Meaningful Holiday Gift Idea Exchange

Meaningful Holiday Gift Ideas Exchange badge

The meaningful gift idea exchange is hosted by My Friend Amy. This is very simple, it’s basically just a chance for us to share ideas that are more personal and relational in nature than the usual gift ideas we get!

The holiday gift season is approaching, like it or not! There are no really young children involved in our extended family celebrations. The “children” are all teenagers, or older, or close enough to 13 that they might as well be teenagers, and there are no grandchildren. So for the last few years, we’ve been going the grab-gift or gift-swap route, with mixed success. It’s less traumatic than trying to pick out a good gift for everyone, but it’s hard with mixed ages and interests to pick a gift that appeals to a majority of the people involved in the swap.

The most fun swap we’ve done is the $1 swap. To be part of the swap, you bring a wrapped gift with no identifying tags or gift wrap and sneak it into the pile. The only rule is that the item must cost no more than one dollar. The first year we did this, we were surprised at how much fun to see what people came up with for ideas and what the most coveted items turned out to be. People actually did put a fair amount of thought into choosing something that would either be a funny item or potentially desirable, in order to have bragging rights over getting the most bang out of their buck. But since the only money you’ve invested is a dollar, if someone ends up with a swap item that’s not something he or she has always wanted, no one is really disappointed, even the younger ones in the crowd. Plus, it’s a swap that everyone can participate in – even the broke, strapped, overextended, in-school, out-of-work, or short on cash for whatever reason.

This swap idea isn’t especially meaningful, as requested by Amy at the My Friend Amy blog, but it is inexpensive and it fits in with the idea of celebrating the holidays by spending time with family instead of focusing so much on exchanging gifts.

Click on the Meaningful Holiday Gift Idea Exchange button at the top of the post to see other ideas on other blogs, and feel free to share your own ideas in the comments!


19 thoughts on “Meaningful Holiday Gift Idea Exchange”

  1. We used to do a White Elephant exchange at my old work, only it had to be something you already had sitting around the house. It was fun, I got to give a two foot wide lampshade that the former owner of our house had smothered with pink silk roses. The fellow who won it was less than thrilled.

    1. That’s what I’m going to try and talk the other side of my family into doing this year! (The side that doesn’t do the one-dollar swap.) I figure we have a good mix of people in their late teens/early twenties who still need stuff (and don’t mind hand-me-downs) and older people who want to get rid of stuff.

  2. I’ve done that sort of thing a couple of times. The more money to spend the more pressure you feel to buy something really great, and I think we stuck at £5 for that reason.

  3. What a lovely idea! I’ve never been one for gifts, really–I so rarely get to see my family that Christmas is far more about getting to have some time together than it is the presents–but this adds such an element of fun and meaning without having to outdo each other on the budget!

  4. I really like this idea! Every year my kids and sisters want to do a holiday swap. I think this year we’ll do a $1 swap. Thanks for sharing this great idea with us!

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