Chinese Christmas Rules And Gameplay

You've decided that your circle of friends, your extended family, your community group, office colleagues or teammates will really appreciate a gift exchange theme that revolves around learning about different cultures and countries of the world. There are a number of ways to organize this event for your group, but there is no wrong way!

Getting Started

Like other gift exchange games, this one works really well with a minimum of 6 people and with a maximum of about 20. Any fewer than six, and your exchange will be too short. Any more than twenty, and your game may go on too long and lose the fun. As the organizer, you can decide whether to a) choose one culture that everyone buys a gift that they feel represents that culture; b) assign a different culture or country to each person who is going to participate; or c) let each guest identify their own culture that they've grown up with or experienced through past generations and let them decide which type of gift best represents their culture. All of these options work well, it's up to the organizer to decide which one so that everyone is working from the same set of guidelines.

When you begin inviting your guests, let them know which of the above you've chosen. For family members, it may work best to assign a country or culture to ensure a variety of gifts are brought to your gathering. Where you have a group at work or in a community group who come from a variety of cultures, letting each guest choose their own culture and purchase a gift from that culture might tend to work best.

Decide on a date, place and time for the Cultural Christmas Gift Exchange to happen before you begin inviting guests. Everyone needs to be in the same place at the same time for this gift exchange to work. This game will take about an hour, depending on the size of the group, so use that in your planning of the larger gathering.

The Goal is Fun, and Learning!: Like every other gift exchange game, you want your guests to have fun during this part of the gathering. You also may want them to learn a thing or two about other cultures from around the world, and bring gifts that have meaning, that will have value to the most people in the group. The gifts don't have to be serious gifts, but gag gifts don't often work well with this gift exchange since the cultural "gag" may not be understandable to the person who ends up with the gift. You do want each participant to walk away with a gift that has value to them, that they feel that everyone has put in the same amount of effort in finding just the right gift.

Gifts: It is best for the organizer to set a price range of gifts to be bought, and usually the $20-$30 price range works well. Take into account the budgets of your guests, and if you feel that this may be too high for them to afford, you can lower it. Keep in mind that everyone is purchasing only one gift. All gifts should be wrapped in a way that does not give a hint of what the gift is - you don't want anyone to be able to guess what's inside the present ahead of time because part of the fun is unwrapping the gift in front of everyone for them all to see. Wrapped gifts should not have name tags on them either. They will be placed in a pile and chosen at random once the game begins. Remind your guests that the gift they purchase should be chosen to appeal to a large percentage of the group. A lot of this game is about swapping gifts, so the more people that want a gift, the more fun it will be!

How to Begin:

Once all your guests begin arriving, have them place their wrapped gift on a table in a central location. You have set up a seating circle to accommodate everyone, with a table in the middle.

As a guest puts their gift in the pile, write their name on a small piece of paper and put this piece of paper in a hat or small bag or bowl. Once you are ready for the game to begin, get everyone seated, making sure there is lots of room to move around. You may want to remove any food or drink that might get spilled.

The Gift Exchange:

You will begin The Cultural Christmas Gift Exchange begins by pulling a name out of the hat. This is considered person #1. Person #1 is then free to choose a gift and unwrap it in front of everyone. Give the hat with all the names in it to Person #1 who then pulls the next name out of the hat (person #2). Person #2 now has the choice to either take Person #1s unwrapped gift or they can select a wrapped gift from the pile. If Person #2 chooses to take Person #1's gift, Person #1 is now without a present! Person #1 then gets to select a wrapped gift from the pile, opens it for all to see. When that is finished, Person #2 pulls a next name out of the hat, who is now Person #3. Person #3 then has a bigger choice: they can choose one of the gifts already opened by Person #1 or #2 or choose a wrapped gift from the pile. And so on, until everyone has a gift. Continue until all the gifts are unwrapped.

The Cultural Christmas Gift Exchange will have guests bringing a lot of different types of gifts to your gathering. Remind them that in choosing which gift to buy, make sure that a lot of people will want it. The aim of the gift exchange is to have people vying for the same gift, to make it more fun.