Christmas Grab Bag Game

Over the years I have been to different holiday parties where it is a Secret Santa thing and you pick one of the others in the group, shop to some stated limit, then have fun watching everyone open their gifts.

At my first teaching job there was an educational assistant that would put a note in everyone’s mailbox (now mind you there were only 4 teachers, 4 ed assistants, 2 social workers, principal, secretary on our small school staff). The note would state that whoever got her as their “person to buy for” she did not want any candles, no bath beads/bombs/soaps, no knick-knacks, no candy (as she was on a program), and no something else (I can’t remember the whole list). Well we would all hold our breath and grimace as we opened our little slips of paper to see who chose her. What could you buy? Most of the time I think people bought her scratch-off lottery tickets or colored pencils, since she loved to color.

For a different work party we had this other gift game called Yankee Swap. Everyone would buy something to said $ limit. With it wrapped you would place it under the tree when arriving at said location. You would eat and have some drinks and when things were starting to get boring it was time. Everyone picked a number. It was best to be the first person or the last person. Anyhow, #1 picked any gift and opened it. #2 would pick. They would open the gift and decide if they wanted to keep it or swap with #1. #1 would have to swap if that is what #2 wanted. #3 went and opened, etc. and then got to choose which of the three open gifts they wanted and trade if they wanted someone else’s gift. It went on and on and if you had something you really liked you would silently pray that no one took it from you, especially if they had something you really didn’t want. So by the time #18 or whatever opened they had 18 gifts to pick from! It was fun but one year I got Snuggies after someone swiped something I had previously unwrapped. Not a big deal but when you have three big dogs a Snuggie isn’t really anything but a hair collector.

So a few years back I “invented” my own grab bag. I say “invented” in quotes because I don’t know if I am the one who invented it or not, but it was the first for our group of friends. It was called Dollar Store Swap. Each person went to the Dollar Store and bought any one item to wrap and give. It was hilarious! My son got a pregnancy test! I want to say one of the male participants got feminine maxi pads. It was great because no one had to spend a lot of money, it was just fun to give.

Now, this year, as it was last year, it is only David and I. Lindsay will come for a visit when airfare gets more affordable,

6 thoughts on “Christmas Grab Bag Game

  1. I worked at a company where we each donated a set amount of $ and one of the workers then went and bought childrens present which we donated to charity. Always thought that was the best idea.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Those sound like fun games … if they work. We tried the swap/trade game with our family a few times, but it wasn’t very fun. Nobody wanted to swap or trade whatever it was they opened, so it kind of fizzled out. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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