Your financially savvy family has finally figured out a great way to enjoy the holidays without breaking the bank: the classic grab bag. Year after year of pulling names out of a hat and buying a gift for $25 is getting a little stale. We’ve put together the below ideas to help you spice up the family grab bag, along with some great gift ideas to make it as easy as possible.
Yankee Swap – This twist on the classic grab bag pits family member against family member in a no-holds-barred battle! Everyone brings a wrapped present that would be suitable for anyone. Draw names out of a hat to pick the order. The first person picks a gift. The second person can either steal that gift or pick another from the pile and so on. Before long, your family will be stealing, swapping and laughing! A few gifts anyone would love:
- Rudolph Mugs from PotteryBarn.com
- Classic black 5×7 frame from BeallsFlorida.com
- Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson from BarnesandNoble.com
Theme It – Create a theme for your grab bag. A few we love: As Seen On TV (Grandma will LOVE the BumpIt!) booze (for those of age), classic holiday movies, ugly holiday sweaters, etc. Are you really trying to save money this year? Have everyone make baked goods. Delicious and inexpensive! Here are some great deals on holiday movies from BestBuy.com to get you inspired.
- It’s a Wonderful Life Collector’s Edition
- Elf Widescreen
- National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation Widescreen
Give Back – Instead of spending $25 on a gift your family member might not even like, spend that money on toys for a local charity drive. Those kids will appreciate the toys far more than your uncle will appreciate his new nose trimmer. Any kid would love any of these ideas:
- Happy Handle Stamp Set from BarnesandNoble.com
- Zhu Zhu Pets WildBunch from Target.com
- Tile Lock Scrabble Board Game from Kohls.com
The “Side Prize” – Make it a goal to save money this year on your grab bag gifts. Everyone donates a dollar to a “side prize.” Whoever saves the most money shopping for a grab bag gift (by using coupons and shopping the sales) wins the side prize! This adds a fun twist and will motivate everyone to save money. Other ideas for the side prize:
- Yankee Candle Apple Cinnamon Wreath jar candle from Kohl’s.com
- The Muppet Christmas Carol movie from BarnesandNoble.com
- Santa Collection Salt + Pepper shakers from WestElm.com
Give the Gift of Time – The best part about the holidays is spending time with your family; gifts are just the icing on the cake. In addition to the grab bag gift, schedule an activity or outing for your entire family. Think baking cookies, building a snowman, volunteering at a soup kitchen or just watching a movie together. You’ll appreciate the holiday season much more when you spend quality time with loved ones.