Saturday, December 20, 2014

Our Naughty or Nice Christmas Gift Exchange

They say Christmas is for kids right?

Well in our family the kids
have all grown up.

with the exception of the above photo, all (other) photos are from online sources
because I was just having too much fun to take photos

My husband and I have
 3 twenty-something children.

I have three siblings with spouses
and between those three families
there are 7 more nieces/nephews
also in their teens and twenties.
Two of which are married adding
two more twenty-somethings.
Occasionally a boyfriend or girlfriend
may be thrown into the mix.

For Christmas last year at my Mom's house
there were, as I remember, 17 adults.
My sister and her husband and their
two married daughters had other plans
and did not attend.

Gifts for small children is always fun
but for adults it's just a bit more challenging 
so we had ruled "no gifts".
We would have a nice gathering
for Christmas dinner.

No Gifts??
It just isn't Christmas without gifts!
I don't care what it is,
it's just nice to have something to open...
something small,
NOT a gift card thank you.
Something to hold
to wonder "what could it be?"
you admire the wrapping,
the shiny bow,
something unexpected that
warms the heart
and brings a smile.



 I had heard one of the girls at work
talking about their family Christmas...
They have small children so of course they
enjoy watching them open their gifts of toys, etc.
Then the adults also have a grab-bag type
of gift exchange but were going to
try a new gift exchange game....

My ears perked up....

Something she had found online... the
"Christmas with the Right Family" story.
I decided to print off a copy for myself too.
It sounded like fun.

In this game/gift exchange
everyone sits in a, near as possible,
circular arrangement around the room 
holding the gift they are giving,
and someone reads the story aloud.

During the reading of the story
every time the word "left" or "right" is read
everyone passes their gift in that direction.
Kind of like musical chairs but with passing of gifts.

I made my own version of the story to 
add to the story line, incorporating more
left and right passes,
and added an "across" pass.
When the word "across" is read
you exchange gifts with the person
seated across from you.

 I've provided links at the end of this post
so you can print a copy
to use at your own party.

Since this was pretty much a last minute decision
I decided I would provide all of the gifts
for the exchange myself
instead of asking everyone to
bring a gift to share.

Since there is no way of knowing who is going
to end up with which gift
 all of the gifts have to be generic....
that is to say 
appropriate for all ages
non-gender specific.

And since I hadn't really budgeted for
buying 20 gifts
I put the emphasis on
the game not the gift.

To get everyone in
the same room away from the television
off the smart phones, etc.
for the fun of fellowship in playing the game.
No costly gifts.

Then I had idea...

"Then he got an idea.  An awful idea.
The Grinch got a wonderful, awful idea"!

I would put my own spin on it.
I'd make some of the gifts
Naughty !

and some of the gifts 
Nice !

hahahah, (wringing my hands)
this would be soooo fun!!

I set a budget of $3 - $5 per gift.

I labelled the gift either Naughty or Nice
in a place that would be visible
after taking off the outer gift wrap
by applying a label to the tissue paper
resting on top of the actual gift item
just inside the box under the lid
or that would be visible when you peeled back
the box flaps.
The recipient should announce to
onlookers if they've received a
naughty or nice gift.

I warned everyone at the beginning
of the game that some of the gifts 
were Naughty and some were Nice.
Everyone's curiosity was 
instantly piqued,
and the fun 
insanity began.

I piled all of the gifts in the center 
of the living room
and told everyone to chose a gift.

Right away, my sister insisted...
"What are all those gifts?
Bet, did you bring gifts?
We weren't supposed to get gifts!

After shushing her, I told them 
they were just fun dollar store gag gifts
for a game.
So anyhow, choose a gift,
it doesn't matter which gift 
you don't get to keep it.

My husband read the story
and it was a bit of a workout
keeping up with
passing the gifts along
and catching the one thrown
into your lap from the person
next to you. 
Imagine 17 adults springing out of their
seat and heading into the center of the room
to exchange their gift box with the
person who had been seated across from them.
It's crazy!  
"Take mine","no he sits across
from me, no me,  I'm exchanging with her"
"I don't have anyone to exchange with"
"okay, change with him then
exchange with me".
The room was loud with laughter and chatter.
You just got sat back down, gifts spinning
around the room, left then right, then right again
then left
then everyone up out of their seat to
exchange across the room aaagain!

Pure fun 
and at moments,
 pure chaos.

So after the story was read and
all of the gifts were settled
we opened them one at a time while everyone
else watched with anticipation.

who got a Naughty gift?

Will I get a Nice gift?

If I get a Naughty gift, what could it be?

As I remember my sister was the first 
to get a Naughty gift...

Snowman Poop!!   (giggle)
a ziploc bag with mini marshmallows.

The Naughty gifts were just a bit naughty
but mostly silly 
and I was sure to
tuck in something nicer or useful too.

So there was also a little snowman hanging
tree ornament in the gift box
tucked in with the snowman poop.

My sister laughed and made comment
that there was a theme going here
when she and eventually
 both her daughter and son
received more Naughty gifts... niece and nephew each received a different style of 
reindeer antlers and reindeer poop!!!

My daughter, on the other hand ,
LOL, there's NO WAY anyone could have planned it,
was on the receiving end of a gift
labelled  Nice...

Nutcracker "Sweets"

a nutcracker of course 

along with candy  in nutcracker packagings...

and a nutcracker lottery ticket

Another naughty gift was

"Coal 'd Hard Cash"

Christmas "coal"

along with Holiday Cash Lottery Tickets

My Mom was the recipient of this one
(probably the only time she's ever played)
and unfortunately she didn't win anything 
on the scratch offs.


Oh,  Fudge

N  "Ice"   ?

Walgreens sells a brand of products
called NICE!.  So that makes it easy to add
more nice gifts...

So with a little imagination
and some inexpensive items 
we had loads of fun.

All of the twenty-somethings begged,
Oh,  Aunt Betty, that was so much fun
can we do it again next year!?

There are a number of
stories around the internet.
You can find one of those
"Christmas with the Right Family"  

I 've never offered any printables
before and I'm not really sure how to do that
so I've written my version of the story
on another"page" of my blog.
You should be able to 
highlight the story, right click and print.

Click here 
to get
 My Adaptation of 
"A Naughty or Nice Christmas
with the WRIGHT Family".

A Blessed and Merry Christmas to All 
and to all a Happy Gift Exchange,

Christmas Hugs,

1 comment:

  1. Loved the Naughty Nice blog, and your dauchshund looks just like our dog Buddy


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I'd love to return the visit. Hugs, BettyJean