Santa Sentiments

Take turns guessing emotions based on stories from other group members.

This is a fun activity to get people talking about their experiences and emotions around the Christmas season.

Have one nametag or computer address label for each member of your group.

Before your group begins write one of the following emotions on each nametag:

Frustrated, excited, happy, peaceful, bored, disappointed, hurt, lonely, sad, annoyed, anxious, stressed, guilty, relieved, hopeful, puzzled, joyful, love. (You may add any other emotions that you wish.)

Tell the group that you are going to talk about the emotions of Christmas by asking questions. Put an emotion label on each person's back. Be sure to tell your group not to let on to the emotion placed on someone else. Have your group break into smaller groups of 4-6. This is how the game works:

A. Ask for a volunteer (call him Santa): His (or her) task is to guess the emotion that is on your back.

B. Group members (Santa's elves): Each elve's job is to give clues by giving examples of when you last felt this feeling, or by telling of a situation or circumstances that may trip this emotion in you. Examples: "The last time I felt this way, I was looking for just the right Christmas gift and I was not having much luck." Or, "I feel this way when someone spends way more money on a gift for me than I did on them."

C. Each elf takes a turn expressing or giving a clue and the Santa gets one guess for each clue.

D. The Santa must guess the EXACT emotion, not one that is like it.

E. If you get around the whole group of elves and the Santa has not guessed his emotion, then the elves may reveal it to them.

F. Go around the circle until everyone has had an opportunity to be the Santa. Have a short discussion by answering this question: "What does this exercise reveal to you about the emotions of Christmas?"

Related

Talking About Race
When discussing race feels overwhelming, start by reflecting on your experiences and sharing your story.
Are There Small Groups in Other Countries?
Are There Small Groups in Other Countries?
How a simple question led to some exciting discoveries
Share Your Story
Share Your Story
Telling our story—and listening to others’ stories—transforms us.
Help Even the Unrighteous Poor
Help Even the Unrighteous Poor
Missional living beyond feel-good experiences
Why Small Groups Matter to Me
Why Small Groups Matter to Me
I've had a passion for small groups since my very first group.
My Journey from Extinction to Life
My Journey from Extinction to Life
Small groups brought me hope and healing when I was desperate.