Resources > The Complete List of Charades Ideas for Christmas - 150 words and phrases (Updated 2021)

The Complete List of Charades Ideas for Christmas - 150 words and phrases (Updated 2021)

By Ciarán.

If you’ve never played charades with your family at Christmas time, you are missing out on a great time to laugh a lot and have fun together. Charades is one of the best holiday time family games because it doesn’t require anything but imagination and people to play; and there is also no limit to how many people can play at the same time!

Read on for 150 Christmas charades ideas in 4 different categories and includes printable cards in PDFs. However, if you'd like even more words to choose from and want them now, click below to use our Christmas charades generator:

Generate Some Charades Ideas for Christmas!

Everyone enjoys a good game of charades at Christmas!

Image courtesy of

Table of Contents

  1. How To Play Charades during the Holidays
  2. Why Charades is the Perfect Christmas/Holiday Game
  3. List of Ideas for Playing Charades at Christmas
  4. Christmas Words and Characters Ideas
  5. Christmas Movie Charades Ideas
  6. Christmas Books Ideas
  7. Christmas Carol (or Song) Ideas
  8. Printable Cards of Christmas Charades Ideas
  9. Charades for Christmas Ideas Generator

How To Play Charades during the Holidays

For a quick recap, charades goes like this: one person acts out an action without talking (like lying on the floor) and everyone else (usually divided into two teams) tries to guess what that person is doing. The acting can be as simple or complicated as you like; usually when it gets ridiculous is when the most fun is had.

Click here for a full guide on how to play charades.

Generate Christmas Charades Ideas

Why Charades is the Perfect Christmas/Holiday Game

Charades is a wonderful game to play as a family because it makes everyone act a little goofy; that makes it more fun! No one can try and be “cool” when they are trying to act out a dog peeing on a fire hydrant; it’s a time to laugh together! Charades is simple, cheap, and there are no limits to the number of players! You can also play as a competition between two teams (if your family has a heavy competitive streak!) or you can just play all together… It can be a contest or not, depending on what your family is feeling at the moment.

Furthermore, some of the best memories your family will ever have are times when you are doing something together that makes you interact. Sure, you could get together and watch “A Christmas Story” for the 45th time, but that doesn’t have the same bonding experience. Lots of nostalgia, to be sure, but not much bonding. Playing a game together shows you sides of your family that you wouldn’t see otherwise… Who KNEW that your aunt was so competitive? Charades is the perfect game to play together, because you don’t have to pay for it! You have everything you need for the game in any room where there’s more than 1 person!

List of Ideas for Playing Charades at Christmas

People enjoying a game of charades during the holidays

Image courtesy of

Christmas Words and Characters Ideas

Here are a few ideas to get you started on your Christmas charades shenanigans. You can take whatever you want from this list and use it as a jumping-off point to start getting your own ideas!

  • Santa Claus - Show a fat belly, point to a hat, pretend to climb down a chimney, or carry a big sack over your shoulder. Or do all of the above!
  • Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer - Point to your nose and point to something red, go down on all fours, and pretend to pull a sleigh behind you.
  • Carolers - Pretend to sing, pretend to be looking at music, and sway dramatically along with the “music” you’re making.
  • Sledding - Pretend to “sled” on the ground; if you’re really committed, make a flying leap and just JUMP and slide.
  • Mistletoe - Pretend to kiss someone while “hanging” something above your head.
  • Christmas ornament - Pretend to hang something on a tree
  • Candy Cane - “Lick” something in front of your face
  • The Nutcracker
  • Santa's helpers‎
  • Frosty the Snowman
  • Mrs. Claus
  • Three Wise Men
  • Shepherd
  • Jesus
  • The Virgin Mary
  • Eating Christmas dinner
  • Boxing Day
  • Giving of Christmas card
  • Exchange Gifts
  • Christmas bonfires
  • Decorating Christmas tree
  • Nativity scene
  • Designing Christmas village
  • Gift giving
  • Building a snowman
  • Christmas shopping
  • Baking cookies
  • Roasting chestnuts
  • Trimming the tree
  • Wrapping presents
  • Manger
  • Eggnog
  • Boughs of Holly
  • The North Pole
  • Stocking
  • Sugar Plums
  • Gingerbread Man
  • Gingerbread House
  • Star of Bethlehem
  • Christmas Tree
  • Letter to Santa
  • Snow
  • Sleigh
  • Christmas Pudding
  • Presents
  • Chimney
  • Tinsel
  • Silver Bells
  • Elf
  • Ice Skating

Generate Christmas Charades Ideas

As you can see so far, these are goofy and lighthearted and will hopefully make your family laugh along with you as you (and they!) perform these types of acting clues. For more, use our online charades generator.

