18 Best Christmas Murder Mysteries in 2022

Christmas murder mysteries are holiday-themed scenarios in which an imaginary murder occurs, and players must investigate the suspects to find the killer. Players use available clues and social deduction techniques to identify the criminal. Example games include Murder at the Ugly Christmas Sweater Party, Ho Ho Homicide, and Who Slayed Santa? The purpose of these games is to entertain guests and encourage mingling so that guests have a memorable holiday experience.

These mysteries are examples of holiday team building activities and Christmas team building ideas. The games can double as Christmas party entertainment, company Christmas party ideas, and virtual Christmas party ideas.

This article covers:

  • online Christmas murder mysteries
  • Christmas-themed murder mysteries
  • Christmas murder mystery board games
  • free Christmas mystery games
  • Christmas whodunit games

Here we go!

The list of best Christmas murder mysteries

Here are some of the best Christmas themed murder mysteries to try.

1. Murder at the Ugly Christmas Sweater Party

Murder at the Ugly Christmas Sweater Party is among the best Christmas-themed murder mysteries. In this story, players have joined the town’s who’s who at The Snowflake Lodge to showcase their ugly Christmas sweaters. However, blackmail, revenge, and greed have been causing scandals within the town. As players interact with other guests and listen to the gossip, they find crucial information to help them identify the murderer.

This interesting, ugly-Christmas-sweater-themed murder mystery is of medium difficulty and is suitable for players 14 and older. This game is instantly downloadable and great for small parties of eight to 20 participants. Large groups can play this game by purchasing expansion packs, which accommodate 50 unique players. In addition, optional characters are available so parties above 200 can actively participate in the fun.

Learn more about Murder at the Ugly Christmas Sweater Party.

2. A Christmas Cracker Killing

A Christmas Cracker Killing is one of the most interesting Christmas murder mysteries. In this setting, local elites attend a Christmas dinner party at Trimming Mansion. A somber mood fills the air as guests mourn Buster Kracker, a tycoon who usually hosts the annual Christmas dinner party. The Chief Inspector, one of the guests, informs the gathering that Buster’s murderer is among the guests at the mansion.

This game is available in a pre-printed box set and includes 16 players. This murder mystery is suitable for players aged 17 and above because of its sensitive and mature content.

Learn more about A Christmas Cracker Killing.

3. Save Christmas

Save Christmas is one of the best family murder mysteries for the holidays. In this plot, the villain is determined to spoil Christmas fun. Players will find a series of puzzles to help expose the ghastly plan and stop the villain from ruining their holiday.

Save Christmas has low difficulty and is appropriate for players ten years and up. This online or in-person whodunit takes about one hour to complete and requires up to six players.

Learn more about Save Christmas.

4. Ho Ho Homicide

Ho Ho Homicide is a fun family Christmas mystery. Set in the North Pole, players assume roles of the arctic inhabitants determined to make the current year’s Christmas memorable. However, naughty characters are upsetting those efforts. One among the inhabitants plots a murder to facilitate their plan. Players must investigate and separate the nice folks from the naughty ones and identify the troublemakers.

This boxed-set murder mystery is suitable for small parties. Storylines differ slightly for existing characters when you buy larger versions. In addition, players can opt for a virtual version of this game.

Learn more about Ho Ho Homicide.

5. The Santa Strangling

The Santa Strangling is among the most interactive Christmas whodunit games. In this mystery, political campaigns are at their peak. The long-serving mayor, Ed Hanson, dressed as Santa, is about to make his last public campaign for the year. However, guests soon find the mayor lying dead, possibly strangled with the Christmas lights on his neck. The guests realize that amongst them are the deceased’s enemies. Everybody in the gathering becomes a suspect as the investigation unfolds.

This murder mystery contains sensitive scenes that are most suitable for mature audiences. The difficulty level is between medium and high, and it will let guests mingle well as they sleuth for helpful clues. Plus, players can ask for customizations to make the game fit their team size.

Learn more about The Santa Strangling.

6. T’was a Death Before Christmas

T’was a Death Before Christmas is one of the greatest holiday-themed murder mysteries for small parties. In this setting, residents of Mid-Trimming, a country village, gather for the annual caroling and partying on Christmas Eve. A wealthy miser, Bob Scratchitt, offers to host the villagers at his manor. The villagers are astonished when they discover the host’s dead body in the manor’s lounge. The guests are determined to know who killed Bob and the motive behind the murder.

This game is great for teens and adults and has enough characters to match six to 20 players. In addition, this game is customizable to fit different events and themes at an extra fee.

