Gift Exchange Games for Adults

by Briana Marie
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Gift exchange games can be a great way to liven up holiday gatherings with family and friends. Not only are they a great way to get everyone involved and have fun, but they can also be a great way to save money on gifts or give something unique that no one else has. 

Whether you’re looking for a classic gift swap game or something unique, there are plenty of gift exchange games for adults that can be fun and exciting. 

gift exchange games for adults

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Fun Gift Exchange Games

White Elephant

One of the most classic gift exchange games for adults is the White Elephant gift exchange.This game involves each person bringing a wrapped gift and placing it in the center of the group. Each person then gets a chance to pick a gift from the pile, open it and show the group what they got. You will move in a circle with each person having the opportunity to steal a gift from another player or keep the gift they already opened. This continues until everyone has had a chance to steal a gift.

Once all of the gifts have been unwrapped, the person who went first will get one more turn. If they decide to keep the gift they have instead of stealing, the game is over. If they do decide to steal a gift, the game will continue on until someone decides to keep their gift instead of stealing one. 

If you so choose, you can have a set theme for the types of gifts you want to exchange. 

Left/Right Game

Another popular gift exchange game for adults is the Left/Right game. This game is similar to the White Elephant game, except that instead of stealing gifts, each person passes their gift to the left or right depending on the instructions given. At the end of the game, everyone ends up with a gift. This game is great for larger groups since it allows everyone to stay involved the entire time.

You can also use our Roll a Dice Gift Exchange Game in our Printable Holiday Party Pack. You can grab it HERE.

Secret Santa

The traditional Secret Santa game is another great way to exchange gifts. In this game, each participant is assigned another person to buy a gift for. The participant must then purchase a gift for the person without that person knowing who it’s from. Once all the gifts have been purchased, each participant will draw a name from a hat to reveal who their Secret Santa is.

Steal or Pass

Another fun game for adults is the Steal or Pass game. Similar to the White Elephant Game, each guest will need to bring a gift. These gifts can be inexpensive, but you will want to collect them in advance and you will want them to be wrapped. As guests arrive, have them pick a number from a hat or box. 

The person who has number one, will get to choose a gift first and unwrap it. Then the person who has number two will pick a different gift or they can choose to steal a gift that has already been unwrapped. You will continue following this pattern until everyone gets a gift.

Anyone who has their gift stolen can choose a different gift from the pile or they can choose to steal someone else’s gift.However, there is a limit to how many times a gift can be stolen. After a single gift has been stolen TWICE, it cannot be stolen again.

Gift Exchange Themes

Favorite Things

One popular theme is a “favorite things” exchange, where participants bring a gift that represents something they love or enjoy. This can range from a favorite book or movie to a beloved hobby or indulgence.

Stocking Stuffers

For a holiday-themed gift exchange, consider a “stocking stuffer” theme, where small and inexpensive gifts are exchanged. This can be a budget-friendly option that still allows for thoughtful and personalized presents.

Around The World

Exchange different gifts/souvenirs or snacks from around the world. For example, you can gift a Universal Yums international snack box or a bundle of teas from around the world.

Holiday Movie Night

For a more festive theme, you can go with “Holiday Movie Night,” where each person brings a DVD or Blu-ray of their favorite holiday movie to share and exchange.

Made With Love

“Made With Love”is another creative theme, where everyone creates a homemade gift to give, showcasing their crafty skills.


Lastly, the “Experiences” theme is gaining popularity, where participants exchange experiences rather than physical gifts, such as tickets to a concert, spa day, or cooking class.

Wrapping Up

Gift exchange games for adults can be a fun way to spread some holiday cheer and make gift-giving more exciting. Whether you’re having a large family gathering or just a small get-together with close friends, these games and exciting can help bring tons of fun to your festivities.


  • Briana Marie

    Briana Marie is a mental health and financial literacy advocate, and founder of Major League Mommy. In her spare time, Briana enjoys yoga, travel, and spending time with her Husband and two daughters.

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