Unusual Games to Try During the Holidays

Tired of Fortnite? Don’t want to spend the Christmas holidays robbing newbies in PUBG or playing Monopoly? Sick of arguing over made-up words while playing Scrabble? Cards Against Humanity got boring? It would seem that the list of Christmas games we can enjoy with our families gets shorter every year. Or, perhaps, we get older and grumpier and our ability to open up to new games is reduced as years pass us by. Either way, the fact is that at least once during the holidays, you will get bored and with nothing to do or play. When that happens, dig out this article and take your pick.

Name That Christmas Tune

In the spirit of the season and current pandemic, we kick off with a game that can be played both in vivo and during an online party. Since we are being bombarded with festive Christmas tunes since early November every year, we are familiar with most of them. Whether we like it or not, our subconscious has stored most of these melodies in our brains. The aim of the game is to see who can drag the most of them out. Play a few seconds clip of a song and let your audience try and guess the title of the song. Award points for each guess and you can even give away some for partial answers, like the name of the performer. The winner should get a prize, like noise-canceling headphones.

Crusader Kings III

Who says you only have to play board games during holidays? Crusader Kings started as an obscure game in 2004 by then little-known Swedish developer Paradox. By the time the second installment was released in 2012, Paradox was anything but little-known. Truth be told, the studio’s reputation was built on other titles, like Hearts of Iron and Europa Universalis. Crusader Kings remained a hidden gem that only the most hard-core fans played. In 2020, the third title in the franchise was released and immediately established itself as one of the best medieval strategy games ever made. You get to guide your dynasty from humble beginnings during the Dark Ages and create an empire by the end of the medieval period. As the head of the family, you decide to marries who, whose children inherit titles and, of course, who lives and who dies. Think of it as medieval Sims, but with added war, crusades, and conquest.

Christmas Family Feud

Family Feud is one of the most popular game shows on TV at the moment, and for a good reason. You can also play it at home, pitting one half of your family against the other. All you need is some printed sheets you can get online and pens and the fun can begin. Make sure that the questions are age-appropriate for your family situation. If you want to play an adult version, make sure that the kids are tucked away in their beds before beginning. The best part is that you get to be Steve Harvey. Hopefully, without all the racist commentaries or jokes about Flint, Michigan.

Holiday Scavenger Hunt

If you did decide to play Family Feud without kids present, you can make it up to them with a nice Holiday Scavenger Hunt in the morning. There are plenty of templates you can download and print out, or you can make your own. Depending on the age of participants, you should make the challenges as easy or as hard as appropriate. For very young children, make sure that cue cards are illustrated.  If the weather cooperates, you can include your back yard as well, so that you are not limited to house alone.

Hallmark Movie Drinking Game

Apparently, Hallmark Christmas movies aren’t completely useless. You can make an interesting game out of them. You can choose a cue for drinking depending on how quickly you want to get your guests drunk. Taking a swig each time, someone says “I love you”? You probably won’t remember the end of the film. If you want to make your party lasts a little longer, choose something else. For instance, every time you see a romantic movie cliché or when the main protagonist does something cringey. On the second thought, scratch that. You won’t make it halfway through the movie. 

Switch, Steal, Or Unwrap

Christmas is a perfect time for playing this game. First, make sure that everyone brings an extra gift. You don’t want to play Switch, Steal, or Unwrap with real Christmas presents. Once everyone is settled, start a game by having all guests pick a gift from the pile. What they do with it depends on the dice roll. As the name of the game suggests, you can switch it, steal it, or unwrap it. Whatever the outcome, some grief will ensue, depending on what happens to the gift.

Never Have I Ever Christmas Edition

After all guests had a few drinks and children are stowed away for the night, it is a perfect time for Never Have I Ever Christmas Edition. What better way to spend Christmas Ewe than revealing embarrassing secrets about your family and friends? To keep it in the spirit of the season, you can only use statements that are Christmas-related. For instance, “Never have I ever regifted a present I didn’t like”. Or “Never have I ever got drunk on Christmas and booty-called an ex”. Be warned, some awkward situations may develop, so play this at your own risk.