Gift Exchange Games

Gift Exchange

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~

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 And I threw in a card game too as an added bonus.

Gift Exchange Games~

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.