White elephant gift exchange
Buying gifts for specific people at Christmas can be really stressful. This fun gift exchange game takes away the burden of deciding on the perfect present = and lets you get away with buying tacky, kooky and silly gifts for your colleagues, friends or family. The best part is you only have to buy one present.
Here’s what to do:
1. Set rules for your guests, such as the budget they should stick to. You can choose to make this a re-gifting exchange and give everyone a chance to repurpose gifts they don’t want. In that case, make sure this is stated clearly in the rules so no one ends up going out of their way to buy a nice gift.
2. Each person brings a wrapped gift and adds it to a common pool. Then, draw lots to determine the order in which you pick your gifts.
3. Sit in a circle around the gift pile so everyone gets to see what’s going on.
4. The first person can pick any present and open it in front of everyone.
5. The person who’s next in line gets to either pick another gift from the pool or “snatch” the previous person’s gift. If your gift has been stolen, you can choose to pick another gift from the pile or steal from someone else.
6. When everyone has had a go, the person who originally went first can choose to swap his or her present with someone else’s. That someone can then steal from another person, if they choose to do so. This goes on until one of you decides not to steal from someone else. Then, the game ends.
Camping may not be all that common among Singapore families, but this delicious campsite staple has universal appeal. Thankfully, there’s no need for campfire to enjoy this decadent treat at your Christmas gathering. Just grab a couple of cans of chafing fuel gel – the type used by caterers to heat food – and set up a S’mores bar.
Here’s what to do:
1. To set up your “campfire”, place a can of chafing fuel gel ($1.18, available from www.hungrybbq.com) in a large bowl and fill the surrounding space with pebbles. The bed of stones prevents anyone from touching the side of the can and getting burnt, so it’s safe for kids.
2. Prepare a container of wooden skewers on the side. Then lay out your ingredients. Place digestive biscuits or any other biscuit base on a platter and pile your marshmallows into a big dish.
3. Use mason jars or bowls to contain chocolate sauce, caramel, condensed milk and other sauces.
4. In ramekins or small bowls, place other toppings like rainbow sprinkles, nuts or dried fruit. You can also include fresh fruit, sunflower seeds and even chopped bacon bits.
5. Start the fire and get the party going!
If you’re feeling ambitious and want to host a party that your friends and family won’t forget, turn it into an exciting murder mystery. Much like an elaborate game of Cluedo, your guests will spend the night hunting down the person responsible for the gruesome “murder”.
Your entire party will centre on the theme of the game. Whether you choose to go with a medieval or futuristic storyline, the script, decorations, costumes and even the food menu should be aligned with it.
It can be meticulous to design the game on your own but there are many free and interesting game kits available for download online, such as the Sour Grapes of Wrath.
Here’s what to do:
1. Each guest will be assigned a character with a backstory and instructions for how to come dressed, sent to them in their party invitations. The backstory will provide clues and information that will lead to the discovery of the murderer.
2. A few guests will be the central cast members who must act out scenes to move the plot forward. Give acting roles to more sporting guests who can carry them off.
3. You may provide guests with more instruction sheets specific to each character when they arrive at the party. Incorporate physical props such as fake knives, or clues too.
4. Encourage your guests to mingle and ask each other questions throughout the party. They should be in character during the game. Ensure that there are clear rules about what their characters can and cannot say.
5. At the end of the night, gather everyone in a circle to deliberate on who committed the crime. Remember to prepare prizes for those who guess correctly.
Pyjama party/movie marathon
Cast all your adult responsibilities aside this holiday season and have a pyjama party. Dress-code: fuzzy slippers and PJs.
This party requires minimal preparation. All you need is lots of pillows and blankets around the TV and a classic Christmas movies on hand for a family-friendly Christmas movie marathon. Our top picks are Home Alone, It’s A Wonderful Life and The Muppet Christmas Carol.
Make sure to have a well-stocked snack bar with cookies, chips, popcorn or pretzels for guests to much on. Don’t forget the hot chocolate, with Baileys Irish Cream for the grown-ups.
Christmas card station
So you didn’t have time to send out greeting cards this year. We bet plenty of your guests didn’t, either. Give everyone the opportunity to make up for it by setting up a Christmas card station at your party for young and old to make cards and share the festive joy with one another.
Here’s what to do:
1. Get out all your craft supplies and organise them in containers on a work station. Cardstock, coloured paper and envelopes are a must, together with writing materials like crayons, markers and coloured pens. Provide multiple pairs of scissors, lots of tape and glue sticks so people won’t have to fight over them.
2. Bring out the ribbons, washi tape, stamps and other materials for decorating.
3. Make a letter box out of an empty cereal box by cutting a flap in the side and decorating it. Place it alongside the card station for all your guests to “post” their finished cards addressed to others attending the party.
4. At the end of the party, “deliver” all the greeting cards to their respective recipients before they leave.