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Christmas is nearly upon us. It’s great to be able to spend a whole day with your nearest and dearest, but when the turkey’s all gone and the conversation’s started to die down in favour of you being given the third degree by your great aunt, you might find you need a quick distraction. Any game in this selection is the perfect way to make that happen. However, you probably won’t want to play Cards Against Humanity with your great aunt. Unless she’s awesome.

Heads Up

It’s a much more high-tech version of a classic game that involved sticking post its on peoples’ heads, but this time it’s in the form of an app. There are expansion packs being added all the time, so you’ll never run out of rounds to play. You’ll get a chance to see exactly how bad your nearest and dearest are at everything from accents to singing, so it has everything you could possibly need in an icebreaker.

Jackbox Party Pack

If you liked Blankety Blank or Call My Bluff, you’ll love Fibbage. If you like Pictionary, you’ll love Drawful. The Jackbox Party Pack is a high-tech take on classic games which involves everybody participating using their phone. You’ll need a central screen so it’s a great option for families where turning the TV off is not an option.

Speak Out

It’s this year’s hottest game, and it’s been sold out everywhere for weeks. The basic premise is that everybody takes it turns to have their mouths held open with dentist equipment. They then have to repeat phrases to the other players. Tey obviously sound ridiculous, there will presumably be a bit of drooling going on, and it’s going to be really funny.

Dobble

The most frustrating (in a good way) card game you will ever play. It’s a bit like a cross between snap and Where’s Wally. There are eight symbols on each card, and there’s always one that matches. Lay your cards in a pile like in a game of ‘snap’, and the first one with none left wins. If you manage to avoid tantrums while playing this on Christmas day you’re a better person than anyone on Team HowNow on a Friday afternoon.

The Tin Foil Game

An underrated classic, this game tests the artistic abilities of your family and friends. Pull the name of an object out of a hat and then sculpt that object using one sheet of tin foil. Think it sounds easy? It’s definitely not. There’s a reason all of the Romans chose to make sculptures out of marble.

Linkee

Another game causing controversy in the halls of HowNow HQ. Linkee involves answering questions, and finding the connections between the answers in order to win cards. The first team to pick up enough cards to spell out ‘Linkee’ wins. It’s part Trivial Pursuit, part a massively dumbed-down version of Only Connect.

Cards Against Humanity

The perfect card game for terrible people (ie. all of us). It’s rude, it’s gross, and it give everybody a chance to show themselves at their worst. Points are scored for being funniest, which means nobody can ever agree on who should win, lending an air of unexpected jeopardy to proceedings, which is always a bonus.

Pie Face

It was the super-popular board game for Christmas 2015, which means by now it’s probably just about back in stock again. It’s like Buckaroo, but with fewer horses, more whipped cream, and a bigger cleanup operation. More to the point, it’s a family friendly game, so it is nowhere near as sexual as it just sounded in our description.

Charades

Officially one of the biggest causes of family arguments in the past decade. That’s not technically a fact, but it does seem to cause a lot of conflict. It’s a great way to find out who in your family has never seen even the most mainstream of movies, who can’t understand basic instructions to be quiet and, more importantly, who’s had way to much of the Christmas punch to be rolling around on the floor reenacting The Matrix.

So what game will you be playing on Christmas Day or any of the lazy days following it?

The festive season is here again and everywhere you turn, people are buying stuff to get them into the Christmas spirit. We’re talking decorations, gifts, and all of the things you never knew you needed. But what if you want your Christmas to be more individual? That’s where craft projects come in. Luckily for you, we’ve scoured the internet and come up with some of the best simple festive crafts to make your Christmas stand out from the crowd.

Paperback Christmas Trees

Book purists, look away now. This festive craft project involves a fair amount of destruction. However, if the book is boring (because, let’s be honest, some of them are) and you’re never going to read it again, why not turn it into something pretty that’ll brighten up the room during the most wonderful time of the year? It’s also an excellent replacement if your flat is too small for a Christmas tree. And let’s face it, whose isn’t? Find the full tutorial here.

