Many people want Christmas ideas that don’t involve shopping for fifty people. Usually that involves either drawing names or playing white elephant (or a similar gift swap). If you’re in charge of this year’s Christmas activities, maybe you want to go a bit more original — without having everyone buy a cheap ugly joke gift for everyone else. Here are some great Christmas ideas that most people probably haven’t tried.
Christmas ideas for gift exchanges
Here are some unique Christmas ideas to keep your gifts fun and fresh.
1. Right and Left Games
In right and left games, everyone selects a random gift from the pile and sits in the circle. The organizer reads a story with many instances of the words ‘right’ and ‘left.’ Whenever participants hear that word, they quickly shuffle their gifts in that direction. There are many stories like this online, but it’s more fun if you write your own and use your coworkers or family members in the story.
2. Play kids’ games!
This is such silly fun. You can play pin the nose on Rudolph, or musical chairs to Christmas carols. Either way, keep track of the order people finish in. The first place person gets to choose the first gift, the second place the second, and so on. This works better in smaller groups.
3. Anyone Who…
This is similar to number two, but a more direct version that works better for larger groups. Get a group of chairs and tape numbers underneath them. As guests arrive, stick corresponding numbers on their gifts (stickies work great for this). Have guests sit in a circle with yourself in the middle. You announce a characteristic (such as ‘everyone wearing red!’) and all the people who match have to quickly get up and find a new chair.
You can also make this more Christmassy by using things like ‘anyone who re-gifted something last year’ or ‘anyone who’s eaten their weight in cookie dough.’ After a few rounds, have everyone check under their chair. The number there is the gift they get.
4. Let’s Roll ‘Em
This game works with any dice, but I used big novelty ones from a party store. They were red and green and Christmassy, so it was perfect. This is like many Christmas ideas (basically white elephant) but with a twist.
Everyone gets a present. You then pass the dice around and everyone takes turns rolling. If you roll doubles, you have to ‘steal’ a present from someone else. They then steal from another person, and so on (you have to have one person, usually the host, without a gift for the duration of the game for this to work).
And there you have it: four slightly more unique Christmas ideas for gift exchanges than the traditional draw a name or white elephant. I hope you enjoy them, and come up with lots of fun Christmas ideas of your own.