Get it? Apologies for the sketchy pun.
All kidding aside, Christmas Pictionary is a great game to play at just about any holiday gathering, whether it’s in a classroom, office, or someone’s home. It’s fun for all ages, easy to play, and dirt cheap to set up (thanks to free printable word lists like the ones at the end of this article). If you’re thinking about organizing a game, this guide will tell you everything you need to know.
Like charades, Pictionary is a guessing game with simple rules. Most people intuitively understand what to do, even if they’ve never played before. Still, it’s important to go over the rules to make sure there are no surprises.
Here’s what you need to get started:
- A medium for players to draw on, whether it’s a white board, oversized paper on an easel, or just plain old printer paper
- A pen or marker for drawing
- A timer of some sort
- A pen and paper for keeping score
- Slips of paper with Christmas Pictionary words on them (see below for word lists)
- A grab bag for people to randomly draw the slips of paper
Players should be divided into two equal teams. Here’s how the order of play works:
- Team A chooses a player to draw first. That player selects a slip of paper from the grab bag and keeps it hidden from other players (on both sides).
- The player has one minute to draw the Christmas word or phrase on the slip. The person drawing may not speak, use gestures, or write words or symbols.
- If Team A guesses the word or phrase correctly within a minute, they score a point. However, if the clock runs out without Team A guessing correctly, Team B may attempt to steal. In this case, Team B huddles up and decides on one guess. If correct, they score a point.
- To complete the round, Team B gets a chance to draw (repeating the previous three steps). The game continues in this fashion, with players taking turns being the drawer.
- The game is over at the end of a round when one team has scored 25 points. If the game is tied at 25, play extra rounds until one team is ahead at the end of a round.
Of course, you can tweak any of these rules as desired. For example, you can play to whatever score you like to shorten or lengthen the game (maybe 12 for the 12 days of Christmas?). Just make sure you specify what the rules are before you start playing the game.
Ideas For Organizers
The beauty of Christmas Pictionary is that it’s so easy and cheap to set up. In fact, you might want to take some of time and money you saved to add a few extra touches. Here are some ideas:
- Have players draw with red and green markers. Not only does it fit the Christmas theme, but it adds some strategy as players decide what color to use for different parts of their drawings.
- Have players draw with a novelty Christmas pen (such as one that’s shaped like a candy cane).
- Select a sub-theme for the words and phrases you use, such as Christmas carols, Christmas movies, or toys. Just keep in mind that a narrower theme will make it easier to guess, so make sure the words are extra challenging.
- Play Christmas music while the clock is running, and cut it off when the clock has run out.
You can always come up with your own holiday-themed words and phrases to use for Christmas Pictionary. But why bother when you can simply print out the following Christmas Pictionary word lists?
Note: For a printable PDF version of both lists, click here.
You can find other Christmas-themed word lists on the internet as well. Just keep in mind that general lists or lists intended for other games (like charades) may not be well suited to Pictionary.
So, is Christmas Pictionary the best of all the holiday-themed party games? I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.
Get it? Sorry, I just couldn’t resist one final pun.