BUDGETING FOR THE PRESENT

If you’re part of a large family or have a wide circle of friends, you’ll know how expensive and time consuming it can be buying Christmas gifts. Your gift budget gets spread thin, your initiative runs dry and everyone gets a mediocre present. Here are two gift-exchange ideas that can be fun and help you save some bacon:

Secret Santa
This is an old tradition wherein a group of colleagues, friends or family set a price limit and secretly draw names to see for whom they need to buy a gift. (If you happen to draw your own name, put it back and draw again.) This way you only need to buy one decent present for the group, rather than scores.

Knowing who you are buying for gives you the opportunity to put some more thought into suiting the gift to the individual. When the night arrives for the exchange, try to keep the trading anonymous. Put the recipients name on a tag and pool all of the gifts together, then let everyone find their name.

Yankee Gift Swap
Start by setting a price range for gifts that is in everyone’s budget and deciding whether or not you will allow gag gifts to be permitted (funny, ugly or impractical items). In this game each person will end up with one present, but you don’t know who will be receiving what.

Everyone brings a wrapped gift and they all get piled together. Then each person draws a number out of a bowl to determine the order of play. Whoever goes first will pick a gift for themselves and unwrap it for all to see. Each subsequent player then picks a gift and can choose, before they have opened it, whether they want to open the unopened gift or swap the mystery box for a gift that has already been opened by a previous player. If they choose to swap then the person whose opened gift was “stolen” must unwrap the present they were traded. The game is over when everyone has a prezzie.

These sorts of gift swapping games can save you time and money, while infusing a nostalgic sense of intrigue and mystery. You also improve the quality of gifts being received and create a dynamic gift giving situation that can shape both smiles and memories.

Posted in Blog.