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Untangling the Rules for the Chinese Gift Exchange Game

Rules for Chinese Gift Exchange Games
Tired of 'Secret Santa'? Want to play Chinese gift exchange game but don't know how?
Shruti Bhat
Last Updated: Mar 1, 2018
Rules of chinese gift exchange game
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Christmas is right around the corner and it's finally that time of the year when happiness is in the air, which also means it's time to give and receive gifts in abundance. But a normal gift exchange has become quite outdated and a thing of the past. Gift exchange games are the new trend, they are a fun way of gift giving with an element of anticipation and surprise. And the Chinese gift exchange is one such game that is not just fun at parties but guarantees happiness to everyone.
1. There should be equal number of gifts and people. For e.g., if there are 12 people there should be 12 gifts.
2. Everyone should get a chance.
3. A gift cannot be stolen more than once in a turn.
4. Once a gift is stolen, that person can steal a gift from someone else, or open a new one.
5. Freeze a stealing limit for gifts, after which the gift cannot be swiped again.
6. At the end of last turn, the first person can choose exchange any gift with any player, this gift cannot be frozen. (opt)
How to Play Chinese Gift Exchange
  1. Decide to play this game well in advance.
  2. Unanimously decide how much to spend on a gift.
  3. All gifts should be wrapped in a unique way, so they look attractive and 'present'able.
  4. Arrange a place for the gifts, like a table or under the Christmas tree.
  5. There has to be a gift for every person.
  6. Prepare labels with individual numbers marked on them and fold them so that no one cheats, and place them in a basket.
  7. Each person picks a number. And gets a turn as per the number selected.
  8. As per the number they take their chance at selecting and opening one gift.
  9. The second person may choose the gift that the first person picked or can choose one from the pile. If she chooses to take the gift the previous person chose, that person gets to pick another gift from the pile.
  10. Each time a gift is taken away from someone, that person gets to select another gift from the stack. But not from a gift already taken away from him/her.
  11. Some gifts are quite popular and are taken away quite often than others. Set a limit that the 4th or 5th person gets to keep the gift, and the swiping or exchanging ends there.
  12. This game ends when everyone has got their chance. Once the game is over, people can still exchange the gifts later.
Gifts You Can Consider for Chinese Gift Exchange Game
  • Mini Gift Basket
  • Electric Corkscrew
  • Board Game
  • Sleep Therapy Pillow Speakers
  • Stereo Headphones
  • Book Light
  • Fuzzy Slipper Socks
  • Gift Coupons
  • Books
  • Aromatherapy candles
  • Travel Mug
  • Wine Vac
  • Hand Warmers
  • Digital Timer
  • Unisex Mittens and Scarf
  • Tool Kit
  • Spa Kit
  • Travel Flight Kit
  • Meat Thermometer Fork
  • Bluetooth Speakers
Well, now you know the rules for Chinese gift exchange. Like any and every game you play, this game too should be taken in the same sporting spirit. Happy gifting!
Black gift box
Blue gift box with flowers
Gift box
pink colored Gift