Gift exchanging ideas for large families

by Katrina - The Organised Housewife

I enjoy a gift giving to friends and loved ones, however I find myself asking:

  • What do I get Dad or Uncle,  he has everything??
  • How am I going to find the time to buy for everybody in the family??
  • I have a very limited budget.


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Did you answer yes?  Do you have a big family and the gift giving process overwhelms you.  Consider these gift exchanging ideas for  mum, dad, brothers, sisters, brother in-laws, sister in-laws, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins. There are so many different ideas you can use, I hope some of the ideas below help.  We use the gift swap in our family, I love it.

Gift swap

Each member of the family drawers a name from the hat.  You buy one gift only for the person you picked. Dedicate an amount to spend.  If you live away from each other, one family member can draw names for each person.

Secret Santa

Draw one name from hat.  Leave the name you choose secret.  Place the gift under the tree with only the name tag of the recipient.

Themed gifts

Dedicate each year to a different theme.  Themes could be:

  • For the shed
  • For the kitchen
  • Plant
  • Perfume
  • Exotic coffee
  • Books
  • DVD’s
  • CD”s
  • Be creative, 5 senses, 1 for each year – Taste:  something yummy, Smell:  Perfume, Hear:  CD, Touch:  anything really and See:  Artwork
  • Choose a letter from the Alphabet.  Has to be something starting with A

White Elephant

White elephant is sooooo much fun!!  Set a price limit, find a funny or impractical gift.  It’s great to hear the laughter, when gifts are unwrapped.  Get your guests to place their wrapped white elephant gift into a pile.  Number pieces of paper to match the number of guests, then get each guest to pick out a number.  Whoever has #1 goes first.  They get to pick a present from the pile and open it.  Then #2 can choose to pick a wrapped gift from the pile or steal the gift that #1 has already opened.  If #2 steals then #1 gets to open a gift from the pile and unwrap it.  Then it’s #3’s turn, they can choose to steal or open an unwrapped gift, keep repeating until all gifts are opened.


Dedicate an amount.  Each person is to buy a gift voucher for a shop of their choosing.  All vouchers go into a bowl and one at a time each is drawn.  Shops can include:

  • Homeware Stores
  • Video Game store
  • Lingerie store
  • Music Stores
  • Movie Theatre
  • Restaurants
  • Football Events
  • Car wash
  • Create your own voucher to mow lawns 5 times through the year or babysitting…the list is endless.

Board games

Each member to buy 1 board game, wrap and one person at a time randomly picks a gift.

Handmade gifts

All gifts given must be handmade, ideas include:

What theme’s does your party use?

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