How to Play Name that Christmas Carol

Many people have played Name that Christmas Carol, or one of its variations, but didn't realize they were playing a game. It's a natural reflex during the holidays to gravitate toward Christmas carols. Sometimes we turn them into song parodies, sometimes we hum a few bars and entice others into guessing what the name of the Christmas carol is and sometimes, because we really don't know the answer, we sing one line from a Christmas carol and turn to whomever is nearby and ask, "Do you know the name of that Christmas carol? I can't think of it and I can't get it out of my head!"

If you've ever been involved of any of these experiences, you'veplayed the Name that Christmas Carol game. Once you realize that you can turn a curiosity into a real game, the fun really begins.

Playing Name that Christmas Carol
Playing this game is easy if you're the one with the master list in hand and you know all the answers. But to the other people playing the game, those who are attempting to actually name the Christmas carol you've just hummed, it may be a little tougher.

There are several ways this game can be played. First, find about a dozen or more Christmas carols and songs and create a Christmas carol booklet. Print the booklet and laminate each page before placing them into a binder that can be used over and over again on future holidays. You only need one master copy because, for this particular game, only one person will be holding the booklet at any one time.

Once everyone is seated comfortably, with snacks aplenty and hot cocoa or some other drink flowing freely, the person who goes first must find a Christmas carol or song in the booklet and then sing one random line. After she has sung the line, she can either point to someone in the room or allow the entire room to attempt to name the Christmas carol. The person who guesses correctly gets to be in charge for the next round.

Another way to play this game is to hum a few bars rather than sing a full line.

Name that Christmas Carol in Five Minutes or Less
For a real twist on this game, print out a copy of the carols and songs for each player, or else pass the one booklet around and allow everyone to take turns writing down several lines to different carols and songs they feel their opponents won't know. After each player has found 10 lines and written them down on a piece of paper with their name on it, they put them into a basket and each player picks one (without his or her name). The booklets are collected and set aside, and a timer is set. As everyone scrambles to write the correct title beside each line, you'll hear groans of disappointment, whoops of joy, various mutterings and contagious laughter.

Memorize the Name of Each Christmas Carol
Memorizing the name of each Christmas carol and repeating them back in order is the goal of this game. Starting at one end of the room, the first person says the name of a favorite Christmas carol. The next person adds the name of a different favorite Christmas carol, repeating in sequence the names that have already been said. Each player must recite all of the Christmas carols in the sequence in which they were given or they miss a turn.

A slightly different memory game is to have each player come up with a line from a Christmas carol that includes a certain word. For instance, if one person starts with the word snow, you must sing a line from a Christmas carol that includes the same word. For example, if one person sings, "Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!" then the next person might sing, "Dashing through the snow!"

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