This fun and easy Grinch gift exchange game is great for the whole family! Play it at Christmas parties, classroom parties, office parties, and more! All you need are some gifts and the Who the Grinch Stole Christmas book!
I’m a big fan of gift exchange games, especially if you go with something more unique than just the typical white elephant gift exchange.
There’s just something that feels so Christmas to me about gift exchanges. I like games where people bring silly gifts, where people bring regular gifts, and even games like this saran wrap game where I just provide all of the gifts!
The one type of gift exchange I personally don’t like is the one where everyone just brings gift cards and people basically just swap gift cards of the same value. I’d rather not do a game at all.
But that’s not what this post about.
This post is about a fun and easy Grinch gift exchange game!
The basic idea is very similar to these left right gift exchanges but instead of using a left and right poem, you’re using the The Grinch Who Stole Christmas book!
Grinch Gift Exchange Setup
This game is super easy to setup. Like I mentioned before, all you need are some wrapped gifts and the Grinch Who Stole Christmas book.
How many gifts do you need? It totally depends on how you want to play this game. There are three (you may be able to come up with more) ways you can setup this game.
- You provide a few gifts – in this version only a few people will win gifts at the end and you provide them all. You can do small or large gifts, totally up to you!
- You provide gifts for everyone – if you want to do smaller gifts and have everyone win a gift, you can provide gifts for everyone playing and the game just mixes them up so no one knows what they’re going to get!
- Everyone brings a gift – in this version have everyone bring a gift (give them a theme or not!) and those gifts will be passed around during the gift exchange.
Okay so once you have your gifts and your book, have everyone sit in a circle close enough that it’s easy to pass a gift quickly to the person on their left and right.
If you don’t have enough space for this, I recommend doing something other than this game, maybe this pass a present game would be great!
And that’s it, you’re setup and ready to play!
How to Play Grinch Gift Exchange
Okay so this game is super easy to play.
Start by handing out your gifts. If you only have a few gifts that you’re using, hand them out to people spaced out around your circle. I did four gifts for my game and split them one on each side of the circle.
If you have gifts for everyone (whether you provide or someone else provides), then just hand the gifts out randomly. It doesn’t matter where they start, they aren’t going to end up there.
All you have to do is read the How the Grinch Stole Christmas book. That’s it!
Okay maybe that’s not quite it, but pretty close. Read the book slowly and have everyone in the circle listen.
When you read the word WHO (or any form of the word – whoville, etc.) everyone passes the gift in their hands (if there is one in their hands) to the right.
Keep reading and when you say the word GRINCH everyone passes the gift to the left. This goes for any words with the phrase Grinch in them as well (such as Grinchly).
Keep reading and passing right and left as you say Who and Grinch!
If you want to increase the suspense of the game, you could at points in the story stop and point out a couple of people in the circle to open their gifts so people know what some of the gifts are. If you’re going to do this, I’d choose a couple of predecided places in the story to stop and open. That way people see if there are good gifts getting closer to them or moving further away.
How to Win
There really aren’t winners or losers, just people who end up with gifts and people who don’t (unless you’re playing with everyone having a gift).
After you’ve read the entire book, everyone opens the gift in their hands and keeps whatever they get!
If everyone started with a gift, everyone will open and keep a gift. If you only started with a couple of gifts, then only a couple of people will end up with gifts!
And that’s it, that’s the entire game! Just like with the left right gift exchanges, it’s really fun and can be a little crazy. It’s also a great gift exchange game if you want something that doesn’t include stealing (I know some people don’t like stealing gifts!).
Other Gift Exchange Games
If you like this Grinch gift exchange, you’ll love these other Grinch gift exchange games!
- Dice gift exchange game – upgrade your gift exchange with a pair of dice with this fun game!
- Scrooge your neighbor – this hilarious Christmas Carol inspired gift exchange is a modern version of a white elephant exchange!
- Gift exchange cards – a fun gift exchange game that uses cards to tell people what to do when it’s their turn to play!
- Rock paper switch – this fun gift exchange uses the classic game of rock paper scissors to compete for stealing gifts!
- Never Have I ever – this popular game becomes a super fun Christmas gift exchange that’s great for the entire family!