Here are some unique gift-giving games that won’t burn a hole in your wallet:
- Thematic Gifting.This is a good option for those who have trouble finding the perfect gift AND want to watch their wallet. Make things easier on everyone by choosing a gift theme, like “French-inspired” or “accessories” or “for foodies.”
- The Regift Game.This is the perfect gift exchange for you cheapos out there. Bring a wrapped gift – whether it’s something someone gave you, something you bought yourself, or a gag – have your friends do the same, and then put all the gifts in a pile. Then go one-by-one picking a gift, and giving the next person the chance to steal the last gift or pick a new one. Then you open them all together and see what you got! If you’re social distancing, you can tweak the game bypicking virtual gifts.
- Book Swap.For this game, you can opt to buy each other books – or you can challenge each other to part with books form your own shelves. That kind of personal touch will make your friends more likely to actually want to read the books!
- Caffeine Swap.See “Book Swap,” only giving the gift of some kind of caffeine – be it your favorite espresso, tea, or a mug to put it in.
- Donation Game.Instead of swapping gifts, ditch those plans altogether and give the gift of charity. Pick a charity and you and your friend all want to support, and pitch in however much you can afford each to make one big donation for a good cause.
- Wish List:Here’s a way to ease the pressure of gift giving. You and your friends each make a five-item holiday wishlist, whether you do it on Amazon or on paper, then randomly assign friends to each other like Secret Santa. With the wish list, you’re more likely to enjoy the gift you receive – and the person buying for you doesn’t have to do much guessing about what you’d like!
- Gift Auction:This is a fun game that can easily be played on Zoom. Use real cash or pretend currency like candy canes or Monopoly money to “bid” on wrapped gifts. The highest bidder receives the mystery gift, and then you can do a big gift reveal on your next Zoom call!