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12 Christmas Minute to Win It Games for Kids and Adults

Wondering how to make a Christmas party fun? Try these easy “Minute to Win It” Christmas games for kids, teens and adults — fun to do at home or for parties and so easy to set up — like this “What’s in the Stocking” Christmas Minute to Win It game!

Have you ever watched Rudolph?

I’m sure you’ve seen how the reindeer play games — and we thought it would be a hoot to put together our own themed set of holiday games to do with the relatives.

You know, to pass the time on those colder days & add a few laughs to the celebration — and there will be a LOT of laughs with these, I promise!

Christmas minute to win it games for kids, teens, adults and groups!

12 Christmas Minute to Win It Games

Our goal — one or two short & friendly games each day with the family is a fun way to pass the time over the holidays.

Some of the activities are for teams and others are done individually.  All are great for everyone from kids to grandparents!

These are also fun ideas to include in your 12 Days of Christmas activities too.

Our kids helped by telling me about some of the minute to win it games they’ve played at school.

Then we created a few of our own and also looked online to find a some super cool ones that other families have done.  I’ve included links to game directions along with affiliate links for other items you might find entertaining too!

Here’s the list of fun & easy Christmas Minute to Win It Games you’ll find below:

  1. Snowball Scoop
  2. Away in the Manger
  3. Snowball Toss
  4. Christmas Lights Photo Challenge
  5. Candy Cane Relay
  6. Cookie Eat-off Game
  7. Christmas Word Scramble
  8. Holiday Charades
  9. The Nose Knows
  10. Nutcracker Stacker
  11. Jingle Bell box
  12. Christmas Speed BINGO

** And check out the *NEWEST* Christmas Minute to Win It game: What’s in the Stocking? too!

Be sure that someone has a timer going as you play each of the games.  In fact, if you want to assign who keeps time, have them wear a Santa hat while you play 😉

And if you’re looking for other FUN holiday themed games you can play, we’d also suggest these awesome games to keep on hand:

We always like to try a few of the ideas out over Thanksgiving and have a great time — even older kids & teenagers will love to get involved (and half the fun is watching the rest of the family make feeble attempts at these crazy antics)!

#1 – Snowball Scoop Game

Remember that old party game where someone would blindfold you and you had to scoop cotton balls from one bowl to another using a large kitchen spoon?

Yep, this is it!


All you’ll need is two large bowls, a bandana (or something to use as a blindfold) a few bags of cotton balls and a large kitchen serving spoon.

How to Play:

  • Put all the cotton balls into one bowl and place it next to the empty bowl.
  • Blindfold each player and put the spoon in their hand.
  • Start the timer, yell “Go!” and see how many cotton balls they can move from the full bowl to the empty bowl with ONLY the spoon (no extra hands allowed!)
  • Each player can either have 3 tries or they can keep trying for one minute.  Not as easy as it looks!

And if you’re stuck inside, here are 30 Winter Games & Activities to keep everyone happy!

#2 – Away in the Manger (Group Game)

This is a team game and kids love it!


Gather up an armful of various pieces of clothing, blankets, belts, stuffed animals and knick-knacks from around the house. Put all the items into a laundry basket or a large Santa bag.

OR set the timer for a few minutes longer and have each team search the house for their own items (fair warning: you’ll probably have some unmade beds to fix after you play – lol!)

How to Play:

Give each team one minute to use as many props as they can (including team members) to create their own version of The Nativity or manger scene from Jesus’ birth.

Be sure to snap a few pictures!!

And yes, real Nativity costumes do exist if you’d rather not dress up in a sheet 😉

Minute to Win It Christmas games

#3 – Minute to Win It Snowball Toss

This was one of our favorite Christmas minute to win it games!


A wreath, a large bowl and some socks rolled up like snowballs (or a set of indoor snowballs 🙂

2 minute Prep: Hang a Christmas wreath up from a doorway or ceiling — we just used some burlap and tacked it above the door frame.

Ball up a handful of white socks to make snowballs or use this fun Indoor Snowball Fight kit!

There are two ways to play:

Easy version:  Each person gets to shoot as many ‘snowballs’ as they can through the center of the wreath in one minute.

Harder version:  Place a large bowl on the other side of the wreath (see ours above) and count how many ‘snowballs’ can go through the wreath and INTO the bowl.

We awarded one point for each snowball that was shot through the wreath and another 3 points for each one that made it into the bowl.

Psst:  Snowballs bounce just like Bumbles 😉

minute to win it christmas games

#4. Christmas Lights Photo Challenge

This is a team game that’s played outside – so bundle up!  You could also do it as an individual game if you’re visiting a park or dedicated area that has tons of holiday lights.


Give each team (or person) a list of holiday light displays along with a smartphone.  Then set everyone’s phone/watch for 20 minutes.

How to Play:

Team members need to run around the neighborhood taking photos of as many items from the list as they can find and then head back to home base to see who found the most.

Kids & teens especially LOVE this game and it’s great exercise too!

Here are a few free printable lists you can use:

Christmas Decoration Scavenger Hunt (this can also be done as an indoor Christmas Decorations hunt too!)

Christmas Lights Scavenger HuntSaavy Sparrow

fun christmas games minute to win it

Another alternative is this free printable Gingerbread Man Scavenger Hunt!

