Our Family’s Three Favorite Timeless Christmas Traditions

The holidays are a time to celebrate with friends and family. Gathering with the same group of people each Christmas holiday season provides a sense of bonding. Your guests might only see each other that one time a year and it gives them a chance to catch up with each other. Just like looking forward to seeing these people every holiday season, many of our guests look forward to the activities that have become our timeless Christmas traditions. These include the white elephant gift exchange, holiday season gift exchange, and even a candy cane game to choose next year’s hosts. 

White Elephant Gift Exchange

The white elephant gift exchange is a way to add some fun to your holiday gift exchange. Each guest brings a wrapped gift to the party. The host can choose a category such as a specific price range, a specific weight range or a type of gift such as baked goods. When a guest presents his wrapped gift for inspection, he receives a number. This number represents what round of the gift exchange he will start. 

During a round, the person with that number chooses a gift first. Player number one must choose a wrapped gift, any others can select a wrapped gift and unwrap that unknown gift, or steal one that was previously unknown, going for the known item instead. If a player has his gift stolen he can then choose to open a wrapped gift or steal another gift from anyone than the person that stole from him. There can be a maximum number of three steals in a round and significant others can not steal from each other. 

The host must make one decision before the game starts. That decision is if the player that goes first in the first round gets to also go first in the final round. Some do this so everyone has an option to steal. 

Holiday Scavenger Hunt

The holiday scavenger hunt take a little preparation in advance. Choose the area the game will be played in. Sometimes it’s a home, sometimes a community and other times a radius in mileage from the host’s home. Once this is chosen, select guests to drive for each team, with five no more than 5 team. Before the event arrives, the host and a few friends should get together and create the scavenger list for each team with points assigned for each other. Creating a list of 20-25 items should keep your guests entertained for an hour-and-a-half. 

Candy Cane Hosting Game

Even the most outgoing guest at the party might hesitate when asked to host next year’s party. To do this, fill a brown paper bag with an assortment of mini candy canes. These candy canes should be an assortment of flavors with just one traditional red cane. Each guest before leaving pulls a candy cane from the bag. The one that pull s the traditional one is Next year’s gathering host. He gets to keep the candy cane as a gift. 

The least favorite part of Christmas parties other than when they end is setting up and doing dishes. The host can choose helpers or repeat the game. If you repeat the game, add three to five additional candy canes into the bag so more people are selected, those with the traditional candy canes will help host year. 

Staying Organized For Next Year

Creating a box that has the holiday supplies for each year, passing it from host to host makes planning easier. The guest list should be included in this box, as well as any remaining supplies from the current and previous years.