Holidays > Holidays and Special Days

Holiday Gift Exchange??

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Carol O'Connor:
One fun thing to do is a "Crazy Gift Exchange".  Each participant is asked to bring a wrapped unisex gift in a pre-set price range ($5 or $10, whatever limit you want to set).  

As the guests arrive, they put their gift on a table set up for that purpose and fill out a card with their name and drop it in a box.  

The first name is drawn from the box and that person selects a gift from among those on the table and opens it.  It must remain on the table in sight (at least for now).  The second name is called and that person can take a gift from the table OR take the gift the first person selected.  If they take the first person's gift, the first person selects another gift from the table before the next name is drawn.  The third person drawn can take a gift from the table OR take one of the gifts the first two players have open in front of them. Each gift taken from the table has to be unwrapped before the next name is drawn. This goes on until everyone's name has been called to select a gift. Again, any person who has their gift taken gets to take a replacement gift from the table or one of the opened gifts others have selected.  (caveat:  If your gift is taken, you cannot take it back.  You must select a gift from the table or from another person.  A particular gift may be "taken" from another person only twice.  The third person to have the item may keep it.  It can be "retired" under the table so it is no longer available to be taken by others.   At the end, the first person whose name was drawn can keep the gift they have or take a gift from someone else (since they did not have this option in the beginning as the first player) in exchange for the one they have.  Everyone leaves with a gift.

This can be a lot of fun especially if people get into the spirit of "snatching" gifts from others.  A real competion gets going on some items that are "hot" (in high demand). Some items that have been quite "hot" at some of our parties are lottery tickets, jars of nuts, holiday decorations, wine, etc.  

We have done this for years at the holiday parties for one of the organizations I belong to.  We decided to do something else one year and received so many complaints that we went back to the Crazy Gift Exchange.

If you are all on the net check out those free ecard sites. ›Everyone could send each other an ecard. ›You could also buy 1 can of food each and donate it in a bag or bags to charity depending how many there are in your group. ›Then I would give the bag after Christmas to a local food bank. (People tend to forget the hungry after the holidays.)

If you want your own gift then use the same idea but instead give them a list of several types of canned food each of you eat. ›Candy and things like toothpaste can be subsapplesuted for the canned food. › ›

In college we could only spend $1.00 so everyone bought lifesaver gift boxes and the like. ›Instead of buying something people might not like for your white elephant exchange the above ideas could work. ›Especially if you don't want to give everyone a list and have them buy something for everyone.  Have your friends draw names and use that persons list to buy something small.

With the holiday season creeping up on us, does anyone have a unique holiday gift exchange idea.  Something unique, not too costly and fun.......

There is a good mixture of males and females (couples), but none of us have a money tree growing in the back yard.   I've thought about a 'white elephant' gift exchange where everybody gets a 'slightly used' gift from a thrift store, flea market or garage sale.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.  

Thanks for your help


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