Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Not-So-Silent Night

It was our turn to host the Mason family Christmas party this year and we thought we'd try something new & have a Christmas Minute-To-Win-It competition.  It was  so fun!


The see-how-many-marshmallows-you-can-get-through-the-wreath-and-into-the-bucket-in-a-minute game.

The Can-you-stack-the-cups-with-one-hand-in-a-minute game.
So intense.

The How-many-ornaments-can-you-balance-on-a-yardstick-and-papertowel tube-without-it-falling-over-in-a-minute game.

The Can-you-get-the-red-pompom-on-a-string-up-on-your-vaseline-covered-nose-in-a-minute game.
So much harder than you would think, by the way.  And Mason totally rocked it.  Look at how into it everyone was!
I think competitiveness runs in this family.

My precious, slobbery Christmas baby.

The Nut-stacker game.  Get it?

The How-many-ornaments-can-we-hang-on-the-string-without-using-our-hands-in-a-minute game.

And probably my favorite......the Can-you-get-the-cookie-from-your-forehead-into-your-mouth-without-using-your-hands-in-a-minute game.
So dang funny.

And then the Try-to-open-the-present-with-ski-gloves-on-before-doubles-are-rolled.  Then your turn's over & the next person puts the gloves on & tries to get it open.  Around the circle.  But inside one box is a smaller present to open & so on & whoever gets down to the final gift on their turn gets to keep it.

The games were so much fun, and then we tried to end things on a more spiritual note with some beautiful Christmas music from some of our more musically talented family members (which would not be me).

Max said it was the best Christmas party ever.
But then he was the one who won the cash in the gift-opening game.


Then, one of our favorite families in our neighborhood, the Arnetts, invited everyone over for cookies & cocoa & then they heard that Santa might stop by........
......and sure enough!   He did!!!


We thought for sure that Caroline would take one look at Santa & start screaming her head off, since she's in that I-don't-like-strangers phase.  But she didn't.  She saw that candy cane & didn't care about anything else!

Thank you Arnetts, for the super-fun shindig! 
And especially thank you that I don't have to take any kids to the mall Santa!
We're so lucky to have such great friends & neighbors & family to spend the holidays with.

107 comments:

johnsonteammom said...

Oh my gosh, I am totally stealing all those ideas for my Christmas party next year. Looks like you had a blast.

amy said...

I love breaking tradition a little bit and go a little crazy. I might have to copy. rock on

jlarnett said...

Totally copying some of your games...Looks SO fun!

"-Scout-7-Vanish-" said...

Hi... your post very interesting.
I am a new blogger...
Nice Post...
I want to follow you....

Randi~Dukes and Duchesses said...

What a great idea ... so different and so fun! Visiting from Tip Junkie.

senovia said...

Those are so awesome! Great photography, too!

Jackie said...

What camera and lenses do you use?

Merrick said...

Saw this on Pinterest. Great ideas! Definitely want to do this with my husband's family this year for Christmas!

merricksart.blogspot.com

Laura said...

Wow, wow, wow. Just stumbled upon this post. =) This is the kind of family I always have wanted to be in!! Love the game ideas...we only have two kids and they only have two cousins, but by george I'm going to do my best to have holidays like this. Thanks for the inspiration!!!

Jenn said...

Just found this on pintrest. Love it!

Bev said...

Tremendous ideas for great family times....I think I might try some ideas for my class party.

Bev said...

Great party ideas

Bev said...

Great family time...Love the ideas

lcle520 said...

Love all the ideas but I can't figure out how the red pompom on a string works. What do you have to do to get it to your nose?

Susie's Heart said...

Just found you on Pinterest! Love your Christmas party and your photos are Beautiful!! Your pictures made me feel like I was right in the room with you!
We always do the Gift Swap party with neighbors and added "Ugly Sweaters" to the mix a few years ago. I feel we'll be switching it up this year adding some of your great Minute to Win It ideas!!! Susie

Jemsmom said...

Just found you on Pinterest and love your blog! I am a aspiring photographer and I love your work! I would love to follow your blog, but I don't see where to do it! Is it private? Beautiful work and great ideas for Christmas! There aren't nearly as many of us, but this would be so fun!

Julie said...

Thanks for sharing. Sounds like a wonderful family time!

Cre8tive Randoms said...

I'm not copying your ideas...I'm coming to your next Christmas party!!!!!!!!

pat said...

Wonderful idea! Can you tell me how you set up the buzzer to call end of time and prizes????? Thank you! Looks like so much fun!!!

ellen kauffman said...

Found your site through pinterest. I LOVE all these games and will for sure be using some of them for our Christmas this year! I love how much fun it looks like everyone was having. :)

Susie said...

Totally and completely FUN! So stealing parts of this- thank you for your inspiration!

DeLynn said...

