22 answers

Picking Names for Christmas Gift Giving, First Time, Don't Have a Clue

Some of us will gather at Thanksgiving and discuss how this works.
How does a parent not give a gift to an adult child. Twins born on
Christmas Day, so they will get a b-day gift. What about 3rd adult
child with summer birthday. Anybody have clever ideas how picking names
for gifts works?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

We did name-drawing for extended family only and it we exchanged at one particular time. All the adults had their names in a hat, and all children had names in a hat.

In addition, SEPARATELY, not with the rest of the family around, people gave gifts to their own children and parents (even adult children), and something small was given to each grandchild by the grandparents.

Yes, you might end up giving two gifts to an adult child if you drew their name, but that was OK. Everyone got one gift exchange gift.

Birthdays should be celebrated separately. Find a different time of day when ONLY the birthday gifts are given out, and only the birthday people receive gifts, just as you'd do if it weren't Christmas.

1 mom found this helpful

I agree with Margaret- only buy for the kiddos

Or you could play "white elephant" that is really fun. Everyone buys ONE gift and wraps to put under tree. Everyone draws numbers and then the first person opens the gift. The second person can either steal the 1st persons gift or open a new one- then you continue on until everyone has a gift. You can set a limit on how many times one gift can be "stolen". You can also do this with christmas ornaments which is cheaper and just as much fun!

I love watching people fight over certain gifts- like the foot soak or the massager. People also will buy a "gag" gift and then put a gift card in it- (like a cheap nose trimmer or oder eaters...lol)

That way you are only buying ONE gift instead of going broke trying to buy for everyone!!!

More Answers

We did name-drawing for extended family only and it we exchanged at one particular time. All the adults had their names in a hat, and all children had names in a hat.

In addition, SEPARATELY, not with the rest of the family around, people gave gifts to their own children and parents (even adult children), and something small was given to each grandchild by the grandparents.

Yes, you might end up giving two gifts to an adult child if you drew their name, but that was OK. Everyone got one gift exchange gift.

Birthdays should be celebrated separately. Find a different time of day when ONLY the birthday gifts are given out, and only the birthday people receive gifts, just as you'd do if it weren't Christmas.

1 mom found this helpful

We started drawing names quite some time ago. Our family consists of eleven adults (grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins) and three children. The adults draw names and the limit is $25. We usually still buy a little something for our grandparents (sometimes we cousins pitch in for a larger gift) and our parents. But it is generally something small but meaningful. Everyone buys for the kids. Even though there aren't as many gifts, present opening takes several hours. We all take turns (except Papa sometimes jumps the gun and then Mema gets on to him!!). A few years ago we added a white elephant gag gift exchange with a $5 limit. That gets really, really wild! Last year I took the "Summer of the Chupacabre" shirt and everyone wanted it!! I really wish I could talk my husband's family into doing it that way. I LOVE Christmas with my family! We have the best time. The most important thing is to remember presents are not the important thing but celebrating Christ's birth and enjoying your loved ones! Good luck and Merry Christmas!

When we draw names, we only put the names of anyone over the age of 18. They will participate in the gift exchange. Anyone younger will recieve regular gifts. Just set a price limit for everyone to stay at. God Bless.

My hubby is one of 8 kids ranging from the ages of 43 to 22. Everyone is married with kids except the 22 year old. There is always over 40 people at our Christmas get together. Not everyone has a lot of money so we do drawings too. Everyone 17 and under get placed in the "child" drawing and everyone 18 and older get put in the "adult" drawing. If money is really tight, some years we only do a drawing for the children. Everyone's name is written on a piece of paper then everyone gets to draw a name. This way kids draw for kids and adults draw for adults. I hope this helps.

Good morning, J. ~ We started doing the 'chinese' Christmas thing with our family. How that name came about, Im not sure... but we all bring presents, it can be gender oriented, or just a general gift. At Thanksgiving, we decide what the dollar limit will be, then on Christmas we have our meal and we all draw a number. One year we will start with the highest number, one year the lowest. One person will open a present, then the next can 'steal' that present or open a new one. It goes all the way around the room that way, and the first person opening gets the final draw of stealing another present or keeping what they have. You may have to set limits on how many times something can be stolen (we say three, then it's a 'dead' item and cant be stolen again). This isa been so much fun for us since we are all grown. There are multiple reasons, but chiefly we started this because of the financial bind that Christmas can put families into, especially mom who wanted to buy for all four kids, plus spouses, plus grandkids, and now great grandkids. We do all buy (one gift per family) for the smaller kids, i.e., 12-13 and under. If you really want to get something for each of your kids, keep it simple... or homemade... and make it to your child, and his wife. I hope this helps... it has been so much fun for us and no one feels slighted. Merry Christmas and a blessed holiday season for you and your family!

For Christmas if everyone who needs to pick a person's name is going to be present at Thanksgiving you could create a giving tree (similar to the Salvation Army ones). Cut out paper santas, angels, Christmas trees, etc and then have everyone put their name and a few gift ideas on them. Once they're done decorate a small tree with them. As the day progresses everyone needs to take the tag of the person that they want to buy for. They have to be sneaky so that no one knows who they have. If you have a lot of people you can do a separate kid tree and adult tree and have the kids participate too.

If you're not trying to keep the giver's identity a secret you can play a "secret word game". Everyone makes a tag with their name and gift ideas like above and they include a secret word of their choosing (you can have everyone choose a holiday word like turkey, football, pumpkin, etc) and they hold on to it through the day and give it to the first person who says their secret word during the course of the day. The person who receives the tag then buys for that person.

Good luck and have fun!
K.

I agree with Margaret- only buy for the kiddos

Or you could play "white elephant" that is really fun. Everyone buys ONE gift and wraps to put under tree. Everyone draws numbers and then the first person opens the gift. The second person can either steal the 1st persons gift or open a new one- then you continue on until everyone has a gift. You can set a limit on how many times one gift can be "stolen". You can also do this with christmas ornaments which is cheaper and just as much fun!

I love watching people fight over certain gifts- like the foot soak or the massager. People also will buy a "gag" gift and then put a gift card in it- (like a cheap nose trimmer or oder eaters...lol)

That way you are only buying ONE gift instead of going broke trying to buy for everyone!!!

We have drawn names in our family for years. We put all the names in a basket then everyone draws one and buys that person a gift. We try to keep it a secret as to who got who's name. Since I have a large family, we let the kids draw kid names and the adults draw adult names but we have done it where everyone's name goes into one basket. It works out quite well actually. My mother balked the first few years we did this because she felt like she had to buy gifts for everyone. But, eventually she came around. The gifts are just a nice thought, not the actual reason for Christmas. It was something everyone could afford and enjoy. We never set a price limit but some families I know do. My friend's family has each person put 3 gift "wants" on their name tag. You don't have to buy from the list but if you are short on ideas for that person, it helps to see their idea. Also, I think putting down sizes would help. Since our family has downsized we now play the gift game where everyone brings a generic gift, you draw numbers, then as you go down the line you can take the gift someone else has unwrapped or pick a new one with the number 1 person having the last chance to pick a gift. You have to have good sports to do this and know it's all in fun ~ which it can be great fun. This is really best with just adults because little ones don't want their gift taken away from them. Hope some of these suggestions help and you have happy holidays.

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