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“Name That Song” Christmas Game

Name that Christmas Song Game
How well do you know your Christmas carols? Could you identify one by just a single measure? Use our “Name that Song” Christmas game to find out.

This game was inspired by one I played at a cookie exchanges my children’s piano teacher hosted last Christmas. I made two different versions, so take your pick.

First we have the challenging, fill-in-the-blank version. This is how the one we played at the party I attended worked. Our hostess literally played the first few notes of each song on her piano, and the guests tried to identify each from just those abbreviated intros.

In the absence of a piano, you can hum the stanzas or even require guests to mentally sightread them. Our family played this one in the car tonight, and I was impressed at how many songs even our little ones could recognize when they only had the first three or four notes to go on.

"Name that Song" Christmas Game

If pulling the names of these Christmas songs and carols out of thin air seems too hard, you might rather play this slightly easier, matching version of “Name that Song.” The advantage of this one is that you can use the process of elimination to narrow down the choices for any unfamiliar tunes.

Name that Christmas Song - Matching

Whichever version you decide to play, I hope you’ll enjoy this free printable Christmas game and that you’ll carry a song in your heart all season long.

There’s more where that came from

Does taking this little quiz leave you wishing for more? Then follow this link to download 12 of my newest Christmas party games (with answer keys) in a single click!

12 Days of All New Party Games

Or you can click here to see all the games I’ve published in the past, or visit my Christmas Party Games Pinterest Board for still more ideas.

Know friends or family who’d enjoy playing our Christmas games? We’d love it if you’d send them our way by emailing a link or sharing on social media (see share buttons below). Thanks!

Name that Christmas Song Game

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  1. The first Christmas quiz that we downloaded to work out what they were, had a different piece of music to the answer sheet.

    no. 5 was: F# 4/4 time B crochet, b and a (quavers), b crochet, g and b (quavers).

    The answer sheet has a different number 5: Bb key signature: A A A C and crotchets. ?

    Mrs Lois Manning

    1. So sorry to have caused you confusion, Lois. The answer key is correct to both forms of the quiz. In the original, I’d used measures from an alternate arrangement of “Angels We Have Heard on High,” but I heard from a few professional musicians who took issue with my doing this. So I swapped out that measure for the more familiar 4/4 arrangement of the carol. You must have downloaded the original quiz, then come back later for the answer key and got the edited version. The answers are the same, either way.

  2. My kids are musical, but I am not as good as they are, so I need the answers to the Christmas Music Name That Song so that I can emcee the game at our Christmas gathering. Are you able to email me the answers? Thanks!

    1. Hi, Marc. I’m not sure which version of our Christmas Song Quizzes you were taking, so I’ve emailed you solutions for all three. Thanks for playing along! The answer keys were linked in the original post, but I’m going to try and make them a little easier to find, as lots of readers have been asking me about it. Merry Christmas!

  3. Hi Flanders Family!

    I see one song title that needs correction. The song is “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen,” not “God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen.” The song is to gentlemen that need to be merry, not to gentlemen that are already merry and need rest.

    Thanks for the fun. I’m enjoying my quizzes!


    1. That’s an excellent catch, James. I was too swamped to make that correction this season, but will hopefully get it done before next Christmas.


  4. Thank you for sharing your Christmas games. I do not have a use for them immediately, but I do appreciate having them. Blessings to you and your family during the Christmas season and the New Year.

    1. As we’ve missed hosting or attending any parties this Christmas thanks to another COVID spike, we aren’t using our printable games and quizzes in the same way we’ve traditionally done ourselves, Kathy. But I have printed several to play just with family. Even our younger kids (my baby is 10 now!) have enjoyed playing along this year.

  5. I copied the music ID and several of the other trivia pages, spent about 90 minutes on them at home with my wife, and got the marriage program (took a long time to download she said) – thinking of using the trivia stuff on Christmas Day, but most of the others (our adult kids and their kids) probably won’t be able to do the song recognition.

    I didn’t look at the marriage material yet, but approximately how much stuff is in that? Is is meant for a daily, weekly, or monthly use, or go at your own pace?

    1. Hi, Chuck.

      Hi, Chuck. If you mean your wife purchased my marriage bundle, it contains two books and some printables.

      Each book has 25 chapters, 4-6 pages each, with some action points at the end. You can go at your own pace. Of course, if each of you reads one chapter a day from your respective book, you’ll finish in less than a month. If you spend two weeks on each chapter — reading it, then trying to establish a new habit and going through the action points before moving on — it will take nearly a year to complete.

      The printable pack just contains marriage related printable I’ve published on my websites over the years. Some are prayer guides that you can use in interceding for your spouse. Others are decorative art suitable for framing. Others are activity pages, coupons, and coloring pages, all on the theme of marriage. Enjoy!

  6. Hello Jennifer,
    I write for an international musuc e-magazine http://www.Interlude.HK and would love your permission to use your Guess the Christmas carols : the two with just a few notes to try to guess the songs. Would you give me your permission to publish them with full accreditation of course? They’re so delightful especially during these difficult times!

      1. Hello Jennifer,
        I am working on it now so I have done as you ask! the links to your site are all there and to get the right answers the reader would have to link to your site as well. So no problem to fulfill your requests.

        Thanks for taking so much time to get in touch with me.

        All best

  7. I just found your website and printed the Christmas Carol lyric sheets for our Christmas family reunion this year. Looking forward to exploring your resources more thoroughly.

    1. “Angels We Have Heard on High” is in there, Adrian, although I’ve revised the quiz to include the traditional notes associated with the opening measure rather than the alternate arrangement I’d originally used. I love “It Came upon a Midnight Clear” also, but simply ran out of space and couldn’t include all the carols I grew up with. Sorry about that omission!

