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Holiday Gift Exchange

Author: Addison, Eco Emi Team Member

At Eco Emi, we embrace the precious moments of sharing traditions and making memories with the ones we love. One of the gift exchange games we like to play is affectionately called “rob your neighbor”.  If you are not familiar with this game, the rules are straight-forward and it can be so much fun!  Everyone brings a wrapped gift (ten to twenty dollar limit or a white elephant gift), places it in the middle of the room,  and picks a number out of a hat or bowl at random. The person that selected #1 from the bowl gets to go first.  This person picks a gift from the pile and unwraps it so everyone can see; the second person can either steal that gift or pick one of their own and so on. To view the full details of this game click here.

We love this game but there are so many others…  This year, the Eco Emi Team challenged ourselves to think outside the box and experiment with different gift exchange games during holiday parties. Here are the top three fun and unique game ideas that we came up with…


The Dice Game:

Preparation: Ask your guests to bring a wrapped gift; be sure to communicate about the expected price range so everyone is on the same page. You will also need two six-sided dice.


  1. Have everyone sit in a circle with their wrapped gift in their lap.
  2. Give the dice to one person in the circle and tell them to roll the dice and follow the instructions that correspond with the number they roll. For example, if they roll a 6 everyone would pass the gift to the right, roll an 8 and everyone passes to the left. View it below or download the printable version, click here.
  3. Go around the circle allowing everyone to roll the dice two times (or however many you choose) and once the dice have gone around the circle twice, your guests will keep the gift in their hands.

December Dice Game

Lucky Last Line:

Preparation: Ask your guests to bring a wrapped gift. You can ask them to bring a gift that can range from $10 to $20 or be a white elephant gift, but everyone needs to base their gift off of the same criteria. Before the party begins, write a short poem that directs how your guests will swap the gifts they brought. Remember, a poem can be any simple rhyme.


  1. Tell each of your guests to hold their own wrapped gift.
  2. Read the first line of the poem and tell your guests to follow the instructions in the poem. An example would be, “At the right time and in the right place, give the gift to someone with a smile on their face”
  3. If one person receives multiple gifts it’s OK, they will just need to give those gifts away during the next line of the poem. Make sure your poem includes a last line that will allow all gifts to be given away to anyone – something like “tis the season, give the gift without reason”
  4. Repeat, reading the poem line by line and having your guests follow the instructions on the poem. The gift the person has in their hands at the end of the poem unwraps and keeps that gift.


 Musical Gifts:

Preparation: Ask your guests to bring a wrapped gift. Set the criteria so everyone will give and get a gift of equal value.  When your guests arrive ask them to put their gift in a designated area, and when it’s time to play the game, have them sit in a circle.


  1. To start the game, pick out a random gift from the table and give it to someone in the circle.
  2. Play Christmas music and tell your guests to pass the gift around the circle until the music stops.
  3. When the music stops, whoever has the gift in their hands will unwrap it, show the rest of the group, and leave the circle with their gift, standing close by.
  4. Repeat with another gift, but this time when the music stops, the guest with the gift can choose to either unwrap their gift or steal the gift from the first person who left the circle. If they choose to steal the gift, the first person who left the circle will unwrap the second gift. Both players leave their circle with their gift.
  5. Continue playing until all gifts have been unwrapped and everyone has a gift.


Whether you are making new traditions or celebrating old, Eco Emi hopes that you and your loved ones have a wonderful holiday season. If you try these games or have other suggestions, we would love to know about them! Comment below or share the fun you had by tagging us on our social media websites!

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