This fun first Noel Christmas game is a fun, fast-paced, and quick thinking Christmas party game that everyone will love! Play it at an office Christmas party, a cookie exchange, or even just with your own family! All you have to do is be the team who can come up with the most words with No L’s!
What Is The First Noel Game
Christmas is the season of parties and get togethers. It seems like there’s always some reason to celebrate!
And that means there are plenty of excuses to play Christmas games. No one wants to play the same game every year (unless it’s the saran wrap game of course), so we are always coming up with new ones to play!
The First NoeL game is this year’s brand new edition to our collection of Christmas activities!
The basic premise of this game is in the name, no L. It’s that simple – the goal is to come up with a word that has no L in it.
Sounds easy, right?
Don’t worry, it’s a little more complicated and a lot more fun than just that.
This fun team game requires teams to play both offense and defense as they compete to win the prize.
What you need to play
This game requires very few supplies, and most things you will already have around the house. Here’s what you need to play:
- Poster board – this is used to make the game board so any large blank writing surface will work. I used a spare poster board but a cardboard box or white board will work too!
- Game pieces – these can be anything, I used random pieces from my kid’s marble track.
- Marker – you’ll need something to draw the game board.
- Prize – anything will work for this. With group games, I like to give out small bills or nice candy.
- Category list – you can get a free printable category list here or at the bottom of this post.
How to Set Up Your Game
This game is super simple to play, which is one of the reasons it’s so fun! You just need to create your board, divide into teams, and get you category lists ready!
1 – Create your game board
- First, you will need to make your game board. To do this, grab that poster board and marker. Draw a cup-sized square in the center of the board.
- Draw a long rectangle from the top of the square towards on edge of the board. Then draw five even lines in the rectangle to create a ladder or squares. You should have six boxes plus the center square., making seven total game board spaces.
- Repeat that process three more times until you have four different sections leading into the center square.
How to Play with More or Less Teams
We designed this game with four teams in mind but if you have more or less than that, you can just make your game board with more or less sections leading into the center, just make sure they all have the same number of squares.
This game is best played with at least three teams. If you have less than three teams or a small group, check out my tip for small groups later in this post!
Want the game to last longer or want it to be shorter? Change the number of game spaces in each section. I recommend having at least five spaces and always making it odd.
2 – Print your category list
- After your board is all ready to go, you will need to get your categories together. I made this really easy, just print out this free printable from the bottom of this post and you are set!
You by no means have to use my category list, it was just something to get you started. If you want to create your own category list, just come up with Christmas categories that have a lot of answers people could come up with!
It’ll make sense once you see how to play!
3 – Split into teams
- Split your group into even teams. The number of teams you have should match the number of sections on your game board, ideally three or more. If you have a mix of ages, make sure you spread them out evenly.
- Choose one person (most likely the host, you!) to be the conductor (aka the host of the game).
who is the conductor?
The conductor is the ref. They are in charge of counting down from five so teams don’t take too long to come up with an answer. You can also rotate and have the conductor switch each round if you’d like so everyone gets to participate.
The conductor is also in charge of deciding if a word qualifies or not. For example, is Die Hard a Christmas movie or not? That’s up to the conductor to determine.
How to Play The First Noel Game
To start, the conductor will state a category, I am going to use colors as an example.
Then going clockwise in a circle, each group will have to say one color that does not have an L in it within five seconds.
So group one would say, orange. Group two could say, pink. Group three, grey.
This continues, rotating around the circle in order, until one group either says a word with an L in it (such as purple), repeats a word already said, or cannot think of one in time.
That group is eliminated and that category is continued until all only one team remains, and they win that round.
The team who won the round earns two points. These two points can move any piece in any direction on the game board.
So for example, a team could move themselves forward two spaces, a team could move another team back two spaces, or they could split and move themselves forward one and another team back two spaces.
Once the pieces have been moved, it’s time for the next round.
