All of our Christmas gift exchange games will change gift giving into a fun event. No more handing a gift to someone then wondering what to do for the rest of the evening, because the gift exchange games are the evening’s event!
In the typical gift exchange game, each guest brings a wrapped gift and they take a number. The person with the number one chooses a gift and unwraps it, then the person holding the number two can steal that gift or choose another, and so on.
If you’re looking for a change of pace this year, try any one of the Christmas gift exchange games below. Add some appetizers, Christmas cookies, and drinks along with a Christmas Trivia game, and you’ve got a great party!
Gift Exchange Games by Type
- Dice Gift Exchange Games
- Left Right Pass the Gift Exchange Games
- Musical Gifts Gift Exchange Game
- More Gift Exchange Ideas
Christmas Gift Exchange Games with Dice
Version One – Make Your Own
Have each guest bring a wrapped gift, then have them sit in a circle. Once everyone is seated, hand out a wrapped gift to each of the guests as they are sitting in the circle. Choose a guest to roll the dice first.
In the dice Christmas gift exchange games, the guests then take turns going around the circle until each person has a gift to keep, with each guest rolling the dice and following the instructions that matches the number they rolled.
Make a list before the party with an instruction for what to do if a person rolls a certain number on a dice, as follows (or print put a ready made one, we’ve included a few below):
Copy the following instructions and have one person be in charge of reading them out for each roll of the dice.
If you roll a :
1 – Unwrap your gift and keep it
2 – Steal the gift that the person across from you is holding, give them yours
3 – Steal the gift the person on your left is holding, give them yours
4 – Steal the gift the person on your right is holding, give them yours
5 – Unwrap your gift and keep it
6 – Steal the gift of anyone you choose, give them yours
When a player gets to keep their gift, they are out of the game. Play until the final gift is unwrapped and kept.
Note – If Guest or Guests end up with the gift they brought, you will need to do the following:
- If just one guest ends up with the gift they brought, they roll until they can trade or pass with someone in the group.
- In the event that two people end up with their own gifts, have them just trade gifts and the exchange is over.
- In case three or more people have their original gift, then only the people with their own gift stay in the game and the next person rolls the die. Follow these instructions (not the prepared ones): Odd number – Pass the Gift to Right. Even number – Pass to gift to the Left. This ends the gift exchange.
Printable Variations for Roll The Dice Gift Exchange
Below are printable variations of the dice Christmas gift exchange games. All the basic rules above still apply. See above for what to do if a guest or guests end up with their own gift.
Version Two Dice Christmas Gift Exchange
Like the Make-Your-Own game, you need one dice, a gift for every player, and the instruction sheet for what the person that rolled the dice must do according to the number they rolled.
The difference from the above game is that everyone now has a chance to open the gift they were handed in the beginning, and decide if they want to keep it. Even though you’ve unwrapped the gift, it is still in play. Also, everyone will pass their gifts left or right at the same time.
Roll the dice and follow the instructions. In this version, you only unwrap the gift if you roll that number. It makes the game a little more interesting because you’re playing for gifts you can see vs. wrapped mystery gifts. Keep playing until all the gifts have been kept.
Get it to download and print here:https://www.etsy.com/listing/656142051/digital-download-only-pass-the-gift
Version Three Dice Christmas Gift Exchange Games
In this version of Christmas gift exchange games, you pass the gifts left or right as a group, like in version two of the Christmas Gift Exchange Dice Game, but the presents stay wrapped like in version one. You can use a whiteboard to put the instructions on, decorate it, and place it where all the players can see.
Left Right Pass the Gift Exchange Games
We played one of these Christmas gift exchange games at our Christmas Cookie Swap and it was so much fun! You can do it a couple of ways. If you’d like for everyone to leave with a gift, then be sure to ask each guest to bring a gift. If you’re hosting a cookie swap or a party, you can go with 1 gift as a door prize, with other prizes given out for different games you play during the evening.
Before your get together, choose the story you’ll be reading. Copy and Paste it into Notes or Word and print it put so you have a copy to read from. I copied a poem and pasted it into a text to myself the night of our cookie swap so I was able to easily read it from my phone.
