Planning a Christmas party is serious business. Our Christmas parties are usually so packed full of activities that we sometimes plan the next one even before we’ve welcomed the New Year.
Games are always a vital part of a Christmas party, or any party for that matter, whether with your friends and loved ones or at a work event.
Bringing a large group of people together for the holidays can be a challenge, so it’s essential to try and find games that everyone can participate in and that are easy to follow. Nobody wants to stand around listening to you reading a lengthy rule book at a Christmas party.
Now, even though you may not be able to satisfy everyone, with my list of the best Christmas board games, you can give it a darn good try.
Best Christmas Board Games to Play
Board games are one of my all-time biggest hobbies. They’re so much more entertaining than any computer game. I’m a bit of a collector (or geek, however you choose to look at it). I love learning about ancient, historical board games and always keep up to date with the newest ones on the market.
I’ve been researching, and using my love and knowledge of board games to curate a list of all the greatest ever Christmas board games, so now you can tick at least one thing off your party plan.
I’ve included games that will suit a variety of age groups, so while some are ideal for those around the family dinner table, others are best kept for adult-only parties.
Okay, let’s roll.
1. 12 Days
12 Days is an excellent, festive-themed board game for anyone to participate in and enjoy. It’s also a pretty fast-paced game, so there’s never a dull moment, after all, nobody wants a lagging game at a Christmas party).
It’s a game the whole family can get involved with, too, as it’s suitable for players aged eight and up.
The cards are beautifully designed with Christmas scenes and patterns, which makes them easy on the eye and fitting for a Christmas party.
To begin, each player starts with 12 cards before gifting a card to the player sitting to their left. The idea is to try and win the game by having the lowest card values by the end. At the end of each round, winners are awarded victory points. The person with the most points at the end of all the rounds is the winner.
It’s a game for between three and five players ideally, so best kept for the family dinner kind of Christmas party.
2. Elf Christmas Monopoly
There’s a Monopoly game to suit every occasion. There’s even a Star Wars-themed game. And now there’s one themed on one of my favorite Christmas movies, Elf!
Monopoly creators have done a great job keeping this game in the public eye and ensuring it never gets dull.
Presuming that you already know how to play the original Monopoly game, there’s little you need to know about the game.
Christmas Elf Monopoly is the perfect festive family fun package, which brings everyone together and provokes interaction; however, depending on your family, it can also bring out people’s competitive times. I’m the sore loser in my family when it comes to most board games, but Monopoly has undoubtedly proven to bring out my crazy side.
The characters are fun, there’s a sleigh, a sack, and a mug of hot cocoa, and the custom cards relate to Christmas spirit, the North Pole village, and spreading Christmas cheer.
The game is festive, colorful, and well-designed, and it will make an excellent addition to any Christmas party and perfect for any Elf fan.
3. Santa Banta
Santa Banta is a hilarious rhyming game that will give your family hours of fun.
There is absolutely no skill required to play this game whatsoever, aside from being able to make up the funniest or most ridiculous rhymes.
It’s like Pictionary in that players must mime, act, and rhyme through the game. Except the theme is everything Christmas related.
The game involves players making up rhymes to read out or act out in front of their friends and family, and let me tell you, everyone will end up in stitches by the end, especially if you’re making it into a drinking game too. Things get weird, and that’s why I love it.
Another thing that makes this game great is that you can make up your Christmas-themed rhymes and scenes to play out, such as a Christmas tree stung by a bee or Rudolph playing golf.
4. Nightmare Before Christmas Operation
Remember the original game of Operation? Where you had a guy who was meant to undergo surgery, and you were the one who had to remove his innards without waking him?
Well, The Nightmare Before Christmas Operation is precisely the same, only instead of body parts, you’ll be removing spooky bits and bobs like spiders, snakes, and worms from Oogie Boogies’ big fat sack of a belly.
The artwork on the game is great, as is anything designed around this theme. I have tons of Nightmare Before Christmas products, and they’re so much fun and always made of very high quality. This game feels as though it will stand the test of time, though be careful to take care of the small parts included.
5. Ticket to Ride
If you’re a fan of the Polar Express, then this Christmas board game, themed on riding a train through the snowy lands of Norway, Denmark, and Sweden, will undoubtedly catch your attention.
This game has many variations; however, this is only one related to a winter wonderland.
