Christmas Gift Exchange Ideas

There are 10 games in Christmas Gift Exchange Ideas.

Better to give then to receive…. but we can help make receiving holly jolly fun, too! Pass a present and secret Santa are just a few ways to make your holiday gift exchange special. For a family gathering on Christmas eve or an office party with friends and co-workers, gift exchanges will never be the same.

Yankee Swap Gift Exchange Game

The Yankee Swap Gift Exchange rule set is a very common gift exchange method. There is no “stealing” involved like in the White Elephant Exchange, but instead gifts are “swapped” with other players. It is a great way to exchange gifts when a large group is involved without buying gifts for a ton of people. It is also much more fun then just handing out gifts.

It is a simple game of selecting a gift, unwrapping it, and choosing to keep or swap that gift with another players.

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"Dice Before Christmas" Gift Exchange Game

This is a variation of the “Greedy Santa Gift Exchange Dice Game” we have listed, but everyone gets a gift.

Take all the exchange gifts and place them in a pile in the center of the room.

Have the participants sit in a circle, then hand out a one pair of dice (if you have a large group you can use two or three pairs to speed things up). Each person will roll the dice once per turn, trying to get a pair. If they roll a pair the person takes a gift from the pile (don’t open it!) and then passes the dice to the next person, they are now done rolling. If they do NOT roll a pair they do nothing and just pass the dice. This continues around and around the group, skipping those who have already rolled a pair, until everyone has 1 gift and all the presents are taken.

After all the gifts are gone from the pile everyone should open their gifts and shows the rest of the group. Now comes the fun!

Set a timer for 10-15 minutes and everyone starts rolling the dice again just as before, only this time when someone gets a pair they get to trade their gift with any of the other players.

When the time is up it is the end of the game and everyone gets to keep the presents they have.

Double Sixes/Safe Gift Rules

There are a couple rules you can choose to add to this game.
The Double Sixes Rule: If you roll a double six during the trading phase of the game the player can trade with anyone they choose AND that gift is now “safe” and their’s too keep.
Safe Gift Rule: If a gift is traded 3 times it is considered “safe” and can not be traded for again. Basically it is the third trader’s gift to keep.

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Greedy Santa Gift Exchange Dice Game

This is a variation of the “Dice Before Christmas” Gift Exchange Game” we have listed, but includes “Greedy” rules which makes it a bit more crazy.

Take all the gift exchange gifts and place them in a pile in the center of the room.

Have the participants sit in a circle, then hand out a one pair of dice (if you have a large group you can use two or three pairs to speed things up). Each person will roll the dice once per turn, trying to get a pair. If they roll a pair the person takes a gift from the pile (don’t open it!) and then passes the dice to the next person. If they do NOT roll a pair they do nothing and just pass the dice. This continues around and around the group until all the presents are taken. Now the greedy part comes in because a player can take as many presents as pairs they’ve rolled. So at this point some people will have a bunch of gifts, others many have no gifts.

After all the gifts are gone from the pile everyone should open their gifts and shows the rest of the group. Now comes the fun!

Set a timer 10-15 minutes and start everyone rolling the dice again just as before, only this time when someone gets a pair they get to “steal” a gift from one of the other players.

When the time is up it is the end of the game and everyone gets to keep the presents they have. This means some people could have a ton of gifts, others could have none (told you it was greedy).

This works very well with the “Dollar Store Santa Gift Exchange” because the gifts only cost a dollar to play so not getting a gift back is not so bad. Also a good one to play with the “Christmas Spirits” exchange since everyone can share their drink gifts at the party and everyone wins anyways.

You can also have a few inexpensive “boobie prize” presents for anyone who does not get a gift so they do not feel left out.

This is really a gift exchange made for a certain type of crowd, but if your group takes to this type of competition it can be a very fun and crazy exchange to have. Just make sure everyone is aware of the “Greedy” rules ahead of time so they can make a choice to participate or not.

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White Elephant Gift Exchange Game Directions

The White Elephant Gift Exchange rule set is one of the most common gift exchange methods used. It is similar to the Yankee Gift Exchange, but the focus is on selecting and “stealing” gifts rather than “swapping” them.

It’s a fun way to exchange gifts at an Office party, as well as with a larger family.

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Left/Right Exchange Game

Get a copy of any “left/right poem” that you would like to read (see below to grab one). Print out one copy of the left/right poem of your choice and have your group sit in a circle holding the gifts they brought for the exchange.

Read the poem to the players and when you say LEFT each person passes their gift to the person on their left; when you say RIGHT, the players pass the gifts to the right. When the story is finished the gift the guest is holding is their’s to keep.

You can read this at any speed, but the faster you read it the funnier and more crazy it becomes, so judge for yourself the way you want the game to go.

Free Printable Version

We have a couple versions in our printable games section; RIGHT family Christmas Poem or LEFT/RIGHT Night Before Christmas Poem. Grab one you like and enjoy.

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"In the Christmas Spirits" Exchange

During Christmas there are a ton of beverages that bring holiday cheer, from mulled wine to spiked eggnog. So why not spread the cheer and have each guest bring their favorite alcoholic beverage as a gift.

Guests can bring in anything from a six pack of fancy beer to a nice red wine, or even peppermint schnapps or a simple flavored liquor. After the exchange urge your guests to share their presents and get into the “Spirits of Christmas” together!

This is for an adults only exchange, so make sure everyone is over 21 when you set it up so no one is left out.

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Re-Gift Exchange

This is a great exchange for just after the holidays. Have each person bring in a gift they received and didn’t want and “re-gift” it. Nothing used or broken. You will be surprised how many unwanted gifts will find a happy owner with this exchange. For those who really don’t have a gift to regift just put a small price limit on the gift and allow them to buy one, but you might be amazed at the amount of people who have gifts in their closets.

Just make sure no one at the party is the original gift giver of a “re-gifted” gift or someone’s feeling might get hurt.

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Tacky Christmas Sweater Exchange

If you ever walked into Walmart the week before Christmas you know how many options this exchange has! Have each guest bring a tacky (funny, sickly cute, crazy…) Christmas sweater in as a gift. Make sure to let people know they should buy an average size so most people can fit them. If you know there is a larger person in the group you may want to buy a larger size as your sweater and make sure they receive that one so no one is left in the cold.

Have your guests draw names or just randomly hand the gifts out to the guests. Now this is the best part… Have each guest open the sweater and try it on. You will be on the floor laughing at some of these crazy sweaters.

When everyone has their sweater on take a group photo! It will be a funny and memorable party with a great photo souvenir for all your guests to enjoy.

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"Dollar Store Santa" Exchange

This one is very simple. The maximum price is just a dollar, so tell everyone hit the local dollar store to find a fun gift. You will be very surprised how creative people can be with a dollar!

Have all the guests bring their gifts and either put them all in a pile and have everyone grab one, or if you have a smaller group have people, pull names from a hat and the person they pull gets their present.

If you are having a gift exchange with people you don’t know very well this is a great option. Also great for groups of kids since they can shop for a buck and not be left out.

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White Elephant Gift Exchange Poem Game

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