Guest Author - Amelia Johnson
A “yankee swap” is a party game played with a large group of guests, generally during the holiday season. Although it does make a great Christmas-on-a-budget celebration, it can be played any time during the year, just for the fun of it. Read on for tips on how you can host your own Yankee Swap.
- This game is best played with a large group of people. 10 or more guests would be optimal.
- Inform guests of the party’s theme, as well as a price range for the gift giving. Many Yankee swaps feature inexpensive, theme, or gag gifts, but your limit and theme may be whatever you deem fitting for your group.
- You may also want to have your guests wrap everything in similarly colored papers (or buy paper for the guests to wrap their gifts in-in private-upon arriving in your home.
- All guests place their gifts in a large pile on a table or in the floor. When the game begins, all participants draw a number from a cup or hat to determine their picking order. Once everyone has a number, the first guest begins. You may choose to have each guest show off their gift as it is opened or you may wish to have everyone wait until the end, trying to guess who brought each gift to the party.
- The first person to choose a gift has the option of stealing a gift from any one person in the group at the end of the game since they were first to pick. The same could be done for the last person, who has lost the option of ‘choosing’.
-Serve finger foods (sandwiches, wraps, etc) unless you have specifically decided to do this after a meal, or during the holidays. Punch and mild alcoholic beverages are also acceptable.
-Place a white elephant statue on the table with the gifts and write a number (between 1-and the number of guests your having) on the bottom of it. After drawing numbers call out the numbers and present the elephant to the person with that number, declaring them the host/hostess of the next white elephant gift exchange. The elephant would then be passed from house to house, over time.