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Thread: The dreaded gift swap

  1. #1
    Super Member Sandygirl's Avatar
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    The dreaded gift swap

    My DH family Christmas get together is large. 40 people plus. Thankfully we do an adult gift exchange. One male gift and one female gift. We play that gift swap game...rob your neighbor. I, frankly, hate bothering with this. I prefer to hang out and visit with everyone vs wasting time on this. It is voluntary to participate but i really don't care if we pay this game. Am i a scrooge?? It is not a budget concern....i am bored with it.

    Sandy
    Sandygirl

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    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    sometimes in life, we have to do boring things to show that we are participants in the lives of our friends, family, and coworkers. i'm sorry to hear that you are bored with the game. to spice it up, how about putting in a gift that is more controversial and see how many times it gets 'stolen'. that's what i'd do. we used to play that game in our knitting club. one year, i got an 'obviously' regifted child's yarn kit. my best friend was more upset over it than i was. i just really enjoyed watching the others playing the game.
    Nancy in western NY
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  3. #3
    Super Member Sandygirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltnNan View Post
    sometimes in life, we have to do boring things to show that we are participants in the lives of our friends, family, and coworkers. i'm sorry to hear that you are bored with the game. to spice it up, how about putting in a gift that is more controversial and see how many times it gets 'stolen'. that's what i'd do. we used to play that game in our knitting club. one year, i got an 'obviously' regifted child's yarn kit. my best friend was more upset over it than i was. i just really enjoyed watching the others playing the game.

    Hmmmm....maybe I will make a "rubber" plant to exchange. I remember one that was passed around oh so many years ago ! Great idea to shake things up!

    Sandy
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  4. #4
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    Maybe you should bring that up at the party this year. Maybe there are others who are bored with it too. I know we used to do this as every party we went to and I got really tired of trying to think of gift ideas that I thought someone else would like and I was always coming home with junk. Some people put no thought in it and just bought something for the price limit. My husbands work had a $20 limit. That a lot of money to put out for 2 people and come home with something to donate to Goodwill. It seemed the only thing that got passed around was the booze. Sounds like you have a lot of people and that time could be better spent on another game. Maybe you could come up with another came that would get people talking about the past or something like that.
    Blessed are the quilters, for they are the piecemakers.

  5. #5
    Super Member alleyoop1's Avatar
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    We played this game when I worked and there was usually one gag gift that made it's way around. One time it was a picture of the boss! At the end a "real" gift was given to the one who ended up with the gag gift.

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    How about a couple of Walmart gift cards in small, sewn Christmas stockings? I bet they would be a hot item and you wouldn't mind getting them back yourself.

  7. #7
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I don't blame you. I hate these kinds of things and can't believe others enjoy it that much either. I'm very glad we have never done this.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  8. #8
    Super Member willferg's Avatar
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    I don't care for these things, either. I don't see why you can't just bow out. I think the thing is to not bring something or take anything so you don't mess up the numbers.
    People who start projects and never finish them are cooler
    than people who never start projects at all.


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  9. #9
    Super Member donnalynett's Avatar
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    We play this game each year however it is not a "gift" swap. We have a Christmas ornament swap.

  10. #10
    Super Member Chasing Hawk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandygirl View Post
    My DH family Christmas get together is large. 40 people plus. Thankfully we do an adult gift exchange. One male gift and one female gift. We play that gift swap game...rob your neighbor. I, frankly, hate bothering with this. I prefer to hang out and visit with everyone vs wasting time on this. It is voluntary to participate but i really don't care if we pay this game. Am i a scrooge?? It is not a budget concern....i am bored with it.

    Sandy
    My family does the gag gift exchange. It's lots of fun. One year I got a matching set of cheetah print accessories.......high heel stilettos, a purse and hat.........LOL
    I saved it for a few years and "passed " it on to my Sister in Law.
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    I have never been a real fan of these types of exchanges. Always seemed I gave great thought over my gift of what others might like and I would end up going home with something I wouldn't even donate. One year they came up with an ornament exchange and the one I ended up with was a broken snowman. Fun! The youth group at church used to do a "white elephant" exchange, until a couple of the boys used actual trash in their gift. They thought it was funny, no one else did. I could go on, so I stopped participating. After a few years of it, it was too hard to pretend some of the off color items were funny and when others just picked out the cheapest item they could find - it was easier to stop than to pretend. I can't understand why people ca't do the gift card idea if they really feel forced into it. I know it is hard to admit sometimes when it isn't affordable, then maybe bake a bunch of cookies or something.
    People shouldn't be upset about re-gifting at these things either, unless it is something that expired. People get things they really don't want - why not send it along?

    Sorry to be the party-pooper, but I really prefer to give gifts to people I want to give a thoughtful gift rather than a guessing game and be the victim of someone else's thoughtlessness.

  12. #12
    Super Member ptquilts's Avatar
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    just bow out - maybe you will start a trend.

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    The family gift exchange doesn't have to be boring. We have used these to exchange gifts among our large family, but have used different styles of white elephant games each time. The AlbinoPhant site has many variations of the white elephant party for you to try. Here is a link to the unique game rules: http://albinophantblog.com/white-ele...e-idea-center/
    I hope that this will help you guys to make the swap more engaging this year!
    Sarah Christensen

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    We have passed an awful painting of a frog around a few years. Also a pair of red underwear. It's time to bring them out again. It's been awhile. We just go along with the games. It is the friends that count. Or the family.

