Are you in charge of organizing the annual gift exchange this year? Here are a few tips to ensure everything goes smoothly!    Ideally, you’ll want to start planning the gift exchange at least one month in advance to give everybody enough time to shop. You’ll also want to determine a price range (between $15 and $20, for example) to avoid any awkward situations the day of. Once done, decide on a format. Consider how you want to exchange gifts. Will you pick names or distribute the goodies at random? Are kids and adults included in the same exchange? Additionally, decide whether you want the gifts to relate to a specific theme (like something red or unusual, for example). Come up with a few ideas and discuss them with everyone involved.  

If picking names 

Determine whether or not each participant should make a few suggestions. You can ask everyone to make a list of five gift ideas or outline things they like (sports, books, movies, etc.). Suggestions can be useful when people don’t know each other well; however, they do take away from the element of surprise. Next, jot down everybody’s name on a piece of paper, and pick away! If you can’t find a convenient time for everybody to meet, there are websites that allow you to pick names virtually.  

If exchanging freely

To avoid conflicts, make sure to clearly explain how the gift exchange will work before the big event. For example, will you choose to steal gifts before or after they’ve been unwrapped? (Note: stealing might not be the best way to play if kids are involved.) You can also get creative and organize a treasure hunt or have people complete a challenge to earn their gift. 

And there you have it! Now all that’s left is to find the perfect gift. 

Good luck!