Weekend Wrap Up: 10 FUN Family & Budget-Friendly Games for your Holiday Party


Well, it came and it went.  Christmas is over – that was fast!  I hope you had a great one.  I know we did!  This year was different; we actually got to spend Christmas with both families and it was baby Dahlia’s first Christmas 🙂

We spent Christmas Day with my family and the day after Christmas with my husband’s family 🙂 It was perfect!  For my family party, I was in charge of games and got some really inexpensive prizes that make it much more competitive when people know they can win something.  We also dressed up in Sports Theme wear as you’ll notice in pictures.   Enjoy!

Here is a list of some great unisex prize ideas to buy for $5-$10:

  • Socks
  • Ear Buds (Headphones)
  • Mini-Speaker
  • Beanie (Hat)
  • Stationery
  • Manicure Sets
  • Travel Kits
  • Kids’ Coloring Books

And below are the games I chose to play for our family games.

Budget & Family-Friendly Holiday Games:

Game #1.  Holiday Bow Match: 


Price:  ~$5.00 for a pack of 50 bows (Target)

Source:  http://www.littlefamilyfun.com/2012/12/christmas-games-with-gift-bows.html?m=1

What you’ll Need:  Basket, Bows & Timer (Used on my phone)


  • Place dominant hand behind back
  • Match as many bows as fast as you can (Same size, same color)
  • 30 sec. time limit
  • winner is person with most bow matches at the end of 30 sec.



WINNER:  My cousin, Tracy, with 12 matches 🙂

Game #2:  Holiday Word Scramble
Price: $0
Source: download & print here – christmas-word-scramble-r

What you’ll Need:  Print outs, pens, & timer (used on phone)


  • Start with paper turned over
  • Unscramble as many words as you can
  • 3 minute time limit
  • Winner is most unscrambled words in 3 mins.


Here are some of my family members seriously unscrambling!

WINNER:  Jessica with 18 unscrambled words!

Game #3:  Holiday Word Search
Price: $0
Source: download & print here – christmas-word-search

What you’ll Need:  Print outs, pens, & timer (used on phone)


  • Start with paper turned over
  • Find as many words as you can
  • 3 minute time limit
  • Winner is most words found in 3 mins.


Busy searching for words!

WINNER:  My cousin, Rhea, with 15 words found!

Game #4:  Paper Plate Drawing Game  

IMG_2187 IMG_2188

Price: $0; if you already have paper plates from party
Source:  similar concept but different, you can make up anything you like –
What you’ll Need:  paper plates, pens, & unbiased judge (Grandma was ours :))


  • Have everyone take a paper plate & write your name on the front side
  • Place paper place on top of head
  • Draw instructions made by host:
    • Draw a snowman with 3 big snow balls
    • He has 2 eyes, a carrot nose and a smiley face
    • He’s wearing a big top hat
    • He has twigs for arms
    • He’s also wearing a scarf
    • He’s sitting on a hill
    • …Next to a Christmas Tree
    • …With the sun shining above
  • When everyone is done with their drawing, look at the drawings and everyone will get a kick out of what you did!
  • Winner is chosen by unbiased judge (Our Grandma in this case :))


WINNER:  Johanna, my cousin, pictured on the far right was the winner!

Game #5:  Face the Cookie via Minute to Win It

Minute to Win It

Price: $3.99 for a pack of oreo cookies (Any cookie will do – try gingerbread or gingersnaps for a more festive feel!)
Source:  NBC’s Minute to Win it Game – Watch the Video Here:

What you’ll Need:  Oreo cookies (or any other cookie) & timer
  • See video above
  • Each person will also be timed
  • Winner will be person who moved cookie successfully in the least amount of time!

IMG_2203 IMG_2196 IMG_2194 IMG_2193

WINNER:  My auntie, Vicky, who got it in 8.7 sec.!

Game #6:  BINGO!

Yes, BINGO!  BINGO has always been a staple in my family since I was little.  It was always the game that got everyone involved – old, new or young.  There are so many different ways to play too!  We played this at the end because we had leftover prizes to win!

Price: $0; if a family member already has it, if not, you can find sets for $20-$30
What you’ll Need:  BINGO Set & good ears!


