Guess the Dinner: Have all the people
who are not working in the kitchen do a smell test and try to figure out what's on the menu for dinner. Sure, turkey or ham
or roast beef might be an obvious choice -- and an easy one if they are traditional in your family -- but what's the
potato smell? Is it a hashed brown casserole, or baked potatoes? Are they mashed with sour cream or garlic? Are there brussel
sprouts for dinner, or squash, or both.
The winner, or the person who most closely guesses the items on
the menu, gets a
Board Game Fun: Bring out the most
kid-like board game you have. This might be one that was just opened that morning or something you already have.
Get the men in the house (not the boys, but grown men) to sit
down on the floor and play the game. A great picture can be had when the fathers and grandfathers are on the living room rug
playing Candyland or Chutes and Ladders. Better yet, bring out a princess game and enjoy watching the men get dressed up like
princesses as the game goes on.
As a secondary activity, pit the kids and dads against each other
in a game of Monopoly or cards. The kids can play with their dads on a team or the dads can play against the kids. Either
way, it's sure to be fun.
Tablecloth: If the children are getting
restless waiting for the meal, have them decorate the tablecloth. This isn't the time, then, to put great Aunt Martha's tablecloth
on the table. Use a table cloth that is inexpensive, yet NOT disposable.
You can keep the tablecloth from year to year and enjoy watching
the progression of the children's art, recorded on the tablecloth. Be sure to have them use permanent markers and have
them date and sign their works, if they are old enough. If they're not, date and sign it for them. You'll want that bit of
Worst Presents: Who has the best story
about the worst present they ever got? Before dessert have everyone share their best of the worst stories. Be sure
that you don't tell the story in front of the person who gave you the worst present!
What was the most interesting present you ever got? Or the best
handmade present? What was the best present that came this Christmas? Dessert isn't handed out until everyone shares a story,
good or bad.
Where's Santa? While eating dinner,
have a fun activity going on that's sure to delight the children. Using a Santa hat, play a game of "where's Santa"? Surely
he's back at the North Pole by now, right?
Have someone start out with the Santa hat (they can keep it in
their lap while they eat). Then, under the table, that person passes it to someone else. Everyone tries to decide where the
hat is. Whoever has the hat winks at someone else when they catch their eye.
If someone gets winked at, they say, "Santa's lost!" and this
continues, with the passing of the hat and the winking, until someone figures out where Santa is....