Let’s get festive and have some fun with Christmas gift exchanges!
Have you attended a Christmas gift exchange before? If not, I highly recommend throwing one for your friends or family!
Here’s the deal: everyone brings a wrapped gift and takes turns selecting and opening presents. The best part? You never know what gift you’ll end up with! It’s all about the excitement and anticipation of the exchange.
So, if I’ve convinced you to have a gift exchange this year, let’s start the holiday party and make memories with these awesome gift exchange games!
Table of Contents
1. The Classic Yankee Swap Gift Exchange
The classic Yankee Swap Gift Exchange (also known as White Elephant) is a fun and exciting game for Christmas parties. It’s a game where participants bring a wrapped gift and take turns choosing a gift from the pile or stealing a gift that someone else has already opened.
To play the game, participants draw numbers to determine the order in which they will choose a gift. The first person selects a gift from the pile and opens it. The second person can either choose a gift from the pile or steal the gift that the first person opened. If a gift is stolen, the person who had it stolen can either choose a new gift from the pile or steal someone else’s gift.
The game continues in this fashion until all the gifts have been opened. The last person to go can steal any previously opened gifts or keep the gift they opened.
The Yankee Swap Gift Exchange is a great game because it adds an element of surprise and excitement to the traditional gift exchange. It’s also a game that can be played with a large group of people, making it perfect for office parties or family gatherings.
2. December Dice Gift Game
Here’s how the December dice gift game works: everyone brings a wrapped gift of equal value. From practical goodies to quirky surprises, anything goes! Then, you get in a circle, grab a pair of dice, and let the games begin.
In the first round, everyone goes in a circle and chooses a gift. Then, you start rolling, and the game proceeds according to the list above. For example, if you roll a six, everyone has to pass their gift to the person on their right. If you roll a 12, you can freeze your gift and keep it for the rest of the game or switch with anyone you want.
This is such a fun take on the typical White Elephant exchange! It’s unpredictable and a little less savage than the usual White Elephant procedure, so it’s extra fun for everyone.
3. Scrooge Your Neighbor
The “Scrooge Your Neighbor” game requires a little prep, but it is the ultimate way to add friendly competition to your holiday festivities.
Here’s how it works: everyone brings a wrapped gift to the party – nothing fancy, just something anyone would enjoy. Then, the gifts are all placed in one central location. Each person gets a number to determine the order in which they’ll choose a gift.
The game is the same as other gift exchanges — everyone gets to pick a gift and unwrap it. But the difference is in the cards you’re dealt at the beginning. Depending on what you get, you can use these cards to make the game more strategic and get the gift you want. (Full instructions and printable cards are here!)
What makes “Scrooge Your Neighbor” so awesome is all the interaction and excitement it brings. You can get super sneaky and try outsmarting your neighbors with your stealing tactics. Plus, it’s a fantastic way to bond with your friends and create hilarious memories.
4. Christmas Never Have I Ever Gift Exchange
Get ready for the ultimate Christmas gift exchange game – the Christmas Never Have I Ever Gift Exchange!
All you have to do is bring a wrapped present of similar value to the party – it could be anything from a hilarious coffee mug to a gift card for a local restaurant.
Once everyone’s gathered, the game kicks off! The first person starts by saying, “Never have I ever…” followed by a statement. For example, “Never have I ever gone skydiving.” If anyone in the room has gone skydiving, they have to stand up and swap gifts with someone else on their feet. And the game just keeps going, with each person taking turns making statements.
This game is an absolute blast that gets everyone involved and laughing. It’s a chance to learn new things about your friends and family while scoring a cool new present to take home.
5. Santa’s Helper Gift Exchange
This game is all about adding some excitement to your gift exchange and helping others instead of picking for yourself!
Everyone brings a wrapped gift to the party and puts it in the center. Then, you all draw numbers to determine who chooses a gift first. You also each fill out a special card with your likes and dislikes (this site has printables for this), and everyone draws a person for whom they will pick.
The first player picks a gift and opens it. The next player can either steal that gift or choose a new one from the pile. If your gift gets stolen, you can steal someone else’s or pick a new one.
We keep going like this until everyone has chosen a gift. Finally, your gift goes to the person on your card. It makes the game so much more fun and cooperative to choose for someone else instead of stealing for yourself!
