A FREE Printable Christmas Game For Your Holiday Party
Take this test to find out if you’re ready for Christmas and find out if your family friends are ready but giving them this test at your holiday party. Merry Christmas!
Gathering your family or friends together for Christmas caroling or a family sing-a-long can make your family party fun and fairly fuss free. Consider these helpful tips when planning your family caroling party.
The most important element of your musical caroling party is the music and you can download a free copy of caroling lyrics at www.familyreunionhelper.com. Caroling will be successful if everyone has the same list of carols. Provide one song sheet for every 2 carolers. Specify how many verses you will sing of each song. One verse is usually enough especially if caroling with children.
To build your song list you can type and print your own caroling sheets or make copies of the family reunion helper caroling book by clicking here- caroling song book. The book is designed so that you only have to print off the music that you will use for your caroling such as- Santa songs, snow songs or spiritual songs etc.
Choose songs that are short, easy to sing, and fun. It’s also best to sing upbeat songs such as “Jingle Bells” and “Up On the Housetop”.You should plan on singing 1 or 2 songs per house and end with “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”.
My family went caroling on Christmas Eve. Mom would choose 3 or 4 families that she knew would enjoy a caroling visit and she always made a few goodies to give them. (Perhaps as payment for listening to us sing off key) We would complete our caroling at a local nursing home. Many of the children were reluctant to sing at the nursing home but as the years have gone by caroling at the nursing home has become one of their most talked about memories of the season. HINT: If you visit a hospital or a nursing home, ask for permission ahead of time to make sure your visit comes at a good time and that they can accommodate a large group.
Jingle bells, cymbals and drum sticks are an easy way to make your caroling fun. Carolers that are too shy or just don’t want to sing can participate by keeping the beat with drum sticks or shaking the bells to the beat.
If caroling outside dress for the weather. When sending out invitations for your caroling party be sure and let your guests know that you’ll be caroling outdoors so they can bring their hats, gloves and scarves. A fun party favor for your party could be hand and toe warmers. You can dress things up by asking everyone to wear a fun Santa hat or reindeer antlers.
At the end of your caroling party meet back at your house or rec hall and provide your carolers with bowls of chili and mugs of hot chocolate and marshmallows or cider. You can keep your refreshments warm in slow cookers while you’re caroling.
Posted on September 7, 2020
Whether or not you had your family reunion or postponed it until next year, at Family Reunion Helper, we’re celebrating surviving the strangest family reunion season ever by offering 20% off our reunion theme packages.
Typically, Labor Day is the “official” end of family reunion season. We were only able to attend one of our family reunions, a smallish one- just 35 people but cancelled our Labor Day reunion of over 100 family members.
We’ve decided to look forward 2021- no cancelling reunions just postposing. For all of you that are looking forward to next year with us, FAMILY REUNION HELPER IS HAVING A SALE IN THEIR ETSY SHOP! Follow the link below to receive 20% off any reunion theme package.This even includes the wildly popular Family Reunion Brag Badges! But hurry, sale ends September 15th, 2020 . Here’s to next year!
I have 2 sons and a son in law and this year I tried something new for their Fathers Day gifts- I let them pick their own gifts. Well, not totally, I put together 3 boxes and after the boxes were filled with surprises and wrapped, then they got to pick their gift.
Each box was different- I had a technology box, builder box and a snack box. Each box contained a gift card and then a couple of things to go along with it. Value of each box was about $30.00.
I wrapped all three gifts in plain old newspaper- nothing fancy about it and with no clue to what was inside.
We had a little competition to see who got to choose their present first but you could do it oldest to youngest or by roll of the dice etc.
Just as the guys were about to pick their present, my husband put a $20.00 bill on the table and gave them the option to chose the cash instead of a box. There were no takers- everyone went for the boxes.
This is also a fun way to give out prizes at family reunions. Just wrap a variety of prizes and let the winner pick the prize they want from the pile- they get a prize but it’s a little more exciting and extends the fun a little longer.
First of all, let me say that this- I’m writing this blog in April 2020. The things I write in this blog today could possibly be a lot different than what I will write in July of this year.
At the very beginning, before we all began staying home so that we can stay safe, I believed that in a couple of weeks life would get back to normal and come Memorial Day family reunion season would be moving full steam ahead but now what….?
Family gatherings are difficult right now. For example, how was your Easter? All of our children and grandkids live within 20 minutes of us and we invited them out for a Easter visit with these rules:
Everyone scheduled a one hour block of time to visit and they had to leave before the next group arrived. We practiced social distancing with Grandpa and Gramie staying to the side. We had Easter cupcakes for all to enjoy. They jumped on our trampoline and played in our horse pasture and worked on a simple 100 piece puzzle… and we sanitized. It was good to see them all but they all left with no hugs or kisses from Gramie.
