Your annual Christmas party is coming up and you want to try something a little different. Why not hold a contest to shake things up? This can be as fun or as competitive as you want to make it with one or more of the ideas below.
1. Ugly Christmas Sweater: This is a popular theme right now. Do you remember that bright green sweater with the dancing Santa appliqued on the front with pom poms and sequins that your grandma gave you? Well, if you haven't already donated it to Goodwill or burned it, then this is the perfect party to wear it to. You might just win first place.
2. Christmas Lights: Does your house light up the neighborhood at Christmastime? Maybe some of your neighbors, friends or family would like to challenge you in a friendly competition to see who has the most fabulous display.
3. Crafts: Crafting contests may include judging who has the most original or complex designs in ornaments, sewing and traditional craft projects or more art oriented projects. You can even expand this to food design preparation such as cake decorating. This is a great contest for church and community groups.
4. Kid's Contests: These can include any of the contests listed on this page all catered to different age groups. You may also want to award prizes according to age making it fun and giving small gifts to everyone so they don't feel left out but have one bigger prize for first place.
5. Worst White Elephant Gift: A white elephant gift is one that the receiver really has no use for and doesn't much care for. They can include gifts that just are in bad taste or gag gifts. Holding a contest for the worst white elephant gift would make for a lighthearted office party. It takes the pressure off of finding the perfect gift for someone you don't know. Ask participates to bring a white elephant gift they've received and wrap it without a gift tag. Set them all on a table and ask each person to take a gift they didn't bring themselves and open them. After you've all had a good laugh, collectively decide which one is the worst and give a prize to the person who brought it to the party. The only downside is that you each still have a white elephant to take home with you at the end of the night.
6. Most Decked-Out Tree: This one would involve travel to each entrants homes but that just increases the enjoyment of the holiday spirit. Or you can have people submit pictures to a social media page of the person who's throwing the party and the trees can be judged together or in different categories such based on a theme.
7. Gingerbread House: You have to love a contest where your is edible even if you don't win. See who can build the most intricate gingerbread house or even a whole village!
8. Game Tournament: Hold a game tournament with different games for kids and adults including trivia, bingo, card and board games. Console and computer game matches could include a top prize of the latest version of a game or game system.
9. Snowman, Igloo Building, Sports, Holiday Themes: Contests for the best snowman (or snow family) or igloo would be good for those of you in cold climates. Get physical with sports competitions or an outdoor holiday-themed contest such as sledding or races in costume (think Santa, elves and reindeer).
10. Raffle: If you prefer to keep the party less competitive, a raffle is the way to go. Everyone pays for their ticket and they win a portion or all of the money raised if their ticket number is drawn. However, a raffle would be a great way to raise money for a local cause attendees would feel good about supporting too. You could then divide the proceeds between the winner and the charity or give it all to charity and have a pre-selected prize such as one of those mentioned below. Remember that raffles have a legality component to them which you can read more about in Five Things to Know About Running a Raffle.
With games, it will be easy to see who the winner is. But for other contests, you'll need to determine if want one judge, a panel and/or some type of point system to make judging fair. After all, what one person thinks is ugly, another person may think is pretty. Or you can have a group consensus as a judging system, but depending on how large the group that could take too long to reach a decision.
Decide if there will be one grand prize with smaller prizes or just one prize winner. Ideas for prizes are gift cards or certificates for a spa day, restaurants, movie and food combos, department stores and sports events. If your party guests all collect certain items, award a gift certificate for the shop that sells them, i.e. Christmas village collectibles or other holiday or non-holiday collectibles. Cash is always a welcome prize, as well as themed gift baskets.