We've all gotten that gift. You know the one we're talking about... the "what were they thinking" present you can't wait to regift. Great news! We've got a solution.
Turn the awkward situation of an unwanted gift into a festive Christmas party game. Guests will not only have fun and be able to get rid of unwanted items they've received as gifts, but they might also get to take something home that they will actually want. Consider hosting this party after Christmas — maybe between Christmas and New Year's — or in early January.
Play Regift Bingo
How about adding a fun twist to your party with a game of Regifting Bingo? Here's how it works: just ask everyone to bring a wrapped regift to exchange. To keep things fair, you can include a value suggestion on the invitation. This game is perfect for breaking the ice, especially if you have guests who might not know each other well, like at an office or church gathering.
How to Play
Create custom Bingo cards with a graphics program, with pen and paper, or at MyFreeBingoCards. The cards should all be divided into a grid, just like in the traditional game of Bingo. Instead of numbers in the grid squares, include certain Christmas-related characteristics, traits, talents, and features (examples below).
- After designing and printing your cards, place them in the party area along with some pens or markers. You can also set up a designated spot for the gifts, like a table or beneath a Christmas tree.
- As your guests arrive, kindly ask them to put their wrapped gifts under the Christmas tree or on the designated table.
- When you're ready to start the game, gather guests into the party area. Give each guest a Bingo card and a pen or marker.
- Encourage your guests to socialize and complete their Bingo cards by interacting with others who fit the descriptions on each square.
- When they find someone who can honestly say "yes" to a trait/characteristic/talent in a square, have them sign their name — or initials — in the corresponding square.
- It's best if you have more guests than squares to fill out, but if you have fewer guests, you can let them sign their names on multiple squares if needed.
- The first player to fill a complete line with signatures, either vertically, horizontally, or diagonally, wins. That player must declare their win and is then allowed to choose a gift from the pile. They can open the gift but must remain in the party area.
- As each player completes the Bingo board, they can choose a gift and unwrap it.
- At the end of the game — when every player has chosen a gift — players are allowed to "regift again" by exchanging it with another player as long as both parties are in agreement.
Bingo Card Ideas
Fill your Bingo cards with holiday-related items. There are tons of fun ideas, including the following:
- Has kissed under the mistletoe
- Likes fruitcake
- Knows the names of all of Santa's reindeers
- Opens gifts on Christmas Day
- Opens gifts on Christmas Eve
- Has been on a sleigh ride
- Puts up their Christmas tree before Thanksgiving
- Decorates the exterior of their house with lights
- Has had a tropical Christmas
- Been out of the country on Christmas
- Has been a secret Santa
- Has a Santa, Christmas tree, or wreath as their Facebook profile
- Knows someone named Nick
- Tracks Santa online
- Leaves their tree up until February (or later)
- Waits until December 23 (or later) to shop
- Has all gifts purchased and wrapped by December 23 (or earlier)
- Has won a Christmas contest (gingerbread making, ugly sweater, etc.)
- Keeps up with childhood traditions
- Celebrates Christmas traditions from another country/culture
- Has red hair or green eyes
- Can say "Merry Christmas" in a language other than English
- Someone wearing a non-traditional Christmas color (such as orange or purple)
- Can whistle "Jingle Bells"
- Knows someone named "Mary" or "Christmas" or "Joseph"
You can make your Bingo board as big as you want.
Santa's Regifting Workshop
Allow guests to choose gifts for other partygoers with this fun regifting game. This game can continue throughout the night.
The hostess can create a fun 'Santa's Workshop' space for the gift exchange. Make sure to stock it with everything needed for wrapping gifts: different-sized boxes, an assortment of wrapping paper, gift bags, tissue paper, tape, and bows. To keep things organized, prepare gift tags in advance with each guest's name on them. Finally, set up a designated area with a Christmas tree where everyone can place their beautifully wrapped presents.
- Ask guests to bring an unwrapped gift.
- Have the guests give the gift to the hostess, who will then place the gifts in a big box in Santa's Workshop.
- After everyone has arrived, you can start the game.
- Invite guests, one by one, to go into Santa's Workshop.
- Once the guest is in the workshop, they should choose a gift out of the box.
- The guest will then wrap the gift and put a name tag on the present. They can't choose their own name tag.
- When the gift has been wrapped, have the player put the wrapped gift under the tree.
- After the first player comes out of the room, the hostess can choose another guest to go into the room to repeat the process.
- When all the gifts have been wrapped and tagged, allow guests to find their gifts and take turns unwrapping them.
- Guests can then choose to "regift" their gift, or they can choose to keep it.
- The guests who want to keep their gifts are out of the game, but those who want to regift their item can put it back into the box in Santa's Workshop. Encourage guests to disguise their gifts during the second wrapping.
- Repeat the process for a second round.
You can keep the game going for multiple rounds as long as you have a good number of guests to participate.
Santa's Sled Race
Ask each guest to bring a wrapped gift they would like to regift to another guest. Inform guests that they should not bring anything too fragile and should cushion gifts well because the gift boxes may be handled roughly. You will need a large space, such as a backyard or gym, to play this Santa race game.
This one doesn't need many supplies. Just grab two sleds and some red and green sticker dots. If you don't have or can't find the dots, grab red and green duct tape.
How to Play
Before you hop into the game, scroll through the list of rules and how to play. Being prepared will make the party go so much smoother.
- When guests arrive with their gifts, put either a green or red sticker on them. Make sure that you have an even number of "red" gifts as you do "green" gifts.
- Assign each guest a team color opposite of the color of their gift. For instance, if a guest arrives and you put a red sticker on their gift, their team color would be green. And if a guest's gift gets a green sticker, then they would be on the red team. This is to assure that guests will not receive their own gift at the end of the game.
- Put all the gifts in a single pile on a table or under a tree. Mix the green and red gifts together.
- Have guests divide into the assigned red and green teams.
- At the sound of "Go!" the two teams will start the race.
- One player from each team will race to the pile of gifts and look for a gift marked with their color.
- Once the player finds a gift with their color sticker attached, they have to put it on a sled that is stationed next to the gifts. They will then race to the finish line at least 20 feet away. If the gift falls off the sled, they have to go back to the starting line and try again.
- Once they have successfully delivered the gift to the finish line, they have to return with the sled to the starting line and tag the hand of their next teammate.
- The race continues until all the gifts are delivered.
- The first team with all their teammates completing all the tasks wins, but play continues until all gifts have been delivered (all guests have had a turn).
- All players can choose a gift from their pile and open it, but the winning team is the only one who gets to choose to "steal" a gift from the losing team.
- You can take turns deciding which players on the winning team get to steal first. It's generally a good idea to start with the youngest player going first.
Avoid Hurt Feelings
When having a regifting party, it's important to make sure that no one gets hurt feelings by seeing a gift they have given to someone end up as an unwanted item that's being regifted. A good way to avoid this is to mention it in the invitation. If the party is for your co-workers, state in the invitation that the item can't be something given to them by someone from the office. Another way to help avoid this type of uncomfortable situation is to only invite close friends or family members and ask them to only bring gifts they have received from co-workers or from "white elephant" parties.