Our first family reunion is in July. At first I thought we would be safe to go ahead with those plans but I received an email from the reunion planner asking for ideas on how to do an online family reunion. Since that email I’ve learned that the big air show in our area, scheduled for the end of June, has been canceled and then, two of the huge “Pioneer” day celebrations in our state canceled. The possibility of a family reunion in July “is getting more and more remote.
Our last family reunion is scheduled for Labor Day weekend. That’s the one I’m in charge of. It’s a space reunion and I’ve got tons of fun ideas that I can’t wait to do with my family. Will it be safe to bring 100 plus people together for a reunion the end of August?
I don’t know, you don’t know and nobody can say for sure and that’s the problem. How can you hold a family reunion that excludes family members because they don’t feel safe? How do you plan a family reunion that puts so many people that you love at risk- AND- will they be at risk in August? It makes my head hurt just thinking about it.
So now what? The “what” in “now what” is that I’m moving forward with my space reunion planning. I have my doubts about a reunion during the three day Labor Day weekend but if we do, I’ll be prepared. If we don’t then just think how prepared I’ll be for our 2021 reunion- it will be the greatest family reunion ever!
Whether celebrating St Patrick’s Day or considering your Irish roots at your next family reunion here are a couple of fun Irish game ideas.
Musical Shamrock Game
Make very large green shamrock shapes about 2 feet square. They don’t need to be fancy just simple shamrock shapes. The ideas is similar to “musical chairs” game- you want to have fewer shamrocks than players. Scatter shamrocks over the playing area. Explain that as the music plays all the players must keep moving but must stay off the shamrocks. When the music stops players run to a shamrock. However, each shamrock must have three players on it. Those with only one or two as well as those that have nowhere to stand are eliminated. Remove a shamrock or two after each round. (You always want to have fewer shamrocks than players) Winners of the game are those who have not been eliminated when only one shamrock remains. Give out green lollypops, cupcakes or stickers for prizes.
Irish Scavenger Hunt
Divide into teams, giving each team an identical list of green items. Tell each team that they must stay together when searching for their green items.
Some ideas to search for:
Irish “Road Bowling” Game
Croquet is supposed to have come from a game called Crookey in Northern Ireland but another fun “real” Irish game is “Road Bowling”.
Road bowling is an unusual version of bowling that is particular to Ireland. It is played with a steal shot, (or use your own idea for a ball of some sort) which is tossed under arm by the player down a twisty road. The player who gets to the finish line with the least amount of throws wins.
Why should you never iron a 4-leaf clover? You
don’t want to press your luck.
May your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow, and may trouble avoid you wherever you go.
When I decided on a space theme for our 2020 family reunion, there were two activities I was sure I wanted to do. The first was moon stilts (I’ll write that bog when I get some good photos) and the second, was water bottle rockets.
Our family has a big party every Independence Day and one our traditions is making and launching water bottle rockets. We invite all of our guests to make a water bottle rocket and bring it to the party but, for our reunion, I’ll bring the supplies, poster board, duct tape, markers and bottles and let reunion goers make their rockets on site.
Basically, to build a bottle rocket, you start by rolling a piece of paper into a cone shape and attach it to the bottom of an empty 1 or 2 liter plastic bottle. To help your rocket fly, you need to cut out 4 cardboard triangles to make your rocket fins. (There are lots of videos on YouTube to walk you through this process.)
At our Independence Day party, our seasoned rocket builders come up with some pretty creative designs for their rockets . Most add parachutes to soften the landing and some even include small, plastic toys that they send into space. No matter what the design, spectators love to watch the rockets blast off and their landings can be quite exciting.
For safety reasons, we only let adults operate the launcher. We have a homemade launcher and one we purchased from Amazon. Both work great but, keep in mind when planning your reunion, that you need to have a water source and hose available to fill the rockets with water.
At our reunion this year, we will give prizes for best design, most unusual design and most creative design. We will also give an award to the rocket that stays in the air the longest which we will determine by timing with a stopwatch on our phones. At our Independence Day parties, that award has been won by my son in law for the last 4 years. He’s a very talented engineer and his rocket designs are quite impressive and fun to watch.
My husband and I do an Easter Egg hunt on horses every year for family and friends. As I was doing some online searches in preparation for the hunt I stumbled across this fun idea for my space reunion- a Moon Rocks Treasure Hunt!
Kids love treasure hunts and it’s a pretty easy activity for a family reunion. This is the perfect time of year to gather supplies for your space rock treasure hunt.
