If you are following us on social media, you may have seen the Reindeer Games updates and posts. We get tons of questions about it every year especially as the games heat up and we wanted to share the details with all of you so that you can have your very own Reindeer Games with your family. It has truly become our favorite family tradition.
Our family has always been a game-playing family. We have also always been a competitive family. Actually, let me take that back, my sweet mother would let anyone win if she thought it would make them happy. Kyle and I (and sometimes my Dad) have always been competitive. There have been many-a-game, when we have had to be separated and the game has ended because no one else could handle the level of intensity. As we’ve gotten older, we have been better able to harness our competitive sides, but we still love to play and we still love to win.
A few years back, a coworker shared with me that her family did their own Reindeer Games every year. When I shared it with family, they immediately loved the idea of combining our game-loving competitive sides with a fun tradition that would get us off of our phones and engaging with each other thus The Annual Leafgren Family Reindeer Games were born.
There are a few rules to The Reindeer Games:
1. All competitors must be present at all games. The only exception to this rule is that we use our family fantasy football league as a game.
2. Each player picks X games. When it was just my parents, Kyle, and I, we used to each pick 2 games, but now that we have grown in number, that ends up being a whole lot of games. The past couple years, we have each picked 1 game & then we have had a couple of mutually agreed upon games as fillers. We typically like to play around 8 games. Regardless of how many we each select that year, the number of games must be set before the games begin.
3. You may make up your own game, actually, it is encouraged, however, you must have ALL the rules of your game in place before it begins.
4. Your game must allow for each person to place (1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.) for scoring purposes.
The scoring is simple. Each time you play a game, you are awarded points for your placing depending on how many people are playing. We had six this year, which meant every time you placed 1st you received 6 points, every time you placed 2nd you received 5 points, and so on. The person with the most points at the end of all the games is the winner of the Reindeer Games.
What do you win? Glory... and the nutcracker.
We have a lot of hilarious memories from the reindeer games, but here are a few of my favorites:
I beat Kyle in double-overtime one year to win. See picture above. It was so great.
Sarah’s favorite memory is that we let her be the “honorary winner” one year when we didn’t get to finish the games.
Our favorite Reindeer Game every year is “James Bond”. My brother, Kyle, made up the game and basically, we turn off all the lights in our house, turn on the theme music from Halo, and sneak around with nerf guns trying to shoot each other. The last man standing gets first place. My mom screams every single time she gets shot or shoots someone else. It’s the funniest thing in the whole world.
The very first time Trey participated in The Reindeer Games, we were playing “James Bond” and he was hiding behind some doors waiting for someone to walk down the hall. When my mom came down the hallway, he popped out and shot her right in the middle of the forehead. The amount of screaming and laughing that followed still makes me laugh even as I write this.
I can’t even count the amount of times that we have all ended up laughing so hard we have tears streaming down our faces. If you’re looking for a simple way to get your family together and have some fun over the next several weeks, we highly recommend starting your own Reindeer Games.