This is Howard; Howie for short. And he’s a Holiday Hog.
You may have seen me or some of my friends carefully carrying him up to someone’s door, stealthily setting him down, ringing the doorbell, then dashing back to our vehicle and wondered what kind of weirdo we are. Well our family is a part of a pretty amazing small group through our church. We’ve been part of this group for nearly two years now and just really love spending time with the other families in our group. Last year, as we were gearing up for our first annual Christmas party, my husband and I happened to see one of those giant inflatable Christmas lawn ornaments that was a pig. We got quite a giggle out of this inflatable Christmas pig, and an idea started to form in our minds. An idea for what we think may possibly be the best Christmas pre-party game there is. We named it Pass the Pig. Hence all the creeping in our friends’ yards. We promise…were aren’t usually creepers. Only at Christmas and only with each other.
Did we invent this game? Probably not. I’m sure there are other variations of it out there somewhere. But we did make up this version of it, and our small group had a blast playing. Basically, it’s similar to hot potato–the pig (Howard) is passed around from home to home until the day of the Christmas party; whoever has Howard on the day of the party loses (losers had to wear pig costumes as punishment). We created a secret Facebook group to track Howard’s travels throughout the group; we also used it to confirm delivery to a new home. And to post photos of Howard’s grand adventures as he journeyed from family to family. It was impressive how creative (and devious) everyone got with the game–deliveries, photos of Howard in their home, thwarted deliveries, etc. So this year we added categories for which prizes can be won. For full instructions, see below.
Just a note….the is a PRE-party game, meant to be played in the weeks leading up to your party. So it will take a little bit of planning and prep before hand. Ideally, we want to start playing at least 2-3 weeks ahead of time so everyone gets the pig at least once. You could also adapt this game for other non-holiday parties.
Similar to “hot potato” Howard is to be passed around from home to home until the day of our Christmas Party.
Goal: Do not be in possession of Howard on the day of the Christmas Party on December 17th.
If you are in possession of Howard:
- You must keep Howard on display in your front yard/porch until you pass him along
– You must pass Howard within 48 hours of receiving him
– Refer to the Small Group Address list for possible delivery locations (if your address is incorrect, please send a group email updating your address)
If you are passing Howard:
- You must set Howard on display in the front yard or the front porch area of the person’s home who is receiving it
– You must do it secretly so the family you’re passing it to doesn’t know about it
– You must knock/ring doorbell prior to leaving
– You must take a picture of Howard at his new house prior to leaving
– If you are discovered during any part of the passing of the pig, Howard becomes yours again, and you must deliver him to a new location within 24 hours
– After delivering Howard to his new home, you must post your picture to the Facebook group as confirmation of delivery
– If you do not have Facebook, you must email your picture to the group as confirmation of delivery
*Passing can be done at any time of day or night. However the knock/ring requirement is not mandatory after 9:00 pm.
*Passing Howard to a family who is out of town for more than two days is illegal. If you will be out of town before the Christmas party, please post those dates in the FB group.
*Howard cannot be passed after 3pm on the day of our Christmas Party.
*If you are in possession of Howard after 3pm on the day of our Christmas Party, please bring him to the party to collect your “prize”!
Prizes will be awarded for the following:
- Best Howard Selfie (with you or someone else)
- Best Howard Inclusion (in an event or activity)
- Best Delivery/Thwarted Delivery (must be confirmed by photo, video, or the testimony of 3 or more witnesses)
All small group members will vote for winners in the above categories the night of the Christmas party.
Howard quickly became an important part of our small group. Our children love him, bacon jokes ran rampant, we served a pig cake at our Christmas party, and someone even gifted all of us mugs with Howard’s photo on it. For a few weeks now, people have tried to casually get info out of me as to whether or not he would make an appearance again. I skillfully avoided each question, but how could he not?! So last night, I delivered him to his first home for the holiday season. And there has been much rejoicing within our Facebook group. I’m excited to see what adventures he’ll go on this year.
I had no idea that pigs were such a popular Christmas decorations, but apparently they are, because I’ve seen them all over the place. We decided not to go with original inflatable pig we saw because we were unsure who would have access to outside electricity to inflate the pig; also, we have some people who live in apartments which could make large lawn ornaments difficult to display. So we went with an acrylic lighted one instead. We got ours at Kmart. This year, I’ve seen similar pigs at Target, Home Depot, and Sears for about $40-$50. Of course, you can always tailor the game and lawn ornament to your own group–there are some pretty ridiculous lawn ornaments out there. But the pigs are just too fun. And bacon comes from pigs. And everyone loves bacon. Seems like a no-brainer to me….
If you decide to play this game prior to your Christmas party, I’d love to hear how it goes. Leave me a comment, post some pictures to my Facebook or Tag me on IG. Happy Hogidays!