If there’s one thing about our boss, she LOVES the holidays, and our team loves to see how festive she gets! So, we wanted to surprise her with fun, innovative holiday gift exchange ideas.
If there is one thing about our boss – she loves receiving gifts. Whether it’s a cup of coffee in the morning or a branded t-shirt with our logo – she’s always grateful, excited, and obsessed. Which is the best type of gift recipient and felt very serious about the connections made with gift gifting.
So, our team got together to think through some fun gift exchange ideas for the holiday season. The most interesting gift exchange ideas were Christmas in July and a Cinco de Mayo celebration. We also had fun gift exchange gift ideas for Thanksgiving, Easter, or Christmas.
Fun Holiday Gift Exchange Ideas for Employees
1. Swag Exchange
Participants bring branded items, such as t-shirts, hats, or bags, from their favorite companies to exchange with others. This is a fun option for those who love showing off their favorite brands.
2. Snack Swap
Participants bring their favorite snacks to exchange with others. This is a great option for foodies and encourages participants to try new snacks from around the world.
3. Virtual Gift Exchange
Participants exchange virtual gifts, such as e-books, music downloads, or online subscriptions. This is a great option for those who live far away from each other and cannot exchange physical gifts in person.
4. Experience Gift Exchange
Participants exchange experiences, such as tickets to a concert or a cooking class, instead of physical gifts. This is a great option for those who value experiences over material possessions.
5. Subscription Box Exchange
Participants exchange subscription boxes, such as a monthly box of skincare products or snacks. This is a great option for those who love trying new products and want to experience a variety of items.
6. Wine Exchange
Participants bring a bottle of their favorite wine to exchange with others. This is a great option for wine lovers and encourages participants to try new varieties.
7. Plant Exchange
Participants bring a plant or seeds to exchange with others. This is a great option for plant enthusiasts and encourages participants to grow their plant collections.
8. Craft Supply Exchange
Participants bring craft supplies, such as yarn or paint, to exchange with others. This is a great option for those who love crafting and want to try new supplies.
9. Movie Exchange
Participants bring a DVD or Blu-ray of their favorite movie to exchange with others. This is a great option for movie lovers and encourages participants to discover new films.
10. Game Code Exchange
Participants exchange digital game codes, such as for Steam or Nintendo Switch. This is a great option for gamers and encourages participants to try new games.
11. White Elephant Gift Exchange
Participants bring a wrapped, humorous, and often silly gift to exchange with others. Each person picks a gift and can choose to keep it or steal someone else’s gift.
12. Secret Santa
Each participant draws a name and is assigned to purchase a gift for that person. The gift is exchanged anonymously, and the recipient tries to guess who their Secret Santa was.
13. Ornament Exchange
Participants bring a holiday ornament to exchange with others. This is a great option for those who love decorating their Christmas tree with unique and personalized ornaments.
14. Cookie Exchange
Each participant brings a batch of homemade cookies to exchange with others. This is a sweet way to celebrate the holidays and enjoy some delicious treats.
15. Stocking Stuffer Swap
Participants bring small items to fill a stocking, such as candy, socks, and small toys. This is a fun way to exchange small, thoughtful gifts without breaking the bank.
16. Book Exchange
Each participant brings a book to exchange with others. This is a great option for book lovers and encourages participants to try new authors and genres.
17. DIY Gift Exchange
Participants create homemade gifts to exchange with others. This can include anything from knitted scarves to handmade soaps.
18. Board Game Exchange
Participants bring a board game to exchange with others. This is a great option for game enthusiasts and encourages participants to try new games.
19. Puzzle Exchange
Participants bring a puzzle to exchange with others. This is a fun way to challenge yourself and enjoy some quality time with family and friends.
20. Charity Gift Exchange
Participants make a donation to a chosen charity and exchange cards or small tokens to represent the donation. This is a meaningful way to celebrate the holidays and give back to those in need.
There were so many good ideas… Why not celebrate all of them?
It would be the most festive year of them all! We’ll celebrate everything from the Fourth of July and Christmas to MLK Day and President’s Day.
The team couldn’t wait to surprise their boss with their innovative gifting ideas and fun ways to celebrate.
So, the marketing manager and the marketing team got started on the celebration campaign. She added 12 federal holidays and some fun ones like national chocolate day, Cinco De Mayo, and everything in between. In the end, there were over 24+ holidays added to the calendar. Which was roughly two gift changes a month.
Since it was the end of the year, the first big holiday on the list was Christmas. She sent out a company-wide email informing everyone about the gift exchange that would take place.
Christmas Exchange Gift Ideas for Employees
For a Christmas celebration, Samantha, the Marketing Manager wanted to ensure her gift exchange gifts and ideas were big, bold, and fun. She really wanted to impress their boss with a full-fledged Christmas celebration unlike anything done in the office.
When she sent the invite to everyone in the office, their boss jumped with joy. She begged and begged for us to go with a white elephant-style gift exchange. A white elephant was always a fun experience in the office. The Christmas exchange gift ideas were playful, and everyone was sure to go home with something they liked.
