St. Nick’s Christmas Picks: A Short Guide to Quarantine Christmas Games
‘Twas three weeks before Christmas, and all ‘cross the Earth,
People were staying inside, afraid to get sick or worse.
We all felt the pressure as the season drew near,
the holiday headstone for a ridiculous year.
We survived lockdowns, and scary elections,
We deserve some good cheer, wrapped up with nice presentation!
So when the orders came down, we heard loud and clear,
we’d have Christmas on lockdown, our worst Christmas fear!
I cried and I moaned and did some bellyachin’.
This couldn’t be Christmas, we must be mistaken!
But at just that moment, I realized something AMAZING,
so listen up now, while I say something brazen.
Sure, Christmas has been about who shows up at your table.
The hearty, the healthy, the willing and able!
But this year is different, we can’t do it in person,
or this COVID-19 will just worsen and worsen!
But there’s a spirit to Christmas, one Covid can’t kill!
There’s some kind of magic, they call it “Christmas Good Will!”
It’s not about the food, or how much money you spend,
it’s about family, near and far, and the love of your friends!
So what if your holiday table is online this year?
So what if it’s on Zoom calls that you can’t always hear?
It’s the people who make this season so great!
It’s your family and friends, your relations and mates!
So never fear, because Christmas ain’t cancelled,
it’s time for new family traditions, e-socks and i-candles!
Never before have we had such need for games!
We can play them online, we can stretch out our brains!
And so Outset Media comes out of the blue,
with silly new games to delight and amuse!
Board games and card games, trivia and charades,
when you bust these games out, you’ll get accolades!
And so, at long last, this poem will end,
With four games to play with your family and friends!
I do love them all and I’ve played them to death,
I wouldn’t recommend anything less than the best!
So give them a look, peruse, if you will,
They’re precisely perfect if you’ve stockings to fill!
These games can’t fix Christmas, not all on their own,
but they’ll relight the spark if you bring them into your home!
- Family Charades In-A-Box
The classic family game is perfect for the holidays- it gets people laughing it gets people moving, and we even have a Christmas version that’s filled with extra holiday cheer! You’ll need some open space and a well-positioned webcam to make the most of it, but there’s nothing quite like charades to bring people together during the holidays! Everyone already knows how to play, and it’s a guaranteed hit!
Really, any trivia game would be appropriate for an online game night, but Jeopardy is one of our all time favourites and it feels extra appropriate given the unfortunate passing of Alex Trebek this year. And really, don’t most zoom calls feel like a gameshow anyways? You might need to get a bit creative with the rules, but with one player taking the role of the host, this could be a fantastic way to spend a nice family evening together!
- Kingdomino Duel
A two-player reimagining of the modern classic Kingdomino, Kingdomino Duel is perfect for online play because it’s a “roll & write”- there are a few other games in this genre that would work for the same reason, but basically, everyone works on their own, and there’s minimal player interaction, but everyone has to work with the same information to make the same difficult decisions- in this case, four dice are rolled and players split up the results, taking two dice each and drawing the results somewhere on their “kingdom”- a small piece of paper that each player works on individually. As your paper kingdom fill up, the decisions get more difficult, meaning your early decisions echo through the rest of the game. It plays like a competitive sudoku. If you’re looking for a one-on-one brainteaser competition, Kingdomino Duel can be played online with just a quick scan/photo of the player sheets, and some pictures/video of the dice every turn!
- Jackbox Party Games
The Jackbox games are in no way affiliated with Outset Media, but they’re so perfect for the current situation that I couldn’t leave them off this list. Anyone can play these games, from anywhere in the world. You need one screen that everyone can see (easily shared via Zoom and other video-chat programs) and everyone needs a browser, either on their phone or computer. After that it’s simple- I’ve played these games with my grandparents, even the most technologically illiterate family members pick it up quickly, and there’s something for everyone! There are games about drawing, trivia, joke-writing, rhyme-making, truth-stretching, t-shirt design, and much more. You can buy them individually, or as part of a pack, but Drawful, Quiplash, Fibbage, and Trivia Murder Party are all standouts to consider.
And so, all the games that we discussed today
will prove just one thing, I am happy to say!
Christmas is a gift, to do with what you will!
Make the most of the season, it’s your time to kill!
And with that last recommend, I bid you adieu,
With one final wish, for your family and you…
Online Christmas might be weird, but the point is the same-
So Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good game!
As a final note, while the above games are all available in big box stores and major online retailers, we’d like to encourage you to shop local this Christmas! It might be a little harder to find, but an extra Google search or a phone call to a local shop could mean the difference for a small business in your area! Thanks so much for reading!
P.S.S. If you want to more ideas for Christmas games, read Corey's post in the Critic's Corner: The Christmas Collection.