When it comes to the holidays there are a number of traditions that hold a place of honor in family gatherings. Gift giving is no exception.
There was a time when gift giving rules were loosely woven into the holiday magic however times have changed, rules have been revamped and new traditions have been born.
With budgets in mind and extended families growing, the idea of a present for everyone has become less of an option and the refocusing on family has taken on a new meaning. Choosing wisely, with care and with fun has become a new way to enjoy the holiday season.
Today drawing names out of a hat has become a new way to keep costs down and increase creativity with a hunt for the perfect gift within a specific price point. Focusing on one gift gives you the opportunity to find a special gift tailored to the giftee.
There are also old games that have become new again. There are many variations in the name but the most well known is the White Elephant Exchange or the Chinese Gift Exchange. These are a fun approach to contributing and receiving gifts. A dollar value is established and a unique non gender specific gift must be contributed for exchange.
All gifts are handed out and the recipient must make an educated guess as to the contents. If they are right, they can “steal” a gift they prefer in exchange for theirs, and if they are wrong they must keep their own. The silliness is in the bargaining and cajoling for the best gift and adds another layer of enjoyment to the occasion.
There are themes that can be used for gift exchanges such as providing clues in a treasure hunt style. Using a few teaser gifts along with new clues at each discovery until the gift is found is a fun way to engage the whole family.
Themes can also be used in the gifts themselves. A Going To The Movies theme could include gourmet popcorn, tickets to a theatre or a current new release on DVD. There could also be a handmade theme where all gifts must be handmade.
There can also be side games where all family members contribute an elaborately wrapped non perishable food item to judged. A winner is announced, a small token gift is awarded, and all food is donated to a neighborhood food bank.
The possibilities are endless all it takes is a plan and the excitement will soon follow.
The idea behind any gift exchange is to enjoy family and the spirit of the holiday. Making memories with old traditions while introducing new twists, can keep everyone smiling.
It also takes the focus off what the gifts are and places it where it is most important, on giving thanks and the celebration of family.