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10 Christmas Party Ideas for Families

How do you entertain the kids at a holiday bash? This list of Christmas party ideas for families covers all kinds of crafts and games!

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happy family mother and children son and daughter bake cookies for ChristmasEvgeny Atamanenko/Shutterstock

So you agreed to play host for the holidays—and now panic has set in. How do I host a family Christmas party, anyway? What are some good Christmas games to play? How do I keep kids entertained all night? Breathe easy. We’ve got fun ideas for your whole crew.

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Child holds Christmas felt candy cane in his hands. Materials and tools to create Christmas tree decorations.OnlyZoia/Shutterstock

Make Crafty Christmas Ornaments

Family parties are best when you can all get creative together. Gather supplies to make Christmas ornaments, then invite everyone over for an ornament crafting bonanza. Fill glass balls with glitter or pompoms, cut out felt shapes or make edible ornaments.

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Cute happy excited children, boy and girl in santa hats unwrap christmas present.Prostock-studio/Shutterstock

Play This Pass the Present Game

Everyone sits in a circle holding a gift they brought. The host reads a Christmas-themed story that frequently uses words like “left” and “right.” Each time you hear the prompt, pass your present in that direction. Read quickly. As everyone tries to keep up, hilarity ensues!

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Mother with children baking cookies for ChristmasLordn/Shutterstock

Decorate Christmas Cookies Together

A cookie decorating party is always a winner. Bake and cool sugar cookies before the party, using this never-fail Christmas cutout cookies recipe. Then set up a variety of icing, sprinkles and candies. Kids go crazy for this activity and everyone goes home with treats.

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bowl of marshmallows for a family christmas gameBrent Hofacker/Shutterstock

Play “Minute to Win It” Games

Ready for some Christmas chuckles? Host a Christmas-themed Minute to Win It party for a guaranteed hilarious time. Split into teams and compete in 60-second silly challenges.

One favorite is Snow Shovel: Fill one bowl with 15 marshmallows. Players must transfer all the marshmallows from one bowl to the other using only a plastic spoon in their mouth.

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Group of young friends sitting next to a nicely decorated Christmas tree, exchanging Christmas presents and having funImpact Photography/Shutterstock

Exchange White Elephant Gifts

The classic white elephant Christmas game is a definite crowd-pleaser. Everyone contributes a goofy wrapped gift to the pile. Numbers are drawn to determine who goes first. Number one opens a present, then each player following chooses from the pile or steals another’s gift.

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Kids decorating small gingerbread houses at the Christmas craft party.Arina P Habich/Shutterstock

Decorate a Gingerbread House

Before the party, make a simple gingerbread house (here’s an easy gingerbread house template) for each guest, attaching it to a plate. Then let family members go wild decorating with icing and candies. For added inspiration, give out silly award certificates at the end like “Best Use of Gumdrops.”

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pile of wrapped christmas presentsKREUS/Shutterstock

Host a Favorite Things Party

This is based on Oprah’s wildly popular Favorite Things Christmas giveaway episodes. Everyone thinks of a small item they love, like a favorite kitchen tool. Partygoers bring three of that item and draw names to see who gets the gift. Each guest describes why it’s one of their favorite things. Find more festive Christmas party themes.

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Three Children In Pajamas Sitting On Stairs At ChristmasMonkey Business Images/Shutterstock

Wear Your Christmas Pajamas

You can keep your sweatpants on for this party! Everyone wears their Christmas pajamas and brings a snack to share. The party is simple: eating, chatting and watching Christmas movies on Netflix. It’s a great low-stress party to host during the busy holiday season.

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Stretch wrapping filmSwapan Photography/Shutterstock

Make a Giant Plastic Wrap Ball

Both kids and adults love this fast-paced game. First, make a plastic wrap ball full of gifts. Start with the most valuable prize for the middle of the ball, and wrap it in plastic wrap. Then just keep wrapping; adding gifts as you go along. Think small toys, gift cards, candy and Christmas socks.

One guest starts with the huge ball of gifts, and starts to unwrap the plastic as fast as they can, taking whatever gifts fall out; meanwhile, the person to left is rolling two dice, trying to get doubles. As soon as they roll a double the ball is passed, the next person gets the dice and the frantic unwrapping continues.

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A girl in mittens holds a snowball. Playing snowballs on a clear winter dayMVolodymyr/Shutterstock

Have a Snowball Fight

If you have a white Christmas, let the kids get their wiggles out with a snowball fight. In a warmer climate? You can have an indoor fight using marshmallows, pompoms or store-bought fake snowballs. Just make sure they’re far away from breakables!

Erica Young
Erica is a freelance lifestyle writer with a bachelor's degree in Journalism. Her favorite recipes are quick, easy and something her kids will actually eat. When she's not writing you'll find her organizing a closet, roaming the aisles at Target or nursing her third Diet Coke of the day.

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