Bringing the Holidays to the Gaming Table

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With Christmas coming up, it can be hard to fit in a D&D night among all the holiday plans. If you are able to schedule a game, it can be nice to make it a little more special to note the season. Here are some ideas to help celebrate the holidays in your D&D game night.

Make the celebration part of the game

Celebrate a winter holiday in your RP world. This is a great option because it costs nothing, other than some time and imagination. If you are the Game Master, you can make one of your towns hold a festival, blending our Christmas or Yule traditions with the culture of the world. Invite the player characters to a feast, or create a festive market full of treats and gifts for the players to explore.

It doesn’t all have to be on the GM, though. Players can take some initiative by holding an in-game gift exchange. This year, our PCs had a Secret Yondalla (named by our Halfling Paladin. Working it into the world lore made it that much more immersive). We drew names in real life, and worked with the DM between sessions to pick appropriate items that our characters made or bought. It was surprisingly fun to keep the secret from the other players, and then reveal the gifts in our Christmas session. Some of us wrote or drew the gifts on paper, so we could hand something physical during the gift exchange, but it’s not necessary. The key is to keep the gift thoughtful and appropriate for your character to give.

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Decorate

If putting a festival in the game isn’t a possibility in your current plot, then make your real life more festive. Add some greenery or lights to your gaming location, or make a sign to your door, welcoming players to your Winter Festival. It doesn’t have to be much, just enough to make it a little different than the games played the rest of the year. If you want some D&D holiday decoration inspiration, see our Beholder Ornament DIY instructions here.

Hold a Feast

What’s a D&D session without snacks? Instead of the usual chips and pop, bring in some holiday treats like chocolates and sugar cookies (bonus points if they are dice shaped), and drink some hot apple cider or hot chocolate. Or, if you’re really ambitious, hold a full dinner. Have everyone in your group bring a different part of a meal, and enjoy a traditional Christmas feast together before the game.

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Have a Gift Exchange

I don’t think I’ve ever heard a player say no to another pretty set of dice. Minis, journals, pencils, dice bags, commissioned art of a character…there’s lots of ideas for the appreciative D&D player. Secret Santas are easier on the budget than having to buy for everyone at the table, and the secretive aspect let’s everyone bring out their inner rogue. This is also a good opportunity to give a small something to your GM to say thank you for all the work they put into the game throughout the year.

If money is an issue, or if you want something a little more personal, why not try crafting a gift? There’s lots of ideas online for home-made dice towers, minis, and terrain. Play to your talents, and share what you have to offer. A friend recently wrote battle music for his campaign. Another player enjoys cooking for her group. This year I made little polymer clay figures, representing everyone’s character. We ended up using them as minis for our Christmas game. The more personalized and thoughtful, the more appreciated the gift.

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Just put in a little thought, and have fun!

There’s no need to break the bank, or get too stressed about another Christmas party. Go as simple or as extravagant as you wish; as long as it’s fun, and you keep it personal to your group members, it’ll be a success. Because really, appreciating and spending time with those we care about the most is the true meaning of the holiday, and the game.

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