  8. Hi,

    I just asked how to find the answers to name that song (18 songs) and as I went further into your website, I learned how to find them!

    17 is a tough one!

    Thanks again. You have a lovely family !

  9. A bunch of us is going crazy with your “name the Christmas song by looking at the first few notes”….where can we get the answers? I have all of them except 17 and none of us can figure that one out! Thanks so much. This has been an interesting game for all of us choral singers who have now missed performing 2-3 concerts. Hoping the vaccine is here soon and we can get back to whatever the 2021 new normal will be.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  10. Dear Jennifer —

    Recently I came across your Christmas Tunes Quiz on Facebook’s Choir Project.

    As a music historian – composer – conductor – organist – et al – it was a quick quiz to run down.

    However, your disclaimer “… all of the melodies are accurate” is not in keeping with No. 5

    When I messaged The Choir Project – the instructed me to contact you – and defended the quiz by saying: ” … there are variations on many carol melodies over the centuries, including some in this quiz list” Which is not exactly accurate or appropriate to this quiz in keeping with the selections outside of No. 5

    All the others are exact to their melodies except this one – which has embellishments to the traditional quarter note melody of “Angels We Have Heard on High”

    In all of my studies I have never come across a printed version that would justify including this melody versus the other 17 in their original format.

    Would you please be so kind as to direct me to the source that you referenced for your inclusion?

    Thank you.

    1. Thanks for writing, Aaron.

      I made that quiz several years ago and honestly don’t remember where I got the opening measure for “Angels We Have Heard on High.” I cut and pasted a cleaned up version from a sheet music image of the carol I found online.

      But that screenshot gives no information about where or when it was published or who arranged it. And when I searched again for it just now, I couldn’t find it. However, I grew up singing in school choirs, performed with a touring group in college, and sang with the Dallas Symphony Chorus for several years before moving to East Texas. I’d sung the particular arrangement in the quiz before myself, and since it was familiar to me, I decided to use that version.

      Nevertheless, I’ve heard from several other readers with musical backgrounds this year who, like you, have taken issue with my choice. So I revised the quiz. I’ve updated my original post to reflect these changes, but have also emailed you the corrected versions for your convenience. Hope that will help soothe your musical mind. 🙂

      1. Jennifer —

        Thank you for your response.

        I think the clarification lies in the word “arrangement” – which best describes this particular choice – considering if arrangements were used for the others, they may not have been identified as easily in keeping with the original / traditional tunes.

        As can be seen in the example you sent – this is a piano arrangement of the hymn with lyrics – not the original 4-part harmony hymn tune.

        Thank you for taking the time to update – it caused a bit of confusion within my circles of musical friends.


    1. Ha! So sorry to cause you a bout of temporary insanity, Jacqueline. The solutions are on page 2 of the PDF files. Click on the image of whichever version you’re playing to download.

        1. Hi, Marcia.

          I just sent these to you directly. Each file contains the game on page 1 and the answer key on page 2. If you only see the game, try pressing the down arrow key to go to the second page.

          1. You rock! There was only one I couldn’t get – #17. The first thing my dad said when I forwarded it to him was,”where are the answers?” LOL

            Thank you and Happy New Year!

          2. I sent the answer keys directly to you, Teoo, but have updated this post to make them easier to find above, as well. Now you can download both quizzes and solution sets by simply clicking the button under either quiz.

        1. You may be right, Ellen. I own several hymnals and consulted them in designing this quiz. As for #5, many of the versions available to me had the opening notes to which you are referring, but the oldest hymnal had the variation I ultimately decided to use. It may stump a few people, but I imagine most church musicians will be able to recognize it anyway, even if they agree with you that I should’ve used the straight notes and rhythm, instead. 🙂

          1. I’m glad I found the answer sheet- we had all the answers except #5. I even consulted Hymnary.org to see if there was a version I had missed. I couldn’t find one. Which hymnal did you use for that one?

          2. I was thinking I found it in an old, old Broadman’s Hymnal I have in my collection, but when I recently pulled it off the shelf to double check, I discovered that hymnal doesn’t contain my #5 carol at all! I obviously found those opening notes somewhere, because I cut and pasted that measure from an actual online score, but I cannot locate the source again now (I’ve tried) and have therefore switched out the alternate opening measure for the notes you’ll find more familiar.

          3. Yeah… Totally couldn’t figure this one out without using the alternate “process of elimination” PDF. I can’t find an image on Google to prove the opening notes, and I have no hymnals at home.

          4. Sorry for the confusion. I’d used an alternate opening sequence in #5, but have switched it out now for the traditional notes you will likely find more familiar.

  11. Hi Flanders Family!

    Someone recently posted your game of identifying Christmas tunes from the first few notes on Facebook. I have taught a basic class on reading musical rhythms from standard musical notation for people who play the mountain dulcimer. They don’t need to know the names of the notes because they play from tablature, which has numbers to tell them where to put their fingers. But being able to get the rhythm from standard musical notation is very useful for them.

    One exercise we do in class is to clap out the rhythm of several measures of a well known tune. Once we get the rhythm right, I have them write down the name of the tune so that they can practice at home. This game of yours would be a great handout for them to take home and practice on, to see if they can figure out the tune just from the rhythm. Would you mind if I use it in this way? Of course you would be getting credit for it, as your information is at the bottom of the page.

    Thank you for considering this request and Merry Christmas to you.


    1. Yes, Nancy. You are more than welcome to use my page as a handout for your students. I hope they’ll enjoy it. Have a merry and meaningful holiday season!

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