Your photos are really great!

trammeljones said...

How creative!! My sister and I have been talking about doing games with the family on Christmas day...hope you don't mind if I borrow your ideas!!

Tanya@takesix said...

Your games totally rock!!!! I'm gonna "borrow" some for our staff party this year! THANK YOU!!!

hayden13 said...

I love your party theme. I'm in the process of planning a little brother/little sister holiday party. I'm totally going with this theme!

Scandinavian Christmas said...

Great! Thank you, will pass this post on to the christmas party palnners of the family....

Dawn Grisley said...

I found your blog through Pinterest and I can't wait to try those party games at Christmas.

rhonda said...

Please tell us how the red pom pom on the nose game goes. Do you put the string in your mouth and try to flip it up to your nose?

haystax99 said...

We too would like to play these games for our neighborhood Christmas party. We need a little help understanding the red pompom game also. We can't wait to play.

jeanj said...

At our Christmas, each family is asked to contribute something-a reading, scripture, song, etc. A few years ago my immediate family started with a game-last Christmas, my mom, who is 92, said "ok Jean, when do we get to play a game?" It was great! We did minute to win it games & we had a blast-ESPECIALLY my 92 year old mother!!! God bless & have a wonderful CHRISTmas!

Gail said...

Nicole,
Your family functions look a lot like ours! It is soooo much fun to play together. I have a question about the reindeer nose game. Is there any way I can contact you for more specific directions? Thanks, Gail

Beema said...

You don't know me, but my niece told me to check out your blog - and I can see why! These ideas are fantastic and I'm totally going to use them for our Christmas party (all adults) on December 10th! I love it! What fabulous ideas. Beautiful blog - gorgeous pictures! Thank you for sharing! Love it!
LynnEl in Illinois!

D said...

Fantastic games...so much fun!Thank you for sharing Christmas joy. Will try a few of your games this Christmas.

kel said...

We're Masons too and I think my family would love this! (even though we're all adults...) Totally copying for our Christmas Eve party :) Happy Holidays!

trophyw.blogspot.com said...

these look like so much fun. I'm stealing them for my kid's Christmas party.

Beth and Jay said...

I was wondering, on the "getting the pompom on your vaselined nose" game...do you put the string in your mouth or hands or what? I'm having a Christmas party and am going to use these in a couple weeks. Do you have any suggestions for a kids minute to win it?

juliecantrell said...

Love, love, love these ideas and your blogpost makes me wish I was part of your family!!! What a wonderful night! I hope you don't mind me sharing these on www.juliecantrell.com I'll be sure to credit you, link to you, and send folks your way. Awesome blogsite!!! j

Andrea said...

Awesome! Great ideas! Can't wait to try some of these this year!!!

Rebecca said...

How fun! When we watched this show last year I told my husband the ideas would make great party games.

shen's girly spazms said...

oh wow! so much fun! great ideas! thanks for sharing! the pictures made me feel like a part of the family too! LOVE IT!!!!

shen's girly spazms said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hayes Family said...

So obviously I am not the only one who is loving the minute to win it game, by all the posts....can I be adopted by your family????? oh wait I have for kiddos of my own. I Would like to try and do this, this year. Did you have a game plan, a rough draft of sorts? Where did you get your ideas? (Besides the TV show)
I saw others ask about the pom pom, how did that work? I know it is a busy time of year right now, thanks and I hope to hear back from you.

cdlytle said...

We played alot of these games for Christmas last year. So much fun!!! We also do a chinese Christmas and instead of drawing numbers, the winner of each game got to go first. Just an idea. Your photos are great!! I was wondering if you could tell us what type of camera you use? Hope your Christmas is as fun and eventful this year.

The Educators Spin On It said...

Thank you so much for planning my holiday party for me! Can't wait to use these activities! Happy Holidays!

The Educators Spin On It said...

Thanks for planning my holiday party for me! I can't wait to use all these ideas. Happy Holidays!

Annette said...

Amazing Idea's!! Thanks so much for sharing. I can't wait to do some of these games at my Christmas Party this year. Another fun idea is getting teams of 2, tie one of their hands to each other, give them a box, wrapping paper, scissors, and tape and then give them 2 minutes to wrap the "gift". The best wrapped gift wins! It's fun to hear them "working together" lol

lyndsaypyles said...

Great idea! What kind of camera do you have?!?

Kid World Citizen said...

Love it!!!! I am going to copy some of your games;). Can I ask how you shot Santa in low-light?? Mine never turn out so well!

sandvan said...

Great ideas--can totally see how I might adapt them for even a Halloween themed party--thanks.

jbm said...

Oh what fun you had! We will definitely use some of these games at our family parties this year. You have a beautiful family!

THE Disneyland Mom said...