Learn more about T’was a Death Before Christmas.

7. There Might Be No Christmas

There Might Be No Christmas is among the best children’s whodunnit games. In this mystery, all of Santa’s presents are missing. Santa sermons several North Pole inhabitants and informs them that they are suspects of the theft. Players assume the inhabitants’ characters and begin investigating who may have stolen Santa’s sack, without which there are no Christmas goodies for the children on the nice list.

This mystery is for eight to 16 players and has customizable options to accommodate 100+ characters. The game is subtle to children as it contains no actual murder. Friends and family can comfortably join this game online or in person.

Learn more about There Might Be No Christmas.

8. Christmas Lies

Christmas Lies is one of the most fun games for a Christmas dinner party. The story’s themes include blackmail, money, and dark secrets. This game begins with a murder when Tom, the producer of the Christmas Confidential movie, dies in a car accident. Tom’s movies just won major Santa awards, and participants are more interested in getting deals for future productions since Tom is no more. As the guests plan for next year’s events, they begin to unveil some dark secrets and realize that any one of them might be the murderer’s next victim.

Christmas Lies is a boxed murder mystery for 16 to 32 participants and best suits players above 12. This game can last up to four hours. The roles are non-gender-sensitive and fit any mix of guests.

Learn more about Christmas Lies.

9. Bad Santa

Bad Santa is one of the best online Christmas murder mysteries for families. In this plot, Christopher Clause, a deceptive millionaire, tricks folks into attending his party. The millionaire’s aides lock in guests, trapping them. In the effort to escape, the guests find a dead body in the manor. Christopher manipulates the guest to find the killer to earn back their freedom.

Bad Santa also has in-person versions. In addition, you can choose a script containing no murder scenes if you have much younger and more sensitive players within your party. The original game is for 10 to 20 guests and is expandable to accommodate up to 200 participants.

Learn more about Bad Santa.

10. Diary of a Burning Woman

Diary of a Burning Woman is one of the most suitable Christmas murder mysteries for large groups of at least 20 participants. In this mystery, a fancy tavern reopens exactly one year after a tragic fire incident that caused an employee’s death. Rumor has it that Tim, the former owner, caused the fire that killed Sarah. The scandal scares Tim from rebuilding the tavern, and he decides to sell it and leave town. However, the guests of the fancy Tavern discover more murders as the re-opening party continues.

Diary of a burning woman is an exciting whodunit for adults and teens. The game includes an affair and multiple murders and has six principal suspects. In addition, this set is downloadable, and players can begin the game immediately.

Learn more about Diary of a Burning Woman.

11. Murder at the Kringles

Murder at the Kringles is among the most engaging holiday party games. In this setting, Lacey Kringel is hosting the annual Kringel get-together party. Players are part of the neighborhood and are attending the party. Unfortunately, rumors of scandals involving backstabbing and blackmails within the town have been going on for some time. Although most neighbors intend to keep the peace, they are suspicious that some ill-willed folks may cause drama. Shortly after the get-together party begins, neighbors become aware of the murder.

This mystery has 18 original characters and can expand to accommodate 100 players. Players can opt for a box set or instant download to play this murder mystery.

Learn more about Murder at the Kringles.

12. The Santa Clause

The Santa Clause is a leading new-generation murder mystery. The author plots this game at an annual holiday party where an unscrupulous but influential law firm hosts the event. Information leaks that the law firm’s major partner intends to announce his retirement and replacement. Several curious attorneys and politicians are attending the party. Guests discover a man’s body dressed as Santa stuffed in the chimney, and it turns out to be Mr. Big Scam, the expected replacement.

This murder mystery requires a minimum of eight guests. The original package can accommodate up to 20, while the extra character packets expand the game to fit 40 players.

Learn more about The Santa Clause.

13. Christmas Mystery

Christmas Mystery is among the best Christmas murder mystery board games for teens and adults. In this game, Christmas feels less magical. Santa suspects that someone may have robbed the magic from his secret Villa. Santa asks players to help him investigate the Villa and revive the Christmas spirit. Players take up their role as detectives in operation “Bring Back Christmas!”

This board game is immersive and contains elements to create a realistic North Pole environment. The game is suitable for small groups of up to five members and can take between one to two hours to play.

Learn more about Christmas Mystery.

14. A Christmas Crime Murder Mystery

A Christmas Crime Murder Mystery is a great holiday game for families. In the plot, Santa hosts a party to launch new toy designs. The guests are excited and curious to see the design plans for next Christmas, but the celebration soon stops when a puzzling assassination happens at the party.

