Games to Play for Gift Exchanges

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A gift exchange is a fun way to celebrate a holiday or event without spending too much money. Each guest brings a wrapped item to a party. A host sets up a game using all the wrapped gifts, passing the gifts out to guests in a manner specified by individual game rules. When the party is over, everyone goes home with a gift. Often, the game is as much fun as getting the gift itself. Gift exchange games are especially popular at Christmas for school parties, office parties and general holiday parties.



This is a great game for pool players. When each person comes with a gift, place a sticky note with a number onto the gift. Use numbers between one and 15. Rack up the balls on the pool table and take turns shooting the balls. The number of the ball a guest shoots correlates with the number of the gift they get to keep. If a player misses a ball, then another person has a turn. If two balls go in, the guest can choose between the two presents.


The Dice Game

Place all the wrapped gifts into the center of the room. Starting with one guest, pass a pair of dice around the room and let the guest roll the dice. Whenever someone gets a double, they can go to the center of the room and choose a gift but cannot open the gift. When everyone has a gift in their hands, set a timer for an allotted amount of time (5 to 15 minutes). Start passing around the dice again. If someone rolls a double, they can choose to exchange gifts with another guest. When the time is up, guests open the gifts currently in their hands.


Left and Right

Have all the guests sit in a circle. Pass out wrapped gifts so that everybody has one. Start reading a story that is applicable to the occasion. For example, if this is a Christmas gift exchange, try reading a holiday story. The host should choose a story that has many uses of the word "left" and the word "right." Each time the host reads the word "left," the guests should pass their gift to the left. Every time the host reads the word "right," the guests pass their gift to the right. When the story is over, everyone gets to open the present that is in their hands.