The Family Gift Card Exchange!

On Saturday night, my dad’s family came together to celebrate Christmas.


It’s getting to be quite a crowd! Here is my Grandma with her grandchildren (minus two who couldn’t make it)…


And her great-grandchildren.


The Mini Athlete had a great time playing with his Auntie Ashlyn and his cousins.


Especially Abby – my cousin’s daughter. She is absolutely adorable and she and the Mini Athlete were pretty much inseparable for the evening. Love it.


We used to do a gift exchange with this side of the family, but as the family grew, we never quite knew who would be able to make it to the celebration year after year. Drawing names got tough so my mom came up with a BRILLIANT idea and we have done it for years now and it never gets old. Rather than a traditional gift exchange or white elephant gift exchange, we do a GIFT CARD EXCHANGE!

Here’s how it works – everyone who is coming to the celebration brings a $25 gift card, all wrapped up. They all go under the tree and we all draw numbers. And then things proceed like a typical gift exchange (going in order, stealing other peoples’ cards, etc.) We always get a ton of laughs as someone like my mother tries to convince a nephew to steal her Bass Pro Shop gift card so she can steal my sister’s Pottery Barn one. We also always allow “after market trading” so everyone usually ends up going home happy.

This has been the perfect answer for us because everyone can participate (boyfriends, girlfriends, random guests from out of town) and we always have a great time doing it.

I walked away with a Victoria’s Secret gift card (whoohoo!) and Nate ended up with a Lowe’s gift card.

If you’re looking for a fun new twist on a gift exchange, I highly recommend this approach! Just encourage people to get creative with their gift cards – you don’t want to end up with a bunch from Target. Then again, that might not be the worst thing in the world. Who doesn’t need a gift card to Target?? 🙂

It’s about lunchtime on Christmas Eve as I type this and I am still in my pajamas. My two little ones are napping, and (almost) all my presents are wrapped. We have nowhere we have to go, and not much we have to do, until we go to the Christmas Eve service at 5pm with my family. Perfection.


I hope that you and your loved ones have a very blessed and Merry Christmas! Thanks for reading The Wannabe Athlete – your love and support has been a precious gift to me throughout the years!



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3 Responses to The Family Gift Card Exchange!

  1. We did the same thing last night! The only difference was that we voted on whoever wrapped the card the best and then they get a prize of some sort, i.e. I used a TON of rope and wove yards and yards of it around the gift card box while my dad wrapped his in wrapping paper covered in last year’s xmas photos that he printed. It was so fun!

  2. That’s such a cute idea. I’ve actually never heard of anyone doing that before, but it sounds like fun!

  3. Ara

    What a great idea for the gift card exchange! My family will have to try that.

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