In days gone by, there were no real rules about family gift buying. Basically everyone purchased a gift for everyone else. The gifts were all exchanged when the family gathered somewhere during the holiday season.
Nowadays, traditions have changed. It is more common for people to be assigned a specific person to buy for, often by drawing a name out of a hat. Other families have a “white elephant” exchange rather than having family members buy for certain individuals. Whether families exchange “white elephant” gifts or give a gift to a designated person, all families want a fun way to exchange the presents.
Hunting For Christmas Gifts
There are several fun ways to enjoy yourselves if family members drew names. Hide the gifts and give out clues to the location of the presents. If you get to grandma’s house with a gift for Uncle Harry, tuck it away in the refrigerator. Make up a series of clues so Uncle Harry can find the gift. You may want to say, “It’s a milky situation” or “It’s cold”.
Looking For Christmas Clues
Clues can be serious or silly, depending on your mood. The clues can easily lead to the gift in a minute or may involve a series of complicated clues to actually find the present. For small groups or large homes, turn the game into a hunt. Leave clues that lead to another clue and then another. Have several leading clues to different places in the house until the gift is finally located.
Themed Christmas Gifts and White Elephants
Kids aren’t the only ones who want to have fun. Make up whimsical gift exchange ideas for the grown-ups. Whether your family decides to have a name draw or not, a white elephant gift exchange is always a good time. The white elephant gift exchange can be themed to coincide with your family’s favorite things. For example, families who love camping can choose that as a theme. All the family members must bring a gift related to camping. From army knives to backpacks to compasses, all the gifts must relate to camping in some way.
Other white elephant exchange themes include cooking, fishing and music. The theme should please as many family members as possible and be something they can relate to. Create fun games for the white elephant exchange. Have everyone draw a number and choose their gifts from the pile based on the number they pick. You can start the game this way then let people ‘steal’ someone else’s gift if they want.
Stealing Christmas Gifts
To ‘steal’ someone else’s gift you can have the gift recipient study the gift, shake it up and down and then make an educated guess as to the contents before they open it. If the recipient is correct, they can ‘steal’ someone else’s gift and if they are wrong, they keep the gift they have.
Cards and Christmas Gifts
You can also build up gift giving anticipation by playing cards. Play fast card games such as rummy or poker. Tell everyone they cannot get their Christmas gift until they win a hand in the card game. Everyone gets to play games, open their gifts and have a good time.
When you exchange gifts with your family, you should also enjoy each other’s company. Feel the Christmas spirit when you play engaging, enjoyable games with the adults and children in the family. Exchanging gifts is more than opening presents, it’s sharing time with the people you care about.