Wednesday, 24 December 2014


This is a marvellous little game in which everyone gets presents - YAY! - and then passes them round, swaps them, steals them, et cetera. We're doing this instead of Christmas crackers, this year. My aunt said it's practising the art of non-attachment... Quite young children may struggle with the practice of this art, though!

You'll need

  • 1-2 presents per person, wrapped. £1 presents / charity shops / regifting... The idea is that they shouldn't be expensive, but not absolute tat either. (You can play the version with 2 presents each or the version with 1 present each.)  You can get everyone to bring the present(s) if you're organised enough to think of that in advance.
  • the numbers and prompts on this sheet, printed out, cut up, folded, and popped in a bowl - one bowl for the numbers, one for the prompts. (If you don't have a printer, just write the prompts on strips of paper). There are different prompts for each version of the game (1 present / 2 presents). The sheet has enough prompts for up to 12 people; if you have more, you can always make up more prompts!

I was too last-minute on this to get everyone to bring presents, so here's the fruits of my one-pound-shop swoop:


See? It's not total tat... Though as we're playing the two-present game, I decided to throw in one wild card. Spot the wild card! (It has a theme song.)

And here they all are, wrapped:

You can wrap them all up very beautifully if you like, but frankly I was knackered and it's impressive they're wrapped at all. They do need to be wrapped.

How to play

Phase 1: Everyone gets presents!
Each person draws a number, then in numerical order, choose & unwrap your present. At this point, a promising amount of avarice and covetousness starts to set in, which the next phase will simultaneously reinforce and undermine.

Phase 2: Say goodbye to your presents...
Take it in turns to pull a prompt out the bowl and follow its instructions. This is where the presents start zooming around the table & getting swapped and stolen. You do all end up with presents in the end... though which presents you get depends on the envy of those around you and the whim of the gods. Have fun!

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