Wooden Sled Ornament

This is a great festive project to try with the kids. It’s also a great festive project to try if you spent the entire summer eating Twisters like there was no tomorrow and you need a way of hiding the evidence. It requires very little in the way of materials and will ensure that your tree looks unique rather than having the same old baubles as everyone else. Find the full tutorial here.

DIY Mason Jar Snowglobe

If you need a unique gift for that annoying person in your life who always gets you something really thoughtful and/or handmade, this might be it. Of course, we love that person. They’re a great person. But they’re difficult to buy for. So how about making one of these instead? They can display it proudly, and you could even make a personalised scene that’s relevant to their interests. Find the full tutorial here.

DIY Peppermint Candy Bowl

DO you love giving people sweets for Christmas but constantly find yourself wondering how you can make the process more unique, and also slightly more sticky? This is the festive project for you. It’ll take a little bit of effort, but so does anything good. And you know it will totally be worth it when your friends see your handiwork and think you’re a genius. Find the full tutorial here.

Wine Cork Reindeer

We all drink wine. There’s no hiding it, so we might as well embrace it. If you’re the fancy sort who buys wine with corks (or live in America where corks are still a thing) it’s worth hanging on to them so that you can have a go at making these super-cute critters. It’s also a good cover for when your kids ask you why you’ve been drinking so much. “I’ve been collecting art supplies for you, Timmy, god.” Find the full tutorial here.

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Which Christmas craft projects can’t you wait to try this year?

 

It’s officially getting festive, which means only one thing. The Christmas music is back on the iPod, cinnamon and ginger are everything, and if it isn’t covered in fairy lights and tinsel we don’t want to know about it. Actually, that might be slightly more than one thing. But, look. We just really like Christmas, OK? And while we get ready to mull everything in sight, here are a few bloggers we’ve come across who have created Christmas recipes that are off the charts:

  1. Spoon Fork Bacon

    We all remember that episode of Friends with the turkey sandwich, right? If not, here’s a memory jogger. It only seemed natural that somebody somewhere should have created the turkey sandwich with a moist maker in real life. And, lo and behold, here it is, just in time to make all of our Boxing Day dreams come true. Find the full recipe here.

  2. The Baker Mama

    Sausages wrapped in bacon are a staple of any self-respecting Christmas dinner. They’re never exactly bad, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to take them up a notch. That’s exactly what’s happened in this version with a maple pumpkin spice glaze. Yes. You read that right. Pumpkin spice not just for lattes. Find the full recipe here.

  3. Drizzle & Dip

    Mince pies are an absolute bloody classic. There’s no two ways about it. But does that mean they should be untouchable? Absolutely not. Just because something’s traditional it doesn’t mean it should be immune to being updated. Drizzle and Dip’s apple and mince pie crumble bars are a new twist on an old classic. Find the full recipe here.

  4. The View From Great Island

    Mulled wine is the best Christmas drink out there, but it’s a pain in the arse to make from scratch. It involves a lot of time spent slaving over the hob while everybody around you has fun. However, with this recipe you can just through everything in a slow cooker and have done with it. GeniusFind the full recipe here.

  5. Spend With Pennies

    OK, maybe jalapeno poppers aren’t the most festive of foods, but we love them with a passion. If we were going to throw a party they would be the first thing we served. This jalapeno popper dip keeps all of the flavour but requires a lot less valuable Christmas party time spent getting covered in chilli juice, and that can only be a good thing. Find the full recipe here.

  6. Daisies & Pie

    As far as we’re concerned,the perfect Christmas activity involves a ridiculous onesie, a sofa, and a stack of Christmas movies. Hot chocolate compliments that perfectly. But instead of another night spent with a mug of disappointing instant stuff, this peanut butter hot chocolate is the stuff that dreams are made of. Find the full recipe here.

  7. If You Give a Blonde a Kitchen

    Cookies abound at Christmas time. Whether you have a load of leftovers you want to do something with, or whether you want to dish out some cute homemade gifts, these sugar cookie truffles are a great way to get the maximum amount of sugary, Christmas fun in the smallest possible space. Find the full recipe here.

Christmas Have we missed anybody else who has awesome Christmas recipes to share? Let us know so that we can keep making amazing goodies to wow everybody at the office.