Feeling as lost on how to wrap those gifts? Check out these 13 Genius Gift Wrapping Ideas, and you’ll be on your way to winning the coveted award for Best Wrapped Presents!
6. Twelve Days Of Christmas Gift Exchange Game
Twelve Days Of Christmas Gift Exchange Game is a fun and exciting way to celebrate with your loved ones. It’s perfect for anyone who wants to add a little twist to their traditional gift exchange.
Everyone participating brings a wrapped gift that fits within a certain price range. Then you write down sets of numbers based on how many people you have (for instance, if you have ten people, you write down numbers 1-10 on pieces of paper). The first set of numbers go in a bowl for the group to choose from, and the second group of numbers goes in a bag. There’s also a bowl of action cards themed around the 12 days of Christmas. (Printables here!)
Like the classic Christmas carol, the game features cards themed around the song. Each person starts with a gift and a number. Then they choose a game card when their number comes up and everyone does the action listed on the card.
This game is a really fun way to get to know your friends and it’s random enough that it’s not brutal or cutthroat the way other games are. It’s just fun for everybody!
7. Lucky Last Line Gift Game
Let’s talk about the Lucky Last Line Gift Game. It’s a simple and fun game that only requires one present and a poem.
A single present is wrapped in layers, with a stanza of a poem written between each layer. Play proceeds around the circle, every person unwrapping a layer until one person reaches the “last line” and gets the gift instead of a poem stanza.
This is great if you just want to set something up at the last minute and don’t want to have everyone bring a gift.
9. Rock Paper Scissors Gift Game
Alright, folks, here’s a game that puts a twist on the classic Rock Paper Scissors! Get ready for laughter and excitement at your gift exchange.
First things first, everyone coming to the party should bring a wrapped gift. Put all the gifts in a central spot for everyone to see.
The first player picks a gift from the pile and opens it. Then, the second player takes a turn and opens a gift too. If the second player likes the first player’s gift more, they can try to steal it by playing a game of rock, paper, scissors. If the second player wins, they get to trade gifts. If they lose, they have to keep their original gift and play proceeds to the next player until everyone has gone.
9. Switch Steal Unwrap Dice Game
So, this game is all about having a blast with your friends. It’s played with dice and a pile of wrapped gifts. Picture this: everyone’s sitting in a circle, each with a randomly chosen gift in front of them. The excitement begins when someone rolls the dice.
They’ve got three options depending on what they roll: switch everyone’s gifts to the left or right, steal another gift, or simply unwrap their own. Oh, and here’s the deal: a gift can only be stolen three times before it’s off-limits.
Now, the fun keeps going, with each person taking their turn, rolling the dice, and making their move.
This game is perfect for any holiday party. It’s super easy to play and suitable for people of all ages. Plus, with the dice element, you never know what will happen next – it’s unpredictable and fun!
The Switch Steal Unwrap Dice Game is a must-try if you’re planning a cool gift exchange party.
10. Left Right Story Gift Exchange Game
How about trying out an awesome game called the Left Right Story Gift Exchange Game? It will bring so much laughter and cheer to your holiday get-together.
Here’s how you play: everyone sits in a circle with their wrapped gift. Then, the host reads a Christmas-themed poem. Whenever the word “left” pops up, everyone passes their gift to the left.
And when the word “right” comes up, it’s time to pass the gift to the right. Simple right? Once the poem ends, everyone can open the gift they’re holding. This game is super cool for big groups and will ensure that everyone gets in on the gift exchange fun.
Plus, it’s an awesome way to add excitement to your Christmas party and bring out that holiday spirit! So, if you’re up for a fun and unique way to swap gifts this Christmas, give the Left Right Poem Gift Exchange Game a shot. Trust me, it’s going to be awesome!
11. Heads Or Tails Gift Exchange Game
This heads or tails game is incredibly simple and a blast for groups of any size and age! It’s guaranteed to bring loads of laughter and excitement to your holiday festivities.
To get started, each player brings a wrapped gift to the party. They should be of similar value and can range from toys and games to household items or gift cards. Once everyone’s here, the host grabs a coin and the game begins.
Play goes around the table, and as each player goes, they predict whether their coin will show heads or tails. Then, they flip. If the coin lands on the player’s chosen side, they get to pick a gift from the pile and unwrap it. If it doesn’t, play proceeds to the next player without a gift.
