5 Games for Christmas Parties at Home in Japan! | Guidable - Your Guide to a Sustainable, Wellbeing-centred Life in Japan

5 Games for Christmas Parties at Home in Japan!

By Guidable Writers Dec 21, 2017

Christmas is coming soon! In Japan, most of us are not Christian, but we still celebrate Christmas day. Normally, it is a romantic day for couples in Japan, but if you are single or already married and have children, it might be fun to host a Christmas party at home!

Gift Exchange (Purezento Kokan プレゼント交換)

This is a very popular game for Christmas parties in Japan. Usually, we do this game at the end of the party. However, you need to inform everyone that they have to buy gifts for this game before the party begins. You also need to set a price limit for the gifts, since it would be unfair if one gift is cheap and one is expensive. Anything can be a gift, such as snacks, stationery, and Christmas decorations.

<Things to prepare>

・Gift (average maximum price is 500 yen)


・Numbered tickets (if you don’t have any, just write numbers on a piece of paper!)

<How to play>

At the beginning of the party, collect all gifts purchased for the game and write a number on each gift.

Put them somewhere, like under the Christmas tree, during the party.

At the end of the party, let everyone sit in a circle and put all the gifts in the middle of a circle.

Let everyone take one numbered ticket.

Let everyone take a numbered gift with the same number as their ticket

Open and enjoy seeing who gets what!

Bingo (ビンゴ)

You might already have played this game at parties in Japan such as welcome parties, wedding parties and year-end parties, as this game has been popular for all ages in Japan for a long time! As for gifts, you can use the gifts that everyone brings for ‘gift exchange’, introduced above. Otherwise, you need to prepare gifts before party begins; however, you had better collect money before the party for a ‘bingo fee’ from everyone who is joining, such as 300yen per person.

<Things to prepare>

・Bingo cards (you can find them at Daiso!)

・Bingo machine

・Gifts (corresponding to the number of persons joining the party. Better to spend more money for superiors)

・Pen and paper (It is better to write down numbers that have already been drawn)

<How to play>

Put gifts on the table (everything should be wrapped, as it’d make everyone excited!).

Pass out a Bingo card to everyone, and have them make a hole in the ‘Free’ space.

Pick a number with the Bingo machine, and have people punch the space if they have the number.

If punched numbers almost make either a vertical, horizontal or diagonal line, but one number is still missing, it is called ‘reach’.

If someone completely makes a line, call him/her ‘Bingo’ and give a gift from the pile (or let them choose!)

Repeat until everyone gets a gift!

Russian Mini Puff Tree (ロシアンミニシューツリー)

You may know ‘Russian roulette’, the terribly scary game. But, we play ‘Russian roulette’ in a different way. Mostly, we use cream puffs or sushi and put wasabi or an extremely hot spice in one of them. Then, we each choose one and eat them all at the same time. The people who guess who got the spicy one will be the winner! ‘Russian Mini puff tree’ has the same rules as ‘Russian roulette’, but just make a Christmas tree with the cream puffs as in the picture above!

<Things to prepare>

・cream puffs

・wasabi, mustard or tabasco, etc…

<How to play>

Put wasabi (or other spicy food) in a few puffs and pile them up like a Christmas tree.

Divide everyone into 2 groups

One group is ‘Eater’ and the other is ‘Observer’.

All members of the ‘Eater’ team have to act like, ‘it’s delicious!’ even if you eat a terrible one!

‘Observer’ team discusses and chooses who they think is the unlucky person/people.

Teams which sides and repeat.

The team which made the most correct guesses is the winner.

Passing Bomb (Bakudanmawashi Gemu 爆弾回しゲーム)

In this game, you have to pass around the ‘bomb’ which is obviously not a real bomb, but a ball or balloon instead. Before passing the bomb, you have to say a word related to the predetermined “theme”, or subject. When the timer beeps, the person who is holding the ‘bomb’ is the loser. In Japan, if you lose a game, we often make them do some punishment in front of everyone! For example, making them make an impression of animals, trying to be a comedian, writing the letters of your name with your hips, and drinking juice such as orange juice with wasabi are common and funny ideas!

<Things to prepare>

・a ball (anything is ok to use as the bomb)

・timer (or Music)

<How to play>

Everyone sits in a circle.

Decide a ‘theme’, such as Japanese food, animal and colour, etc…

Set the timer for 3mins (changeable!).

Start timer, pass the ‘bomb’ to the person to your right after saying a word related to ‘theme’.

Repeat this until the timer rings.

The person who is holding the ‘bomb’ when the timer beeps has to do a ‘punishment’.

Shotoku Taishi game (聖徳太子ゲーム)

Do you know Shotoku Taishi (聖徳太子)? He lived from 574-622, which is in the Asuka period. He’s known as an amazing person not only for politics, but he was also believed to have mysterious powers! One of the legends about him is that he can understand what 10 people say at the same time! Whether this is true or not, this game came from this story. So, how many people can you understand at the same time???

<Things to prepare>

・answers (Vocabulary or short sentences)


<How to play>

Choose 1 person to listen and 7 people to give the key words to.

Tell the 7 people the key words they will be saying to the listener before the game begins.

Set the timer for 1 minute, have the 7 people say their key words loudly to the listener again and again.

After the time is up, the listener has to say as much vocabulary as he/she heard.

Repeat with everyone as the listener, and the person who gets the most correct answers is the winner.

I know you see lots of romantic Christmas lights and couples outside nowadays. Whether you are single or with someone, organise a special Christmas home party and enjoy it Japanese style! There are lots of nice Christmas foods, cakes and decorations!! Merry Christmas to you all!