Gift exchange games are a great way to bring a little fun into the holiday season. They can also help draw out the process of gift-giving so it doesn’t feel like a race to open gifts and be finished.
One of the most common gift exchange games is the white elephant exchange. It involves everyone bringing an unwrapped gift and placing it in a designated area. Then, everyone picks their number and selects their favorite gift from the pile.
This game works best with small groups, but you can scale it up for larger groups. For medium-sized groups, have everyone bring three identical gifts unwrapped and display them in the center of the room or on a table.
For large groups, you can take the idea of a white elephant exchange to another level by incorporating musical chairs into the process. Guests choose numbers as they arrive or have them drawn from a bowl, then take turns selecting their favorite gift and opening it. The winner of this game gets to keep the prize and the person who guessed wrong loses their gift.
Guessing the Giver
With this version of the white elephant gift exchange, each participant gets a chance to select their favorite gift and correctly guess who bought it. The winner of the game gets to keep their prize and the person who guessed wrong must return the gift and select someone else’s next choice.
You can play this game for a single round or for three rounds, redrawing the numbers from a bowl each time. It’s a great activity for people who may be uncomfortable sharing what they want at a gift exchange.
Instead of a traditional gift exchange, this game uses Christmas cards to create a festive game of luck. Before the party, tape one half of a card to each gift and put them all in a central location. When it’s time for the game, ask each guest to find a gift that has that same half of a card inside.
The winner of the game is the person who finds the most gifts with that same half of a card inside. You can have the gift sorted by age or ability, depending on your group’s preferences.
How Well Do You Know Your Friends?
If you’re having a lot of new faces at your party, this game will be a fun way to get to know the people in your group. Have the most enthusiastic members of your group host this game and write down a fun fact about each member of the group. When everyone brings in their gift, the host will read off the facts and see who guessed the coordinating fact first.
Roll the Dice Rules Printout
A classic Christmas story is a great place to start this game. It’s simple to set up and the rules are pretty flexible.
For a twist, you can add stealing rules to this game. The first person to roll a certain number on the dice can either steal a gift or choose a wrapped gift from the center.