This post brings me a lot of joy. My husband created most (maybe all) of those games for Minute to Win It and I love seeing families play his games. :)

Kelly said...

I noticed several comments asking about the reindeer game. What do you do with the string? Could you explain how to do that game? Want to do it with my daughter's class party. Thanks so much for all the ideas! kellybradshaw2@msn.com

The Keylors said...

Oh my word! This was a great find!
We have a tacky Christmas party every year for our Community Group and we did some of these. I also made up a few others... "coal in your stocking"- trying to get as many pieces of coal as you can in a minute, "Breezy Christmas Cards" --who can blow the Christmas card from one end of the table to the other the fastest (talk about getting dizzy!), etc... I had to do the cup stacking and you weren't kidding about it being intense. WE were competing boys against girls for fastest time and I won, but was shaking all over. ha! So fun!!!! Thank you so much for sharing this!

The Educators Spin On It said...

Thanks for inspiring us!!! What a lovely tradition =) We linked back to your post here! http://theeducatorsspinonit.blogspot.com/2012/01/family-fun-ideas-for-your-next-party.html

~ Just Jen said...

Had A TON of fun doing these games New Year's Eve with our family (ranging in age from 3-65 years old!!) Thank you!!!
PS...we used $1 scratch off lottery tickets for winners in each minute game. FUN, FUN, FUN!!!

~Just Jen

Wendy C.Johnston said...

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Hope Jernigan said...

Seriously, I want to be a member of your family this Christmas. This looks like a blast!

chattygranny said...

what memories you are creating as a family! I love it!!

Tamra said...

Games look like fun. So many kids though. Overpopulation is killing God's planet.

Ms. Otis Regrets said...

@Tamra - nobody asked your opinion of large family gatherings. keep your yap to yourself.

CH said...

So awesome!! You would love what we implemented for our family for your own: We made a list of every person in the family, and the time they entered into the family via birth or marriage. Then we put the list in order and each person was assigned a number based on the time they entered the family. For example,My husband's dad was born first so he got #1. His mom is younger so she got #2. I married into the family in 2004 so I got #16 and so on.
The group was divided into the "Odds" and the "Evens". The goal of the holiday was to win the "Herzog Cup" through a series of activities, card games, board games, and other challenges.
I made "Jerseys" for each team member before we got down there for Christmas and wrapped each one. We opened them all at once and everyone was so excited to find out if they were an "Odd" or an "Even" and who was on their team! This will be a lifelong event. The next person born into the family will get a number and the next person who marries into the family will get their jersey given to him/her at their wedding.
To kick off the event, I wrapped up the "Herzog Cup" (a trophy) multiple times using as much tape as I could and the first team to unwrap the cup got it in their possession! Everyone stood in a circle and rolled the dice. If you got a "6" then it was your turn to try and open up the present.
You had to put on oven mitts before you started, and there were a couple of utensils to help you on your way if needed.
Here is my blog post about it (best Christmas ever) and now I will be using some of your ideas this year! http://blogbyaherzog.blogspot.ca/2010/12/christmas-2010.html

Lisa Robertson said...

Wow! I found a link to this post on Pinterest today while browsing my "friend feed." I cannot begin to tell you how much seeing your family enjoy these games means to me. My husband is the supervising producer of Minute To Win It who made up the games for the show. He always says he wishes he had a career that made a difference in people's lives. I showed him this so that I could prove to him that the games he has created for MTWI have brought a lot of people together and made a lot of people happy. :) Makes me proud and happy.

Rachel Ring said...

Such beautiful photos and a fun amazing party - thank you in advance for fun get-togethers this year!

Hello! I'm Kate. said...

Can I be a part of your family?! Y'all look like you have a blast together!

Monica said...

these ideas look like so much fun! I know my kids would love doing this. Thank you for all the ideas!

fhelessons said...

Wow! there are a lot of comments on here! Just wanted to say that your photos are beautiful! Games look fun too!

Laura said...

Your games look like so much fun! And your pictures are great, so clear! I was wondering what camera you have? I'm looking into buying a new one, but kinda shopping around....

FoodMuster said...

Hi, I am a complete stranger to you, but came across your blog via pinterest. Looks like you had a blast and it has inspired me to do something like this with my family this year. I love the opening of the presents with gloves, that's so cool! Are you LDS?

dj2nsiegel said...

Congratulations on creating such a wonderful night. You've inspired me, your family, friends and countless others by having fun with the true spirit of Christmas! I will be using many of your ideas this year!

JenInStrasburg said...

Look at all those children!!! What a glorious thing for all!!!

sherrbear said...

What kind of camera was used to take these pics?

Tanya O said...

I was wondering about the Vaseline on the nose game. I didn't quite get it. This looks like a total blast and a great way to spend a Christmas party with famille that includes everyone, young and old. I'm hoping to pull it off this Christmas, thanks for the idea!

legomom1111 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
legomom1111 said...

