10 Gift Exchanging Games to Play on Christmas That Aren't ‘White Elephant’

Try a new way of opening presents this holiday
Gift exchange


Find new and exciting ways to give presents this Christmas!

Whether you call it White Elephant, Yankee Swap, or Nasty Christmas, everyone knows the game. A pile of gifts sits in the middle of the room, everyone is given a number, and, in order, each person either opens a new present or steals an already opened gift. It’s a holiday tradition in countless families, offices, and friend groups.

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But, if you’re tired of nasty Christmases, or if the game gets a little too dramatic in your family, there are plenty of gift-giving game alternatives. To give everyone a fair chance, you can play games with Christmas stories (like the Left-Right game) or play Hot Potato set to holiday music. There are also ways to make Christmas an interactive game with a Victorian-inspired cobweb party or a good old-fashioned treasure hunt. No matter what the dynamics of your family or holiday party may be, there’s are plenty of  alternatives to that tired White Elephant.


Go out and buy your $10-to-$20 gift, wrap it with a big shiny bow, and pass it along. Just remember to have fun and be kind; it is the holidays, after all.