There are plenty of holiday gift exchange games that are appropriate for playing at the office. Office gift swaps give the opportunity for coworkers to not only give each other gifts on a budget, but interact with each other on something that isn’t all about work. An office holiday gift exchange allows employees to celebrate the holiday season together!
It’s important to have some guidelines when it comes to gift exchanges in office activities. Either limit the cash value of the gift, or organize Dirty Santa or White Elephant. You could even prohibit gift-giving altogether, but where’s the fun in that?
Before planning any fun festivities, ask a supervisor and co-workers about the office protocols. It’s important to know the rules that are already in place and to see if your co-workers want to participate at all.
Some company cultures avoid the gift-giving season and don’t exchange office holiday gifts at all, so it’s important to know the tone of the company. Many employees simply don’t have the extra cash or don’t want to offend those who don’t celebrate religious holidays. What’s important is to take other’s feelings into account.
Secret Santa is a traditional office gift swap game with many variations. To play, first invite everyone in the office to participate. Emphasize that participation is not mandatory, but it is more fun if everybody plays. Once you have the list of participants, write each name on a slip of paper and put the slips into a bowl from which each player will draw a name. Each person then chooses a present for the person whose name was drawn. Set a strict spending limit, usually between $5 and $20.
White elephant gift exchanges lean toward silly, and require little to no money and can be played in two ways. One approach involves all participants bringing a gift from home. For the other, everyone brings a funny gag gift, usually valued at $5 or $10. On the day of the gift swap, collect all the wrapped presents and draw numbers to decide playing order. The first player gets to pick and unwrap the gift of their choice. The second player then has the option to steal the first gift or to open a second. This continues until everyone has a gift to take home.
It can be tough picking a gift for co-workers. Something that can help ease the stress of the gift giving is by setting a theme. This still leaves the decision of how to exchange gifts, but helps give guidelines on what to buy. A few popular gift themes for the office are the following:
- Desk Decoration
- Gift Cards
Celebrating the holidays in the office can be a lot of fun, but it’s important to be mindful of how everyone in the office celebrates individually. Remain respectful and have fun with however you choose to do your gift exchange!