Alternate Christmas Gifts

“Maybe Christmas, he thought doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.” (The Grinch). I could not have said it any better myself. Christmas is a time to spend with those around you: friends, family, loved ones. Two of our family traditions do involve gifts, but not in the typical way.



The “Saran Wrap Game” is great because it is really easy to customize for your family. Typically candy and gift cards are wrapped throughout the ball with some kind of toy or prize in the center. One person starts with the ball and keeps trying to rip off layers to gain the “prize” under each layer. While they are doing this the person next to them is rolling a pair of dice trying to get double. Once the person gets doubles it is their turn to start ripping layers off the ball. It keeps going around in a circle like this until the final layer is unwrapped.


Another way you could play this game is with trivia cards. You have to answer the questions correctly in order to unwrap a layer. Then you could either pass it to the next person, or keep going until you get one wrong. However, my family was not really a big fan or either of these ways because it usually always left someone with nothing. So we changed the game a bit to better fit our wide range of ages. Sitting in a circle, we each take a turn unwrapping one layer and then passing it to the next person. This way everybody gets something, and you still don’t know who will get the final prize. We still enjoy putting candy, gift cards, toys, etc.


The “White Elephant” is one big gift swap. Each person brings a gift, typically within a price range that is set ahead of time. We usually range from $5-$10 or $10-$20, depending on how much we all decide we want to spend that year. What order you go in and who is allowed to swap gifts all depends on your family. In my family we draw numbers out of a hat. The first person picks their gift and then waits for everyone else to go. Everyone after the first person picks a gift and can swap their gift for anyone who was before them or they can decided to keep their own gift. We have a rule of “1-2-3 and done.” This just means that once a gift has been to three different people, no one can take it anymore. It keeps everyone from going after the same gift. Finally, at the end, the person who went first can swap with anyone (unless the 3 swap rule applies).


Hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and get to spend time with those you love! Try something new and play a game. You never know, it might just stick around and become the new family favorite tradition.


Merry Christmas Everyone!


-Katie Ann