A Christmas gift exchange game will add an extra layer of fun and excitement to your family gathering. And today, I have the perfect free printable to help you!
You may know this gift exchange game with dice as the White Elephant gift exchange, Yankee Swap or the Dirty Santa game. In this article, I'll explain how you can play.
I will run through how to play and get the most out of your free printable Christmas gift exchange game below. However, if you just want to grab the download now, scroll to the base of this post where you'll find a big green button with the download link.
A Visual Merriment is reader-supported and this post may contain some product affiliate links. From these, I may receive a small commission if you choose to purchase. Read more about how affiliate links are handled in my Terms & Conditions.
Table of Contents
Why You Need a Christmas Gift Exchange Game
There are so many fun reasons to incorporate games into your gift exchange this Christmas.
- Surprise Element: Gift exchange games introduce an element of surprise and anticipation. Participants never know exactly what gift they'll end up with, leading to genuine reactions and excitement as each present is unwrapped.
- Inclusive Entertainment: These games are inclusive and involve everyone, regardless of age or background. No matter the game, the simple rules make it easy for everyone to participate and enjoy the festivities.
- Interactive and Engaging: Unlike traditional gift-giving, gift-exchange games are interactive. Participants get to engage with one another as they select, steal, and unwrap presents. This creates a dynamic and lively atmosphere, encouraging everyone to be actively involved in the celebration.
- Funny and Memorable Moments: The nature of these games often leads to humorous and unexpected gift choices. The laughter that ensues as people unwrap and react to their presents creates memorable moments that become part of your family's holiday traditions.
- Equalizing the Playing Field: Gift exchange games level the playing field when it comes to gift-giving. Regardless of budget constraints, everyone has an equal chance of getting a gift they'll enjoy. This inclusivity fosters a sense of togetherness and ensures that the focus is on the joy of sharing rather than the value of the presents.
- Conversation Starter: The unique and sometimes quirky nature of the gifts chosen for these games becomes an instant conversation starter. It provides a natural topic for discussion and encourages family members to share stories, preferences, and laughs.
- Creating Lasting Memories: Gift exchange games create lasting memories for your family. The shared experience of playing the game, coupled with the excitement and joy it brings, becomes a cherished part of your holiday traditions that everyone looks forward to each year.
In summary, a Christmas gift exchange game can be a delightful addition to your family gathering, fostering joy, inclusivity, and creating an atmosphere of shared laughter and memories. It turns the act of gift-giving into an interactive and entertaining experience, making your holiday celebrations even more special.
How to Play: Christmas Gift Exchange Game With Dice
You may call it the White Elephant gift exchange, Yankee Swap, or the Dirty Santa game. Whatever you call it, why not bring an extra layer of excitement to your Christmas celebrations?! I'll run through how to play the game below. However, remember that you can always add your own twist and change the rules. It's your game so make it fun for you!
Planning the Game:
- Attendees: Begin by inviting friends and family who are up for a good time and enjoy a bit of friendly competition. Once you have this figured out, you can then invite them into the game details (see the next point for those details).
- Set a Gift Budget: Establish a reasonable budget for the gifts to ensure that everyone can participate comfortably. Ask each participant to purchase and bring their gift wrapped. If the budget allows it, you may like to have 2-3 gifts per person. Remind them that creativity and humour are highly encouraged when selecting their presents.
- Explain the Rules: Once you begin inviting people to your game, you may need to explain what it is all about. Don't worry, check out the details below!
- Supplies: Make sure you scroll to the end of this post to get your free printable Christmas exchange dice game printout. You will also need to have (or make) a dice for playing.
Playing the Game:
- Preparation: To begin the game, place all of the gifts into a pile, then have everyone select a gift. You may also wish to have someone hand them out.
- Beginning Player: To determine who begins the game, you could choose from the following options (or come up with your own of course!):
- Have each guest roll the dice. The highest roller goes first, and the order proceeds clockwise.
- Start with the youngest/oldest player and proceed clockwise.
- Draw straws or draw numbers from a hat to see who goes first.
- Roll the Dice: The person starting the game rolls the dice. Once the dice lands, check it against the corresponding number on the printable game. Below are the following options listed on the printout:
- #1: Steal Any Gift
- #2: Pass Gifts Left
- #3: Unwrap Your Gifts
- #4: Keep Your Gift
- #5: Steal Any Gift (yes there are two in there for added fun!)
- #6: Pass Gifts Right
- Follow the Prompts: You can choose to have everyone participate in the actions above. Or you can be selective. Perhaps you might like to have the individual participant complete Steal Any Gift; Unwrap Your Gift; Keep Your Gift. Then whenever the option to pass the gifts is rolled (either left or right), everybody can pass their gifts.
- Limit on Steals: If you like, you can establish a limit on how many times a particular gift can be stolen. This adds an extra layer of strategy and prevents one gift from circulating endlessly.
- End of the Game: The game ends once the final gift is unwrapped and everyone keeps the gifts they have in hand. If someone ends up with their own gift, they can either trade it with someone else or just keep it.
Fun With a Christmas Gift Exchange Game
Including a gift exchange game, this Christmas will be easy to set up and guaranteed fun. Gather your friends and family, roll the dice, and unwrap the joy of a Christmas celebration filled with laughter and shared moments.
If there is a game that you and your family love to play at Christmas, comment below and let me know. I'd love to hear it!
If you don't have the password as yet, signup is simple with an email address. After you have your password, the link below will take you straight to the download. Plus you will also have access to all of the other amazing free printables in the library. Yay!
Printables in the freebies library are for personal use but if you wish to use this game for your class, then you are more than welcome to do so. I do have copyright limitations on what you can use my free printables for, view these in the footer of my website or in my terms and conditions.
Free printable Christmas gift exchange game below:
Other Resources You May Like:
FREE PRINTABLE: Printable Farmhouse Christmas Table Decor
FREE PRINTABLE: Letter to Santa Template
ARTICLE: 38 Unique Christmas Gift Wrapping Ideas
ARTICLE: 15 Creative Christmas Gift Exchange Games
FROM MY SHOP: Printable Christmas Games + Activities