Holiday Bash on a Budget
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If you're going to have a small gathering of people who don't know each other too well, games and activities can provide entertainment and act as icebreakers. And it's always best to have something organized for the kids to do, so that the adults can more easily enjoy one another's company.
- Charades has been a part of Christmas tradition since 12th Night celebrations were popularized in the 18th Century. Charades is an easy game to play on the spur of the moment, since no materials are really necessary. You can make the game as simple or as complicated as you like. Pick entire stories to be pantomimed, if your gathering consists of budding thespians, or stick to popular movie titles for an easier challenge.
- Board games are a fun family activity, if you've got a small group together. If it's a larger party, break the crowd up into smaller circles or teams to play several different board games. You might consider having one game for the kids, and another for the adults. On the other hand, it can be fun for grown-ups to team up with children for play!
- Many board games have simpler, noncommercial predecessors. If you like Balderdash, you'll enjoy Word Bluff. Using a dictionary, pick tricky words for everyone to define as best they can.
- A New Year's party suggests some particular activities. Keep everyone awake as you wait for that ball to drop.
- If most people want to socialize, but the kids are getting bored, give them some printables, so they can have fun on their own.
- DVDs can provide a passive activity for kids to enjoy, once they've used up a bit of their energy. Throw a Christmas classic in the DVD player or VCR for them.