Christmas Eve games!

So after enjoying a wonderful Christmas dinner, what can you do to keep the family gathered and the children awake? We gathered the best and most fun games to keep you waiting for Santa Claus!

CHRISTMAS Modern Family 5


This time-honoured classic has the royal seal of approval, as it’s supposed to be a favorite of the Queen herself.

How to play

Get each person in the room to write the names of ten books, films, plays, television programs or songs on scraps of paper, then fold them and throw them into a large bowl.

If there are lots of you, split into teams and mime to your own team-mates. If there are fewer than eight of you, it’s best to simply take it in turns to fish a piece of paper out of the bowl and mime to the assembled group, letting them first know what category of subject has been picked out.

The first person to guess correctly then takes his or her turn, and so it goes on. It’s best to have a time limit of, say, two minutes per mime to keep things lively. If you make any sounds during your mime then you are ‘out’ and must replace your piece of paper before play passes to the next person. Whoever guesses correctly keeps that piece of paper so that scores can be tallied at the end.

Who’s in the hat?

This requires quick thinking and great powers of description!

How to play

Get everyone in the room to write down the names of ten or more celebrities, book characters or other notable names on scraps of paper, then throw them all into a hat. As with charades, first decide whether to split into teams or play as individuals.

Players or teams have one minute to take it in turns to pick names out of the hat and describe them as quickly as possible without using initials, rhymes or the name itself.

Each time a correct guess is given, the player selects a new name, and continues until the minute is up, the aim being to get through as many names as possible in that time. Keep the correctly guessed names to one side so that you can keep score.

The vicar’s cat

This is a word game for all ages, and one that children will particularly enjoy.

How to play

Each person takes his or her turn to describe and name ‘the vicar’s cat’, using letters of the alphabet in order. For example, the first player might say: ‘The vicar’s cat is arrogant and his name is Albert’ and the next may continue with: ‘The vicar’s cat is belligerent and her name is Bessie’.

Keep going until a player hesitates for too long, when they have to drop out or – to stay in the game – do a forfeit chosen by the previous player.

Variation: You can make this game more complicated by insisting that each new player recites the whole list so far. So, player three would have to say: ‘The vicar’s cat is arrogant and his name is Albert; the vicar’s cat is belligerent and her name is Bessie’ before going on to think of an example for the letter ‘C’.

The yes/no game

Another word game that should be played at speed!

How to play

Give each player in the room five matchsticks. Divide players into pairs. One of each pair thinks of an object (it could be an ornament, an animal or anything else that springs to mind) and their partner then quizzes them to find out what it is.

The first player must answer all questions without saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’. As soon as a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ is given, that player is given one of his or her opponent’s matchsticks.

Play then rotates so that partners swap and change until everyone has played against each other. The first player to lose all their matchsticks – or the one with the least at the end of the tournament – is the winner



Helwi El Hayet

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About helwielhayet

Helwi el-Hayet discusses your favorite topics every week day at 4:30 p.m. Beirut time. From fashion to psychology to books to art to nutrition to cooking and coaching (and much, much more), Helwi el-Hayet is here to shed light on the latest trends and to share with you reports, interviews and recipes from Lebanon and the region!
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