Gift Exchange Games

The holidays are a fun time of the year filled with family, friends, laughter, good food, and better yet, drinks. A common holiday tradition is having a party and exchanging gifts. Whether it’s with family, friends, or coworkers, gift exchange games are a big part of the holidays. Check out our list of fun holiday games that will never leave anybody bored.

White Elephant

White Elephant is a holiday gift exchange classic. Have all of your guests bring one wrapped gift, and place all the gifts together. You can have men bring a gift for a man, women bring a gift for a woman, or have everyone bring unisex gifts.

  1. To start the game, draw numbers out of a hat, one through however many people are playing.
  2. Whoever draws number one goes first (Player 1), and picks the first gift.
  3. Then, whoever drew the number two (Player 2) has the option of either stealing Player 1’s gift, or pick one from the gift pile.
  4. If they decide to steal, Player 1 must pick a gift from the gift pile.
  5. Next, whoever drew the number three (Player 3) has the option taking Player 1, or Player 2’s gifts or they can choose from the gift pile. If Player 3 steals a gift from either Player 1 or Player 2 that player only has the option to pick from the gift pile. Player 1 or Player 2 are not allowed to steal from any other players.
  6. The game continues this way until everybody has a gift. Once the final player has a gift, Player 1 has the option to either switch gifts with another player, or to keep the one they have ending the game. If they do decide to switch gifts, the game is also over.

Musical Gifts

This game works best for groups of at least five people. Ask all guests to bring a wrapped gift. Start by having guests put all the wrapped gifts, in one designated area, and sit in a circle.

  1. To start the game, pick out a random gift from the table and give it to someone in the circle.
  2. Play Christmas music and tell your guests to pass the gift around the circle until the music stops.
  3. When the music stops, whoever has the gift in their hands (Player 1) will unwrap the gift, show the rest of the group, and leave the circle with their gift, standing close by.
  4. Repeat with another gift, but this time when the music stops the guest (Player 2) with the gift can choose to either unwrap their gift or steal the gift from the first person who left the circle (Player 1). If they choose to steal Player 1’s gift, Player 1 will unwrap the gift Player 2 ended up with when the music stopped.
  5. Repeat with another gift, but this time when the music stops the guest (Player 3) with the gift can choose to either unwrap their gift or steal the gift from Player 1 or Player 2 (or anyone else outside the circle if you’ve been playing for a while). If they choose to steal Player 1’s gift, Player 1 would have the option to steal from someone else who left the circle with a gift already or unwrap the gift Player 3 ended up with when the music stopped.
  6. Continue playing and unwrapping gifts until everyone has a gift.

December Dice Gamedecember dice game

For this game, you’ll need two six-sided dice. Have your guests bring one wrapped gift.

  1. To start the game, everybody sits in a circle with their wrapped gift in the lap.
  2. Begin the game by having someone roll the dice. Add the total of the dice, and everybody in the group must follow the instructions, based on the total of the dice.
  3. Go around the circle, and for as many rounds as you’d like. For example, you can go around the circle three times, and when everyone has gone three times whatever gift is on your lap is now your gift. However, you can also play until every gift is unwrapped, and once every gift is unwrapped the game is over, and whatever is in your lap is yours.

Pick a Gift, Any Gift

This game is White Elephant with a twist. You begin playing the same way that you would as if you had a regular White Elephant exchange. However, after you’ve selected, or stolen, your gift, you must draw a card. After you’ve drawn your card, you must follow the instructions on the card. The cards will have things like; “exchange gifts with the person on the left,” “switch with one of the gifts in the middle,” “anyone wearing green, switch your gift with anyone else.”

Heads or Tails

This game is also a variation of White Elephant. This game begins just a normal White Elephant exchange would. Whoever draws the number one selects the first gift and unwraps it. Now, whoever drew the number two, must flip a coin to determine their move. If they flip heads the pick a gift from the pile to unwrap. If they flip tails, they must switch with someone. If someone has a gift stolen from them, they must then flip the coin to determine what their move is. If a person has a gift stolen from them, and they flip tails, they are not allowed to steal from the person who just stole their gift. Continue playing this way, just as you would a regular White Elephant game.

Get Your Gifts from Nifty Things

With the holidays coming up, shopping for so many different people can be stressful. Not when you shop at Nifty Things though. With over 1,000 different items, in our four northern Michigan locations, you’ll find something for all of your family and friends. We carry everything from Dammit Dolls, to obnoxiously large wine glasses, to one of a kind Michigan themed wall décor and everything in between. Stop by one of our four stores, Traverse City, Alden, Elk Rapids, and Suttons Bay, next time you’re up north and see why we are the most unique and most shopped gift store in northern Michigan.

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