If you’re doing it as a gift exchange, everyone starts off holding the gift they brought. If you’re playing the game for a door prize, hand the prize gift to one person to start.
Left Right Gift Exchange Rules
Have all your guests sit in a circle. For these Christmas gift exchange games, you’ll choose one of the stories below and read it, while having everyone follow the instructions as the story is being read (it helps to read slowly to give people time to pass the gift).
As you read the story, Each time the you hear the word LEFT or the word RIGHT you pass the gift in that direction. What ever gift you end up with when the story is finished is the prize you win. If you are doing an exchange, make sure no one has the gift they came with. If this should happen (it shouldn’t), have everyone pass the gifts a few additional times (for example – pass left twice, right three times, then finally left four times).
Poem and Story Pass the Gift Left Right Games
The Wright Family’s Christmas Christmas Gift Exchange Games:
Christmas was almost here, and Mother WRIGHT was finishing the Christmas baking.
Father WRIGHT, Sue WRIGHT, and Billy WRIGHT returned from their last-minute Christmas errands.
“There’s not much LEFT to be done,” said Father WRIGHT as he came into the kitchen. “Did you leave the basket of food at church?” asked Mother WRIGHT.
“I LEFT it RIGHT where you told me to,” said Father WRIGHT. “I’m glad my shopping is done,” said Billy WRIGHT. “I don’t have any money LEFT.”
The hall telephone rang, and Susan WRIGHT LEFT to answer it.
She rushed back and told the family “Aunt Tillie WRIGHT LEFT a package on Grandma WRIGHT‘s porch. I’ll go over there RIGHT now and get it,” she said, and LEFT in a rush.
Father WRIGHT LEFT the kitchen and brought in the Christmas tree. By the time Susan WRIGHTreturned, Mother WRIGHT, Father WRIGHT, and Billy WRIGHT had begun trimming the tree.
The entire WRIGHT family sang carols as they finished the decorating. Then they LEFT all the presents arranged under the tree and went to bed, hoping they had selected the RIGHT gifts for their family.
Now I hope you have the RIGHT present for yourself, because that’s all that’s LEFT of our story now that the Wrights have LEFT to go to bed, except to wish you a Merry Christmas . . . Isn’t that RIGHT?
Night Before Christmas Christmas Gift Exchange Games:
Twas the night RIGHT before Christmas when RIGHT through the house. Not a creature was LEFTstirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung RIGHT by the chimney with care, in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be RIGHT there.
The children were nestled RIGHT snug in their beds, while visions of sugarplums danced RIGHT in their heads. And mama in her kerchief, and I in my cap, had just settled RIGHT down for a long winter’s nap.
When RIGHT out on the LEFT lawn there rose such a clatter, I sprang RIGHT from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the RIGHT window I LEFT like a flash; tore open the shutters and threw up the sash. The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow LEFT a luster of midday to objects RIGHT below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a miniature sleight and eight tiny reindeer. With a little old driver RIGHT lively and quick; I knew RIGHT in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came; and he whistled and shouted, and called them RIGHTby name: “Now, Dasher! Now, Dancer! Now, Prancer and Vixen! On Comet, on Cupid, on Donder and Blitzen! To the RIGHT top of the porch! To the LEFT top of the wall! Now dash away, dash away, dash RIGHT away all!”
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly when they meet RIGHT with an obstacle, mount RIGHT up to the sky. So up to the housetop the coursers they LEFT flew, with a sleigh full of toys and St. Nicholas, too.
And then in a twinkling, I heard RIGHT on the roof, the prancing and pawing of each little RIGHTand LEFT hoof. As I drew in my head and was turning LEFT around down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, RIGHT from his head to his LEFT foot, and his clothes were all LEFTtarnished with ashes and soot. A bundle of toys he had flung RIGHT on his back, and he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
His RIGHT and LEFT eyes, how they twinkled! Those dimples how merry! The cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry! His droll little mouth was LEFT drawn up like a bow, and the beard LEFT on his chin was as white as the snow.
