Even if you’re not behind the meaning behind Christmas, this holiday season is all about presents, festivities and gatherings with loved ones. Secret Santas and other gift exchanges are fantastic ways to break the ice, but there are a few more ways to exchange gifts while keeping things fresh. Here are some gift exchange ideas for you to try this Christmas.
Switch, Steal, Unwrap
A couple of dice and a sizable roster of guests (minimum of 5) is all you’ll need to get this activity started. As the name suggests, depending on what is rolled on the dice, guests will either switch, steal or unwrap a gift on hand. The game starts with each guest bringing a gift (or multiple gifts) and gathering in a circle. If rolled one or two, gifts are either switched with the person to the left or right. Three and four will give the person who rolled the dice a chance to “steal” any gift within the circle, while five and six will have the person open the gift on hand. It’s a rather simple game that keeps things light and suitable for a gathering with kids involved! As an option, the dice numbers and what they represent can be printed out on a sheet of paper to make the activity simpler for all participants.
Rock, Paper, Scissors
Another simple game that only requires only two decks of playing cards! If you’re planning to do your gift exchanges in a public place or somewhere less homey, this game can easily be applied. Much like Switch, Steal, Unwrap; this game leaves everything up to chance. Everyone will place their presents on a table and the facilitator will count the number of gifts and have identical cards of that number set aside per deck. The cards selected from the first deck will then be distributed with a gift till everyone has a randomly given gift and a card. People will draw from the second deck until one person has a matched card to go first.
During this person’s turn, he or she can choose whether to open the gift they have on hand or to “steal” a gift. Doing this will involve challenging the person to a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors. If the challenger wins, he will trade gifts and unwrap it while the loser will keep the gift wrapped and continue with the next turn. If the challenger loses, they will open the gift they have and either trade it with the person challenged if requested or keep it for good. The game ends when everyone has opened a gift.
Left Right Poem Gift Exchange
This one will require some preparation time from the organiser as a long “poem” will have to be written beforehand. In this poem, the words “right” and left” will have to be written into a poem or a short story if that is easier. The goal is for everyone in a circle with a gift on hand and to rotate respectively when the aforementioned words are used while someone reads the poem out loud. At the end of the poem, everyone will open their gift they are holding. A very straightforward game that can be quick or long-lasting, depending on the organiser’s creativity and writing skills.