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Christmas Parlour Games

By Wendy Legendre

Christmas parlour games are fun, relaxing, group-involving games played indoors in a cozy sitting room. They are competitive, yet scoring is rarely important. A hearty pat on the back for a game well played is usually the best reward. One of the most popular parlour games of all time is charades. To play Christmas charades compose a list of Christmas carols, Christmas movies or Christmas items and let the drama begin. (Note: To avoid being stumped for material at your gathering it is important to prepare these lists ahead of time.)

When you've finished acting up, gather the family in the livingroom (parlour) and enjoy some more Christmas parlour games. That's right, take a break from the tv and share lots of good old-fashioned family fun. Try one or more of the following parlour games and create family memories that will last a lifetime.

Christmas Parlour Game #1 - Yes and No

Give each player five pennies. Have the players pair off and engage in conversation with each other. Players must trick their conversation partners into saying either 'Yes' or 'No'. The first of the pair to say 'Yes' or 'No' is given a penny by his opponent. The players then split up and move to different partners. The first player to get rid of all five of his pennies wins.

Christmas Parlour Game #2 - Pan Tapping

One player is sent out of the room. The remaining players then choose a task they would like this player to perform when he returns (eg. pick up and open a particular book, remove another player's shoes, sit on a particular chair). When the outside player returns he is guided towards the task he must perform by one of the players who has been given a pan and a spoon. This player taps faster and louder as the outsider gets closer to the object he needs to use for the task and taps slower and softer as the outsider moves away from it. This continues till the outsider has found the object and performed the task required. It then becomes the pan-tapper's turn to leave the room while a new task is chosen.

Christmas Parlour Game #3 - Thimble Hunt

Everyone is sent out of the room except the person whose turn it is to hide the 'thimble' (or other small object). That person must hide the thimble in a place where it can be seen without moving anything. When the players are called back into the room, they are instructed to hunt for the thimble without moving anything or touching anything. The player who finds the 'thimble' will be the next one to hide it.

Christmas Parlour Game #4 - Picture Frame Game

Each player takes turns holding an empty picture frame in front of his face, through which he can look at the other players. He must keep his face completely immobile for a period of sixty seconds (except for the odd blink) while the other players make as many silly, distorted sounds and faces as possible to get him to laugh, smile, or move his face. Kudos to the player who can actually last for sixty seconds.

Christmas Parlour Game #5 - Pass the Stocking

Have all players sit in a relatively tight circle. Pick a player to sit in the center of the circle. Have this person close his eyes while a stocking is passed from player to player behind their backs. At a time of his choosing, the center person opens his eyes and the passing stops immediately. The center person must then guess who has the stocking. If he guesses right he trades places with that player. If he guesses wrong he closes his eyes and the passing begins again.

Christmas Parlour Game #6 - Odd or Even

Each player is given 10 pennies. A player puts any amount of those coins in one hand, chooses an opponent, holds out his clenched fist to that opponent and asks 'Odd or Even?' If the opponent guesses correctly he hands over one of his coins to his challenger. If he guesses incorrectly he is handed a coin by the opponent who just challenged him. These two players then reverse roles, going through the same challenge. Next, the two players split up and seek new opponents. The first player to get rid of all his coins wins.

About The Author

Wendy Legendre has hosted hundreds of kids', youth, ladies', and community programs and events, showers, birthday parties, slumber parties, and camps over the last 25 years. She also directs local theater productions and teaches drama at a small private school. If you are planning a party, shower, scavenger hunt or any other gathering or event visit for party games and ideas.

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