Texas Living

10 Ways to Break the Ice at Your Next Holiday Party

By Celia Bryan-Brown 11.8.17

With the holiday season comes calendars filled with get-togethers and family reunions. Nice though it is to catch up with people you haven’t seen lately, hosting a crowd of people who haven’t seen each other in a year or more can be a little daunting. These 10 icebreakers are perfect for holiday parties — giving you the opportunity to sit back, relax, and encourage your guests to connect with each other independently.

It’s All Fun and Games

  • The Lap Game: Arrange chairs in a circle and have everyone sit. Ask a series of simple questions, such as “Have you ever left the country?” If someone answers yes, then players move one seat to the left; if they say no, they stay put. Let the fun commence!
  • Whoppers: Have everyone write down two truths and a believable lie about themselves and put them in a party bowl. Mix them up and get guessing. 
  • Thanksgiving Bingo: Either create your own personalized version, or check out the many versions available online, like this one
  • “Would You Rather…?” A simple game of either-or that will get everyone having fun and revealing a little more about themselves.
  • Make name tags mysterious. They may feel a little awkward, but you can use them as great conversation starters if you’re hosting people who may not know each other. Get guests to write down a year when something significant happened to them. Voilà — instant icebreakers!
  • Get photos involved. Have everyone bring along a favorite photo of their part of the family and create a big collage together on pin boards. Everyone can browse the pictures, and it makes a great memento to bring out at the next gathering.

All On the Table

  • Spread out centerpiece cards with jokes and trivia. Your guests won’t be able to resist picking them up — and the fun will flow from there.
  • Mix up the seating chart. Don’t just place friends or direct family next to each other. Use the opportunity to seat people with similar interests next to each other for great conversation.
  • Serve food family-style. Use platters rather than plating things individually — a surefire way to get the party started as everyone helps each other fill up their plates.

And our absolute No. 1 tip? Have fun yourself! A relaxed and happy host is the best tonic to get your guests to relax and have a great time.

Keep the fun going by keeping your home safe for guests. 

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