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Holiday Party Gift Exchange Ideas

Updated on February 14, 2019
Photos are my own unless otherwise credited.
Photos are my own unless otherwise credited. | Source

Office, Business, and Club Gift Exchanges Abound During the Holiday Season.

A popular holiday party theme is a gift exchange. Sometimes names are drawn for this event but many times it runs along a Secret Santa theme where participants purchase items which are neutral friendly for whomever may receive it.

Christmas time is a great time to have this type of party and these annual events tend to spring up at work, church, local clubs, and also with community groups that you may be a part of.

It is usually a lot of fun to participate in these seasonal party events. You may even be asked to host one or to become involved in its planning.

Wrap it up and no one knows what is in there till it is opened.

Christmas presents all wrapped and ready to be gifted.
Christmas presents all wrapped and ready to be gifted.
Couple dancing at a local event.
Couple dancing at a local event.

Pick a party theme and have your exchange match your theme.

The theme of a party will generally be dependent on the venue or reason for the event. An office party can cover a range of different themes depending on that work place environment.

Pick a theme for your Christmas party that will match the people attending it. If most of the attendees are business associates uniting to celebrate the holiday season then you may want to have your exchange consist of traditional Christmas gift items.

If your participants have a pretty good sense of humor or are the type of people who like crazy goofy things then consider a bit more versatile theme. There are a ton of whacky funny Christmas gifts out there and many ways that they can be exchanged.

Maybe your participants will be book lovers, animal lovers, construction workers, or cooks, you theme the exchange to somehow match the mood of those attending the event.

Secret Santa Exchange

Generally the main rule for a Secret Santa gift exchange is that everyone purchases a sex neutral gift within a set price guideline.

The gift is then wrapped and at an appointed time each person picks a package to open. This type of exchange is referred to as Secret Santa because no one knows who purchased the gift that they receive.

As each gift is about the same price this type of present exchange really is people friendly. It can be much fun to see what others receive.

Guest book.
Guest book.

Set a monetary value range that everyone can afford.

Gift exchanges generally set a limit on the dollar value of the gifts. It is usually locked within a specific monetary range. Typically these amounts would fall into one of the below categories:

  1. $5.00 to $10.00 in value.
  2. $10.00 to $20.00 in value.
  3. $25.00 to $50.00 in value.

Gift exchanges usually try to keep the dollar value low as this takes the pressure off of anyone who may not be able to afford a higher priced item.

Some parties put a spin on the exchange by having people regift items they have previously received but for one reason or another they did not like or were not able to make use of. This is generally referred to as a white elephant exchange.

For a library, school, or literary group used books can be the items that are wrapped and exchanged at the party.

Whether you are hosting the holiday party or simply attending it these events can be a great deal of fun.

A good luck party theme is always a sweet way to greet guests.

Lucky charms are always a nice gift to get and they are pretty much guaranteed to put a smile on someones face.

With so many different lucky items to choose from such there is sure to be quite the variety of items show up at your event. A few to mention are elephant (with trunk up), four leaf clover, money tree, wishbone, ladybug, and of course a brightly colored rainbow.

Maybe a luck themed party is your thing?

Hermit fruit, nut, and spice cookies.
Hermit fruit, nut, and spice cookies.

Cookie exchange: Yummy but my goodness it is a lot of baking.

Cookie exchange parties are a lot of fun and very popular during the holidays. This type of exchange is designed to actually save you time and work during the busy Christmas season.

Each person is asked to bake up a very large batch of cookies of a specific amount. They then come to the party with those cookies ready to be divided among the other attendees.

The theory is that each recipient will then have between 6 and 24 different types of cookies to take home with them while only having to cook up one specific batch. The theory is that it is easier to bake up one large batch than to cook up a number of different cookie recipes for the holidays.

Unfortunately not everyone is a baker. I know several people who pass up a Christmas cookie exchange party because they either do not have the time bake or they are just not a person who can cook. No worries on this one though, if you really cannot bake you may be able to purchase cookies if the host approves it.

Gift exchange parties are great for everyone, even kids!

They are great to cheer up your office.

Invite someone to a gift exchange and see what they think of it.

It's amazing the joy of getting something you'd never imagine.

Food Is Always A Hit!

You can make your party a potluck and have your guests bring whatever they want. If some of your guests don't cook or bake or they are simply busy folks then they can pick up a platter at the store on their way over. That is pretty easy.

The gift exchange can be themed to kitchen items, pottery, jar gifts, sweet treats, or fun and amusing food related items.

This is my Bacon Wrapped Sweet Chili Chicken recipe and it is a hit every time I turn up with it.

Gag gifts can be fun if that is the type of item specified to be exchanged.

Zombie Apocalypse Survival Deck of Cards Perhaps? Zombies seem to be all of the rage nowadays so a zombie theme gift might just be the ideal gag item needed to add a touch of humor to the exchange.

Maybe you want to get together your "Zombie Apocalypse" crew and host a party that could in some way help your group survive the outbreak and aftermath.

Low On Pocket Change?

No Problem!

What? You talked to your friends and they said they can't afford to do it? How about a White Elephant Christmas gift exchange.

Pick a gift you don't use or need and and bring it to the party. A gift you don't like or use could be the next person's treasure.

Re-gifting is ok, right? Yes it most certainly is.

Perhaps you got a nice little Christmas present last year that you figure is going to just take up space and you are never going to use it anyway. I bet there is someone you know that could use a little cheering up with that gift. It is after all the thought that counts.

© 2011 Coreena Jolene


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