Sometimes the Christma-Hana-Kwanzica season can be a bit hectic. Finding the perfect gift while still having some leftover money can be hard. Gift exchange games are the perfect, fun, inexpensive way to save money during the holiday season.
One gift exchange game is called White Elephant. Basically to play, each player brings a wrapped gift for a general pool of people, and they are placed in a line so that all of them are visible. Names or numbers are drawn to see who selects a gift first. This player then selects their gift, unwraps it, and allows everyone to see it. From there the following players may choose a new gift or ‘steal’ from a player who has already unwrapped one. However, a present may only be stolen once per turn. If a player’s gift is stolen, they have to wait a complete turn to get it back. In addition, after three swaps, the turn automatically ends. The game concludes when everyone has a present, and a player declines a steal. White Elephant makes shopping simpler due to the need for a universal present, and keeps players on the edge of their seats to see if they can steal the one they want.
Another exchange game is called Secret Santa. For this game a price limit is set on the gifts, and a set date is selected for the exchange. Each player then writes his or her name on a slip of paper along with a few things they would like that would be in the set price range. Slips of paper are drawn to see who shops for whom. One twist to this game however, is the person selected by each player is supposed to be kept a secret (hence the name, ‘Secret’ Santa.) When the time comes to exchange, the “Santas” are revealed. Secret Santa is great, simple way for saving money and getting creative.
The next game, Holiday Trivia, is somewhat similar to White Elephant. Players bring a wrapped gift for a general pool of people. However, this is more of a competition game. A moderator is chosen from the group, and they ask the remaining players a series of holiday related trivia questions. For example, ”Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer?” When a player knows the answer, he or she raises their hand, the moderator calls on them, and if their answer is correct, that player gets to choose one gift. As players answer, and select a gift they are out and unable to answer the question again. Once down to the last person the moderator can either choose to steal a gift or take the last one in the pile. Again, like White Elephant, gift shopping becomes easy with the universal presents and is fun with the competitive spirit.
The holiday season should be spent without worry of gift giving but, with excitement and joy about giving. Hopefully, these gift exchange ideas will help to save money and spark ideas, and put everyone in the holiday spirit. Merry Christma-Hana-Kwanzica!