Just cut out the game pieces, hide them in the yard or around your house & let teams loose to see who can find the most gingerbread people in 1 minute!  Each gingerbread cut-out is also numbered so you could even make it a little more difficult and have individuals or teams find them in numeric order 😉

In it to Win it Christmas Games

#5. Minute to Win It: Candy Cane Relay

Team game: Kind of like the old version of ‘link the monkey’s’ game.


Large size candy canes!

How to Play:

  • Split your family/group into 2 teams and have them stand in a line.
  • Each person gets one (large sized) candy cane to hold in their mouth.  Then hang a new candy cane off the end of the first person’s candy cane and have the team pass it from player to player using only the canes that are in their teeth.
  • First team to get the candy cane all the way down the line without it dropping wins!  If it drops, the team must start all over.

Be careful – candy canes break easily 😉

Play, Party Plan has another fun twist on this game called Candy Cane Catch — all you need are a few chairs and some string to set it up.

The Happy Home Fairy has another version of this – Candy Cane Pile up – along with more fun ideas for quick Christmas games.

Minute to Win It Christmas Cookie game

#6. One Minute (to Win It) Cookie Eat Off Game

This is a hilarious way to serve your Christmas cookies — all players place a cookie on their forehead and without touching it, have to get it into their mouth using only facial movements.


Your favorite Christmas Cookies

How to Play:

Catching Fireflies has a fun look at the Cookie on the Face challenge along with other games.

Another fun edible idea is a Gingerbread House building challenge!  Just pull together some graham crackers and decorative items, grab your timer and see who can create the best house in minutes!

Or better yet, grab a few of these Premade Gingerbread Kits (includes mini versions too!) and have each person or team race to create their house!  Then display them all together as a holiday centerpiece.

And then, of course, eat it 🙂

minute to win it game christmas songs

#7. Christmas Word Scramble

A quick Christmas minute to win it table game — just print off this free Christmas Word Scramble and see who can solve the most words in a minute!

Or if you’re looking for a ‘festive’ sing-along challenge, download our FREE printable “What’s the Lyrics?! Holiday Minute to Win It game and see how well your family & friends know a few favorite Christmas tunes 😉

Also, be sure to check out these 25 Free Christmas Games & Activities for more printable Christmas activities.

Or if you’re looking for a more educational game, try this Christmas Geography Challenge — choose one or two of the questions on the list and have teams work together to map their answers.

Christmas charades cards for minute to win it game

#8. Minute to Win It Christmas Charades

Another Team Game:  Print off this free list of holiday-themed Charade phrases and see which team can guess the most items within a minute or two.

Or grab this 2-game pack of printable Christmas Charades & Pictionary cards — one set has Holiday Movie titles and the second set includes traditional Christmas activities!  This is the BEST way to play since you have 2 sets of cards so the team that goes last will have a new set of words to use!

How to Play:

  • Place all the cards into one Christmas bag or Santa hat.
  • Players can either act out each item on the list or you can draw each item (like Pictionary).
  • Split your group into 2 teams & set the timer for one minute (or more if you enjoy the game!) — the team that guesses the most items within the allotted time wins points!

Also a great game to play without a timer 😉

minute to win it games Christmas

#9. The Nose Knows: Minute to Win It Sensory Challenge

This is actually an adaptation of a kids science activity that everyone enjoys!  The games is based on a classic kids’ holiday book called The Sweet Smells of Christmas (if you remember those awesome scratch ‘n sniff books from when you were a kid, this game is the book come to life!)


Some of your favorite smelling holiday foods or items!  You can see what we used in this Amazing Scents of Christmas science activity for your game.

How to Play:

Place seasonal food items in empty tissue boxes and have each person take a sniff to see if they can identify the item in the box. A few ideas could include: an orange, a cinnamon stick, a branch from a pine tree, gingerbread cookies, etc.

No peeking!

Plus 30 more quick & easy Christmas Science Activities your kids will enjoy over winter break!

christmas minute to win it game stacking nuts

#10. Nutcracker Stacker Game

There’s a few great versions of this one — it involves a pile of hardware nuts, one candy cane and some engineering skills!

A Beautiful Vibrant Life has details about their Christmas Nutstacker game and more fun ideas. Challenge your players to either stack the nuts into a single tower, a pyramid shape or even something more creative!

#11. Jingle Bell Box Game

OMG!  This looks so funny and I can’t wait to see the grandparents ‘jingle’ their rears to shake out the bells!


You’ll need some individual jingle bells for this game but they’re easy to find at most craft stores.

(UPDATE:  This was TOTALLY the biggest hit!  Our kids still talk about Grandpa shaking his booty for this game. 🙂

How to Play:

Visit Your Homebased Mom for the ‘Jingle in the Trunk’ details along with more fun minute games!

holiday minute to win it game ideas

#12. Holiday Speed BINGO 

You can play this as a regular BINGO game or just limit it to one minute.  Kind of like speed BINGO 🙂

See if any player can score a BINGO in just one minute — the caller needs to be lightning fast for this game!  Try these FREE printable Vintage Christmas BINGO cards from Crafting Chicks to get you started. Or visit Etsy for a variety of printable BINGO games!


More Christmas Games & Fun:

25+ Free Christmas Printable Activities

40 Totally Useful Stocking Stuffers for Toddlers to Teens

12 Days of Christmas Activities {with printables!}