Yankee Swap Gift Exchange
- An odd name for a gift exchange game, the Yankee Swap supposedly derived it's name from the Civil War days. It seems that the Yankees and the Confederates at some point swapped prisoners as a sort of game to lighten up the atmosphere, hence the name “Yankee Swap.” How the term was adopted to gift giving is up for speculation.
- The Yankee Gift Swap, alias Dirty Santa, Yankee Doodle, and Chinese Auction, is a gifting game where the participants choose gifts not knowing who the gift is from with the option of trading them for a gift they like better. There are multiple variations of the game and the number participating can be as few as six to as many as you like.
- Adding humor to traditional gift giving occasions, a Yankee Gift Swap is a great way to break the ice. As a host, planning a Christmas gift exchange game can provide the entertainment encouraging people to interact spontaneously, thus livening up your Christmas party. It works best between those friends or family with a good sense of humor. Limiting gift selection to gag gifts can make it even more fun.
Planning a Yankee Swap
When planning a Yankee Gift Swap, you must establish the rules:
- Decide on a price limit. In order for the value of each gift to be approximately the same, the guests must be informed of the maximum amount that can be spent on a gift. Generally, the limit is set low, anywhere from $10 up, therefore fitting any budget.
- Decide how many times a gift can be stolen during the game. Three times and then retired is average, otherwise the game will never end.
- Inform your guests of the rules and remind them, “You can't be shy!”
|Yankee Swap for the Holidays|
How to Play
Other Holiday Games
- Gift Exchange Games
- Fun and Unique Holidays
- Preparing for the Holiday Season
- Tips for Planning a Christmas Party
- What's Your Gifting Style?