the outfit, then strap a pillow to your belly – or simply eat double quantities of Christmas dinner – and set up a festive limbo pole; we’re thinking fairy lights are a nice touch. Stick some festive music on and get down!

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