A Fun Holiday Game

Happy Black Friday, y’all! I hope you had a wonderful time yesterday and stuffed your bellies to capacity (while giving lots of thanks for all we’re lucky enough to have…of course ;-)). Anyone doing a bit of shopping today, or are you officially getting the heck out of the way of the crazy shoppers?

Anyhoo, last week I posted a bit novel about how to keep the holidays relatively low-stress and simple. This week, it’s all about how we have fun – namely, a simple (there’s that word again) yet fun game that my mom discovered a few years back that we look forward to every year.

This is an awesome game involving gifts that you could play at a friends-only shindig, or at your annual family get-together. It can be adjusted to whatever your needs are. Whatever floats your boat!

Here’s what you need:

– One gift for each person in attendance (small, inexpensive, fun gifts)
– Two decks of cards

Yup, that’s all. My mother buys one gift for each individual and jots their name on the package (under a taped-on piece of matching wrapping), but you could buy a bunch of random doesn’t-matter-who-gets-what items. You could also put instructions on people’s invitations to bring one random $10 or less gift, wrapped. (If you do this, buy an extra one or two to have on hand in case *someone* spoils the party and forgets. Ahem. Nudge.) If you have guests do this, however, take a pen and write someone’s name (not the person who brought it) at the bottom of the gift. It tends to be difficult to see, on purpose.

So, when it’s time to get the game going, put all the gifts in the middle of the room and have a helper (this is our niece’s job) hand out cards to everyone in attendance (everyone should get 2-4, or more, depending on the size of the crowd). The person in charge (my mom) uses a separate deck to call one card at a time. When she calls your card, it’s your turn to select — either grab from the pile, or steal from someone in the group.

Guys. Seriously. This can be HILARIOUS or cut-throat…or both. It’s fun to see who ends up with what, and who fights over an oddly-shaped gift.

Oh, yeah, that’s important, too. You can either wrap things normally, or get tricky. (Like putting something that rattles in with a pair of socks, in a super huge box, so when people shake it they’re clueless about what’s in there.)

In the end, we look at the names on the bottoms of the gifts and hand them out appropriately, waiting to see what that strangely-shaped item really contains. Sometimes Mom will get all the girls the same thing, but the way they’re wrapped, they look totally different. Other times, everyone has a different item.

So, what do you think? Sound fun? Does your family do any fun holiday games? Please share! My mom’s always on the lookout for a simple addition to the fun. 😉

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