The stump of a pipe he held RIGHT in his teeth, and the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath. He had a broad face and a round little belly, that shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.
He was RIGHT chubby and plump, a RIGHT jolly old elf, and I laughed when I saw him in spite of myself. A wink of his LEFT eye and a LEFT twist of his head, soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, but went RIGHT straight to his work, and filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk and laying his finger to the LEFT of his nose, and giving a nod, he LEFT up the chimney he rose.
He sprang RIGHT to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle, and away they all LEFT like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, as he LEFT out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night!”
Nativity Story Left Right Christmas Gift Exchange Games:
The two weary travelers LEFT the dark, dusty road and entered the crowded town of Bethlehem. Everywhere they looked people bustled RIGHT past them, heading toward places of rest.
They had all LEFT their towns and villages and come to Bethlehem loaded down with bags and baskets in order to be registered and counted. The young woman sighed. She was exhausted RIGHTdown to her bones.
Even though she was due to give birth at any time, she had journeyed RIGHT beside her husband to Bethlehem. The trip had been long and tiring, and more than anything the young woman just wanted to fall RIGHT into bed and rest.
She waited patiently as her husband went from one inn RIGHT to another in search of a place for them to stay, but after a while it became clear that there were no vacant rooms LEFT in town. The last innkeeper the young couple spoke to had compassion on them when he saw that the young woman was expecting.
He offered to let them stay in the stable RIGHT behind his inn. It was not what they had expected or wanted, but the two travelers thanked the innkeeper and followed him& RIGHT out to the small, dark enclosure.
It was RIGHT there in that cold stable, surrounded by animals and the smell of hay, that the young woman gave birth to her child, a son. She wrapped him RIGHT up in strips of cloth to keep his tiny form warm against the cold air.
Her husband filled the feeding trough that had been LEFT empty with hay and laid the tiny baby boy inside it. The animals gathered around the manger to see the little infant that had been LEFT in the hay.
The young woman smiled as she watched them lean RIGHT down over the child to gaze adoringly at him. They seemed to recognize their tiny King RIGHT away and it thrilled and amazed the young woman to see the awestruck reaction of the simple creatures.
Later into the night, there was a commotion RIGHT outside the stable. The little family roused from sleep to see a group of shepherds who had LEFT the fields to come into the town seeking the newborn child.
The shepherds told the young woman and her husband of how angels had appeared RIGHT before them in the night and had shared with them the glorious news of the birth of the Messiah.
They had hurried RIGHT off to find him among the crowds in Bethlehem. The shepherds LEFT their bleating sheep at the door and knelt RIGHT before the young child in the manger.
They worshipped and praised the baby and shed happy tears of hope and joy as they gazed upon him. They LEFT the stable and went out into the city to tell everyone they met about what they had seen in the night.
The young woman picked up the tiny baby boy and cradled him RIGHT against her heart. She thought of all the things that had happened that night: the birth, the animals, the angels and the shepherds.
She knew in her heart that what had come to pass was miraculous. The Son of God had LEFT his throne in Heaven and had come to Earth to redeem his people at last. The prophecies of centuries ago were being fulfilled RIGHT before her eyes.
She looked down at her sleeping child and knew he was more than her son. She was holding the King of Heaven and Earth, the Hope of all mankind RIGHT in her arms.
Left Right Christmas Gift Exchange Games – Frosty the Snowman
Frosty the LEFT-handed Snowman was aRIGHT jolly happy soul with a corncob pipe and a button to the LEFT of his nose and two eyes, LEFT and RIGHT, made of coal.
Oh Frosty the LEFT-handed Snowman is a fairytale they say. He was made of bRIGHT white snow, but the children know he came RIGHT to life one day.
There must have been some magic, LEFT in that old silk hat they found. For RIGHT when they placed it RIGHT on his head, he began to dance RIGHT around.
Oh, Frosty the LEFT-handed Snowman was alive and LEFT-handed too
And the children say he could laugh, wRITE and play, just the same as you and me.
Thumpety thump, LEFT, thumpety thump, RIGHT, look at Frosty go.
