free games to play at christmas


One of my very favorite things to do during the holidays is to play games with family and friends. There’s nothing more dreamy than cozying up by the fire, passing around candy and hot cocoa, and duking it out with the ones you love most. Given that we’re on a debt free journey, we are constantly looking for free things to do. Here are some of the best free games to play at Christmas.



What you’ll need: pens, 10 small strips of player per person

How you play: everyone playing the game will take ten strips of paper and write down a character. You can choose to make this Christmas themed or not. If Christmas themed, you could choose characters like Rudolph, Santa, Scrooge, Buddy the Elf, etc. Otherwise, you simply choose characters like celebrities, characters from movies, historical figures, and the like.

Once everyone has written ten characters, you put all of the strips of paper in a bowl and sit in a circle. Every other person in the circle is on Team 1 and the others are on Team 2 (i.e. you are sitting in the middle of two people not on your team).

This game is played in 3 rounds.

Round 1: You set a timer for 30 seconds, and give the first player the bowl. The player using her words only, tries to describe the character for her team mates to guess. Every time her team guesses the character correctly, she saves the strip of paper out of the bowl (1 paper = 1 point). At the end of the 30 seconds, she counts up her points and the player immediately next to her takes a turn for the other team. Once everyone in the circle has had a turn, you tally up the teams’ points.

Round 2: Place all of the word strips back in the bowl. This round, you do the same thing EXCEPT instead of describing the word strip with words, you act out the character, like charades. Be sure to tally up the teams’ points at the end.

Round 3: For the final round, instead of describing the word strips with words or acting them out, you can only say ONE word to describe it. For example, if the word strip was “Rudolph” you could say “red” or “nose.”

In the end, the team with the most points wins.


Play Christmas themed Bingo! Here are several free printable versions.


One of the most classic free games to play at Christmas is “Who am I?” Prepare sticky name tags with the names of all kinds of Christmas characters (Ideas: Clark Griswald, the Grinch, Santa, Buddy the Elf, Rudolph and all of the other reindeer, Nutcracker, etc). Place the name tag on each participant’s forehead or back. Each player has to figure out which character they are by only asking yes or no questions.


The internet is chock full of Christmas trivia games, like this one! Print it out and pass it to each participant or simply read it out and let the first person who answers win.


Split up into two teams and take turns acting out different Christmas characters!


One of my favorite free Christmas games is Psychologist– Christmas themed! One player tries to guess what is wrong with the other players. All of the players sit in a circle and one player is chosen as the psychologist. They leave the room and the rest of the group comes up with an ailment, such as “everyone thinks they are santa” or “everyone thinks their nose is red.” When the ailment is chosen, the psychologist is invited back in the room and has to ask individuals in the group questions to figure out what the ailment is. Each member of the group must respond according to the theme. So, if you were pretending to be Buddy the Elf, each group member would responded REALLY EXCITED and innocently for example.


Pick a Side is one of the easiest free Christmas games to play. The host comes up with a list (basically “would you rather”) and asks what individuals in the group would prefer. For example: “Elf, or a Christmas Story?” or “Christmas cookie decorating or caroling?” Everyone gets to say what they’re preference would be.


Bite the bag but don’t fall over! Place a brown paper bag on the floor. Each player takes turns trying to reach down and pick up the bag with their mouth. The only thing allowed to touch the ground is your feet and the only thing allowed to touch the brown bag is your mouth. Each round, cut off a few inches of the brown bag until only the bottom is left. The last person to survive/not fall over when trying to get the bag wins!


Play “mafia” but with Christmas characters. Mafia is one of my all time favorite games. If you haven’t played, the instructions are pretty detailed, so I’ll leave it to the experts here. Instead of using the normal characters, choose characters like Santa, elves, etc.


One of the all time best free games to play at Christmas is a white elephant gift exchange, but participants are only allowed to bring used items.

Each player brings one wrapped gift. Players will draw numbers to determine what order they choose their gift. The first player chooses a gift and opens it. Subsequent players can either steal the gift(s) already open or choose to open another gift. Any player who has their gift stolen can do the same– steal another gift or open a new one. A gift may only be stolen once per turn. After all players have had a turn, the first player gets their turn to steal a gift or keep what they have. Anyone who then has their gift stolen may steal, until someone declines to steal.


Split your group up into teams (at least two). Have each player write down 1-5 Christmas songs and place them in a bowl. Each team takes turns drawing a strip and humming the Christmas carol. If the team guesses correctly, they get a point. If not, the bowl goes to the opposite team and it’s their turn. The team with the most points at the end wins.

What are some of YOUR free games to play at Christmas? I’d love to hear from you!

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free games to play at Christmas

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