Theme Ideas for Christmas Gift Exchanges

Two women having a Christmas gift exchange

Coming up with Christmas gift exchange ideas can be hard for anyone, even a self-proclaimed mall rat. Mix it up a little and choose a theme for the presents that everyone must follow.

Themed Adult Exchanges

The first thing to consider when creating a theme for your exchange is the audience. A naughty bedroom theme may be fun for a group of girlfriends, but is definitely inappropriate for the office or family. Likewise, a desk calendar theme would be boring for a family exchange.

Consider these themes for adult Christmas gift exchanges:

  • Pop Culture: Everyone chooses a present that reflects a part of today's pop culture.
  • Newsreel: Each present must relate back to a news story from the past year. Include a copy of the story that inspired the gift.
  • Practical Presents: Frugal friends and family will enjoy getting gifts that can be put to good use indoors or out, like cleaning supplies or vegetable seeds.
  • Go Green: Gifts exchanged can be organic, made from recyclable materials or eco-friendly.
  • Charitable Causes: Purchase gifts that send a portion of the profits to charities around the world.
  • Pet-tacular Presents: If everyone in the group has a pet, give gifts like collars, treats and animal collectibles to the person you get.

Themed gift exchanges can be economical, too. Instead of trying to save money by purchasing cheap Christmas gifts that will just be returned, make your entire theme one that requires you to be thrifty and thoughtful. Holiday gift baskets is a perfect theme. From spa baskets to yummy homemade food baskets, baskets can be personalized to fit everyone's personality.

Another great theme is time and talent. It is one that revolves around your expertise and skills, which require you to purchase nothing. Instead of giving each other tangible items, give the gift of knowledge or support. Coupons can be written up that give out an hour's worth of gardening, painting, babysitting, computer help, haircuts and more. These coupons are perfect for a neighborhood exchange, where everyone lives close to one another.

Kids Themed Gift Exchanges

Large families and children's groups often have kid's names in an exchange drawing or bring a grab bag gift for an exchange at their holiday party. Organizers might enjoy fresh Christmas gift exchange ideas that make the gifting a little more interesting. Simple themes for children include:

  • Animals: Each child must bring in a present that relates back to their favorite animal.
  • Christmas Colors: The gift itself does not matter, as long as it is red- or green- colored.
  • Licensed Characters: A gift should feature a favorite television or movie character.
  • Games: Each child should exchange a game or puzzle.
  • Classic Toys: The Christmas toy should be timeless. For example, a simple pull toy or stacking rings. This is a good exchange theme for infant and toddler play groups.
  • Books: Every child picks out a new book to give in the exchange.

Children usually love arts and crafts projects, so keep them busy on cold snowy weekends by making craft gifts to give to one another. A crafting theme also serves the purpose of keeping kids attention off the potential commercialism of the holiday.

More Christmas Gift Exchange Ideas

Almost anything can be turned into a party gift exchange theme. Your only limit is budget and imagination, although it may be a challenge to get family and friends to agree to a wacky theme!

More fun exchange themes include:

  • ABCs and 123s: Pick a random letter of the alphabet or number. Each person needs to buy a present for the exchange that starts with the letter or features the number in its name.
  • Ornament Exchange: Each person should bring in a Christmas ornament for a grab-bag exchange.
  • Lost and Found: What weird items do people find in lost and found boxes? This gag theme is perfect for ridding yourself of broken sunglasses, half-empty bottles of soda and mittens without their match.
  • Memories: Each gift should relate back to a childhood memory that the giver has of the recipient. From homemade cookies and a rolling pin to a shiny new sled, be sure that everyone tells the memories behind the gift.

By having a themed gift exchange, you will no longer be left wondering "What are good Christmas gift ideas?" Your creativity will take over as you look for a gift that fits the theme and sentiment of the holiday exchange party.

Theme Ideas for Christmas Gift Exchanges