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Tips on How to Organize a Last-Minute Family Christmas Party

Christmas is just a few winks away! If you have been caught up with holiday shopping and gatherings but have not been able to iron out your own family’s Christmas Party, then here are some quick tips for a fun-filled celebration.


Celebrating Christmas at home or at a family member’s private venue lets you enjoy the holiday creatively by setting up games and activities that you may not have the full freedom to do so in outside establishments. If you opt to celebrate Christmas out of home, most public venues would likely be fully booked already since Christmas reservations in hotels and restaurants in Manila are usually made at least a month or more in advance.

Make sure your party venue has decent lighting, basic sound system, restrooms, parking, electricity, tables and chairs, and a sink. A swimming pool is a plus, but is surely a requirement is you have swimming activities! If you have swimming games, make sure the venue has a shower area.


Some families prefer to start as early as mid-afternoon and head home before midnight. Some, on the other hand, prefer to start at dinner time and end in the wee hours of the morning. This usually depends on the age group in the family. Those who prefer to end earlier are usually those with infants and toddlers, while families that tend to stay late are those with older children.

Guest list

Invite your immediate family and your relatives. By finalizing your guestlist, you would have a better idea what kind of activities to mount so everyone can participate – both young and old!


Here are some family-friendly ideas:

Who Wants to be a Christmas Tree?


The team with the most creative human Christmas tree wins.


Each group has to choose one person in the team whom they will decorate as a Christmas tree within 3 minutes. Pick a judge/s from the family who will decide on the winner.


Assorted gift wrappers, ribbons, crepe paper, scissors, tape, cut outs, colored paper, cotton, and other decorative items. Don’t forget the 3-minute timer!


Minimum of 2 groups with at least 3 to 5 members per team

Reindeer Antlers Minute to Win It


The group with the highest reindeer antlers wins.


Each group has 1 minute to create reindeer antlers by inflating (blowing) and stuffing balloons in a pair of stockings. Only 1 representative per group will wear the antlers.


A pair of stockings per group (each must be exactly the same kind and length), at least 15 balloons per group (best to have balloons of assorted shapes and/or sizes), and a 1-minute timer


Minimum of 2 groups with at least 3 to 5 members per team

Stringed Donut Race


The player that finishes eating his donut first wins.


Tie the donuts on strings that are attached on a pole or a branch. Honey glazed donuts are the easiest to use for this game (it’s not as messy). There should be one donut per player. When the game starts, players should race against each other to finish their donut without the aid of their hands.


String, honey glazed donuts, pole or branch

Players: Minimum of 2

Ping Pong Scramble


The team with ping pong balls that has the highest sum wins.


Write numbers on 20 ping pong balls and toss them in the pool. Each ball should have a digit which represents the number of points earned. You may try the following digits: 2-4-6-8-10. Each team should dive in the pool and collect the highest sum of ping pong balls (ie: Team 1 collects 4-2-10-6-2-8-8-8-10-6 adding up to 64 points while Team 2 collects 10-4-6-2-8-2-4-4-10-6 adding up to 56 points)

Materials: 20 ping pong balls, permanent marker, a pool

Players: Two groups with at least 5 members per team



The first player to retrieve the invisi-bottle wins.


Fill a clear plastic bottle with water. Tell the players to turn their backs so you can toss the water-filled clear bottle into the pool without them seeing. Blow a whistle to signal the start of the game. The players have to dive in the pool and race to find the invisi-bottle.

Materials: Clear water bottle, water, whistle, a pool

Players: Minimum of 2


If you are decorating at the last minute, prioritize the most important Christmas props: the Christmas tree and lights. These two items plus a tasteful Christmas playlist can set the holiday mood in an instant. If you still have time, garnish the place with Christmas wreaths, socks, tinsel, and holiday mats.


Pot luck is the easiest way to fill the table with a variety of food with less individual expense since every guest is encouraged to chip in. To avoid bringing the same dish, create a group chat with all your guests and send a message to ask what they will bring. You can also monitor this easier by creating categories so the menu would include a fair number of appetizers, mains, desserts, and beverages.


The fastest way to send out invitations is via messaging apps. Create a group chat using your preferred app (most popular among families in Manila are Viber and Messenger) and send the details of the Christmas party. See below for an example:

  • What: Reyes Christmas Party 2019

  • When: Dec 24, 7pm onwards

  • Where: Dondon Reyes’ Residence at 1 Robina Street, Carmel 3 Subdivision, Barangka Ilaya, Makati City

  • Theme: Sporty Christmas

  • Attire: Active wear

  • What to bring: Potluck dish, swimwear, towels, change of clothes, shower items

We hope you enjoy your Christmas party! Have a merry, jolly Christmas from The Noodies family.



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