Game Night

Enjoy an evening of games, good food, and cheer with your family.


Gather your family for a fun evening of playing games and nibbling from a chili buffet. Whether you dust off old game boards or unwrap new ones, game night is bound to elicit laughter and create memories that will make you smile well into the new year.

+ enlarge image This white chili will fill and warm you, even on the coldest winter days.

Beefsteak Chili This sliced beef and bean chili is thick and delicious.

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White Chili Great Northern beans in place of pinto beans, chicken instead of beef, and omitting tomatoes give this snappy chili its light color.

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A bowl of chili is all the merrier with a handful of crackers or a sprinkling of cheese crowning the top. Here are a few other ideas for tasty chili toppers:

+ enlarge image We added even more flavor to our beefsteak chili by topping it with sour cream and cheese.
  • Bite-size fish-shaped crackers
  • Bite-size cheese crackers
  • Oyster crackers
  • Shredded cheese (Monterey Jack, cheddar, queso fresco, Chihuahua, or Mexican cheese blend)
  • Chopped onions or sliced green onions
  • Chopped fresh chili peppers or sweet peppers
  • Sour cream
  • Bottled salsa verde
  • Diced avocado
  • Snipped fresh cilantro

+ enlarge image Nutty apple salad provides a sweet and salty crunch in every bite.

Nutty Apple Salad The skins on the red and green apples add holiday color to the salad greens, but if your kids won't eat them, go ahead and peel the fruit.

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Corn Puffins Add frozen corn and dried green onions to corn muffins.

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Crunchy Cracker Snack Mix Experiment as you like by substituting some of your favorite bite-size crackers for those we've listed here. We've given a choice of salad dressing mix for seasoning.

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Cream-Cheese-Frosted Cinnamon Rolls With the help of frozen sweet-roll dough, you don't have to be a fancy yeast-bread maker to bake these light and airy cinnamon swirls.

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To make your game night a smashing success, incorporate some of these ideas:

+ enlarge image Food and games are always a winning combination for spending time with the family.
  • Start a family tradition by combining game night with trimming the Christmas tree or hanging outdoor lights.
  • Let the kids help plan the event. Little ones will have fun ideas you may not have thought about.
  • Invite another family, and ask them to bring a favorite game. If desired, incorporate a gift or cookie exchange into game night.
  • Use the event to do a good deed by identifying seldom-used games and donating them to a children's hospital, nursing home, needy family, or charity.
  • Wrap small gifts, such as a deck of cards or a book of crossword puzzles, to give as prizes to the winners or the first person who rolls doubles in a dice game.
  • Let each person pick a game to play. Choose at least one game that people of all ages can enjoy so the group doesn't have to be split up the entire night.
  • Make your own fun. Begin a game with the phrase "Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house..." and let everyone take turns building a silly story.
  • Plan a surprise visit from Santa or one of his elves.
  • Turn off the TV and phone, and put on some Christmas music.
  • Buy the season's hot new game, and let the kids unwrap it for your game night kickoff.
  • Take a break for caroling or to drive through the neighborhood to see the lights before coming inside to warm up with chili.
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