Gift-giving comes with an enormous price tag—figuratively and literally. You may worry: Is the gift appropriate? Is it too expensive or too cheap? A creative approach to keeping costs down is a gift exchange. These instructions will help you organize the perfect gift exchange party:
The Exchange: Secret Santa
Determine who gets whom. Have someone draw everyone's name from a hat, then make the master list. Encourage family members and employees not to discuss whom they have. As people open their gifts, they'll guess who their Secret Santa is.
Set a monetary limit on gifts. A suggested amount for companies is $10 to $20; among families it can range from $10 to any amount that's chosen.
Enjoy shopping for just the right gift for your Secret Santa.
The Exchange: White Elephant
Set up the party as you would a Secret Santa event.
Go through your closets and dig out unloved treasures, retail disasters and plastic monstrosities. Bob the Big-Mouthed Bass singing "Take Me to the River," dancing Santa's and kung fu rodents are perennial white-elephant favorites.
Wrap your elephant beautifully to encourage all those suckers to take your bait. The uglier the gift, the better you need to wrap it.
Hand out slips of paper with numbers on them to assign the order in which gifts are chosen. Explain that each person can either choose a wrapped present, or take something another person has already opened. If that happens, that poor soul has to brave the gift pile again.
Enjoy all of the pleasure of giving and receiving with absolutely none of the stress.
Unwrap the gift you got stuck with and put it away for next year.