The conductor announces another category and the next team whose turn it is to go first (just move one team clockwise from who started the last category) has to come up with a word with no letter L and play continues moving.
Keep going in this same manner, playing out categories and moving pieces, until one team reaches the center square.
how to win?
The first team to move their playing piece into the center space wins the game! Give the team a prize that has no L’s in it! I’ve included a list of ideas below.
The first answer a team gives is the answer that is used. Teams need to conserve amongst themselves quietly when it’s not their turn because whatever is said to the conductor on their turn is their final answer, regardless of it the entire team agreed with it.
Teams only have five seconds to give an answer or they’re out of the round. The game moves fast so teams need to be paying attention.
Similar to in Christmas Scattergories, answers can’t just be something with an adjective or describing word added to the front. They have to be a real thing. For example, if the category is Christmas words that start with “G,” gift, Grinch, green would all be good answers. However, green ribbon would not be a good answer and wouldn’t be different than using green.
Answers can’t be repeated so teams need to listen to what the other teams said. They can ask for something to be repeated immediately if they didn’t hear it but cannot ask for a bunch of people to repeat what they said – they should be listening!
Sequels are not repeats but variations that are the same thing are but with a descriptor added are. For example, Die Hard 1, Die Hard 2, and Die Hard 3 would all work for a Christmas movies category. Eggnog, cinnamon eggnog, and peppermint eggnog would not work.
Christmas Category List
You don’t have to use this list but here are some ideas to get you started! You can also get a printable version of this list here.
- Christmas movies
- Christmas characters
- Christmas spices
- Characters in the Nutcracker
- Things at the North Pole
- Gifts in the 12 Days of Christmas
- Christmas foods
- Christmas songs
- Things you can make with snow
- Christmas party themes
- Things that go on a Christmas tree
- People you shop for on Christmas
- Christmas colors
- Christmas drinks
- Places to travel for Christmas
- Pieces in a Nativity
- Different names for Christ
- Types of Christmas cookies
- Different names for Santa
- Things associated with Santa Claus
- Stocking stuffers
- Christmas traditions
- Christmas treats
- Characters in A Christmas Carol
- Christmas breakfast items
- Christmas dinner items
- Ways to spread Christmas cheer
- Things you decorate a gingerbread house with
- Christmas toys
- Winter clothing items
No-L Prize Ideas
In my experience, people get more into a game when there are prizes they want on the line. I always think it’s fun to relate the prize to the game so here are some fun prize ideas for groups that have no letter L’s in them!
- Candy – if there are kids involved this is always a safe choice.
- Cash/gift cards – this is great for smaller teams like 3-5 people.
- Matching shirts – ones like these would be perfect for the holidays.
- Movie tickets
- Friendship bracelets – great for a girls night.
- Mug – this funny winner mug would be great!
There is no right number of people on a team. This game can be played individually or in groups as large as you want. I would suggest not making groups larger than five people so everyone gets to participate. If you more than that, just split into more teams.
This game works best when there are at least three teams, otherwise, you can play this game with as many teams as you’d like. Just remember each team needs its own game spaces, so add more rows as needed on the game board.
Yes! This game can be played any time of year. All you’d have to do is think of a handful of categories that correlate to your theme.
If you have a group of less than eight people and still want to play with teams, split into two teams instead of three or four. Make your game board only have five spaces and have people only move one space, instead of two total spaces each win.
More Fun Christmas Games
Try out some of these other fun Christmas games to add to this First No-L game!
- Christmas Family Feud – another great team game where teams compete head to head to guess popular answers!
- Christmas Jeopardy – use this free printable Christmas Jeopardy board to see who can come up with the most answers!
- Christmas gift exchange games – if you want to incorporate a gift exchange, try one of these games to make it more fun!
- Christmas bingo – a Christmas version of a classic party game!
- Christmas scattergories – see who can come up with the most words in this holiday version of the popular board game!