The fun goes on until all the gifts are snatched up. At this point, play changes. The next round, a correct guess will give you the option to keep your gift permanently or trade with someone else. An incorrect guess will move play to the next player. This continues until everyone has gone.
For additional Christmas party inspiration, look at these 25 Christmas Party Ideas for the Ultimate Holiday Gathering.
12. Santa Toss Gift Exchange
Let me tell you about this awesome game called Santa Toss Gift Exchange. It’s super easy to play – all you need is a Santa hat and a few wrapped gifts.
Here it goes: players toss the Santa hat onto a designated spot, like a chair or table. Depending on where the hat lands, you can choose a gift from the pile or steal one from someone else. How fun is that?
Here’s the exciting part: you can make it even more interesting by adding special rules to different landing spots. For instance, if the hat lands on the floor, everyone has to switch gifts with the person to their left. And if it lands on a specific person, they decide who goes next. It’s all about keeping the game fresh and exciting!
13. Mug Gift Exchange
Getting this game started is super easy. Each person brings a wrapped mug filled with small gifts like candy, tea bags, or hot chocolate mix.
To kick things off, everyone picks a number from a hat. The person with number one gets to choose a wrapped mug and open it up.
Now, here’s where it turns into a typical White Elephant game. The second person can either steal the first person’s mug or grab a new one from the pile. It’s all about strategy and fun surprises! If someone’s mug gets stolen, they can pick a new one to replace it.
The game keeps going until everyone has their special mug. And guess what? The person with the last number can steal any mug they want! The game ends once everyone has their very own mug.
Let me tell you, mug gift exchange is a fantastic way to have a blast and exchange gifts during the holiday season. It’s also a perfect opportunity to get creative! To make it extra fun, you can personalize your mug with cool designs or messages.
14. Grinch Gift Exchange
So, here’s the deal. For the Grinch Gift Exchange game, once again, each person brings a wrapped gift to the party. Everyone randomly chooses a gift, and then the host reads out the story “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”
Whenever the host says “WHO,” everyone passes their gift to the right. At the end of the story, everyone opens their gift and sees what they got! It’s non-competitive and a great way for everyone to get a gift and hear a cute holiday story.
15. The Gift Grab Bag Gift Exchange Game
The Gift Grab Bag game is a fun and exciting game for Christmas parties that’s only time-consuming to set up for the host. It’s great for last-minute parties for that reason since you don’t have to coordinate everyone bringing something.
Here’s how the game works, according to LovetoKnow:
- Wrap all the gifts before the party and place them in a large box or bag.
- Hand each guest a playing card as they arrive at the party.
- At exchange time, pull out a second deck of playing cards.
- Pull a card out of the deck and hold it up. The person with the matching card pulls a gift from the bag, leaving it wrapped.
- Continue pulling cards until everyone has a gift; if there are leftover gifts, reshuffle and continue. Some people may end up with two gifts.
- After all the gifts are chosen, give guests five minutes to trade their still-wrapped gifts with other attendees.
- After five minutes are up, everyone opens their presents.
Pictionary is a fun and interactive game perfect for any Christmas party. It is a game that people of all ages and skill levels can play. And you can always include a gift element!
So, here’s how you play: grab a whiteboard or a large piece of paper, some markers, and a pile of wrapped gifts off to the side. Each person takes turns doodling a word or phrase while the other people try to guess what’s being drawn.
For each round, the first person to guess correctly gets to either open a new gift (if they don’t have one), steal someone else’s gift, or save their gift from being stolen that round and nominate someone without a gift to pick a gift and open it. They will then draw next. Play proceeds until all the gifts have been selected.
Pictionary gets everyone involved in the party and sparks creativity and imagination. It’s the ultimate way to have a blast! So give Pictionary a shot, and prepare for fun and laughter at your Christmas party!
What are your favorite Christmas gift exchange games?
Gift exchange games are a great way to bring people together and create lasting memories. They add an element of fun and excitement to any holiday gathering and can be enjoyed by all ages.
Whether you’re a college student or just young at heart, these games are perfect for all ages. Prepare to swap gifts like never before and make this Christmas one to remember. Happy gifting!
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