A few years ago we started a new tradition with our kids and and their cousins at the family Christmas party. It had become so confusing and so much work for the parents to have all the different cousins exchange gifts with each other every year that we decided it was time to simplify. (We are from Utah, so there are a lot of cousins running around. That’s how we roll here. 😉 ) One of my sister-in-law’s had an idea to play a gift exchange game instead of assigning a certain cousin for each of the kids to give to. Now, we take the kids to the dollar store and let them choose an item to bring wrapped to the party and we play a Christmas gift exchange right and left game.
It is a very fun and simple way to exchange gifts. We read a Christmas story with lots of “rights” and “lefts” in it to help them to exchange the gifts. Every time they hear “right” in the story, they pass the gift they are holding to the right. Every time they hear “left,” they pass it to the left. At the end of the story, whichever gift you are holding is the one you go home with.
This is much easier on the parents and the kids have great time. There are many versions of this game out there, but here is a story I made up for us to play the game with. I also add the word “scrambled”– when they hear this, the kids should trade gifts once with anyone else in the circle that they choose just to mix things up even more. It would work great for any group of people exchanging gifts- classroom parties, work parties, friend parties, whatever you’ve got going. I included a free printable of the Christmas gift exchange right and left story for you to use at your next party. Have fun!