This is our newest Christmas gift exchange tradition.  We started doing gift exchange “games” instead of name drawing a few years ago, because it was too late for us to draw names, and/or it was too hard to get the entire group together to physically draw names, and/or we weren’t sure who all was coming over for Christmas. 

So that first year we did a restaurant giftcard exchange, white elephant style.  That basically means we all sat around in a circle and the first person chose a gift and opened it.  The next person can choose to take that person’s gift or open a new one.  And so on and so on.  (Just in case you didn’t know what white elephant meant.)

In 2009 we decided to make the gift buying piece more of a challenge.  Everyone had to find something that weighed exactly one pound.  Some people took the easy route and bought packaged food items like nuts or M&M’s where the net weight was posted on the package.  Someone gave a cottage cheese tub full of pennies, someone else found that a Costco pack of AA batteries weighed one pound.  Ammunition, toilet paper, kitchen towels were also given.  It was quite entertaining.

The gift exchange was done by a non-participant reading a story about Mr. Wright and how he left something someplace.  Every time you heard “right” you handed the gift in your hand to the right, and if you heard “left”, well, you get the idea.

For 2010 we upped the anty.  This year everyone had to bring something that weighed 2.25 pounds, it cannot be a repeat item from the previous year, and it can be a grouping of items, or a single item….but the gift itself (however it is packaged from the store) must be 2.25 pounds.  After that you can feel free to giftwrap however you want! 

Here’s what people came up with this year:

A bag of Dove Chocolate Squares with an extra candy attached
A bristle scrub mat (for boots) with a chocolate bar for the weight requirement
A photo frame (with a personalized picture inside- clever!)
A box of tape: duct, masking, electrical, athletic, etc.
A teapot and boxes of tea
A christmas bowl and plate and a little wooden game
A box with Tums, Ensure and Preparation H
A candle holder and box of tealights

Side note: we did the one pound exchange this year with my side of the family for the first time….included the kids in this round….and here’s what was given:

Tube of money (bills and coins) and lottery tickets
Bag of money
Box of cereal with an iTunes giftcard attached
Nesquick Strawberry milk mix with iTunes giftcard attached
Magicians kit
Pound of coffee
Scentsy brick
Taco kit: packets of seasoning and hot sauce

So what are we going to do next year?  I’m not sure.  It is a fun game though, and makes the shopping a challenge too, and a little embarassing, since you are weighing a lot of random items!