Finding the right company Christmas party games is a hard task made worse by the fact that most people hate the office Christmas party.
Who doesn’t want to look embarrassed in front of their boss, right?
While team parties are just about bearable, it’s when parties are opened up to the whole department or even your entire company, is when the anxiety can really set in.
That’s why fun company games are invaluable. Games are the perfect distraction to the artifice of Christmas work parties and can stop the atmosphere from turning staid. They’re also great for breaking the ice, so that everyone comes together and can hang out, regardless of job title. Let’s get you started.
Your Company Christmas Party Games
This simple Partycurrent game that can be played at the dining table. You need a maximum of 10 people and a set of pre-written index cards each with a letter on one side – only one card has M written on it (murderer), one with D (detective) and everything else with V (for victim). Shuffle the pieces in a bowl, then let everyone picks one card each. Make sure they keep it to themselves and not show anymore.
If someone is the detective, their job is to work out who the killer is. If someone is the murderer, their job is to “kill” everyone around the table by giving a subtle wink at their intended target. Their intended victim must die in the most over-the-top death they can muster as soon as someone winks at them. The game ends, when the detective identifies the murderer.
Then, go for a second round, with the pieces of paper returning to the hat. The winner of the entire game is the detective who spots the murderer with the fewest kills.
Company Christmas party games are best when they’re fun and without a competitive edge. But for those of you who like both, this game is for you. Break everyone into two equal teams, and create a finish line at the opposite end of the room by stringing up some tape. Give the first player of each team a spoon, with a bauble balanced on it.
On Go!, both players must run to the finish line, then back to their team, without dropping the bauble. The spoon/bauble is then passed to their teammate, who takes their turn. The first team to finish the race – without dropping their bauble – wins.
Any player who does drop their bauble must return to the start line and start again. To make it harder, you can replace the bauble with something else, e.g. a snowman made out of cake; or a scoop of red jello.
Christmas Carol Relay
Before playing, write out a list of 10-15 Christmas carol titles on a sheet of paper (which only you as game host will see). Split your players into even teams, giving each one a sketch pad and a marker pen.
On Go!, the first players of each team come to you and are shown the same Christmas carol title. The players then return to their team and draw the name of the carol as a picture for their group to guess. They’re not allowed to speak. As soon as the carol is guessed correctly, their next player comes to you for the next carol. And so on.
The first team to complete your carol list wins.
Christmas Dancing Chain
Get everyone standing on their feet in a circle facing each other, and nominate someone to start the game. To do this, all they need to do is make a simple dance move such as waving their right arm in the air or jumping on the spot once. Then the next person to their left copies that move and adds one of their own. Then the person to their left copies moves and adds their own. And so on.
Make sure everyone knows to keep their dance move as simple as possible, as everyone else will need to copy it. Once the entire move has gone around the circle, everyone must dance the entire room together at least once, for the game to end.
Shave the Balloon
This is probably the messiest of company Christmas party games here, so warn everyone first then hand out bibs and towels for anyone who needs one.
Give everyone an inflatable balloon and a marker pen, and 2 minutes to draw a face on their balloon. Next, apply shaving cream to the balloons and hand out plastic knives. On ‘Go’, players must all attempt to shave their balloon all without popping it. The first person to succeed wins.
To make it extra Christmas-y, you can fill the balloon with confetti or glitter (or whipped cream, if you know your teammates would be receptive and open minded to some mess).
Pass the Parcel Christmas Fancy Dress
Stuff a sports bag with as many silly festive clothing items as possible, bought from a thrift store or donated by members of your team. These might include an old dress, wigs, hats, scarves and wacky ties, anything Christmas-y you can find.
Start the music and have the bag pass from one person to another. Keep it going and when the music stops, the person left holding the bag must put on a random item they pull from the bag. Restart the music and pass the bag round again. Once all the items are used up, ask everyone to vote whose wearing has the Best Look of the game. Guests can rearrange how they wear their items however they like before any voting begins.
The Bowl of Fame
This is a guessing game, where pairs of players work together to guess as many celebrity names as quick as possible.
Before you start the game, fill a large bowl with different pieces of paper, each one with the name of a different celebrity (go for 50-100 names). Divide everyone into pairs, nominating one half as the Actor, the other as the Guesser.
The first pair now has 30 seconds to guess as many names as they can. The Actor pulls a name from the bowl and gives their partner clues as to who the celebrity is, without naming them. Once time’s up, switch pairs. The pair with the most correct guesses wins.
If you’re looking for teamwork games, here’s one for you. Before starting the game, you need to write down a list of at least 15-20 everyday life scenarios. Some examples could be a marriage proposal, accidentally treading in dog doo, running and then missing the bus. Split everyone up equally into Teams A and B. Everyone in Team A leaves the immediate area (or the party table), except for one team member; Team B will serve as the audience in this round.
Quickly show one of your scenarios to the member of Team A still standing with you. After 10 seconds, ask a second member of their team to come back. Teammate 1 now has to act out a clue (using only mime) to help Teammate 2 guess the scenario. After 15 seconds have gone by, a third member of Team A returns. Teammate 2 now acts out what they think the scenario is. And so on. The last person of Team A then makes the guess of what they think the original scenario was. Once everyone in Team A has reached this point, Team B takes their turn.
Guess the Christmas Song
You can’t play any company Christmas party games without some Christmas music. This is an easy-to-assemble activity. You’ll need to create a compilation of songs beforehand on your computer. Mix in festive hit songs with Christmas carols; choose both easy and obscure tunes, new and old, for an eclectic game.
Start the game, by playing 5-10 seconds of the first track – and let people guess the song. The person who thinks they know must raise their hand; if it’s correct, they’ll need to sing more of the song. If they get the lyrics wrong during their singing, their round is passed to another player who can. Bonus points can be awarded, if players can guess the name of the artist and year of release.
Dressing Up Santa
Love dressing up games? Here’s another one for you. With Dress Up Santa, you’ll need plenty of space to play this game, preferably a large meeting room, where there won’t be much furniture in the way.
Break everyone into 2-3 equal teams, assigning each one to its own little work area in the room. In each work area is a large cardboard box housing a Santa Claus outfit (costume, boots, hat, beard ‘n all). On ‘Go’, all the groups compete to be the first to dress up one of their team in the full Santa gear. Set the round for 3-5 minutes. To win, teams need to use up all the items in their box and produce the neatiest Santa.
This can be a fun team-building game as well, where teammates at all levels of your workplace or department can bond.
When you’re throwing a festive party for your team, finding the right company Christmas party games is essential to everyone having a good time. Most people have Christmas office parties after all. I hope some of the ideas here help give you a good starting point.