Fun Alternative Gift Exchange Ideas For ChristmasSpicing up the old gift exchange routine!

Everyone loves to get gifts from another person, no matter what that gift may be.

However, sometimes, it can be a huge hassle buying gifts for every single family member, acquaintance and neighbour out there. If you want to spice up your Christmas parties with something a little more fun and would like to keep costs of gifts down this year, try some of these wild alternative gift-giving ideas.


All of these gift-giving ideas are perfect for extended family, neighbours, friend, co-workers and other gift exchanges you have been asked to be a part of.

White Elephant Gift Exchange

By definition, a white elephant is something that has little or no value, isn’t wanted, and often it costs more to keep the item in good condition than it did to buy it. Another name for this game is “Dirty Santa,” and you’ll quickly see why.

This game is best in groups of at least six or seven, but it really gets crazy when you have 15 or 20 people playing. The idea is to tell everyone coming to find an inexpensive gift at a set price range, usually less than $5 or $10. The gifts must be wrapped, and all of them are placed on a table or on the floor in a group. Then, every person draws a number out of a hat to determine what order they will play in.

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The person that drew number one gets up and unwraps a gift, letting everyone in the game see what it is. Then, the second person has the option to either open a new gift, or go over to the first person and steal their gift. If a gift is stolen, the person from whom it was stolen gets to unwrap another gift (or, alternatively, steal another gift).

You then continue in order until all the gifts are opened. Often, there’s one gift that becomes the main prize and gets stolen over and over, leading to plenty of laughs and friendly trash talking along the way.

Some weird and wacky ideas for gifts are – a used garden spade, useless kitchen utensils, half a bottle of soap, oversized underwear, bad tie.

Secret Santa

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This game is a great idea for an office or with large sprawling families. Before Christmas, the names of everyone participating are put into a hat, and then each person draws a name without revealing it to anyone else.

On Christmas day (or the day of the exchange, in offices or schools), the gifts are given to the appropriate person. You can put a set price limit on the amount that can be spent on the gift, so everyone gets something more or less equal.

If you want to have even more fun with this, you can have an anonymous gift exchange, but with a note that gives a riddle or a clue as to the identity of the giver. Everyone then tries to figure out who gave them their present.

Christmas Re-Gifting

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Many people will have presents leftover from last year that they haven’t even used (candles, soap sets, lotions, etc). If everyone is game (and hopefully none of the gift givers are part of the exchange), why not consider doing a re-gift exchange in the form of secret Santa or White elephant?

DIY Christmas Gifts

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Another option to keep the costs down is to make a rule that all gifts have to be made, not bought. You can purchase the material, the ingredients, and so forth but the gift has to be handmade in some way, whether sewn together, baked or created from love.

Sure, you may get lopsided photo frames, doughy bickies and a knitted scarf that looks more like a sock, but it’s all part of the fun. After all, it’s the thought that counts right?

Do you have other ideas for a fun alternative gift exchange for Christmas?

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