Gift Exchange Do’s and Don’ts – Rules of Gift Giving

Are you looking to dive into the fun world of gift exchanges? Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a first-timer, organizing a gift exchange can be as exhilarating as unwrapping the perfect present.

Let’s walk through the essential do’s and don’ts, and set you up with all the rules of gift giving. From playing White Elephant to managing a Secret Santa gift exchange, we’ve got you covered!

DO: Choose the Right Type of Exchange

First things first, pick the type of gift exchange that suits your group. Love surprises? Secret Santa might be your go-to. If your group prefers a good giggle and perhaps a friendly scuffle over gifts, then White Elephant is a sure hit. Each type has its charm and rules, so choose wisely!

DON’T: Ignore the Budget

Setting a budget is your golden rule. It keeps things fair and fun, ensuring no one feels the pinch or goes overboard. A typical range could be $20-$30, but feel free to adjust based on what’s comfortable for your group. Remember, it’s all about the joy of giving, not the price tag!

DO: Use a Gift Exchange Generator

Keeping track of who’s gifting whom can be a tad confusing, right? Use a gift exchange generator or a secret santa app like Elfster. These tools do the heavy lifting — managing invitations, drawing names, and even sending reminders. Plus, they’re great for adding an element of surprise and keeping everything hush-hush until the big reveal.

DON’T: Let Anyone Feel Left Out

Inclusivity is key! Make sure everyone can participate, from the youngest cousin to your great-aunt. Tailor the experience for kids by adjusting the rules or gifts suitable for their age. The joy on their faces when they participate will be the highlight of your event!

DO: Create and Share Wishlists

Encourage your participants to create and share their Wishlists. This isn’t just practical — it’s a lifesaver! It cuts down the guessing work and makes shopping a breeze. On Elfster, you can easily add wishes, update your list, and check out others’ preferences with just a few clicks.

DON’T: Spoil the Surprise

Keep the spirit of the gift exchange alive by maintaining the mystery. If you’re using an app, let the technology handle the name drawing and ensure that the results stay secret until the exchange. Also, if you buy a gift from someone’s Wishlist, mark it as purchased secretly to avoid duplicate gifts.

DO: Have Rules for Drawing Names

Can your gift exchange have an odd number of people? Absolutely! Modern gift exchange platforms like Elfster can handle any group size. But, do set rules to prevent people from drawing names of those they shouldn’t — like their spouse or sibling. This keeps the game fair and fun.

DON’T: Forget to Plan for the Unexpected

Sometimes, despite the best plans, things go awry — maybe someone forgets their gift or a new colleague joins in at the last minute. Consider having a couple of extra wrapped gifts on standby, just in case. These can be simple yet thoughtful items that anyone would appreciate, such as candles, chocolates, or gift cards.

DO: Keep the Rules Simple

Whether you’re explaining how to play White Elephant or setting up a Secret Santa, keep the rules simple and clear. Send out a quick rundown before the event, so everyone knows what to expect and can focus on the fun part — enjoying the exchange!

DON’T: Let the Fun End Prematurely

After the gifts are unwrapped and the laughter dies down, don’t let the fun stop there! Use this gathering as a chance to share stories, play games, or enjoy a festive meal together. The best gift exchanges end on a high note, leaving everyone eager for the next one.

The Final DO: Have a Wonderful Gift Exchange!

Organizing a gift exchange doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By following these simple do’s and don’ts, you’re all set to host a memorable event that might just become the season’s highlight. Embrace the rules of gift giving, use the right tools, and above all, keep the spirit of joy and generosity alive.

Ready to start your own gift exchange? Jump over to Elfster and let the festivities begin!

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About Sam Watanuki 14 Articles
Sam loves writing about the holidays, but you can find him cooking up tons of holiday feasts and treats using the kitchen tools gifted to him from his Wishlist!