Thursday, December 25, 2008

New Thing #349--Swap It

Merry Christmas!

This morning we opened presents within our nuclear family; later in the afternoon the extended family came over for dinner and another round of presents. However, we changed things up this year and we did a rob-your-neighbor gift exchange.

There are infinite variations on the rules of Rob Your Neighbor, so we set ours before we started. Everyone had to bring a wrapped gift--with a price limit to make sure all of the gifts were of similar value. After dinner we gathered in the family room and put all the packages on the floor. There was a wide variety of sizes and shapes.

Each person drew a number from a basket; the person who drew #1 picked a gift from the pile. Starting with #2, each person had the option to select an already-opened gift or pick an unopened gift from the pile. If the person robbed someone of their gift, the one without a gift had two options--take someone else's gift or select a from the gift pile.

We decided that a gift couldn't be stolen more than two times each round, which led to some interesting strategies as the game unfolded. The game started out sedately, but soon got wild as people began to rob others. When all the numbers had been used, the first player got one last chance to take a gift, which led to a domino effect of robbing until all were satisfied.

The most fought-over gifts were a hot sauce set and a fajita cooking set. However, the box full of energy drinks went around the room a bit, and the Cars logo hot cocoa mix set had some fans too. I was satisfied to end up with a Dora The Explorer bubble bath set, and the cow I gifted, while not exactly sought after, made someone else's eyes light up.

After the game was over, there was a bit of unofficial trading going on. Everyone got something they wanted, and we agreed we'll definitely play the game again next year!


  1. My family started doing this several years ago - but it ends up just being each person grabbing a present, as we all like unwrapping the present. Swapping is common after the unwrapping is over, though.