Planning a holiday party this season and looking for fun ways to get everyone involved? Consider a fun and interactive gift giving game to liven up your party. Some of these games you’ve probably heard of, but there a bunch of lesser-known games that are equally fun. Check them out!
1. Secret Santa
This is the gift giving game that most people are familiar with. How it works is names are drawn weeks before the event and everyone who participates has to buy an inexpensive gift ($10-20 usually) for the person they drew. At the party gifts are opened and you can try and guess who your Secret Santa is if you wish. If you can’t get together to draw names ahead of time, try an online version that will email the name of the person to you.
2. Steal-a-Gift (Yankee Swap, White Elephant etc.)
There are several ways to play steal-a-gift, but the basic premise is that everyone buys a gift within a set price range (again, $10-20 seems reasonable). The gift should be wrapped, but don’t put a name on it. The gift will go in the middle on a table, or under the tree. Numbers are drawn and the person who draws #1 gets to choose first. They unwrap it and the next person can either steal person #1’s gift, or unwrap a new one. This game works well when there’s a mix of nice and funny gifts.
3. Dice Gift Exchange
Sit in a circle (or some semblance of one) with a pile of gifts in the middle. Like Steal-a-Gift, everyone will have brought a wrapped gift to the party as instructed. You’ll need dice and the instructions (feel free to make your own). Have everyone choose a present (you can decide in what order) then the first person will roll the dice. You follow the instructions based on what number you roll. For example, If you roll a four (two twos, or a three and a one) you must switch with the person on your right. Once everyone has rolled you will end up with your final gift.
4. Gift Facts Exchange
Everyone brings an unlabeled wrapped gift to the party. As the gifts arrive they will be numbered. The person who brought the gift will be given a corresponding number. Everyone will write a little-known fact about themselves on the back of their number and put it in a bowl or hat. The host will draw the pieces of paper and read them out without telling anyone the number. The person who guesses correctly gets the gift and is out of the game. You cannot guess your own gift. There will be one gift left for the host at the end!
5. Gift Hot Potato
Passing one gift at a time while a Christmas song plays, whoever is holding the gift when the music is stopped is out of the game, but gets to keep the present. Keep playing until everyone has a gift! Have everyone bring a wrapped gift!
6. Themed Gift Exchange
You can do this for almost any gift exchange game! Follow the usual rules of whichever game you like, only choose a theme for all the gifts. Possible themes are: Candy, Things that are Green, Gifts that Start with the Letter C, and so on and so forth.
7. Holiday Poem Gift Exchange
There are numerous holiday poems on the internet that feature specific words instructing participants to pass their gift left or right. Once the poem is over everyone can unwrap the gift they ended up with.
8. Instruction Cards
Have everyone bring a wrapped gift and sit with it in their lap. Place cards with exchange instructions folded in a bowl. Have the first person pull a card. The card might say something like “exchange gifts with someone with red hair,” or “exchange gifts with the tallest person in the room,” and so on. Go around the room until everyone has swapped their gifts.
9. Saran Wrap Candy Ball
Using sheets of saran wrap, the host will wrap pieces of candy in layers in a ball. Like gift hot potato, the candy ball will be passed around a circle until the music stops. The person holding the ball gets to peel off a layer. There may or may not be candy in the layer you peel. Keep passing it around and taking layers of saran wrap off until all the candy has been claimed.
10. Birth Year Gift Exchange
Like Secret Santa only with specific themed gifts. When you draw names there will also be the person’s birth year on the paper. Buy them a gift relating to that year. Works best for multi-generational parties, such as family holiday parties.
Hope these games have inspired you and got you into the spirit of giving! Now get shopping for that perfect gift!