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 information
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
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....