My husband and I attended our church's Christmas party and they had a Chinese
Gift Exchange. It was a lot of fun. Here are the rules:
1. Everyone brings a wrapped gift of the same cost (it's a good idea for
some to bring an extra wrapped gift, in case someone forgets or doesn't know to
bring one). At our party, they set the gift cost at a minimal $5.
even choose to do gifts that don't cost anything... like handmade gifts, or
trinkets you would like to pass on, being sure that they are nice and would be
appreciated... no junk allowed. The main thing is to try and keep values the
2 Arrange all the gifts in a central area, being sure there is enough gifts
for everyone there.
3. Count how many people are there; if there are 18 people, number 18 slips
of paper 1-18 and place them in a bag.
4. Have someone bring the bag of numbered slips of paper around to each
person and have them draw one number from the bag.
5. To start the exchange, have the person who drew #1 pick a gift and unwrap
it. #2 can either take #1's gift, or pick a wrapped gift to unwrap. The
exchange continues consecutively, each person being able to take a gift from any
previous exchangers, or a new wrapped gift until all have gifts. If your gift
gets taken, you can then take a new wrapped gift, or take someone else's, but
not the one that was taken away from you. The exchange continues in this
manner until everyone has a gift. Because #1 didn't have the opportunity to take a
gift from another person, they have the choice to exchange their gift with
anyone in the room after everyone has gifts.
6. Any one gift can only be 'taken' 3 times. For example, there was a mini
Mag-Lite flashlight gift that all the guys wanted. They decided to let the
2nd elderly gentleman keep it, but if it had been taken away from him (3rd
time), that person would have been able to keep it.
This is a lot of fun because of the variety of gifts. Because I knew there
were going to be males and females, I looked for a gift that either one would
appreciate, however, what makes the game funny is when a male gets a gift that
a female would appreciate more, or vice versa. This is what inspires people
to take another person's gift and produces lots of laughs! So there really is
no need to buy gender specific gifts. Of course, you could imply a non-gender
gift rule if you wish, to be sure everyone gets something they like, and it
would still be fun.
Have a blessed Christmas!
Reprinted with permission.