The soon-to-be here Christmas holiday often has people wondering how to do a gift exchange. Here's a fun way that's good for parties, group gatherings, teens and adults: Have everyone bring a gift ($10 or less) and sit in a big circle holding their gift. Then, read this story out loud and every time they hear "left" they pass the gift they are holding left. Every time they hear "right" they pass the gift they are holding right. At the end of the story whatever gift they have in their hands is theirs to keep. Here's the story:
Christmas was almost here, and Mother (RIGHT) was finishing the Christmas baking.
Father (RIGHT), Sue (RIGHT), and Billy (RIGHT) returned from their last-minute Christmas errands.
"There's not much (LEFT) to be done," said Father (RIGHT) as he came into the kitchen.
"Did you leave the basket of food at church?" asked Mother (RIGHT).
"I (LEFT) it (RIGHT) where you told me to," said Father (RIGHT).
"I'm glad my shopping is done," said Billy (RIGHT). "I don't have any money (LEFT)."
The hall telephone rang, and Susan (RIGHT) (LEFT) to answer it.
She rushed back and told the family "Aunt Tillie (RIGHT) (LEFT) a package for us (RIGHT) on Grandma (RIGHT)'s porch.
I'll go over there (RIGHT) now and get it." she said as she (LEFT) in a rush.
Father (RIGHT) (LEFT) the kitchen and brought in the Christmas tree.
By the time Susan (RIGHT) returned, Mother (RIGHT), Father (RIGHT), and Billy (RIGHT) had begun trimming the tree.
The entire (RIGHT) family sang carols as they finished the decorating.
Then they (LEFT) all the presents arranged under the tree and went to bed, hoping they had selected the (RIGHT) gifts for their family.
Now I hope you have the (RIGHT) present for yourself, because that's all that's (LEFT) of our story.
Except to wish you a Merry Christmas. Isn't that (RIGHT)?
By Diane from Rochester, NY
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Our family usually draws names and we have a limit to spend on each person. Next year we decided to do something out of the ordinary and have a 'thrift store gift Christmas'.
Each holiday season we join with our loved ones in sharing centuries-old traditions such as exchanging gifts, festive foods, and family get-togethers. We traditionally do this in my family by me screaming at the children to clean their rooms for a week.
If you get together with extended family over the holidays, gift giving can get really expensive (especially if you get everyone an individual gift). To cut down on costs we have instituted a "Dirty Santa" or "Yankee Swap" gift exchange for the adults.
Family Gift Exchanges. My brother, sister and I (and families) exchange at Christmas. We set a dollar amount per family. Every year, we know which sibling's family we will have (I have my brother one year, my sister the next and then back to my brother).
Gather neighbors and friends and exchange gift certificates for jobs and tasks that others can do to help each other for no charge. For example: haircuts, babysitting, baking, raking, etc...
When I was young, we each had our Christmas at our own home Christmas morning and then rushed to Nanny's house where Great Aunts and Uncles and everyone showed up for a gathering.
Got some $10 gift exchanges to do? Hit the dollar store for ingredients for a theme basket, like same scent toiletries, hair accessories and a hairbrush for a girl, art supplies for a young artist, flavored coffees, teas, cocoa for someone who likes them. Put them all in a 50 cent gift bag and finish with a bow of your choice. By Linda
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My place of employment is having a Christmas party where you buy or make a gift for about $20. We all pick numbers. We get to pick a present as our number comes up. The person next can take your gift or anyone else's, etc.Any good ideas on a general gift? Last year I did a movie package with Blockbuster rental with popcorn and candy for a movie night. Any ideas of any kind are welcome. We have some pretty crazy people there.
Karen, I just love that kind of gift exchange, it can get wildly funny. When I was at a party and we did this, I found the most popular gift was a basket with a bottle of wine, some glasses, and some snacks. There was also a basket with spa type items that was pretty popular; but I always like to give food type items, even if the person doesn't like the food they can use it at their own holiday gathering to put out for their guests.
Ice cream sundae basket is fun-Buy toppings, inexpensive sundae or banana split dishes at a dollar or thrift store, ice cream scoop, chopped nuts, cherries, and add a $5 GC for an ice cream shop like baskin -robbins or a $5 gc to the grocery store to pay for the icecream. You could do this up in an empty, rinsed out ice-cream carton!
Lottery tickets have been popular or Wal-Mart gift cards along with candy or fruit. A George Foreman small grill was also desired.
I think food items would go over good. A gift card is nice or how 'bout a prepaid phone card?
We used to do that type of gift exchange in a club I belonged to and it was the Christmas decor items that went over big; however most these days have enough Christmas decorations. I know I do!
I know Sam's Club has some nice already made up gift baskets that will be coming out soon if they aren't already. I remember seeing one that had all chocolate items!
Get a big, honking roll of duck tape. We did that one year the guys went NUTS! It was hilarious. LOL
Kinda like the Ice cream sundae basket... Root beer float basket: Beer mugs (walmart less than $3) ice cream scoop and bottled root beer. I etched my glasses to personalize them but I already had the materials (etching cream is expensive)
I love this game! We had a party last year and the one present that kept being 'Taken' was a bottle of Vodka with 2 shot glasses :)
a close second was cash
I have gotten 2 super gifts this way: a bound journal and a pair of coffee mugs.
This is a page about paper themed Christmas gift swap ideas. Some families and groups like to give gifts based on a chosen theme.
This page contains white elephant gift ideas. Christmas party fun can include buying a gag gift that you don't know who will end up with it until the end of the exchange.
ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.
Talk with people that you exchange gifts with this year to see if they would like to change the theme for next year's gift giving, like shopping at thrift stores, flea markets, yard sales, only, for gifts.