Secret Santas, Pollyannas, and Gift Swaps for the Holidays



The Christmas season is here with us. This is a great time to show love to your friends, family, and coworkers though gift swaps for the holidays. Make sure that this year’s holiday gift swap is the best ever. Holiday gift swaps and anonymous holiday gift exchanges are popular holiday traditions that work well for large groups when each person cannot buy for everyone in the group.

The name of your holiday gift swap is not really that important. Call it Secret Santa, Kris Kringle, White Elephant, or simply holiday gift exchange. This year, aim at bringing back the magic of the holiday season with a Pollyanna, Secret Santa, Secret Snowflake, or Kris Kringle gift exchange. You can also try anonymous gift swaps for the holidays among your group members if you like. No need to spend a fortune, simply because you have a large family and many friends.

Different people use different names for their holiday gift swap. For example one type of holiday gift exchange is known as Secret Santa in the U.S.A and Britain while the same thing is known as Kris Kindles and Kris Kringle in Australia and New Zealand. Secret Santas can be used to refer to both the game or to the people participating. You should start you Secret Santa gifts swap early enough to allow the participants enough time to get thoughtful gifts. Let your group to get excited when the gifts are being opened.  Let them know that the idea of the Secret Santa gift swap is to give exciting Secret Santas gifts regardless of the cost – your gift swap can be as cheap as you like, even $5 per person. Inspire creativity and also make sure that your participants can afford their Secret Santa. Secret Santa gifts can be exchanged anonymously or can be kept secret for a long time with the recipient learning of the gift giver at the last minute.

White Elephant is also a well-liked variation of the same game. The White Elephant is a gift exchange game that is very similar in style to the Yankee Swap gift exchange, although the emphasis in the White Elephant is to “steal” gifts from other participants rather than swap them. White Elephant is also known as Thieving Secret Santa. The participants wrap the holiday gift exchange in a manner that the recipient is not able to know what is inside. Once a person selects and opens a gift, the next person to choose a gift can select a new gift from the pile or may steal a gift from any of those who previously selected gifts.

There is also the Kris Kringle gift exchange where all the participants buy one another holiday gifts. You will only reveal your identity when the recipient has opened the gift.

There is also the Pollyanna gift exchange. In this type of holiday gift swap you limit the holiday gift exchange to making certain that every person in the group gives a Pollyanna. In the Pollyanna gift exchange, a price is set for what all the members should spend on their Pollyannas. The Pollyannas should be well wrapped so that the recipients will not know what is inside. The participants in the Pollyanna gift exchange game draw lots to decide who gets what Pollyanna. Alternatively the participants can draw lots to know who buys a Pollyannas for whom. Make it more exciting by asking each participant to guess the member who brought them the Pollyannas.

Another gift swap for the holidays is the Yankee Swap. In this holiday gift exchange game all the participants will each bring a gift. They will draw numbers from a bowl to determine what gift they will pick. They will then pick the gifts in order from number one onwards. Each participant can keep their Yankee gift or they can swap it with another member. This Yankee Swap holiday gift exchange game is funny because no one knows what they will pick.

Another holiday gift swap game is Lucky Bags. Here the members are given a name each of another member in the group, normally a month before the big day. You will then buy five presents each for a set price that is affordable to all. People buy gourmet foods, fragrant soaps and lotions, or others that may please almost everyone. Participants then set a day that everybody can attend.  Make sure that they know that this is an anonymous holiday gift exchange in your invite to keep an air of mystery.

Finally, a quick and easy holiday gift exchange is a gift card exchange. There may not be as much fun exchanging gift cards because they don’t require as much thought, effort, or time in selection. However, any gifts at the holidays are a sign of love and appreciation.

Wishing you the best in your holiday gift exchange!

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