Christmas Movie Charades Ideas

Ah, now for most people’s favorite part… The Christmas movies! Here are a few movies to get you started on your Christmas movie charades (and we've included suggested acts for some of them!):

  • A Christmas Story - Pretend to shoot a BB gun, pretend to “shoot your eye out,” point at your leg and then gesture to a lamp.
  • The Grinch Who Stole Christmas - Pretend to run around stealing Christmas decorations, point at green objects and at yourself, tiptoe around with an evil look on your face, and point and your heart and make a “bigger” gesture.
  • Madea’s Christmas - Slapstick comedy, exaggerated gestures, falling all over yourself… This one may be more difficult to do but it will be funny if you really sell it!
  • Home Alone - Pretend to set traps, pretend to run away from bad guys, pretend to look all over the house for where other people are.
  • Elf - Stand with your arms to your sides bolt upright (see the DVD cover for what I’m talking about,) generally act hyper and weird, pretend to build things that don’t really work.
  • The Nightmare before Christmas
  • Miracle on 34th Street
  • Snowmen
  • Fred Claus
  • The Polar Express
  • Gremlins
  • Scrooged
  • Four Holidays
  • Bad Santa
  • Arthur Christmas
  • The Santa Clause
  • Home Alone 2
  • Christmas With the Kranks
  • The Muppet Christmas Carol
  • Noel
  • National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
  • It's a Wonderful Life
  • A Christmas Carol
  • Unaccompanied Minors
  • Jingle All the Way
  • Surviving Christmas
  • Jack Frost
  • Stalking Santa
  • Last Christmas
  • The Christmas Chronicles

Christmas Books Ideas

Books are another staple of Christmas time, but they can be a bit hard to act out sometimes… Once again, really sell your gestures to make sure people are laughing along with you.

  • The Nutcracker - Do ballet moves like a champ; dance all around the room, spinning and twirling and making a fool of yourself, chomping your teeth like a nutcracker all the while.
  • The Polar Express - Pretend to drive a train, pulling an imaginary horn and drinking hot chocolate the whole time.
  • The Nativity Story - Pretend to lay a baby in the manger, act like an animal around the barn, pretend to be amazed about the manger.
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
  • The Father Christmas Letters
  • A Christmas Carol
  • A Visit From St. Nicholas
  • The Snowman
  • Hercule Poirot's Christmas
  • Father Christmas
  • The Greatest Gift
  • Bear Stays Up For Christmas
  • Dream Snow
  • One Day in December
  • The Jolly Christmas Postman
  • Christmas Shopaholic
  • Holidays on Ice
  • The Tailor of Gloucester
  • A Christmas Memory
  • The Wild Christmas Reindeer
  • The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus
  • A Boy Called Christmas
  • The Snow Queen
  • The Gift of the Magi
  • Skipping Christmas
  • The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
  • The Girl Who Saved Christmas
  • A Child's Christmas in Wales
  • Royal Holiday
  • The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey

Generate Christmas Charades Ideas

Christmas Carol (or Song) Ideas

Everyone loves a good Christmas carol! Here are some of the more popular ones you can act out:

  • Joy to the World
  • Silver Bells
  • Silent Night
  • Rocking Around the Christmas Tree
  • Oh Holy Night
  • Jingle Bell Rock
  • Mary Did You Know
  • Feliz Navidad
  • Frosty the Snowman
  • Santa Claus is Coming to Town
  • Angels we have heard on High
  • Away in a Manger
  • Carol of the Bells
  • Christians Awake
  • Deck the Halls
  • Do you Hear what I Hear
  • The First Noel
  • Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
  • I Pray on Christmas
  • The Little Drummer Boy
  • O Come, All Ye Faithful
  • I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
  • We Wish You A Merry Christmas
  • Run Rudolph Run
  • Jingle Bells
  • Here Comes Santa Claus
  • We Three Kings of Orient Are
  • The Twelve Days of Christmas
  • All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth
  • Let It Snow
  • Winter Wonderland
  • Happy Christmas
  • Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
  • Good King Wenceslas
  • Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer
  • White Christmas
  • God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
  • Little Donkey
  • I Saw Three Ships
  • Santa Tell Me

Printable Cards of Christmas Charades Ideas

You can download the ideas listed above in PDF format by clicking the links below. You can print them and cut them up to use for a physical game. If you'd prefer to go green, head to the next section!

Charades for Christmas Ideas Generator

If you would prefer to be environmentally friendly and use an online tool to come up with ideas to play charades for Christmas, then use a generator like this one here. It contains all of the word and phrase ideas on this page, plus 100s more. One other useful feature is it reveals how many words are in each idea - very helpful when playing with young kids.

Generate Some Charades Ideas for Christmas!

It's Christmas - Go Play Charades!

I hope you’re starting to get the idea of how much fun Christmas Charades can be! At one time charades was one of the most popular parlor games in the world among the upper class… But it sadly has lost popularity over time, being replaced with TV watching and time spent ignoring each other while looking at your phone. Hopefully your family can get some real connection and have genuine fun together while playing games that make you have to work together, laugh together, and bond all the while. This Christmas, think about turning off the TV for a while, putting your phone down and picking up a mug of hot chocolate; sit around in your living room and watch each other try to act out different scenes and words, and laugh together as a family.

Have any more ideas to be added, or any feedback and suggestions on this piece? Please get in touch here. We're looking forward to hearing from you.