Jingle bells! Jingle bells! Jingle all the way! Oh what fun it is to play —
Wait, what? To play?
Yes! To play! Oh, what fun it is to play these Christmas song-themed party games! So, gather the kids and revel in the joys of singing those favorite carols at your holiday celebration.
These games would, of course, also be a great addition to a Christmas caroling event.
Name That Carol
To play this game, start by writing three lines of lyrics from a favorite Christmas song on a small piece of paper. Then write the actual song title on the back. Make several of these slips of paper, fold them, and place them in a bowl.
Divide players into two teams. Have them take turns pulling a song out of the bowl. One member pulls out the paper and reads the first line listed (without singing it). The team has 10 seconds to guess the title. If they guess before time is up, they win five points, and play turns to the next team. If they can’t guess within 10 seconds, the player reads the next line, and they have another 10 seconds to guess. If they are correct on the second try, they win three points, and it becomes the next team’s turn. If they still can’t get it, the third line is read aloud and five seconds are given to guess. If they are successful, they earn two points. If they are unsuccessful, the reading player must sing the song. If they are able to get the answer, they get one point.
The other team takes a turn doing the same. When all of the Christmas carol prompts have been used, add up the scores. The team with the most points wins.
Name That Christmas Tune, Classic Version
For this game, you will play like they did on the old game show, where players predict who can name the tune in the least amount of notes. For instance, one player will say they can name the Christmas song in 10 notes, the opposing player might then say they can name it in nine notes. Another may predict that five notes are all they need. When players stop challenging one another, the one who last made the prediction listens to the allotted amount of notes. If they can guess correctly, they win a point. If not, additional notes are played until someone guesses the tune. That person wins the point.
Backwards Christmas Carol
You don’t need one for this game, but having some kind of buzzer makes it more fun. Divide guests into two teams. Leave one person out to be the host. Have the host call up one member from each team to stand on either side of the buzzer. The host will then sing a line from a Christmas Carol, but the trick is that they will sing it backward. For instance, instead of singing, “We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year” they will sing it as “Year New Happy a and Christmas Merry a you wish we.” (Print these backward lyrics ahead of time to the host can have an easier time reading them to the contestants.)
As soon as a player thinks they know the song, they hit the buzzer and call out the lyric. (Another fun option is to have the guessing player sing the lyric). If they are correct, they earn a point for their team. New players are then called up from each team. Play continues for as many rounds as you have players. At the end, the team with the most points wins.
Christmas Carol Pictionary
This is a fun party game where kids get to flex their drawing muscles. Write the titles of several holiday songs on slips of paper. Fold them and place them in a Christmas stocking. Provide a drawing board that everyone will be able to see (use an easel or hang a chalkboard on a wall). Divide the players into two teams. Players from each team take turns pulling a song title from the stocking and trying to draw pictures that demonstrate the words of the title. If their team members are able to guess before time runs out, they earn a point. The team that scores the most points wins the game.
Christmas Carol Mad Libs
This is a fun game that can be played at any Christmas party. Before the event, print the lyrics to a few different Christmas carols. Remove a word from each line and replace it with a blank space. In that space, indicate if the word was a noun, verb, or adjective. Count how many of each type of word needs to be filled in.
Pass out blank pieces of paper and ask the kids to list however many random nouns, verbs, and adjectives you counted. Then, pass out the lyric sheets and have them fill in the corresponding blanks with the words they just listed. Go around the room and have each player read their new, funnier version of the song aloud. There is no scoring in this game, as the object is simply to create laughter among friends.
Christmas Song Buzz Words
To play this game, give each kid a pen and a piece of paper, set a timer for 30 seconds (you can adjust the time depending on the age group), and call out a word that is commonly found in Christmas Carols. Once you’re called out the word, players have until the timer buzzes to list as many holiday songs as they can think of that contain that word. Tally one point per correct song listed. Play several rounds (for as long as the children are having fun) and award a prize to the player who scored the most total points.
Christmas Carol Bingo
This is just like traditional bingo where players have to fill in five spots in a row, but instead of numbers, the bingo cards have song titles printed inside the boxes. You can make these ahead of time, varying the placement of song titles for each “card” you print (cards will actually be sheets of paper). Instead of writing the word Bingo across the tops of the columns, write the word carol. For every Christmas song you used in the creation of the bingo sheets, make a slip of paper that contains the title. Fold the slips and place them into a bowl. Have the bingo caller shake up the bowl, pull out a slip, and call out the song title. Instead of just reading the words, however, have them sing a line from the song. Players mark off the spot where that song title is. When a player gets five in a row, instead of yelling “Bingo!” they will call out, “Carol!”
Christmas Song Mash-Up
Here’s a fun, karaoke-style activity that allows kids to get creative and even perform for other party guests. Break your players up into teams and challenge them each to come up with a Christmas carol mash-up. Each team will combine two popular Christmas songs into one song, where the lyrics switch back and forth from one song to the other. Give them a good amount of time to come up with their mash-up, including a few minutes to rehearse before they sing their mash-up for the rest of the party guests. Once both teams have presented their song to the crowd, the audience will vote for the winner.
Christmas Carol Dress-Up
For kids to play this game, you will need to supply them with plenty of props. Think about the titles of several songs and what kind of items can be used to dress up like a Christmas Carol. For instance, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer can be as simple as providing a red clown nose and a pair of antlers. White Christmas, on the other hand, might require an outfit completely made of white with white, Christmas-themed accessories.
Once you have gathered plenty of possible combinations of wardrobe props, divide kids into teams and challenge them to dress up one of their players as a Christmas carol. The dressed-up player is then presented to a group of judges. If the judges can guess the Christmas carol the player is supposed to represent, the team earns a point. Continue to play and keep score for as long as it makes sense for your age group and amount of props.
Christmas Lyric Balloon Pop Race
To play this game, you will need two poster boards hung on a wall. You will also need to write each word from a Christmas song lyric on a separate piece of paper, fold it up, place it into a balloon and then inflate and tie off the balloon. You will need to do this twice, so you have one set of balloon lyrics for each team. Use different colored balloons for each team (such as red balloons for team one and white balloons for team two).
Scatter the balloons (mix up the two colors) on the floor of the party space. Divide guests into two teams. Give each team a roll of tape. On go, teams must race to gather all of their colored balloons. They must sit on them until they pop, revealing the slip of paper. When a team has all of its paper slips, they can start to arrange the words until they figure out the song lyric. The first team to tape its song lyric in the correct order of words up onto their poster board wins the game.