Thumpety thump, LEFT, thumpety, thump LEFT, RIGHT over the hills of bRIGHT white snow.
Frosty the LEFT-handed snowman knew the sun was bRIGHT and hot that day. So he said, “Let’s run, we’ve LEFT time for some fun now, before I melt RIGHT away.”
RIGHT down to the village with a broomstick in his LEFT hand. Running RIGHT here and there all around LEFT square saying, “Tag my RIGHT hand if you can.”
He led them RIGHT down the streets of town LEFT to the traffic cop and only paused a moment when he raised his RIGHT hand and hollered, “Stop!”
For Frosty the LEFT-handed Snowman had to hurry RIGHT on his way. But he waved goodbye and LEFT, saying “Don’t you cry, I’ll be RIGHT back again some day.”
Suing Santa Left Right Gift Exchange Poem:
Once upon a time, there was a lawyer named Bob RIGHT. His son’s name was Bill RIGHT, and together, father and son started their own law firm named RIGHT, RIGHT, & Associates.
RIGHT, RIGHT & Associates was famous for lawsuits that LEFT people penniless. They LEFT the Easter Bunny penniless when they sued him for the rancid eggs he LEFT in a child’s basket. They LEFT the Tooth Fairy penniless when they sued her for the insufficient compensation she LEFTunder a child’s pillow.
But the biggest target of all was still LEFT – Santa Claus. He, too, would be LEFT penniless… if everything went RIGHT.
The father and son team found just the RIGHT client in an 8-year-old girl named (appropriately enough) Sue. Little Sue was upset that Santa had LEFT coal in her stocking last Christmas. RIGHT, RIGHT, & Associates argued that their client had been put on the naughty list without cause. They presented lots of evidence that the girl did everything RIGHT the previous year.
The only thing LEFT was for Santa to testify. Jingling all the way, he marched RIGHT up to the witness stand, raised his RIGHT hand, and swore to tell the truth. Santa said that while it might appear that little Sue had done everything RIGHT, there was one thing she did that LEFT him no choice but to put the girl on the naughty list.
“This can’t be RIGHT!” protested Bob RIGHT.
“We LEFT no stone unturned in our investigation!” said Bill RIGHT.
All this courtroom drama LEFT Sue shaking with excitement. “All RIGHT, I confess! On Christmas Eve, I got up in the middle of the night and ate the cookies that were LEFT for Santa! I didn’t think there was enough time LEFT to be put on the naughty list!”
Santa responded RIGHT away: “Ho ho ho! Little Sue, I keep the naughty list in my LEFT pocket at all times so I can make revisions on the fly!”
And with that, the law firm of RIGHT, RIGHT, & Associates was LEFT with no choice but to drop its frivolous lawsuit against Santa. And that year, neither Bob RIGHT nor Bill RIGHT was surprised to find that Santa had LEFT them coal in their stockings. But little Sue was shocked to wake up on Christmas morning to find that Santa had forgiven her for the frivolous lawsuit and LEFT her a nice, shiny present RIGHT under the Christmas tree.
“I’m glad Santa LEFT the naughty list in his LEFT pocket this time!” said Sue. “Now let’s see what he LEFT me!”
The Wright Family Left Right Christmas Gift Exchange Games Story #2 :
Once upon a time there was a little boy named Tommy WRIGHT. He lived with his mother, Mrs. WRIGHT and his father, Dr. WRIGHT and his sister Sara WRIGHT.
He had four shiny quarters left from some birthday money Grandma WRIGHT had sent him besides the $8.12 left in his piggy bank. Now it was time to buy the RIGHT present for each member of the WRIGHT family.
So one morning he hopped RIGHT out of bed and quietly left home and went carefully across the street to the big store on the < strong>LEFT side of Main street. The store was decorated with lights and Christmas ornaments. Tommy WRIGHT thought and thought about Christmas presents and he looked at all the things for sale.