  • Grab a BINGO card
  • Have a seat and listen for your numbers to be called
  • Yell BINGO if you think you’ve won!
  • Different BINGO games:
    • Regular BINGO (vertical, horizontal or diagonal)
    • Four Corners
    • BOX
    • X
    • Blackout
    • T

 WINNER:  Grandma was the first and many after…

IMG_2204 IMG_2206 IMG_2207 IMG_2208 IMG_2209 IMG_2210

Game #6 & #7 :  Re-Gift White Elephant & New White Elephant Game


Traditionally, White Elephant Games were meant to be for Gifts you didn’t want anymore, we did  just that with a re-gift, something unused you’ve found lying around the house that someone might be able to use.  We also did this for brand new gifts as well (Limit $20).

Price: $0 for Re-Gift; $20 for New Gift (Set your Limit to Whatever you Want)
What you’ll Need:  A wrapped unused gift you’ve found in your home & a wrapped new gift


  • Draw Numbers
  • Start with Number 1
  • Pick a gift from the pot and unwrap
  • Continue with consecutive numbers
  • 2 steals allowed

  IMG_2294 IMG_2279

WINNER:  Everyone leaves with a new treasure or two 🙂

Now, switching over to my husbands’ family party… They enjoy Contests & Activities

Game (Contest) #8:  Candy Cane Ornament Contest

Ornaments1 Ornaments3

My husband’s family loves contests and creating things.  So, even before we went to the party, we had to create an ornament using ONE standard candy cane and whatever you wanted to create it!

Price:  $1.99 for candy cane packet; $8 for materials used for ornament (could also be $0 if you find  items around the house to use)

What you’ll Need:  ONE standard Candy Cane; Creative Supplies

Rules for picking a winner:  

  • Anonymous voting
  • Place all candy cane ornaments on a table without a name
  • Pick one winner
  • Host will tally up scores for top 3


WINNER:  Me!  I was shocked :O Mine is the Christmas Tree Candy Cane Ornament

Game (Activity) #9:  DIY Cardboard Vintage Ornaments

My husband’s family is made up of many craft fans & each party, there is always something to do!  This is an awesome, budget-friendly DIY project that the entire family can enjoy


Price:  $0 for cardboard scraps, $0 for Ornament Stencil, ~$2 or less for each acrylic paint; ~$2 for string for hanging, ~$1 for white ink pen = $5 total!

Source:  Here are some stencils of vintage ornaments, you could also freehand these:


What you’ll need:  

  • Cardboard Scraps (if there are any with fun prints on the inside, you that!
  • Acrylic Paint (Any colors but include a white primer)
  • Paint brushes (thin)
  • Cup of Water to clean brushes
  • Scissors
  • String for hanging ornament
  • Pencil for tracing
  • Ornament Stencils
  • Hole Puncher
  • White ink pen


  • Grab a piece of cardboard & trace an ornament with pencil on it
  • Cut it out
  • draw shapes, lines, etc. onto the ornament with pencil (for best look, use stripes)
  • Paint on primer as you wish
  • Paint ornament with fun acrylic colors, try to use colors in same palette
  • Hole Punch on the top
  • String your ornament & hang!
  • A Winner can be chosen anonymously for these as well by vote.





Game #10:  Concentration (Photo Memory Game) for Prizes

This game was fun!  It was tough in the beginning, but we managed to all get through it!  Each square was a photo of a prize that the host, Natalie, bought as a prize to win.  Once you made a match, you won that prize!


Price:  $1.99 for iPad App; $10 for the buy-in to play the game per person.  All the proceeds were donated to charity.

Source:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/photo-memory-game-concentration/id378625186?mt=8

What you’ll need:  App, Prizes, Game Keeper & a Good Memory!


  • Draw numbers & each person tries to match photos by passing iPad around
  • Game Keeper keeps a tab of who goes after who and which prizes are won
  • Winners are almost everyone 🙂 – It becomes a team effort after a while!

Between my husband and I we won:  Sharpie Pen Set, Tequila, Sneaker Balls, Table Topics, a Bug Zapper & Banangrams.  We did pretty well 🙂

And there you have it. Some great ways to keep your family entertained and doing something fun!  I hope you can incorporate these into your next holiday party!


Enjoy the rest of the Holiday Season Everyone!


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