The holidays are almost here! We hope you are as excited as we are, however, we all know
that with the holidays there is a lot of shopping to do for our family, friends, and extended community. Brainstorming for gift ideas can be difficult!
In the 1990's Oprah Winfrey began "Oprah's Favorite Things" -- yes, a spin-off of the Sound of Music song, "My Favorite Things" ♫. Since then, every year Oprah shares a list of products with her audience that she feels would make a great gift.
This year, we have asked our wonderful team for some of their favorite items. We hope you will become re-inspired with gift ideas for your loved ones!
AMAZON'S ECHO DOT + SMART PLUG
Of course, as a musician, I love being able to request any song or genre of music to play automatically. I have also created multiple playlists which can be retrieved by voice commands. In addition to music, I've discovered that Alexa can make phone calls, share the latest news, tell me a joke, access multiple games (including Jeopardy, Price is Right, Trivia, and Would You Rather and more!)
Fun Ideas for Your Holiday Party Entertainment
Snuggle up next to fire and enjoy a cup of cocoa, because the holidays are almost here, and celebration with family and friends is upon us!
... Yes, we recognize it's only November, however, Christmas parties begin in a month and it's time to plan. We know it can be overwhelming when you are trying to get everything ready for a party (remember “Christmas with The Kranks”?)
Photo Credit: Amazon Movies
Enjoyable Family & Office Christmas Party Games
In response, we have crafted some simple and creative music-based games to make your party fun and memorable!
This game involves all your family and friends! Divide the party into two (or more) teams and play Christmas tunes. The goal is each team has to guess what it is before the other team. There are so many ways to vary the game by:
A party isn’t the same without charades! This is a must have classic to make your night a
enjoyable, and since it is the holidays, let’s add a holiday spin.
Its simple: Someone acts out the title of the Christmas song and the other team has answer by singing a portion of the song!
GetCharadesIdeas.com even provides a PDF printable song titles online. Simply print, cut out the song titles, and play!
We also love TheSpruce.com which has multiple holiday game ideas including Backwards Christmas, Christmas Carol Mad Libs, and more:
The host will then sing a line from a Christmas Carol, but the trick is that he will sing it backward. For instance, instead of singing, 'We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year' he will sing it as 'Year New Happy a and Christmas Merry a you wish We." (Print these backward lyrics ahead of time to the host can have an easier time reading them to the contestants.)
As soon as a player thinks they knows the song, they hits the buzzer and calls out the lyric. (Another fun option is to have the guessing player sing the lyric). If they are correct, they earn a point for their team. New players are then called up from each team. Play continues for as many rounds as you have players. At the end, the team with the most points wins."
“Christmas Carol Mad Libs”
If you want a good laugh, this is the game for you! Pick out a Christmas song and take out certain words. As a collective group, fill in the blanks like a mad lib. Then have live musicians play the tune of the song while you and the rest of the party sing the new version of the song!
While this is not necessarily a game, we felt that it is an absolute must to incorporate more of the classics. Singing with family and friends is a fun traditional way to be together and enjoy each other’s company while bringing joys to others. Grab a cup of hot cocoa and carol around your neighborhood or even visit a retirement home! We guarantee when you share joy, it will come back to you ♫
As Always, Live Music Enhances Every Gathering
Of course, we always encourage considering supporting the arts with live musicians for your holiday gathering. The music can set the ambiance of your night while you are baking cookies, decorating the Christmas tree, or conversing with loved ones!
Happy Party Planning!
Lowcountry Pianist & Company Intern