Present Relay Race – a reindeer fave!
Santa and his elves are hard at work getting all the last minute preparations done before the big night, CHRISTMAS EVE! Names and addresses are cross checked, presents arranged by regions and gift tags triple checked to make sure they’re secure. It’s quite a production at the North Pole just to make sure we all have the merriest of Christmas’ ever!
Did you ever wonder what Santa’s reindeer are up to just days before their marathon flight? Since flying reindeer are a precious commodity, their job is to stay fit and out of trouble. To keep their boredom at bay, this time is all about reindeer games. They have their own idea of fun from present relay races with Santa and an occasional off duty elf, to snowman corn hole. (Yes, just as you have imagined, snow balls are thrown into a hole punched through a snowman. They used to wield yard darts, but unfortunately one year someone’s coal eye was poked out and the game had to be tossed out for safety reasons.)
Things really get rowdy when the herd counts how many reindeer can fit inside Santa’s sleigh, goads each other to play lick the flag pole and competes to see how many ornaments can be hooked onto their antlers by un-decorating the trees around Santa’s workshop.
But when Santa is watching, this high spirited group turns to much tamer entertainment.
Care to try one of the reindeer’s favorite card games? Ever heard of the game BINGO? When played with a deck cards, this crowd pleaser is called BANGO. But at the North Pole, when they deck the bingo hall, they call it JINGO.
JINGO can be played with 3 to 10 reindeer. This soon-to-be family favorite game can be played with young bucks and fawns too! All you need are 2 decks of playing cards with different backs, some wrapped candy and a bowl for a feeding trough in the center of the table. Start each player with a pile of candy for betting.
Before play begins, each reindeer antes up and puts an equal amount of candy into the feeding trough (pot) in the middle of the table.
Choose one reindeer to be the dealer who shuffles the first deck and deals 5 cards face up (him/herself included) one at a time in a row in front of each player. The balance of the deck is put aside.
To win, be the first reindeer to turn all your face up cards face down and yell “JINGO!”
Next, the dealer takes the second deck of cards, shuffles them, lays the top card face up on the table and announces its rank and suit. (For example, the 8 of hearts) Any deer including the dealer who has this card face up in front them, turns that card face down.
The dealer continues play by turning over the next card in the deck, announcing it, turning over any matching cards and so on.
The game continues until one lucky reindeer has turned all their cards face down and shouts “JINGO!”
The dealer checks the turned over cards with the cards dealt from the second deck to verify the win. The winner collects all the candy from the feeding trough pot!
All reindeers ante up again and the next round begins with the player to the dealer’s left becoming the new dealer.
This fun holiday twist on a classic card game is a great one to play when the house is filled with friends and family of all ages this holiday season. After all, who doesn’t like winning candy AND learning a silly reindeer game???
Bango instructions, The Little Giant Encyclopedia of Card Games, 2009, Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.