This Christmas murder mystery is perfect for small groups of at least four to 20 participants. This game is available in two versions, box sets, and downloadable PDF, and can run online or offline.

Learn more about A Christmas Crime Murder Mystery.

15. A Very Merry Christmas Murder

A Very Merry Christmas Murder is an exciting murder mystery that features Albi LeGrinch, a famous Christmas tree merchant. Mr. LeGrinch is hosting a big Christmas party at his mansion, where his Christmas presents lie under a gigantic Christmas tree. However, before any guests open their gifts, they notice Albi’s body hanging from the big tree. Shocked, the guests are determined to find out who killed the merchant.

This instant download, fun murder mystery is best for teens and adults. The game will have four to eight suspects, one of whom the host will assign the murderer’s role before the game begins. Plus, players will access interesting questions and answers to keep them engaged and make the evening more memorable.

Learn more about A Very Merry Christmas Murder.

16. Murder at the Christmas Feast

Murder at the Christmas Feast is a great team building holiday activity for small groups. This murder story happens at Mullmoor Manor, where players find Nick Gifts’ body. Nick has been impersonating Santa, and his death creates several puzzles to solve. Occupants at Mullnoor Manor search for leading clues, including the deceased’s diary, the wine, and the audio evidence. In addition, players are also suspects in the murder and should all undergo investigation.

This instant download murder mystery is suitable for small groups of six to 14 guests and can take up to three hours to play. Players will determine how the story flows, what evidence to sleuth, and how to catch the murderer.

Learn more about Murder at the Christmas Feast.

17. Clued-In Murder Mystery Christmas Scavenger Hunt

Clued-In Murder Mystery Christmas Scavenger Hunt is one of the most interactive free Christmas mystery games. This game combines a scavenger hunt and a board game where Santa’s best baker Georgie Gingerbread gets killed. The player’s role is to find the killer and the weapon used to kill him, then discover where the assassin hid George’s magic hat.

This fun group game lets players interact with each other and form tactics like alliances and blackmail to achieve the game’s goal. This party game is great for kids, teens, and adults, regardless of the team size.

Learn more about Clued-In Murder Mystery Christmas Scavenger Hunt.

18. Who Killed Santa?

Who Killed Santa? is one of the top-rated Christmas whodunnits. This mystery occurs at Noel’s Tavern, the city’s best place for locals to relax and unwind. The tavern usually hosts the annual Christmas Jamboree. This year, some rich and famous guests are joining the party. Attendees flocking from different parts of the world hope for the biggest holiday celebration ever. Unfortunately, bad news stating that Saint Nick was killed in cold blood spoils the merriment.

This mystery party game suits teams at work, school, and home. Plus, the game set comes in various versions to accommodate players of varying ages and group sizes.

Learn more about Who Killed Santa?

Conclusion

Christmas murder mysteries are scripted holiday-themed murder scenarios. These games encourage engagement and social interactions as players solve mysteries. Each murder mystery contains unique characters and storylines for different ages and party sizes. Players must dress in character and use Christmas props to play immersively. For example, wearing Santa hats and ugly Christmas sweaters, and using jingle bells and reindeer antlers. Usually, Christmas murder mysteries are available in boxed sets and downloadable PDF kits so that guests can participate in the game in person or online.

Next, check out Christmas escape room ideas.

FAQ: Christmas murder mysteries

Here are answers to common questions about Christmas murder mysteries.

What are Christmas murder mysteries?

Christmas murder mysteries are party games where participants act as suspects or detectives in a murder case. Players get directions from the host and work individually or as a team to get leading clues and unveil the mystery behind the death. The end goal of the mystery is to guess the killer correctly.

How do you play Christmas party murder mystery games?

You can play murder mysteries at virtual or in-person parties. In both formats, the host first gives each player their scripts to familiarize them with their roles in the game. The host can confidentially do this by sending an email or giving out printed copies before the party begins. Next, participants join the party, dressing up in character. Next, the host announces the story’s beginning and gives any other important detail. Finally, guests mingle and practice their detective skills to identify the killer.

What are the best Christmas mysteries?

Here are some of the best Christmas murder mysteries:

  • T’was a Death Before Christmas
  • Santa Strangling
  • Save Christmas
  • A Very Merry Christmas Murder
  • Christmas Mystery

When choosing a Christmas murder mystery have in mind the number and age of participants so that you choose the most appropriate mystery for the team’s capacity.