Turn the awkward situation of an unwanted gift into a festive Christmas party game. Guests will not only have fun and be able to get rid of unwanted items they have received as gifts, but might get to take something home that they will actually want. Consider hosting this party after Christmas (maybe between Christmas and New Year's) or in early January.
Combine regifting with the classic game of Bingo. Ask guests to each bring a wrapped re-gift to exchange. Be sure to put a value suggestion on the invitation so guests all receive a gift of equal amount. This game works best as a "Get to Know You" game for guests who may not know each other as well, such as at an office or church party.
How to Play
- Create custom Bingo cards with a graphics program, with pen and paper, or at MyFreeBingoCards. The cards should all be divided into a grid, just like the traditional game of Bingo. Instead of numbers in the grid squares, include certain Christmas related characteristics, traits, talents and features (examples below).
- Once you have created your cards and have printed them, stack them in the party area along with pens or markers. Designate an area to put the gifts such as a table or under a Christmas tree.
- As guests arrive, have them place their wrapped gifts under the Christmas tree or on the table you have designated.
- When you're ready to start the game, gather guests into the party area, give each guest a Bingo card and a pen or marker.
- Instruct guests to mingle with the other guests and try to fill out their Bingo cards by finding someone who does (or is or knows) something for each square.
- When they find someone who can honestly say "yes" to a trait/characteristic/talent in a square, have them sign their name (or initial) in the corresponding square.
- Its' ideal if you have more guests than squares to fill out, but if you have fewer guests than you do squares, you can allow players to sign their name to more than one square.
- The first player to fill a complete line with signatures, either vertically, horizontally or diagonally wins. That player must declare their win and is then allowed to choose a gift from the pile. He or she can open the gift but must remain in the party area.
- As each player completes the Bingo board, they can choose a gift and unwrap it.
- At the end of the game (when every player has chosen a gift), players are allowed to "regift again" by exchanging it with another player as long as both parties are in agreement.
Bingo Card Ideas
Fill your Bingo cards with holiday-related items. Examples include:
- Has kissed under mistletoe
- Likes fruitcake
- Knows the names of all of Santa's reindeers
- Opens gifts on Christmas Day
- Opens gifts on Christmas Eve
- Has been on a sleigh ride
- Puts up their Christmas tree before Thanksgiving
- Decorates the exterior of their house with lights
- Has had a tropical Christmas
- Been out of the country on Christmas
- Has been a secret Santa
- Has a Santa, Christmas tree, or wreath as their Facebook profile
- Knows someone named Nick
- Tracks Santa online
- Leaves their tree up until February (or later)
- Waits until December 23 (or later) to shop
- Has all gifts purchased and wrapped by December 23 (or earlier)
- Has won a Christmas contest (gingerbread making, ugly sweater, etc.)
- Keeps up with childhood traditions
- Celebrates Christmas traditions from another country/culture
- Has red hair or green eyes
- Can say "Merry Christmas" in a language other than English
- Someone wearing a non-traditional Christmas color (such as orange or purple)
- Can whistle "Jingle Bells"
- Knows someone named "Mary" or "Christmas" or "Joseph"
Santa's Regifting Workshop
Allow guests to choose gifts for other party goers with this fun regifting game. This game can continue on throughout the night.
- The hostess should set up a designated room to be "Santa's Workshop." Provide all the necessary items for wrapping gifts such as a variety of boxes, wrapping paper and gift bags, tissue paper, tape and bows. Have a gift tag already written out with each guests' name on it. Also, provide a tree where wrapped gifts can be stored.
- Ask guests to bring an unwrapped gift.
- Have the guests give the gift to the hostess who will then place the gifts into a big box in Santa's Workshop.
- After everyone has arrived, you can start the game.
- Invite guests, one by one, to go into Santa's Workshop.
- Once the guest is in the workshop, he or she should choose a gift out of the box.
- The guest will then wrap the gift and put a name tag on the present. He or she can not choose his/her own name tag.
- When the gift has been wrapped, have the player put the wrapped gift under the tree.
- After the first player comes out of the room, the hostess can choose another guest to go into the room to repeat the process.
- When all the gifts have been wrapped and tagged, allow guests to find their gifts and take turns unwrapping them.
- Guests can then choose to "regift" their gift or they can choose to keep them.
- The guests who want to keep their gifts are out of the game, but those who want to regift their item can put it back into the box in Santa's Workshop. Encourage guests to disguise their gifts during the second wrapping.
- Repeat the process for a second round.
Santa's Sled Race
- Two sleds
- Some red and green sticker dots (or red and green duct tape)
How to Play
- When guests arrive with their gifts, put either a green or red sticker on them. Make sure that you have an even number or "red" gifts as you do "green" gifts.
- Assign each guest with a team color OPPOSITE of the color of their gift. For instance, a guest arrives and you put a red sticker on their gift, their team color would be green. And if a guest's gift gets a green sticker, then they would be on the red team. This is to assure that guests will not receive their own gift at the end of the game.
- Put all the gifts in a single pile (on a table or under a tree). Mix the green and red gifts together.
- Have guests divide into the assigned red and green teams.
- At the sound of "Go!" the two teams will start the race.
- One player from each team will race to the pile of gifts and look for a gift that is marked with their color.
- Once the player finds a gift with their color sticker attached, they have to put it on a sled that is stationed next to the gifts. They will then race to the finish line (at least 20 feet away). If the gift falls off of the sled, they have to go back to the starting line and try again.
- Once they have successfully delivered the gift to the finish line, they have to return with the sled to the starting line and tag the hand of their next teammate.
- The race continues until all the gifts are delivered.
- The first team that has all their teammates complete all the tasks wins, but play continues until all gifts have been delivered (all guests have had a turn).
- All players can choose a gift from their pile and open them, but the winning team are the only players who get to choose to "steal" a gift from the losing team.
- You can take turns decided which players on the winning team get to steal first. It's generally a good idea to start with the youngest player going first.
Avoid Hurt Feelings
When having a regifting party, it is important to make sure that no one gets hurt feelings by seeing a gift they have given to someone end up as an unwanted item that is being regifted. A good way to avoid this is to mention this in the invitation. If the party is for your co-workers, state in the invitation that the item cannot be something given to them by someone from the office. Another way to help avoid this type of uncomfortable situation is to only invite close friends or family members and ask them to only bring gifts they have received from co-workers or from "white elephant" parties.