Sunday, December 26, 2010

Mini Gift War - A Fun Game
For the last few years, we have played a game on New Year's Eve.  I learned about this game from a good friend.  After Christmas is over, and all the gifts have been opened, it is fun to turn our attention to the dawning of a New Year.  To celebrate this festive time, we like to have fun and get together with friends and family on New Year's Eve.  To add a little excitement to our New Year's Eve, we like to play a game. A perfect name for this gift exchange is Mini Gift War.  It's a modified version of the White Elephant Gift Exchange Game, or Thieving Secret Santa.

Here's how it's done:

  1. Gather/purchase a number of "little" inexpensive "gifts" for each player.  These could be gag gifts, recycled gifts (things you have or received that you don't use) or things you purchase for a dollar or so.  It could be an empty toilet roll or a hat.  Think of age-appropriate and gender-appropriate gifts. The more weird and wacky gifts get lots of giggles.
  2. Wrap these items in newspaper, flyers or other scrap paper (eco-friendly!).
  3. Bring them to your party.  Put all the gifts in a pile.  There should be an assortment, because all the other players would have brought a few gifts, too.
  4. Sit around the gifts in a circle.  Get a die.  Start the game by rolling the die.  The highest number starts.
  5. The game starts with the first person rolling the die.  If he/she rolls a 2, 4 or 6 they can pick a gift and open it.  If not, they pass to the left. This person rolls the die, hoping for a 2, 4 or 6.
  6. When a 2, 4 or 6 is rolled, the person can either "steal" an opened gift or take a new, unopened one from the pile.  If a gift is stolen from someone, they have a chance to steal from someone else, or open a new gift from the pile. The game continues in a clockwise fashion until all the gifts are opened.
The rules are:

  • The opened gifts can only be stolen three times.  The fourth person that has the gift can keep it.  It's "Safe".
  • It's more fun to be greedy in this game - hence the name Mini Gift War.  It makes for more fun.  Dramatic responses make it even more exciting!
  • If you can think of something really creative to wrap (like your sister-in-law's orange scarf without her seeing), it makes for a really interesting game!
We are always surprised when a small, insignificant type of gift suddenly becomes the most wanted, popular gift.  Creativity, humour, drama and participation makes for a fun night!

Have fun, and all the best to you in the new year!

~ Angela Gentile

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