Ideas for random gift exchanges?

party_music50December 12, 2013

We're trying to think of a good way to do a random gift exchange within a group of about a dozen people. It will be a mix of girls/guys and the age range will be 18 - 76, with some being married couples and some not.

The latest suggestion was that we could each bring a "generic" gift in the $25 range and play games for gifts. I don't see how that can work in an 'exchange fashion' if you win a gift for winning a game. One person could win everything. I do think their intent is for this to be an exchange and they somehow think that playing games will make it all more pleasant. :o)

Are there any fun ideas that work well for the type of group gift exchange I think they intend to do?

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At our big Christmas get tog, we do 'grab bag' gifts ...was ornaments but now it is 'white elephant' & you can't buy anything to bring has to be from your home. We draw #'s & open gifts in numerical order... you can steal from someone or open a gift... we have lots of laughs...I'm sure the white elephant is going to be a riot! Have fun, party! ~~Jeanne S.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2013 at 12:04AM
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We use to do gift exchange like Jeanne only our gifts were all new and a price limit was set. When someone opened their gift and someone else had something they liked better they replaced the one they opened with what the other person had. Everyone could only steal once if I remember right.

I like Jeanne's 'white elephant' exchange. We all have neat things we no longer enjoy or use. More money for food and drinks and way more laughter from these type of gifts! Gag gifts are also fun at parties. Naughty or nice ones. Tis the season. Good Luck and hope it's a fun one.


    Bookmark   December 13, 2013 at 2:09AM
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Thanks, Jeanne and Punk! I tried to suggest some kind of a 'white elephant' exchange in the beginning but they nixed it. I've only done what they called a WE-exchange once before and it was at least 15 years ago. It was done at a work xmas party so there were more than 100 people there. We were each supposed to bring something that was previously gifted to us, still new, that we didn't want. I remember bringing a santa-golfer-oven-mitt set. Everyone went nuts for it! it was being stolen all over the place. I remember drawing a "Buns of Steel" video tape and had no idea what the heck it was. I stole once and ended up with a box of candy but was yelled at because I did something wrong on stealing it. LOL!!!!

Anyway, I tried to describe that procedure as well as I could remember but they seem to want to play a game. And they definitely want NEW gifts w/ a $25 price.

I'll try again to convince them based on my memory and your recommendations as well. Why try to reinvent something that already works?! :)

PS: I'm feeling much better and may actually restart my 'half-fast decorating'! that's a pun I just made up and I love it because it describes my decorating perfectly! ;) We're having a snowstorm today and I don't care because yesterday I got another reprieve on my pending surgery. yay!

This post was edited by party_music50 on Fri, Dec 13, 13 at 10:02

    Bookmark   December 13, 2013 at 9:43AM
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One rule we make at our WE exchange is that an item can only be stolen twice, then it's out of circulation. We often have 50 people at the party and it was dragging with one or two gifts getting stolen over and over, so we made the limit.

We also sneak in a special gift which is just a piece of paper that says the opener can steal any gift, even ones that are out of circulation and no one can steal that gift from them. We wrap this in a box, of course, so no one can tell what it is. It's sort of become the highlight of the party because everyone wants to get that package.

Just my humble opinion, but I think winning gifts for winning games doesn't sound like much fun. It's fine to play games and have prizes for winning, but the prizes should be provided by the organizers and not be considered a gift exchange. I think you are exactly right about that, Party_music50.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2013 at 10:24AM
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When we had a gift exchange at work, we could only spend $5 (not including tax) and the gifts had to be purchased at the Dollar Tree, 98 cent store, etc. I was really happy with my 5 gifts - a DVD with 4 Christmas movies on it, candy canes, an ornament, oven mitt, and a cookie mix. The game was trying to figure out who the gift was from asking 5 questions or less. The fun was the dopey questions that were asked. I really enjoyed the DVD as I am a sucker for Christmas movies.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2013 at 11:35AM
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You guys could do Secret Santa where you put everyone's name into a basket and then choose randomly. That's what we do at our work.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2013 at 6:59PM
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Thanks, everyone, for the replies. I think that any of these ideas for white elephant exchanges, minimal purchases, or secret santas would work just fine. I've tried to suggest them to the powers that be, but I seem to be swimming upstream on this one. They are stuck on the idea of winning the gifts as prizes to a game. I give up.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2013 at 11:43PM
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