Ideas for group gift exchanges?

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by Sunny Side Up, Nov 22, 2009.

  1. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    It's that Most Wonderful Time of the Year when you find yourself being asked to "bring a new wrapped gift costing X number of dollars for our gift exchange" for all sorts of groups you're involved with. And with so many of us trying desperately to reduce our holiday spending, let us now exchange ideas on how to make this sort of obligation more bearable.

    With some groups you can just opt out, say "no thank you" and be done. But there may be others where you MUST participate, or it's just more trouble than it's worth to try & opt out. How do you best manage? Do you find that you can get away with giving something homemade that is worth the dollar amount you must have spent?

    And what do you think about those "Yankee Swaps" or whatever they're called. When in addition to selecting a gift you can then choose to keep it or "steal" someone else's gift. I know they're supposed to add to the fun, but personally I find them really irritating & can lead to hurt feelings & offenses.

    The gift exchange I enjoyed the most was with a mom's group in my neighborhood. We just wanted to hang out together in our PJs and share some homemade goodies at some point in the holiday. And our gift exchange was limited to FreeCycle types of items, things a person already had but no longer needed/wanted/used. Some of them were genuinely nice, though not brand-new, things like books, small appliances, home decor, clothing or accessories. Some were funny like a set of awful decorated plates someone's MIL gave her and these kept reappearing year after year. Although we did do the swap, we did it before the gifts were unwrapped, so you might not really be trading up after all. I thought it was always fun and a sensible way to celebrate.

    What do YOU do that works well?
  2. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    I hav enever been invited to one where I couldn't say no [​IMG] I opted out a few years ago when the limit was $30. [​IMG]
  3. skeeter03

    skeeter03 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 23, 2009
    We do the "yankee swap"(we dont call it that however) every year as a family because there is so many of us - but it takes the focus off of how much money we are spending and puts it on a fun evening
    we always have a great time we usually limit it to 20$ per person. Someone always throws in a Gag gift that really no-one wants (usually a ugly looking stuffed animal)
    + we have a regifted one that was making the rounds every year lmao it was great.
    my dh and I usually get something that we could use in our own home for the exchange that way if we end up with it (and that has happened a few times) then its no big deal.
    small kitchen appliances are always a hit. fishing gear ,or camping stuff, cook books,movies, ..........
  4. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Quote:Mister used to work for a small company that had an annual holiday party with a gift exchange. Perhaps he could have opted out, but it would have caused other sorts of ill will & bad feelings towards him, so the lesser of the 2 evils was to bring a gift. I think the limit was $25, which was a LOT on our budget at that time. That was more than I typically could spend on many other family members or friends. And Guess Who got to shop for AND gift wrap this present?
  5. The Chicken Lady

    The Chicken Lady Moderator Staff Member

    Apr 21, 2008
    West Michigan
    Gas $$ cards and bottles of Bailey's seem to be popular at the "work party" gift exchanges I've attended. The idea behind the game isn't to go in and end up with something you really want; it's more of an ice breaker to get everyone laughing and having a good time.

    Do something hilarious like putting a small gift in a really big box. [​IMG]
  6. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Well, I like ice breakers and laughing & having a good time, I just don't like having to spend a lot of $$$ for the privilege. That's why I liked the way my Moms' group did it, you weren't supposed to spend a dime on the gift but instead find something you weren't using that someone else might like. And certainly the swap thing (apologies to you northerners but folks here call it a Yankee Swap) can be and should be just for fun, but I've seen it get ugly when a gift someone brought in earnest gets treated like a gag gift, or when people act like bad sports when they snatch a nice gift from someone else. Personally I don't mind what I get/don't get, I just don't like seeing folks getting their feelings hurt at a party.
  7. saddina

    saddina Internally Deranged

    May 2, 2009
    Desert, CA
    I find something that would normally cost in that range, but is currently on sale. Example last year's wineglasses were a really nice, set, that I found new 75%off. If I paid tag price for them it would be in range, but I paid less because they were "last year's glasses".

    Can you find something similar, a nice item in the suggested range normally that's currently on sale?
  8. Crusty McPottydoodle

    Crusty McPottydoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 14, 2009
    The Wet Coast
    One year at work we had a tacky ornament swap. That was SUCH a blast. Lots of fun to shop for and not expensive, too.
  9. saddina

    saddina Internally Deranged

    May 2, 2009
    Desert, CA
    Quote:Now that I could do....

    Sis and I swap the worst gift we can find... last year i gave her a frog in a box dissection kit.... [​IMG]
  10. jojo54

    jojo54 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 24, 2009
    BC Canada
    My sister had a Christmas party with friends and family and had a regifting or whatever you call it swap. You were not to buy anything. Some gifts were down right weird. My mom got a box of used makeup and a red teddy (not the bear the underwear!) One guy who was going to university gave an old notebook filled with notes from one of his classes (we knew it was him because his name was on the book!) She also had everyone bring a can of food for the food bank instead of doing a potluck. Lotd of laughing at lots of useless junk!

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