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How to Do a Yankee Swap

The Yankee Swap is a family tradition that all the adults and kids out of college participate that we do after Christmas dinner.   We have so many laughs and usually brings a crappy gift. We do have a limit of $25.   On some yearrs I have a friend that hosts of a scrapbooking yankee swap that everyone brings a $10 scrapbooking item. I have gotten some great new tools and ideas from that.  


  1. Each person  brings one wrapped or bagged gift (no more than $xx worth) and places the gift in a pile/central location.
  2. Each person  draws a  number  to determine the order in which they go. They'll have 3 minutes to examine the wrapped/bagged gifts without touching any of them.
  3. If a participant takes too much time deciding which gift top swap/open the remaining participants can start counting aloud from ten down to zero when a leader says to start counting. If zero is reached the scout must take the wrapped gift closest to to their right hand.
  4. The person who drew #1 goes first and must open a gift from the pile.
  5. After taking your turn you must keep your gift out where other players can see it. When it's your turn if you touch a wrapped gift you have to open it.
  6. The person who drew #2 goes next and has the choice of taking the gift opened by #1 or opening another gift. If #1's gift is taken player #1 must open another gift from the pile.
  7. The person who drew #3 goes next and can either take #1's gift or #2's gift or open a gift. If player #3 takes an opened gift from player #1 or #2 then that player who is now giftless has the option of taking the other gift that was opened or opening a wrapped gift (they cannot take player #3's gift - see rule 8).
  8. Play continues as such with players either taking/swapping a gift or opening one.
  9. Once everybody goes,  #1 can swap gifts with any other player
  10. When all the gifts are opened, the Yankee Swap is over. Now,  #1 can swap gifts with any other player.

If you are reading this after the holiday and got some crappy gifts and looking for a fun night out in January Do I got a crappy gift yankee swap. Those are even more fun!

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