Gift Exchange Games

Gift Exchange Games~BackToFamily.net

The Gathering!

For many, many years my  husband’s family has been gathering to celebrate the birth of Jesus. We eat. We laugh. We exchange gifts. We eat. We catch up on the latest goings on with each other. We play cards and board games. And we eat some more.

Due to the continuous growth of the family, we have discontinued individual gift giving. Replaced it with a group gift exchange. Everyone brings one gift item suitable for male or female within a specific price limit. This way everyone can participate without breaking the bank. The games will work for any family- no matter the size.  The games will work for any special occasion and party too.

Choose a letter!

During our Thanksgiving feast we choose a letter of the alphabet to represent our Christmas gift exchange. This year L was the chosen letter. We set a budget of $10. Off we went shopping looking for gifts that began with the letter L in the range of 10 bucks. Then once we had our gifts selected, the wrapping was almost as crucial as the choosing. We are a creative family. Some boxes were humongous and some were tiny. As many different shapes and sizes as days of the month. Some were boxes within boxes within boxes. Some used duct tape to secure wrapping paper. Some electrical tape. Do NOT write your name on the outside of the package. Gifts are anonymous!

Gift Exchange Games~ BackToFamily.net

Like I said, we are a rather creative family. This year’s goodies included: BBQ flavored Larva, the game of Life, maple bacon flavored Lollipop, a toy Lamborghini, dill pickle flavored Lip Balm, gift cards for Long John Silvers, a camo Lantern, gift card for Little Caesar’s Pizza, Lemon heads candy, Lincolns ($5 bill), LCR dice games, Laxatives, Lamps, a stuffed Lamb, Lip gloss, a Lock, a Labyrinth game, Lance crackers, night Lights, Licorice, Lysol, hand Lotions, and Lavender hand soap among many others!

It’s Game Time!

The first year my sister-in-law, Cindy read a Left/Right story. Last year my niece, Jessica led us in a game of dice. It was similar to the December Dice game found here. This year was my turn. I searched the internet for ideas. Lots of great left/right stories can be found here. And here is a different way to exchange gifts by selecting slips of papers in a jar and following their instructions. I loved this Grinch game especially for youngsters.

I chose to use the Right Left Christmas Game Nativity Story found at www.diva-girl-parties-and-stuff.com. And I threw in a card game too as an added bonus.

Gift Exchange Games~ BackToFamily.net

Let’s Get Started!

I used 2 decks of playing cards and a printed version of the Nativity Story.

  • As our 35 family members made their way to sit in a circle they each chose one playing card per gift. Some brought additional gifts to represent family members unable to attend.
  • When everyone was seated and had a card in hand, I then randomly chose cards from the second deck I held in my hands. I called out the cards rather quickly and continuously until all the cards had been used.
  • When each family member heard their card called, they chose a gift from the center pile of all the L gifts keeping ahold of their cards.
  • I announced that all King bearers were Keepers. When opening gifts later, no one could switch gifts with them without their permission.
  • After clarifying which direction was left and which is right, I began to read the Nativity Story Left Right game emphasizing when I came upon the words left and right. The game worked well for our large group as the gifts really made their way around.
  • When the story was finished, I drew cards one at a time from my deck. The holder of the matching card could open the gift they now held or could switch with anyone holding an UNOPENED gift and open that gift. Once a gift is opened it belongs to its owner and cannot be switched. The contents were held up for all to see.

 

 

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Kisses

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Kisses~ BackToFamily.net

One suggestion when making these Gluten Free cookies: double the batch!

They are so good that they just don’t last long.

Hannah made a batch this year for Christmas as we are reducing gluten from our diet.

I plan on making them for special treats throughout the year.

She followed the delicious recipe from Janelle at Comfy in the Kitchen.

Gluten-Free Spritz Cookies

Gluten-Free Spritz Cookies~ BackToFamily.net

Hannah made these delicious gluten free, grain free cookies for me this Christmas.

I can eat them and NOT get a sinus headache! Yay!

And they contain a good amount of fiber too.

They have a delectable almond flavor. I thought for sure she used Almond Flour but nope.

She used Coconut Flour and raw local honey with Almond and Vanilla Extracts.

You can find the recipe at My Edible Advice and Instructables.

She followed the recipe to a T and they were quick & easy!

Cinnamon Ornaments

Hey Mom! Looking for a fun and easy Christmas craft to do with the kids? Here ya go.

Making Cinnamon Ornaments has been a fun family tradition in our home for years. The Holiday Season officially begins by rolling out a batch of these yummy smelling decorations. They can take up to a week to completely dry so be sure to make them ahead in plenty of time before decorating your Christmas tree. Your home will smell fabulous!

Cinnamon Ornaments ~ BacktoFamily.net

To make your Christmas gifts more festive tie them on packages with ribbon. Your child can give them as gifts to teachers, instructors, school bus drivers and Sunday School teachers. Make a dozen as a gift to Newlyweds to celebrate their first Christmas! So many possibilities…

C’mon! Let’s get started!

Gather your ingredients and supplies:
  • 7 bottles (2.8 ounce) of ground Cinnamon
  • 1 quart Applesauce
  • 1-2 Tablespoons of ground Cloves (optional)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons of grated Nutmeg (optional)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons of ground Allspice (optional)
  • Ribbon, Yarn, or Twine
  • 4 Wire Cooling Racks or Paper Bags
  • Small straw
Gather the family and let the fun begin:
  1. Blend 6 bottles of cinnamon and the other spices in a large bowl.
  2. Stir in the applesauce one cup at a time.
  3. Knead with your hands till smooth.
  4. Divide the mixture into fourths.
  5. Dust your counter with the remaining bottle of cinnamon as needed.
  6. Dust the rolling pin and top of dough ball with cinnamon.
  7. Roll each section to ¼” thickness onto the cinnamon covered counter.
  8. Cut out with your favorite cookie cutters. Gingerbread men look especially nice!
  9. Cut a small hole in the top with a small straw.
  10. Place on racks to dry. This could take up to a week.
  11. Turn daily to dry evenly. They will get lighter as they dry.
  12. Thread with ribbon, yarn, or twine.
  13. Makes about 4 dozen ornaments.
Picture Tutorial:

Cinnamon Ornaments 3~ BacktoFamily.net

Cinnamon Ornaments 4~ BacktoFamily.net

Cinnamon Ornaments 5~ BacktoFamily.net

Cinnamon Ornaments 6~ BacktoFamily.net

Cinnamon Ornaments 7~ BacktoFamily.net

Cinnamon Ornaments 8~ BacktoFamily.net

Cinnamon Ornaments 9~ BacktoFamily.net

Cinnamon Ornaments 10~ BacktoFamily.net

Cinnamon Ornaments 11~ BacktoFamily.net

Cinnamon Ornaments 12~ BacktoFamily.net

Cinnamon Ornaments 13~ BacktoFamily.net

Have You Seen This New Kohl’s Commercial?

Kohl's Commercial
Heartwarming!  I cried the first time I saw it.


(Can’t see it? Click here.)

It inspires me to give this Holiday season, how about you?

 

 

 

Liquid Christmas

backtofamily.net~liquid Christmas

 

 

My favorite drink at Christmastime!!

Some call it Chocolate Chai Latte.

I call it delicious. 🙂

Gather up the following and experiment with quantities that suit you.

Here are the measurements I like best.

backforfamily.net~liquid Christmas

  • 2 teaspoonfuls Ovaltine Rich Chocolate
  • ¼ cup Organic Chai Concentrate
  • 8 ounces Almond Milk
  • Whipped Cream
  • Nutmeg

Enjoy heated or cold!

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