5 Tips for a Gift Exchange with an Odd Number of People

Yes, you can do a gift exchange with an odd number of people!

There’s nothing wrong with being odd. 

For whatever reason, we tend to think “odd” numbers are, well, off. Even numbers are solid and divide easily. They have a graceful symmetry. Odd numbers? They’re weird and quirky. It’s right there in the name! I don’t know about you, though, but I like things being odd. It makes life more interesting. Odd numbers can be like Alice in Wonderland, taking you to weird and fun places. 

And contrary to popular belief, having an odd number of people doesn’t make a gift exchange any more difficult, and certainly not impossible. In fact, like all odd things, it opens you up to possibilities. You don’t need an even number to have an easy gift exchange, especially if you take advantage of technology. 

So, embrace being odd. Here are five tips for a gift exchange with an odd number of people. 

How to Organize a Gift Exchange with an Odd Number 

Not having an even number of people makes playing basketball kind of tricky. But it makes gift exchanges even more fun. Here’s how to make it work. 

Use an Online Gift Exchange Generator

It’s not super complicated to run a gift exchange with an odd number of people, but you do need to make sure no one is left out. The best way to do that is with an online gift exchange generator that can pair everyone with a partner whether you have an even or odd number of participants. 

An online generator lets you do a lot of things, including:

  • Create wish lists.
  • Buy directly from the wish list from some of the top online retailers in the country.
  • Ask questions to your giftee anonymously.

This way, as long as you have at least three people, everyone who registers will be matched with someone else. There will be no reciprocal exchanges, no getting paired with someone in your immediate family or your spouse, or anything else you want. It makes sure that no one gets left out and everyone gets a gift. 

Make Odd-Numbered Gifts

One thing you can do to make gift-giving a little more challenging and fun is to choose things that are the odd number in a series. That might mean leaving out, say, Godfather II and The Empire Strikes Back, but it also gives you a chance to put in The Last Crusade, The Fast Five, or American Tail III: The Treasure of Manhattan Island (which I guess is a thing). The options are limited, but the possibilities are endless. 

You can do this with more than movies. It’s definitely okay to get someone Cuz I Love You because that’s Lizzo’s new album. But if someone wants throwback Beatles albums? You can’t do Let It Be. You have to go with Abbey Road. Still a good choice! 

Make Odd-Numbered Wish Lists

Your wish list is where you can really start dreaming. Because your online gift exchange links you up with all the online retailers in the world, you can get whatever you want. But in this, your gift exchange wish list has to be an odd number of items or somehow embrace the idea of odd numbers.

That means either 1) leaving something out, or 2) putting something else in. But you could make it even more interesting. Rather than selecting a 16-piece dinnerware set, spring for, say, a 3-piece one.

Make a List of Things Outside of Your Comfort Zone

Okay, we understand this is really odd. But one thing you can do is make your list as odd as the game. Of course you want a shirt, or concert tickets, or that dining set. But why not push yourself? Why not ask for tickets to a concert you normally wouldn’t go to? Why not ask for bungee jumping lessons? Why not ask for something out of your comfort zone?

That’s the joy of being odd. You can pretend to be someone else. You can decide to be a little different. 

Make the Total Price an Odd Number

Some gift exchanges have a dollar limit. But what if you made even more challenges? You can:

  • Make the total have to be an odd number. 
  • Make the numbers in what you buy add up to an odd number.
  • Make an odd number that you have to hit (i.e., gifts have to total exactly $33 before tax).

Opening Yourself Up to Oddities

There are people who might not like these restrictions, but you should look at it like a haiku. It seems like a restriction to write a really short poem with specific syllables, but it makes you work harder and makes you think more. It stretches your imagination. 

In the end, that’s what being odd is all about. It’s about using your imagination to find something your friend, co-worker, or family member will like. It’s about seeing the world with a head tilted curiously to the side, open to any possibilities. It’s about recognizing that you have an endless chance to be surprised and be surprising. 

So, embrace being odd. Embrace being different. Embrace the world that is open to you when things aren’t exactly even. 

It’s okay to be odd, as long as you have a Secret Santa generator to keep you on an even keel. Remember that you and your friends can play your odd games on Elfster or start a Wish List of oddities. Plus, you can download our iPhone app or Android app

About Brian B 94 Articles
Brian thinks that giving someone a gift is just about the most fun you can have, so long as you don't stress out about finding the right one. He likes helping people not stress out during the holidays. Hit him up for ways to make your Christmas more fun.