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    Maybe suggest that instead of doing the game thing - that the money that would have been spent be donated to a charity or food shelf?

    I don't care for that at all, either. I frequently get something in the "Thanks, but you REALLY shouldn't have" category that ends up being trash, clutter, or donated.

    When funds are really tight - even $5.00 can matter.

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    Super Member Judith1005's Avatar
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    So many great ideas and wise advice. I do so enjoy coming to the board. I hope you have a great holiday Sandygirl. Just being with family and friends is the most important thing.
    My little shinning stars. Brantley, Kaylynn, and Emmalee

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    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    i heard some ladies at the Senior Center talking about white elephant gifts. I do hope I'm not expected to waste money on one! they are wasteful and i don't have much money. I must ask tomorrow at the card game (apples to apples) i play there.

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    Member Annieflower's Avatar
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    I remember a ladies group that I had joined years ago. Money was tight for everyone and we had a recycled Chinese Auction for the gift exchange. Everybody brought a gift that they had recieved in good condition and regifted it. It was the best gift exchange ever and it was just so spirited and funny. It's amazing what things folks can find to share with another. Happy Holidays with lots of laughs.

  19. #19
    Super Member owlvamp's Avatar
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    I never like those type of games either. When I give a gift I put lots of thought into and try to find out everything I can about whom will receive my gift. I like giving that I want the receiver to really love what they received. So I'm not good at all at those type of games. I personally would bow out and just go to be with everyone. Bake some cookies and take those. Do a cookie exchange or ornament exchange. I also like what a lot of the advice the ladies gave you.

    Whatever you decide have a Happy Holidays and smile.
    Sandra
    Treat people the way you want to be treated!!

  20. #20
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    My siblings and I for years pulled names for gift exchanges. One of my sibs was particularly bad about being on the 'giving' end. We also had a price limit. It got very tedious after a while. I finally convinced a couple of them that none of really needed the items we were getting for one another; none of us had the room for more 'stuff'; etc. We finally decided to just do a gag re-gift exchange. Much more fun. But my one SIL still sends us stuff from the kids each year despite my pleas to not do so. The items are usually quite hideous and cheap. I'm not complaining about the amount of money spent, but if you're buying cheap stuff just to be able to say you sent a gift, and I've begged you not to, why even bother????

  21. #21
    Super Member Sandygirl's Avatar
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    I enjoy the holidays. I think one reason that i dislike Ths game is that it takes up over an hour to play and once it is over...people start to bolt for the door. My DH being one of those people. I just feel like that soe god family time is taken up. Thanks for the great input.

    I really like the idea of collecting money for a charity vs wasting $$ on this game.
    Sandy
    Sandygirl

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  22. #22
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Our family used to do the exchange ... and it got into so many rules that it spoiled it!

    My "adopted" family has done it for years and it was always a hoot. Gifts varied and always created lots of excitement during the time it took. Yes, sometimes one ended up with something they didn't really want. But for the better part they were all reasonably good things.

    When it started to get boring ... or annoying re some of the gifts ... so then a theme was created for all the gifts. One year it was "liquid" ... perhaps a water hose, drinking glasses, bubble bath. I used a "maple syrup theme" with the liquid giving maple syrup, with homemade maple salad dressing and maple BBQ sauce. Another year, the theme was "blue". The host/hostess determined the theme and we knew in the summer what it would be.

    Last year they switched it up ... still a price limit, the exchange, numbers drawn etc. but your gift had to be "something I made". What a range!! What surprises of talents that many of us didn't know about the other person. It sure created a lot of discussion for the rest of the day (and year!!). And WOW what a LOT of sought after gifts in the stealing part.

    Needless to say, this was a hit ... and it was unanimously decided to do it again.

    Yes, no surprise, I did something quilty. And haven't decided yet what this year's offering will be!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Sew many ideas ... just sew little time!!
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  23. #23
    Member tncorrente's Avatar
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    My family has done this a few times and we keep the price low and make it simple. It about the laughs and fun....not the "haul". Each has fun his own way....

  24. #24
    Super Member lovelyl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tncorrente View Post
    My family has done this a few times and we keep the price low and make it simple. It about the laughs and fun....not the "haul". Each has fun his own way....
    I agree! I love the game because of the laughs it brings. It feels so good to laugh with family and friends!
    Linda
    There may be times we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest. - Elie Wiesel

  25. #25
    Super Member May in Jersey's Avatar
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    Although our family isn't very big several years ago DIL#1 suggested at Thanksgiving we pull names out of a hat and instead of buying gifts for all family members we just buy one gift for the name we pull. DH was all for it as he usually only buys one gift, mine. When I told him one Christmas gift was all he would get from all of his family he quickly changed his mind. He likes to put his Santa hat on and pass out gifts for all of the family. I would have given individual gifts to all our sons, their wives and our grandkids anyway so it didn't make any difference to me. DIL#2 wasn't for it as she's stopped giving gifts to all of the family, her DH, our son, buys our gift. She has all holidays with her family so pulling names at Thanksgiving would be a problem and then when and where would we exchange Christmas gifts as we are rarely all together at anytime during Christmas. Sort of takes the whole good feeling out of sharing at Christmas.
    Last edited by May in Jersey; 11-15-2012 at 06:43 AM.

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