Alternative gifting ideas

Gifting is a big part of Christmas, regardless of your views on the holiday, you know gifts form part of the whole thing. But let’s face it the current economic situation (well mine anyway) makes the Oprah style of giving “you’re all getting one” a little difficult.


But you still want to share some cheer, right. I chatted to some friends about alternative gifting traditions and this is what I came up with…

Good ole secret Santa
  • Honestly this one is basically how I’m getting basically all my gifts this year.
  • Put names in a hat and buy for whoever’s name you draw.
  • This means you can concentrate on getting something really decent for one person instead of a bunch of last minute things for people you forgot about.
Pass the parcel
  • This is new to me, as a party game I’ve done it plenty of times but as a Christmas gift exchange I am intrigued
  • You buy gifts that work across ages and genders and wrap it up in layers so each layer receives a small gift
  • Christmas morning/Chrismas eve you pass the parcel with music and when it stops by you. you unwrap and take out a gift
Yankee swap
  • Participants bring one wrapped gift (within a price range) and places the gift in a pile.
  • Participants draw numbers to determine the order in which they go.
  • The person who drew 1 goes first and must open a gift from the pile.
  • The person who drew 2 goes next and has the choice of taking the gift opened by 1 or selecting an unopened gift.
  • If 1’s gift is taken player 1 must open another gift from the pile.
  • The person who drew 3 goes next and can either take 1’s gift, or take 2’s gift, or open a gift.
  • If player 3 takes an opened gift from player 1 or 2 then that player who is now giftless has the option of taking the other gift that was opened or opening a wrapped gift (they cannot take player 3’s gift).
  • Play continues as such with players either taking/swapping a gift or opening one.
  • When a gift is opened the round is over (you can’t decide you don’t like what you opened and decide to swap for something else).
  • Any single gift can only be swapped once per round.
  • Once the round for the highest numbered player has completed player #1 can swap gifts with any other player (for this final round there is no further swapping after that).
  • These rules from
Christmas goodie bags
  • This is great for a group of girlfriends, lets say it’s five friends
  • Each one of the five brings a gift bag to the party
  • Each also buys 4 of their favourite things, usually keeping it super affordable, like R30 each
  • Pop a favourite thing into each bag and you are left with 5 goodie bags with 4 fun things each
Santa gift pick up
  • This will be the first year I do this with Aidan
  • You make up a box of toys your child has outgrown and pack it in a box
  • Santa then picks up the box and leaves a note to thank the child.
  • Santa and his elves will then spruce up the gifts and give it to other children
  • (In the real world you spruce the toys up yourself and give it to a worthy cause)
Christmas cheer pile
  • Bake biscuits and package
  • Make hand made gifts
  • Buy cheap gifts throughout the year
  • Wrap this pile of gifts and hand out when people come over during the festive season.

We have already had our first secret Santa for the year. All my cousins drew names and the firm favourite was Oh So Heavenly products (Clicks has that buy two get one free sale, just a heads up). I love Oh So Heavenly products guys I really do…so much so I actually popped some products, (shampoo and conditioner from #ECMeetup and hand lotion I couldn’t resist at the clicks counter) in to the great Christmas box, you can enter below 🙂

Also comment and tell me if you have any gift giving ideas…



9 thoughts on “Alternative gifting ideas

  1. Jadie says:

    Wow what awesome tips! This year I’ve already done the secret santa with colleagues and baked for gifts. I love love the goodie bag idea with friends definitely want to try it next year!

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