We’ve all been there: unwrapping a gift to be utterly disappointed by its contents. While you probably plastered on a smile to spare the feelings of your friend or loved one, you’re left asking yourself the dismal question, “What on earth am I going to do with this?” Instead of letting the unwanted item sit idly in the back of your closet, consider giving it to a friend who will actually appreciate it. The best way to do that? A re-gift swap!
A re-gift swap gives participants the chance to recycle any gift they may not be so enthused about and come home with something more desirable. After all, one woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure. In order to host the most effective re-gift swap this holiday season, we’ve laid out some important ground rules for the event.
Rather than opting for the traditional Yankee swap or White Elephant trade, you may want to switch things up with a quirky game. We guarantee that any of the following options will be a hit among guests:
Hot Potato Christmas
Have all participants sit in a circle and then start playing some music. Guests will pass around two gifts, and when the music stops, whoever is left holding a gift is out and keeps that gift. You can continue this until everyone is left with a gift.
Musical Chairs Christmas style
Set up chairs in a circle and place one gift on each seat. Have your guests walk around the chairs until the music is paused. Each person ends up with the gift that is on the chair they stop behind.
Guess the Fact, Get the Gift
Write a number on each of the gifts your guests bring. Give each person the corresponding number for the gift they brought and have them write down a fact about themselves on the back of that paper. Fold up the papers and place them in a large bowl. Select the papers one at a time and announce the fact to the group, without revealing the gift number. The first person to guess who the fact is about gets the gift that corresponds with the number on the other side of the paper. Finish the game until there is only one gift left for the party host to choose from.
Some helpful tips:
Your re-gift swap doesn’t have to be a stand alone event. Once everyone has a new gift in hand (hopefully that they’re happy with!) invite your guests to enjoy in some scrumptious holiday dishes. If your heart desires, you can make the dinner a potluck and have every guest bring a food item to contribute to the feast!
We recommend sending your invitations at least two weeks prior to your event, so everyone has time to gather their items. Hosting the event shortly after Christmas is the best time, as unwanted gifts are probably fresh in everyone’s minds.
When sending your invitations, make sure the rules of the swap are clear so there is no confusion. Emphasize to your guests that they should only bring items that are worth re-gifting – cheap or overly kitschy gifts should be left at home.
Most importantly, make sure to tell your guests not to bring a gift given to them by someone else at the party. This may seem obvious, but it doesn’t hurt to give your guests an extra little reminder so as to avoid one of those awkward Seinfeld-like situations.