Purchase round plastic Easter eggs and fill with space themed candy such as Milky Way, Mars bars and Starbursts. (If you can’t find round eggs you can use egg shaped eggs but they look more like tin foil eggs then moon rocks.)
Wrap eggs with tin foil that you have scrunched up so that it looks like a “moon rock”.
Then the fun begins- hide eggs around your reunion site. You can do this hunt inside or outside.
This is a great time to get the tweens in your family involved in the reunion fun. Put them in charge of filling eggs, wrapping them and hiding the rocks. They’ll love being in charge of something and it’s just one less thing you have to worry about. As “payment” for their help, give your helpers a full size version of your space themed candy bars.
At midnight on New Year’s Eve, it’s customary in Spain to quickly eat 12 grapes, one at each stroke of the clock. Each grape supposedly signifies good luck for one month of the coming year. People around the world celebrate the coming of the new year in many different ways but our families’ New Years tradition is one you’ve probably never heard of.
Every New Years Eve, if we have cleaned our rooms and put away our Christmas gifts, the “New Years Man” will stop at our house and leave one last holiday gift. I have no idea how the New Years Man tradition in my family but it’s a tradition that goes back many generations.
My Mom remembers- “On New Years Eve, at bedtime we would make a “nest” out of our clothes. While we were sleeping the New Years man would come and put goodies in our nest—It was always something to eat, candy, fruit etc. Not toys. Never a lot but we could tell he had been there “checking ” up on us. We thought it was fun!”
The tradition continued when I was a child. My parents used the New Years Man as a bribe to motivate us to clean up and put our Christmas things away.
The New Years Man tradition has evolved to him bringing a small toy, treat or book etc. on New Years Eve for every girl or boy that has put away their Christmas presents and cleaned their room so that it is spotless. On New Years Eve we write our names on a paper plate and if our rooms are clean the New Years Man will leave us a special prize.
I don’t know what the New Years Man looks like and I don’t know where he comes from but I do know that as a child I was extremely motivated to get my room cleaned and my Christmas gifts put away so that the New Years man would leave me one more gift for the season. I’m sure that having the house clean and orderly for the first day of the new year was well the effort for my parents.
When you sprinkle magic reindeer food on your lawn on Christmas Eve, it leaves a glittering path–and a sweet treat–for Rudolph and Blitzon and their friends.
Make a bag of Magic Reindeer food for each family that attends your party or as an inexpensive stocking stuffer for each child.
Package this simple recipe in zipper food storage bags, and add a free printable gift tag containing the Magic Reindeer Food poem to make Magic Reindeer Food easy to make–and to give.
In a large bowl or container, mix:
1/4- 1/2 cup uncooked oats
1/4 cup red or green sugar crystals
Small sealable bag
Magic Reindeer Food poem (You can find a free printable of the poem at Magic Reindeer Food Poem)
NOTE: You can use craft glitter in your magic reindeer food but colored sugar crystals (as used for cake decorating) are safer for other animals or birds that may ingest it.
Another fun reindeer games party favor is a bag of reindeer noses.
I wanted the perfect gift for you-
But couldn’t decide just what to do.
I almost sent you a dozen roses-
Instead here’s a bag of…
Reindeer noses are simply seven brown candies such as “Whoppers” and one red candy (to represent Rudolf). I used sour cherry candies for my red nose. You may find a free printable of the reindeer nose poem below. Just copy and paste into your document.
Log reindeer are the perfect project for your centerpieces. Simply reuse scraps of wood and timber from your woodpile, drill a few holes, and glue it all together. You’ll need a few thicker logs for the body and head; long, thin sticks for the legs, and pronged branches for your reindeer’s antlers. Add bow, bells or tinsel to complete your project. After the party you can give away part of your herd as prizes or save them to give as neighbor gifts.
Bake cupcakes according to package directions and frost generously with chocolate frosting. Top with pretzels for the antlers, a Nilla Wafer for the face, white frosting dots for the eyes, back pearl sprinkles or black icing for the eyeballs, and brown and red candies for the nose.
HINT: We made the pancake base of our Santa pancakes before arriving at the party. Because they are a little time consuming we began decorating them in advance. We noticed that the whipped cream started getting soft and didn’t look as cute. Solution- get more help with the decorating so that you can make them on the spot.
We used the “Minute to Win It” format for our “reindeer games”. We divided into four teams- team Rudolf, team Blitzen, team Dasher and team Donner and competed in 8 different challenges. We projected a countdown clock on the wall so that everyone could join in the drama as the seconds counted down. For more information on Minute the Win It games check out the following link.