“Let’s see,” said Tommy, “I know, I’ll get Mother WRIGHT some warm gloves. Here is the RIGHT one but where is the LEFT one? Here it is, RIGHT under the RIGHT one. They cost $3.06 so I have $6.06 left to spend. Now, for Daddy WRIGHT. Would he like a truck or maybe a ball or a LEFThanded catcher’s mitt? I know. I’ll get him a football so we can play catch RIGHT in the park acrossthe street from our house, when he comes home from work.
That was $5.06 so now I have $1.00 left for Sara’s present. Here is what she wants. He saw pretty new purse RIGHT across the aisle and I think I have just enough money LEFT.
Tommy WRIGHT clutched his presents happily and went running RIGHT up to the lady at the counter and took out all the money from his LEFT pocket and then his RIGHT pocket, and slid it across the counter to her. “Is that RIGHT?” asked Tommy WRIGHT as he gave her his money, “It will be $1.05 with tax,” she said.
“Oh no,” said Tommy WRIGHT. “I forgot about tax.” Tommy then checked his LEFT pocket again. Nothing was there. Tommy WRIGHT started crying. Tears streamed RIGHT and LEFT down his little face.
RIGHTthen the door burst open and in came Santa Claus who had LEFT the North Pole and had come RIGHT to Tommy WRIGHT‘s town to get wishes from children for Christmas. “Ho, Ho, Ho,” said Santa. “We can’t have Santa’s helpers sad like this. Let’s see now, I bet I have five pennies RIGHT here in my LEFT pocket.” Santa Claus checked his LEFT pocket and found nothing.
“Oh no!” said Santa. “I must have put them into my RIGHT pocket instead of my LEFT. Here they are RIGHT here, Tommy, Ho! Ho! Ho! and Merry Christmas to all the WRIGHT‘s from Santa Claus and his helpers.” Tommy WRIGHT left the store and ran across the street to his home to tell Sara WRIGHTthat he had seen and talked to Santa.
He was so happy that he wrapped his presents RIGHT away and put them under the Christmas tree. Dr. WRIGHT, Mrs. WRIGHT and Sara WRIGHT were thrilled with the presents Tommy WRIGHThad purchased and Christmas morning LEFT nothing to want.
Lefty the Elf Right Left Christmas Gift Exchange Games Story
This is a story about Santa and LEFTy elf. LEFTy received this nick name one Christmas when he couldn’t seem to do anything RIGHT. Santa said “LEFTy, sometimes I think you have two LEFTthumbs”.
On the day before Christmas Eve Santa and LEFTy were finishing up the toys that were LEFT. LEFTy called from the workshop, “Oh no, there is no glue LEFT! Santa do you know where any might be?”
“I can’t believe you forgot to check the inventory, sometimes I wonder if you can get anything RIGHT, LEFTy!” said Santa. “Santa don’t be mad”, replied LEFTy. “It will only take me a few minutes to find some, I’ll be RIGHT back”. Santa said “I’m sorry I am so grumpy, but we don’t have much time LEFT, LEFTy.
“I’ll try our packaging and delivery outlet RIGHT on the edge of town”, said LEFTy. “It would be faster to stop by my house, Mrs. Claus is sure to have some LEFT, she just might not know RIGHTwhere it is,” Replied Santa.
“Take the short cut, go to Candy Cane Lane and Rudolph Rd. and turn LEFT, RIGHT at the Lollipop stop sign. Then go to Holly Drive and turn RIGHT and there it will be on your LEFT.” LEFTy found the house RIGHT away and asked Mrs. Claus where she might have some glue LEFT.
Mrs. Claus’ hands were all doughy from making the last of her Christmas cookies. So she directed him RIGHT to her craft room.
“Go RIGHT down the hall and turn RIGHT, open the first door on the LEFT. Walk RIGHT in and turn RIGHT. It should be on the bottom shelf, RIGHT next to the LEFT-over glitter.”
LEFTy found plenty of glue to finish the toys RIGHT where Mrs. Claus had directed him. LEFTy hurried RIGHT out the door. LEFTy looked LEFT, then RIGHT, then LEFT, but he couldn’t remember where he had LEFT his sled.
