Your Ultimate Holiday Gift Game Guide

To gift or not to gift: that is the holiday party question. Personally, we are fond of gift games – an activity and a gift exchange in one! Whether you’re throwing a holiday party for your closest friends, or organizing one for your office, we’ve got the ultimate guide to the gift exchange perfectly matched for any event.

Holiday Cheer Exchange:

Good for: Diverse groups of colleagues.

  1. Have everyone bring in a wrapped gift under a certain price limit, and sit in a circle.
  2. Then, give them directions to stand up if they meet certain holiday-related criteria. For example, you can say, “Stand up if you listen to holiday music on your commute” or ” Stand up if you own an ugly holiday sweater”.
  3. Those who are standing swap gifts.
  4. Play as many rounds as you like, but make sure everyone ends up with a gift other than his or her own.

Rotating Gift Box:

Good for: Long distance friendships.

1. Round up your friends (for this example, we’ll say there are four of you total).
2. Fill a box with three gifts (think locally source or handmade as a theme for your friends), one for each friend, and drop in personal notes for each lady.
3. Send to Friend #1, who takes one of the gifts, her notes, drops in her gifts, adds her notes, and sends to Friend #2.
4. This continues until you get the box back, everyone has their gifts and notes!

White Elephant:

Good for: Close office environments.

1. Each player brings one wrapped gift to contribute to a common pool.
2. Players draw names to determine what order they will go in.
3. Players sit in a circle or line where they can see the gift pile.
4. The first player selects a gift from the pool and opens it.
5. The following players can choose to either pick an unwrapped gift from the pool or steal a previous player’s gift. Anyone who gets their gift stolen in this way can do the same – choose a new gift or steal from someone else.

To keep things moving along, there are a couple of limits on gift swapping:

  • A present can only be stolen once per turn, which means players who have a gift stolen from them have to wait to get it back.
  • After three swaps, the turn automatically comes to an end (otherwise things could drag on for a long time).

6. After all players have had a turn, the first player gets a chance to swap the gift he or she is holding for any other opened gift. Anyone who’s gift is stolen may steal from someone else (as long as that person hasn’t been stolen from yet). When someone declines to steal a gift, the game comes to an end.

Switch, Steal, Unwrap

Good for: Holiday parties at home.

  1. Everyone brings three small gifts, wrapped and places them randomly in a pile.
  2. Each player roles a dice, the numbers corresponding with one of three actions: switch, steal, or unwrap.
  3. The game ends when all gifts have been unwrapped and everyone leaves with three small gifts.

What are your favorite holiday party games? Leave the rules in a comment below!