There were 10 fun gift ideas Samantha gave the team to prepare for the Chrismas gift exchange at work:
- Your favorite book
- Bamboo Writing Lap Desk
- A custom tumbler
- A curated snack box
- Desk plant
- Mini portable Bluetooth speaker
- Zippered pocket laptop sleeve
- Spot : Bluetooth Finder
- Quick charge power bank
- Cable organizer
Samantha wanted to ensure the boss went home with the gift she brought to the gift exchange. Her goal was to leave a lasting impression on their boss… and maybe get a raise and a promotion in the new year. So, she researched Christmas gifts for female coworkers and exchange gift ideas unisex. She was determined to find the perfect gift for their boss.
The date, time, and location was set for their first gift exchange. Samantha spent countless hours on Christmas gift exchange ideas for work and had finally found the perfect gift her boss would love. She ordered a high-end jacket branded with their logo at Swagmagic. Out of all the other Christmas gift exchange ideas for adults, she knew her boss would love this one.
When the day rolled around, everyone showed up dressed in ugly Christmas sweaters and their gift exchange ideas for work wrapped in pretty wrapping paper. People brought snacks, cookies, and delicious holiday-inspired treats. Their boss walked into the room in a full-fledged Christmas tree dress with a big star on the top of her head. She was so excited, hugging everyone that was there. The team loved to see how happy and vibrant she was.
Secret Gift Exchange Ideas for Office Staff
When it was time for the secret gift exchange, everyone gathered around the pile of gifts. Samantha wrapped her gift in the shape of a goose. It took her over two hours to create, but she knew it would help her stand out from the other gifts and ensure she had one of the most creative Secret Santa ideas that night. There was no way their bubbly, outgoing boss would pass this gift up!
She knew she didn’t have the most creative Secret Santa gift ideas for her, but she knew it would be the one that everyone would want.
When it was time to open the gifts, the boss was the first to go before everyone else. Before grabbing a present from the pile, she thanked the team for their fun and innovative secret gift exchange ideas. She gave a sentimental speech and thanked everyone for being there.
When she went to grab a gift, she hesitated. Her hands went right over the gift wrapped as a goose and straight to a plain purple bag in the back of the pile.
She opened the gift to find an Ernest Hemingway book. Samantha’s heart sank to the floor – she knew no one would try to steal that book from her, and she’d never go home with the gift she bought for her.
Gift Exchange Games for Coworkers
Samantha was devastated. But she knew she had to stay happy during the gift exchange games for adults. The last thing she wanted was for her coworkers to ask her why she was sad during the Christmas exchange games for adults.
There were many unique gift exchange games for employees in large groups such as:
- Secret Santa: This classic gift exchange game is a great option for coworkers. Each person draws a name and buys a gift for that person, and then the gifts are exchanged anonymously.
- Yankee Swap: Also known as a White Elephant gift exchange, this game involves participants bringing a wrapped, often humorous gift. Each person picks a gift and can choose to keep it or steal someone else’s gift.
- Holiday Trivia Game: This game involves creating a holiday-themed trivia game and dividing coworkers into teams. The winning team receives a prize, such as a gift card or holiday treats.
- The Hot Potato Gift Exchange: In this game, coworkers sit in a circle and pass around a wrapped gift while holiday music plays. When the music stops, whoever is holding the gift gets to keep it.
- Name That Carol: This game involves playing snippets of holiday songs and having coworkers guess the name of the song. The winner receives a prize, such as a holiday-themed mug or socks.
- Office Olympics: This game involves dividing coworkers into teams and competing in a series of office-themed challenges, such as stapler races or paper clip tosses. The winning team receives a prize, such as a holiday-themed gift basket.
- DIY Gift Exchange: In this game, coworkers create handmade gifts to exchange with each other. This can include anything from knitted scarves to homemade candles.
- The Great Office Bake-Off: This game involves having coworkers bring in their favorite holiday baked goods to share with each other. The best baker receives a prize, such as a gift card or holiday-themed apron.
- Office Scavenger Hunt: This game involves creating a holiday-themed scavenger hunt around the office. Clues can lead coworkers to hidden holiday treats or small gifts.
- Charades: This classic party game can be adapted for a holiday gift exchange by having coworkers act out holiday-related phrases or movies. The winner receives a prize, such as a holiday-themed book or movie.
But her least favorite Christmas gift exchange game for adults was the white elephant gift exchange.
New Year Gift Exchange Ideas For Employees
Even though the white elephant exchange didn’t go the way she thought it would, she knew she would need to start looking at new year gift exchange ideas for employees in just a few months. Maybe she can purchase a custom backpack or a personalized bag and give it to her boss at the New Year’s party.
She knew she would start looking at the SwagMagic company store for all her gift ideas for a gift exchange on New Year’s and for the next 24 holidays she had planned on the calendar.
The upcoming holidays gave her hope. She knew she’d be able to leave a lasting impression on her boss at least one of these holidays. So, she started researching unisex gift ideas for adults on Swagmagic’s website.