Liven up a small personal or professional Holiday Party.  Incorporate a Yankee Gift Swap.  Rules vary, however if you’re unfamiliar, here’s all you need to know:

When guests are invited all are asked to bring a gift that cannot exceed a particular reasonable price, such as $10.  They are asked to giftwrap the gift, not include a card, and bring it in a plain bag so the giftwrapped gift is not visible to others.  When they arrive guests can discretely empty their gift into a large bag designated for the Yankee Gift Swap.  To be sure that all can participate, it’s a good idea to have a few extra wrapped gifts on hand ahead of time in case someone forgets to bring a wrapped gift.

At the party, when it’s time for the Yankee Gift Swap, everyone sits in a circle and takes turns picking a number, from one to the number of people in the room, written on a folded paper and mixed in a hat.

The organizer places the gifts in the middle of the circle.

Whoever chooses #1 takes the first turn to choose a gift – any gift from the center of the circle, and opens it in front of everyone.

Person #2 then chooses a gift from the center of the circle and either opens it in front of everyone or swaps that unopened gift with person #1 to get person #1’s opened gift.

Person #3 and all numbers following in sequence then likewise choose an unopened gift from the center of the circle to open in front of others and keep (until someone might swap it) or give it unopened to someone else to open in front of everyone to get their opened gift.

After everyone has taken a turn, person #1 gets a final opportunity to choose whatever gift person #1 wants or keep what he/she has.

When the swap is over, some enjoy taking turns around the circle guessing who brought the gift that belongs to them.

A Yankee Gift Swap is a fun ice breaker and alternative to purchasing gifts for everyone in the group.  All ages can play, although I wouldn’t recommend it for young children.  Add a Yankee Gift Swap to your celebration.
Life is short.  Celebrate!