Fun and Festive Activities for Holiday Reunions: Part I By Lisa A. Alzo, M.F.A.

The holidays typically bring people together to share food, reminisce about the past, and celebrate the joys of the season. Whether you are holding an official reunion during the holiday season, or just smaller group gatherings, here are a few fun festive activities to keep everyone busy and engaged.

1. Holiday Bake-Off

Try a new twist on potluck and turn your party into a competition inspired by reality TV baking competitions. Ask everyone to bring a homemade holiday-themed cookie or treat. You can make it more challenging by requiring all bakers to use a unique seasonal ingredient. Ask for volunteers to be on the judging panel (perhaps those who do not wish/are unable to bake). Have each judge taste the treats. If you have many participants, draw numbers written on slips of paper out of a hat to have contestants “face off” until you have a winner. Consider having participants share their recipes as well.

2. The “Guess Who?” Game

Personalize the iconic “Guess Who?” game for the holidays. Take some photographs of your household members (or use photos from the past). Create holiday questions that refer to each person, such as “Who sings in the church choir,” or “Who burned Christmas dinner in 1983?” Print copies of the photos or organize them in a digital photo album or PowerPoint presentation and match the answer with the photograph.

3. Two Truths and a Lie–Holiday Style

Each player shares three statements recalled from holiday memories or traditions. The object for the other players is to guess which one is the lie. Try to be creative (the more outrageous the better) to keep everyone guessing. For example, 1) “I am a Scrooge!”; 2) I can name all of Santa’s reindeer; 3) Have all my shopping done by Thanksgiving.

Whether you use them as an ice-breaker activity or after-dinner entertainment, these activities encourage participation and interaction among all age groups and can be done with minimal effort.