Folks who are wondering about the vaseline pompom on the nose game.. I saw something similar on this blog.. seems like it's probably the same: http://www.parties4me.com/2010/12/christmas-minute-to-win-it-games.html

BellaGetsREal said...

I love your idea and how close your family looks. What fun

~Kristen said...

I love these ideas! I will have to try some of them!

Di~ said...

May I be so bold to ask what you used for prizes? Thanks for the ideas!

Elizabeth Mehlin said...

Can you give more detail on the pompom on a string game? Using all of these Friday at my after-Thanksgiving party. FUN!

Alaina Holland said...

Wonderful ideas! Works so well for short attention spans! LOVE. Thank you for sharing!

T-Kay Timmerman said...

Our cousins gather and host a Pride & Prejudiced party on Boxing Day. We began when the BBC version was only available on VHS and we played games between each rewind. Even now, on DVD, we stop in all the same places and play small quick games. Thanks for the ideas. We will incorporate some into our special day.

SuperSusan said...

Oh my goodness... hilarious. Can you please explain the rules to the red pom pom game. That one looks completely awesome and I would love to try that one.

Karye Sinwelski said...

These pictures rock! And that house is BEAUTIFUL!! What a fun night. Thank you for such a great post.

Health Nut Here to Help and Heal said...

The lighting in these pictures is beautiful! How'd you do that????

Jen said...

What lens did you use in these pictures. The pictures rock!

Chandra Vaughn said...

Your pic are amazing I am learning photography now. What lens and settings did you use for the close up ones ? Please !

Terri said...

Just read your family Christmas party 2011 blog post. I have one thing to say.....
If that is your idea of a Family Christmas Party, please adopt me because that just looked so incredibly perfect!

Max Avelar said...

How cool!! Thanks for the great ideas! Even better-- the way you captured all the fun!! Great photography! You caught all the emotion in the room and made me feel like I was there!
What kind of camera and lense did you use?

Jessica Parnell Tucker said...

Awesomeness. So glad you let us spy into your sweet little family for a night. I needed these ideas to try to get our fam out of our "play the Christmas story movie one more time" rut!

SiMy's Mama said...

These posts are very precious...I love the facial expressions on everyone elses faces...during the games...PRICELESS!!

Jen Kesler said...

Thanks for sharing! These look like so much fun...can't wait to try them out with our family this year!!

Norita Sorenson said...

Thank you so much for posting your Family Christmas Party. I have a party on Thursday and will be using almost all your games! We play a Minute To WIn It at Senior Family Home Evenings and it is fun and since Grandma usually doesn't do fun things we are going to do this and liven the party up!! My only question is, how do you do the red pompom on the nose one? I hope I hear from you. Oh and your family is darling, especially your little girl!! noritasdream@gmail.com

Bridget Hagspihl said...

What wonderful memories for your family and friends. THank you for sharing.

Lindsey said...

Wow! Looks like so much fun! What kind of camera did you use? Those pictures are so beautiful!!

Lindsey @ GrowingKidsMinistry.com

April Lynne said...

very first picture... boy in blue shirt... look at his tongue! too cute!!!

MONICA'S NOTEBOOK said...

Omg this is SUCH a great idea!!! Looks like yall had a blast! I am definitely going to have to mention this to my family! :]

Love Ellie Xx said...

Hello... I found my way here via Pinterest... great games!!!! and wow, I'm SO envious.... my children and I don't have any extended family and can only dream of a Christmas like this. Xx

Twocans said...

What GREAT ideas! We have a big family, and my brother in I live in 2 different states far from home; we were not able to be there in December, but are going in April, so we have decided to do what we did many years ago, have "Christmas" in April! Some of these games will be great to try!

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Nice Post

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Amit Parashar said...

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Pretty sure he will have a good read.

Jo Birkby said...

Can you please adopt me into your family....such an awesome event!

admin said...

amazing blog and very nice album.
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Heather said...

How in the world did you get such amazing indoor night pictures? Camera, lens, setting, etc? PLEASE share!

Clare said...

I also want to know the info on your photography settings..has there been an answer posted anywhere?!

heidilg said...

I love, love your pictures. Would you please tell me what type of camera you have?

Tyanne said...

Loved the ideas! Can't wait to try them out on my family. PS -great pictures!

Sherri Wipperman said...

These are some of the best ideas I have seen for a fabulous time to make Christmas NOT about the gifts, but about the family and good times. I'm soooooooooooooooooo stealing these...thank you for sharing. Talk about paying it forward with laughter and fun!

Cynthia said...

Oh, what a fun set of game ideas! Here's another idea I saw that I though was fun -- playing Dirty Bingo. This was a real hit at our last Christmas gathering. But I'll have to try these as well at the next!

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