Christmas Murder Mystery: T'was the Night Before Murder

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A fun family Christmas Murder Mystery Party set in the North Pole! A fun Christmas-spirited murder mystery party for 8-16+ guests ages 13 to 112! There is an expandable Elf character that can be expanded to as many optional characters as you need!

If you have done the Rudy Reindeer game, this game will be too similar - as this is the 'murder' version of the Rudy Reindeer 'non-murder' game. 

This is the instant download version of the game, no waiting, no shipping fees - everything you need is included in the download, so nothing needs to be shipped. For the boxed version, see the link below under the 'Helpful Links' section.

There are four PDF files to download with this game - a host instruction file, printable file, solution key, and an optional free invitation file.  You must use Adobe Reader (free software that you can download at to view the PDF file, as a PDF is an Adobe product. 

Format: this is a traditional, mingling, clue-based game (downloadable version) for in-person groups. For virtually-formatted games that are ideal for video chat platforms, click here.

Gifting: the standard game license does not allow transfers, so you cannot purchase a download as a gift. For gifts, click here for gift certificates, or use the link below for the boxed version of the game (party pack). 

Four out of ten difficulty. This game was updated on 8/25/21

Helpful Links:

Host character list
Free, printable invitation
Sample game materials
10 character Expansion pack - Purchase separately
Boxed version - My Mystery Party will prepare your party ready kit
Direct your guests here - the corresponding pre-game site at Your Mystery Party

Mystery Synopsis:

It's time for the annual pre-Christmas meeting at Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus’s home in the North Pole. This is the bustling time of the year when Christmas workers need to stop working for a moment and come together to discuss how Christmas is unraveling. You must attend this meeting, as you play an essential role at the North Pole! This is where your story begins!

How to Host a Larger Party:  

  • 16 unique character roles from the main game
  • 10 unique character roles from the expansion pack (purchased separately)
  • Up to 15 players as members of Gab's Bag Stuffing Crew to play with Gab the Elf (main game)
  • Up to 15 players as members of Pong the Penguin's family (expansion pack #1)

Therefore, you have 26 unique player roles and the ability to expand your guest list with two expandable characters - cover over 56 players in your game.

Follow My Mystery Party's board T'was the Night Before Murder - a fun family murder mystery party. on Pinterest.

If you wish to host this (or any other) game for profit, you will need a commercial license - click here.

Minimum age:
13 years
Difficulty rating:
Moderate, 4/10
Gender of players:
Number of players:
8-16 character roles with an optional expandable team (secondary , non-unique roles)
Available expansion pack:
10 unique characters
Available expandable teams?:
Main game has Gab the Elf's Crew to expand and expansion pack (purchased separately) adds another expandable team with Pong the Penguin. Add the teams at any time.
Date of publication:
2007. Last revised on 8/25/21
Unique content:
Family-safe murder (not 'serious').
Game license:
Single, private use. See the game license's Terms and Conditions below.


  • 5
    First timer, will definitely do it again.

    Posted by Unknown on Nov 28th 2021

    I was so nervous to play this game with my friends. I really didn’t think they would be into it. I was blown away at how much they played the role. I highly recommend this game. My guest still talked about the game the next day. The only thing I can say was hard.. or difficult at first was that the clue cards were small with a lot of writing. So at first my guest were held back with so much reading. Once they got the hang of it. They had a blast. I chose to Include the money option to try to purchase more clues. It was worth it and I recommend it. I will purchase another version mystery party for our family since we are hosting Christmas this year! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- FROM MMP STAFF: thank you for your feedback, we appreciate it. The font sizes in this game range from a size 10 to 16. The 10 font is standard, but on the smaller side. The reason for this is to fit the information on the clue card to fit into an A2 envelope -and for you to have to print less and save money. You can view these cards in the sample game materials on this page, under 'helpful links.' Just click on the sample game. We encourage you to even print out that page to see if it works for your group. Again, thank you for taking the time to post a review! Happy holidays!

  • 5
    Fantastic and fun filled party for adults

    Posted by Dustin on Nov 22nd 2021

    This party was an absolute hit had such a great time with our family during the pandemic. Have lots of great site activities in quest with a thrill in conclusion. Easy to follow great templates to download and print. Would suggest this to anyone hands-down!

  • 5
    Fun night

    Posted by Andre Z on Jan 6th 2020

    This was my first try at this and everyone found the game enjoyable. We threw our own spin on some of the clues like fingerprinting. Would order again.

  • 5
    So much fun for our staff Christmas Party

    Posted by Unknown on Dec 20th 2019

    A very fun game! We especially loved the scavenger hunt. I added a "Santa Dollar" compenent where each person had 5 Santa Dollars at the beginning of the game to use to bribe extra clues out of people. During the fingerprint scavenger hunt, I also hid Santa Dollars and Chocolates for everyone to find-- and then we gave out a "Moneybags" trophy for the person who had the most Santa Dollars at the end of the night. For the 7-year-old that was playing, this was an easier thing to work towards than solving the murder.

  • 5
    Christmas Party

    Posted by JENNIFER NOTT on Dec 2nd 2019

    This is the second party I have done and it is always a great time! If you are looking for something different to entertain guests with, this is the perfect game. Fun for everyone!!

  • 5
    Perfect information

    Posted by Vicki on May 4th 2019

    I was so excited to download and read through information. It looks like it is going to be great fun and easy to follow instructions that seems like every detail has been thought of. Can’t wait until Christmas party to play with my family. I love the choice for the person giving the party if you want to play and not know who murder is, to stop reading at a certain point.

  • 5
    So much fun especially if everyone commits

    Posted by Melinda on Nov 21st 2018

    I have hosted 3 murder mysteries and this by far was the best. The outline of the mystery allows for your party to continue while remaining in character. It's unscripted with helpful pointers and cues if you will. It allows for people to socialize, drink and enjoy a Christmas Party while staying in character. I had roughly 15 attendees who all committed to the role and had a blast. It has now become a Christmas tradition. To motivate devotion to the game I added prizes at the end for best costume, best role, and the person who guessed the murderer. If no one guessed correctly then the murderer won the prize. Whole heartedly the best murder mystery we have done. Did I mention you can carry on with your party while playing the game? It lasted for 5 hours due to everyone's dedication to their role. Buy it, you won't be disappointed.

  • 5
    Fun times and Merry Christmas!

    Posted by Kerry R. on Dec 28th 2016

    Our family of 12 had a blast playing this game.

  • 5
    In love with this game!

    Posted by Anna on Nov 3rd 2016

    Played this game a few years ago and am looking for another for our family Christmas. Just thought I'd drop a note on how much fun this one was - hope there's another one like it!