Thursday, December 19, 2013

Family-Friendly Activities for Christmas Day

Quick, Easy, and Fun Games for Christmas

Something to do while the turkey cooks!

If you have a family made up of ADHD personalities (like mine), you may find that guests will get bored waiting for the food to cook on Christmas day. Keep them occupied with these five fun activities.

5 Family-Friendly, Alcohol-Free Activities for Christmas Gatherings


1. Yankee Swap or White Elephant Game:
We're trying the Yankee Swap for the first time this year, and I'm excited! There will be about 15 of us playing, so who knows what will happen! Check out the variation we'll be playing here.

2. "Guess the Number" Games
A classic. Everyone knows this game. And everyone's going to want a chance to win a cute mason-jar-inspired insulated mug FULL of M&M's! Player with the best guess takes all.

3. Test Your Estimation Skills
This one is trickier than you might think! Inside this ornament (I used a plastic one after breaking several glass ones while playing around--they're $0.80 at AC Moore right now!) there is a STRAND of BEADED GARLAND. Guess how long that strand is. You may be surprised. Winner gets the ornament (or whatever prize you choose). 

The second variation would be best for kids. How many pom poms can you find AND how long is the rope inside?

4. Christmas Crackers
This is a fun activity for the kids, and I'm planning to have them play while the adults exchange gifts during the Yankee Swap. I've seen more expensive versions (some at Homegoods were gorgeous but almost $10, but this kind from Christmas Tree Shops is perfect for kids. It was $3.99 and will be great to occupy them for five minutes or so ;).

5. Peppermint Pig
Have you heard of the Peppermint Pig? It's a cool, old-fashioned tradition that started back in the Victorian Era. You might not know about it if your aren't in the Northeast; it started in Saratoga, NY, a fabulous little town, perhaps best known for the Saratoga Race Course (which I recently found it is the oldest standing sports facility in the country!).

Basically, you get one of these big, cute, candy pigs, put it in a little sack, then pass it around the table. Each person takes a turn tapping it with a little hammer and sharing a story of something good that happened during the year. Then you all gobble up the little candy pieces as a symbol of "good health, happiness, and prosperity."

To put a little more eloquently, here's a quote from the Saratoga Sweets website: "This 'Peppermint Pig'™ as aptly it was named, was cast of hard candy similar in fashion to candy cane and festive pink in colour. And while the pig is honored in Victorian holiday tradition as a symbol of good health, happiness and prosperity, these special 'Peppermint Pigs',™ unique to Saratoga Springs, New York, came to represent much more. They proudly stood for and old-fashioned Yuletide itself-a wonderful time when red-cheeked children laughed and rode old wooden sleds over fresh snow, when church bells pealed and fond recollections were shared by family and friends. After the holiday dinner, the Pig was passed amongst those gathered, each in turn giving the pouch a firm tap and sharing a tale of the past year's good fortune. The delicious broken peppermint and warm memories were enjoyed by all in hopes of prosperity for the coming year."

I got my pig in Saratoga on Shop Small Saturday, but you can order them online here.

Hope you find something that's perfect for your Christmas gathering. Wishing you a holiday season full of peace, joy, and happy families :)

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