Ticket to Ride is a fast-paced game where players collect cards while navigating tunnels and Nordic country lands.
You’ll need to allow some time for this, as with a game of Monopoly, it can end up paying out for a good few hours, so it requires some stamina and attention span. However, the rules are simple, and the game flows nicely.
To win the game, you need to beat your opponents by building railway tracks, and the fun part is you can try and block the other players’ progress along the way.
The game has stunning artwork, which gives any party a festive feel.
6. Merry Grinchmas
It’s hard to pick a favorite Christmas movie because there are so many awesome ones, especially the old classics; however, Jim Carey’s interpretation of The Grinch who stole Christmas always makes my top three.
I can’t say I was an enormous fan of the latest animated version. However, this game themed on the movie is brilliant, and it’s relatively cheap, too, unlike other movie-focused games.
During this game, you’ll be working with your game mates to collect gifts for the people of Whoville before the Grinch comes to steal them all away.
It’s a very simple game with a short track around the board; it’s more suitable for families with younger children, adults only, or older teens who may find it a little mundane.
7. Ghosts of Christmas
The Ghosts of Christmas board game is themed on the tale of Scrooge, a story everyone knows and loves in one way or another. I’m a fan of the Muppets version, but I’m probably on my own there.
Just like the movies, the game moves through the times past, present, and future, throughout which you will play tricks.
The idea is to try and manipulate or figure out who the leader of the trick is. Points can be won as the game plays out, depending on whether you have correctly bid on the number of tricks.
You play as many rounds as there are players, and whoever has the highest number of points at the end is the winner.
The initial setup takes a bit of time; however, the game itself is very simple to follow.
8. Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer Christmas Journey
Rudolph’s Christmas Journey board game is an excellent family game-great to enjoy during the holidays. I love this game and find that it can provide hours of fun for kids and adults alike who want to get into the festive mood.
The game has three alternative methods to be played and comes with a deck of cards, a board, scoring pads, and four characters.
Everyone in the game alternates rolling the dice and traveling around the board. You’ll be given choices along the route, including collecting Rudolph, sliding down the North Pole, or entering competitions.
A Reindeer Games match is held between the first two players to cross the finish square on the game board. To do this participant will roll the die once, with the highest roll winning the round. The competition will be the best, two out of three.
9. Santa’s Workshop
Santa’s Workshop is a remake of a 2017 video game of the same name. This updated edition includes two game modes: a basic game for families and an advanced game for players ten years of age and upwards.
In this game, you must lead your elves to receive their reward after they’ve worked hard tending to the reindeer, building the toys, and sifting through the naughty and nice kids.
In Santa’s Workshop, a worker-placement game that spans nine rounds, players must utilize their elves to gather supplies to make gifts and care for the reindeer.
Players can improve their workforce by sending elves to receive training in in-game mechanics.
You can construct more gifts in a shorter period, which could work in your favor later. Plastic can be used instead of more traditional materials like fabric, wood, or metal for some gifts. However, these gifts will receive fewer Christmas Cookies as a result.
When Santa makes his inspection stops during the game, he will determine which team has produced the most gifts.
Overall, this is a super festive game that brings the spirit of Christmas to any gathering and engages children with the magical reality of the North Pole.
10. Home Alone – Keep The Change
Once again, Home Alone is another of my favorite movies, and this game is a fantastic way to honor such a significant moment in film history.
Outwit the sticky bandits, avoid the burning door handles, and dodge paint cans to relive the classic tale of the boy left alone for the holidays, or will the bandits make off with the loot?
Kevin is one of the characters in the Home Alone board game, and he draws from a deck of cards and scatters them throughout the house.
Marv and Harry are the other two players. They will wander around the house flipping over cards while looking for loot and dodging hazards like the ones you remember from the film.
Whoever plays Old Man Marley can assist Kevin in fending off the thieves.
Before Kevin’s mother gets home, the criminals must gather enough loot to make their getaway. Otherwise, Kevin takes the win as usual.
Let’s Wrap Things Up
As you can see, many games are available for your next Christmas gathering to keep everyone in the festive spirit. And the best part is that everyone will find something they like.
So, whether you choose to Elf things up or be left home alone at the mercy of the evil bandits, one thing’s for sure; you’ll have a cracking time at Christmas.