Suddenly he remembered he had taken Santa’s sleigh, because it would be faster, and that his sled was in the garage at the workshop RIGHT where he had LEFT it.
Eventually, a tired LEFTy found his way back to Santa’s workshop. Santa said “LEFTy, I thought you said you would be RIGHT back, so I LEFT Jolly Elf take over your station. He used all that was LEFT of the red paint instead of gold, so now there is no red paint LEFT to touch up my sleigh. You will have to go RIGHT out and get some, LEFTy “
LEFTy sighed and happily said ” I knew we would have no energy LEFT by now, so RIGHT& after Thanksgiving, I fixed up your sleigh for the big day. Santa said “I’m so sorry I said you couldn’t do anything RIGHT, because of you, there is no work LEFT and I can go RIGHT to bed, so I’ll be all rested and my jolly old self again. Good night LEFTy.” and Santa went RIGHT to bed.
Pass the Present Gift Exchange Ideas
This game works best with smaller groups of around 10 people because each turn takes some time.
Have each guest bring a wrapped gift. Provide a table for all the gifts to be placed, easily accessible to the host who will be controlling the music.
Get your guests to sit in a circle. To begin the game, choose any gift from the table and hand it to someone in the circle.
Play Christmas music and tell your guests to pass the gift around the circle until the music stops.
When the music stops, the person who has the gift in their hands will unwrap the gift, show the rest of the group, and leave the circle with their gift. That’s the gift they take home.
Repeat with another gift and another person until everyone has gotten to unwrap a gift and is out of the game.
More Christmas Gift Exchange Games
Getting to Know You Gift Exchange Game
Before the party, get index cards to create Christmas Themed rules on them. All rules end with the statement “…other than yourself.” You can make all of the cards or only as many as you’ll need.
Each guest brings a gift, then chooses an index card with an instruction telling them who to exchange with. If more than one person fits the “rule”, the person who drew the card chooses who to swap gifts with.
The “Rules” (write one per index card):
*Exchange your gift with the person who was born furthest north.
*Swap your gift with a brunette.
*Trade your gift with the person whose birthday is on or closest to Christmas.
*Exchange your gift with anyone who has military service or has an immediate family member in the military.
*Swap your gift with the person who has the youngest relative.
*Trade your gift with the person who was born on or nearest the 4th of July.
*Exchange your gift with someone whose first name begins with the same letter as yours. Choose another card if no one does.
*Swap your gift with the person who has the most cats.
*Trade your gift with the oldest guest.
*Swap your gift with the person who has the most letters in their last name.
*Exchange your gift with person who is an only child.
*Trade your gift with a person who works in community service (police, fire, ems, nurse)
*Swap your gift with the person you think is dressed in the most holiday spirit.
Just the Facts Gift Exchange Game
Have all your guests sit in a circle. Each person starts the game with the gift they came with.
Place 10 individual papers with a “facts about you” on each one, in a basket. Choose a paper, read it out loud and if the fact was about any of the guests, have those guests change seats with other people who have the same thing true about them (they leave their original gift on the seat they are leaving).
“Facts About You” examples:
- If you are an aunt, leave your gift and move to a different chair.
- Ever had to pay a fine because of something, leave your gift and move to a different chair.
- Did you previously live in a different state, leave your gift and move to a different chair.
- Can you speak another language, leave your gift and move to a different chair.
- If you have more than one piercing, leave your gift and move to a different chair.
- Do you have more than two pets, leave your gift and move to a different chair.
- Anyone wearing Christmas red or green, leave your gift and move to a different chair.
- Did you watch a Hallmark Christmas movie within the last week, leave your gift and move to a different chair.
- If you have a tattoo, leave your gift and move to a different chair.
- Do you work from home, leave your gift and move to a different chair.
Exchanging gifts is one of the highlights of the Christmas season. Making the exchange into a game makes it way more fun! Choose the game you think your group will enjoy most, and let the guests know that you’ll be hosting a gift exchange. Most gift exchanges have a price limit (no more than $20, no less than $15 for example) so the gifts are of equal value. Have fun, and Merry Christmas to all!