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Looking for something new to spice up your holiday season? Consider a gift exchange! Rather than buying gifts for everyone you know, consider hosting a gift exchange program. Typically, individuals all bring a few gifts to exchange with the group, or they’re assigned a person to provide the gift to — and vice versa. There are many different types of gift exchanges, though, and you’re not bound to any particular one. Here are some fun holiday gift exchanges that you can try out this year!
Is There a Classic Gift Exchange?
Yes! Probably the most well-known and traditional gift exchange is through Secret Santa. Individuals are assigned a person to buy a gift for. The person receiving the gift doesn’t know who they’re receiving the gift from. Then, on a designated day, a representative passes out all the Christmas gifts so that the receivers don’t figure out who their Secret Santa is. This game has been around for ages, and it’s sometimes known under different names. It’s popular amongst work colleagues, large families or even other social groups.
Here are some Secret Santa variations:
- White Elephant: Instead of assigning individuals to give and receive gifts, have everyone bring one wrapped gift. The idea here is that you don’t want people to be able to guess what the gift is. Once all the gifts are in a pile in the center of the room or table, assign numbers to people and go around the room in the order of those numbers. The person whose turn it is can either choose a gift from the center pile, or they can steal someone else’s. This can keep going until the last person chooses or steals their gift. Looking for funny White Elephant gift ideas? Be sure to check out this list!
- Budget Santa: Not all gift exchange members can afford to spend more than a certain amount on specific gifts. Consider creating a budgeted version of Secret Santa! Simply follow the same rules as regular Secret Santa, but instead, place a budget cap on your players, such as $10 or $15. You’ll want to consider a budget cutoff that is also a good range for individuals to go to restaurants and purchase a gift card or two for the person you’re buying for. They’ll be very appreciative that you considered their individual income and the income of others who will be at the event.
What Gifts Are Best for a Gift Exchange?
There are lots of gifts that are great for a gift exchange! Keep in mind that you shouldn’t spend your life’s savings on a gift for your gift exchange. While some gift exchanges specify a budget, others don’t. It’s up to you how you choose to spend money on a gift for the exchange! And, depending on which type of exchange you do, there’s a pretty good chance you won’t know the person who you’re giving the gift to. Here are some gift ideas for a holiday gift exchange:
- An ornament: Ornaments are small, practical, and relatively inexpensive. You can either personalize it with the details of the gift exchange or, if you know the person you’re getting the gift for, you can order a personalized Christmas ornament for them to hang on their Christmas tree! Or if you’d like to try your hand at making your own easy DIY ornaments, check out this list!
- A keychain: Another small-sized gift, a keychain is great for gift exchanges. It’s practical and won’t require a lot of gift wrapping. Plus, it’s something that everyone can use! A total win-win for sure. Whether you get it personalized or you keep it standard, it’ll be something that everyone will remember.
- A coffee mug: Who doesn’t need more coffee mugs? Whether you use them as decoration to hold all your pens and pencils or even to actually drink coffee or tea out of, a coffee mug is a great gift choice for any gift exchanges between friends, family or even coworkers. With so many options out there, you could even get a whole set! Make sure to pair it with another gift, such as a wooden Christmas ornament, to really give the gift something extra special. Here is a list of funny Christmas mugs you can use right here!
Other Gift Exchange Ideas
There are lots of other gift exchange games out there you can use in your office, friend group or even at home with your family this year! Here are some of the top choices:
- “Never Have I Ever” Holiday Edition: Take a new spin on this classic drinking game, making it appropriate for the holidays! Consider this a mixture of “musical chairs” and “Never Have I Ever.” Simply have all the guests sit in a circle with the gift they brought. Then, each player can take turns reading a “Never Have I Ever” statement that’s also related to the holidays. For example, “Never Have I Ever built a snowman.” If the player who reads has done the statement, then they will need to switch seats with someone. The person who gets switched with then reads a “Never Have I Ever” statement and chooses someone to switch with, if applicable. Continue doing this until everyone has either read a “Never Have I Ever” statement or switched a seat.
- Christmas Carol Guessing Game: Engage your coworkers’ and friends’ brains for this one! Have everyone sit in a circle with the gifts they brought. Play a Christmas carol. While the song plays, have the guests pass one of the gifts around. When you stop the music, a player should guess the next word or lyric from the carol. If they get it right, they keep the gift and remove themselves from the round. If they get it wrong, then the song starts back up and the gift continues being passed. This continues until all the gifts have been given out.
- Christmas Gift Pass: This one involves story-time! Start telling a story, such as The Night Before Christmas. Switch out some of the words to include “left,”’ “right” or “” When players hear one of those words, they should hand the gift they’re holding into the person who is to their left, right or even across from them like the story says. When the story is over, ideally, everyone should have a gift.
Looking for some DIY gift ideas you can bring to these exchanges? Check out these ideas:
- Easy Homemade Melt and Pour Christmas Soap Recipe!
- Free “All Is Calm, All Is Bright” Christmas 8×10 Printable!
- Unique Christmas Gift Ideas: Poinsettias With Money Origami Flower!
- Gift Guide: 10 Gift Ideas for a Star Wars Fan!