For many, the holidays are some of the happiest days of the year. Whether you and your family celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or something else, the holidays are a time to spend with the ones you love and create cherished memories. Of course, gifts aren’t the reason for the season.
However, they can be a fantastic way to show someone you have been thinking about them. You can also provide a tangible item to show them how special they are to you.
If you are celebrating the holidays with a large group of family or friends, though, gifts can quickly become overwhelming. Financially, it can put a serious strain on our bank account to buy several gifts for each member of the group.
Logistically, it can be a nightmare to make lists, not accidentally leave anyone out, come up with a unique idea for each person based on their likes and dislikes, and go shopping during the hustle and bustle of a crazy holiday season.
Regardless of which holiday you celebrate, the holiday season is meant for family, joy, and making happy memories.
Gift-Giving causes much undue stress to so many friends and family members every season. The solution? A gift exchanges! Read on for some awesome gift exchange ideas that will make your holiday season jolly and bright.
Typically speaking, gift exchanges are used to simplify the experience while also ensuring that every member of the group still gives and receives at least one gift. There are several types of gift exchanges, ranging from simple to elaborate.
The first step in deciding what kind of gift exchange you will use this holiday season. Is to learn about the different types and choose which one will be the best suit your preferences for your event or gathering!
Below are just some of the many gift exchange ideas you may want to incorporate into your holiday. While different groups may choose to make their own rules for the exchange.
It typically works by setting a predetermined price value per gift (usually somewhere around twenty dollars or less). The participants will then take turns choosing a wrapped gift to open. As each participant takes their turn, they may decide to open a wrapped gift or steal a gift that has already been opened.
Usually, each gift may be stolen up to a maximum of two times to keep the game moving. The game ends after all the presents have been opened and each participant has one to take home.
For those who celebrate Christmas, you may already be familiar with the concept of a “secret Santa” gift exchange. It is one of the more straightforward and common types of gift exchange ideas. You will need to gather everyone in your group and have them write their name on a small strip of paper. Have everyone place their writing into a hat and mix the names up. The hat is then passed among the group and everyone chooses one name.
That person then becomes the “secret Santa” for the name they drew and handles purchasing or creating a gift for the person whose name they brought. Remember, the whole point of this type of exchange is that it is a secret! You may choose to reveal names after all the gifts are given, but until then, it should remain secret.
Considering that this type of exchange can be quite open-ended, it may be a clever idea to set a price limit on all gifts bought. This can help to remove any awkwardness on how much each person spent on one another. Check some of our custom photo crystal catered to the person you picked for this Christmas.
Another common type of gift exchange is the “white elephant” exchange. This type of exchange is used more commonly among work parties or social parties, rather than in a family setting.
This is because the point of the white elephant exchange is to trade gifts that are funny or impractical in some way, rather than a more meaningful gift.
Some white elephant gift ideas include funny board games, tee shirts with a witty slogan, emoji related items such as pillows, sarcastic calendars, and more.
This type of exchange can be enjoyable for these lighthearted situations, and you can guarantee that there will be a lot of laughter during the exchange.
Perhaps the most classic Christmas gift exchange idea is to draw names. Rather than buying presents for everyone, buy a gift for one person; likewise, one person buys a gift for you.
This gives you the ability to purchase something a little more meaningful, such as a custom crystal photo key chain for your brother-in-law who got a new car this year or a custom crystal necklace featuring a favorite photo of the grandkids for your mom. By only needing to buy for one person, you are freed to spend more time and energy finding the perfect present.
A fun, economically friendly, and tasty way to go about a gift exchange idea is to have a cookie exchange! This can be an excellent idea for a holiday party among friends and acquaintances, especially if it’s not necessarily a setting where you know each other or not. But you still want to make sure that nobody leaves empty-handed.
With this type of exchange, everyone brings a predetermined number of cookies (usually around two to three dozen depending on the number of guests).
These cookies can be either homemade or store-bought. Before leaving the party or event, everyone can take home a variety bag of cookies. As you can imagine, this type of gift exchange idea is well-loved and well-received.
A less common, but highly ethical, gift exchange idea is to host a charitable gift exchange. For this type of exchange, everyone buys a gift that helps a charity of their choice.
Many different companies donate a part of their profits to charities helping those in need, while also selling wonderful products that make excellent gifts. If you want to spread a little extra joy this year, consider making your next gift exchange a charitable one!
Coffee Mug Exchange
Think about waking up in the morning and enjoying the first sip of that early cup of coffee. Now imagine doing that with an awesome coffee mug that is cute, creative, or just plain funny. Coffee mug exchanges can be a lot of fun while also being highly affordable!
From cute doughnut-shaped coffee mugs to those with faces or celebrities printed on them, the assortment of coffee mugs available for sale is endless.
If you choose to host a coffee mug exchange, you can also prepare some hot chocolate, marshmallows, and candy canes and enjoy a favorite holiday beverage with your family and friends. Why not host a coffee mug exchange and give everyone a cup of cheer?
Recipe and Meal Exchange
Not only is this idea practical, logical, and affordable – it’s also delicious! Have everyone hand write a recipe card with their favorite recipe, and then go ahead and prepare the meal and bring it as a gift!
You can draw numbers from a hat to decide who gets which recipe or divide them all up equally. So, let everyone take home an assortment of delicious recipes to try.
Not only will everyone get to enjoy a meal, but they will be able to use the recipe over again for years to come. And now you have one more tool to solve the all too common “what’s for dinner” dilemma!
Do you want to add a little more fun into your next gift exchange? Consider hosting a themed gift exchange. In this scenario, you will predetermine a theme that all gifts must fall into.
For example, you could organize an “ugly sweater” gift exchange, and everyone would be needed to purchase or create an “ugly holiday sweater” to trade. If the situation is right and your guests are all of the legal drinking age in your area.
You may also consider hosting a liquor themed exchange and have everyone purchase a bottle of their favorite liquor. You can turn anything you’d like into a wonderful themed gift exchange. With this gift exchange idea, the possibilities are endless.
Gift Exchanges are an Excellent Choice
Whichever route you choose to take for your holiday get together, gift exchanges can be a wonderful choice. Cut out the stress of long, expensive Christmas or holiday lists, get back to enjoying the holiday season, and have a little (or a lot) of fun along the way!
These gift exchange ideas are just a few ideas. Think creatively and see what gift exchange ideas you can come up with. Regardless of which type of gift exchange you choose to host, remember to make sure to keep an exact count of how many people will be attending.
So, you can make sure you have enough gifts for everyone (it may be a clever idea to have an extra one or two backup gifts ready in case of any extra guests).
Don’t forget to set a price limit to avoid any awkward situations. Keep the age of your guests in mind, as well as what type of setting you will be in. While a liquor themed gift exchange may be a giant hit with some groups, it may be offensive in others.
Additionally, if you are spending your holiday with close family, a secret Santa exchange with a meaningful gift may be a better choice than a white elephant exchange.
With a little planning, some creativity, and the desire to have a lot of fun, these gift exchange ideas will help you create a holiday event you will never forget!