Six Gift Exchange Games

Written By: Adriana Ramirez

Gift exchanges are so exciting because you never know what kind of gift you’re going to get. Is it a gag gift, is it funny, or useful? Who will you get it from? There are so many possibilities but no matter which gift you end up with the journey to it is quite entertaining! Below is a list of some ways you can turn a simple gift exchange into an entertaining and memorable one.


kids with giftsWhite Elephant

White elephants are always so much fun because as a group you collectively agree on the theme of the gift you are buying. It can be a neutral gift for anyone, you can use a gag gift, or you can make it out to someone specific and just hope they end up with your gift in the end. Either way you never know what will happen or where the gift will end up. Put all your gifts in a pile or under the tree. Write down the number of people participating on a piece of paper and rip them up to be picked from a hat. The number you choose will determine when your turn is.

Rules of the exchange:
-When it is your turn you can either steal a gift already chosen or unwrap a random one.
-If your gift was stolen you will go again to pick a gift from the pile/tree.
-A gift can only be stolen twice before it is off limits.
-Exchange is over when everyone has had their turn and has a gift in their hands.


Secret Santa

Before your gift exchange happens, everyone is going to choose a random name from a hat filled with everyone participating. The more people there are the less of a chance you’ll get your name. Once you have the other person’s name you can now go out and buy or make the other person’s gift. Remember it has to be a secret so don’t tell anyone who you have or else it will ruin the surprise of Secret Santa. Make sure the only name on the gift is the other person’s and not your own. Put all your gifts in a pile and one by one people will start to find their gifts. Try guessing what you may think is inside and who had you.


Left Right Poem

The poem below will be your guide to where your gifts will end up. It is a story full of rights and lefts and you won’t know what gift you’ll end up with until the poem is over. Make sure before the poem is read everyone has a gift in their hand.



Rock Paper Switch

This is a good twist to the kids game of rock, paper, scissors. If you follow the simple instructions below then this would be a piece of cake. To start everyone one at a time would pick a gift from the pile and then agree on one person to start the challenge. You can only challenge someone TWICE before you are stuck with the gift you have in your hands so pick who you go against wisely.

Rules if you Challenge someone.
Challenger wins:
-Swaps gifts with the loser and opens the gift (if not already opened).

Challenger loses:
-They are stuck with the gift they have

Rules for the Challenge.
Challenge wins:
-Swaps gifts with the loser and opens gift (if not already opened).
-Can keep gift
-Can choose to challenge someone else

Challenge loses:
-Swaps gifts with the winner


Switch, Steal, or Unwrap with Cards

With a deck of cards, you will use the suits as your guide. There are four suits, diamond, spades, hearts, and clubs. After everyone has grabbed a gift from the pile one person will start, make sure all the cards are shuffled.

Heart: Switch to your left
Spades: Switch to your right
Clubs: Steal any gift
Diamond: Unwrap your gift
*If you are playing with jokers (if not then disregard)
Jokers: Everyone switch their gift to the person on their right




Switch, Steal, or Unwrap using Dice

Have everyone grab a gift from the pile and agree who will start the game first. The one die you roll will decide your gifts fate; whether you’ll switch, steal, or unwrap. The person that started will then pass the die to their left for the next person to go. Once your gift is unwrapped you are out, and you can no longer do anything. You will play until all gifts are unwrapped. Here are the rules to the game.

Tagged:- family activities, holidays


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