The Story behind TGEG
As with many creations, The Gift Exchange Game (TGEG) was created to solve a problem. Many groups get together around the holidays and play white elephant or regular gift exchange games. Over the years we saw the same problems popping up every time we played and it took away from the fun of playing the gift exchange game. TGEG was designed to eliminate the problems and make Gift Exchanges fun again :)
Here are some common issues people experience:
Out of the game - If you are the unlucky person who unwraps the lime-green and orange crocheted toilet paper holder, you are out of the game watching everyone else interacting and having fun. Let's face it, no one is stealing the toilet paper holder from you
Teams Form - Shortly after the game begins when some of the gifts are opened; small groups of players start banding together. These group become a gift exchange mob, doing whatever it takes to get the best gifts.
Rule Arguments - Since many people play gift exchanges with slight variations, there is often a long and sometimes tense discussion before the game about "the right" way to play the game
Time Sucker - The game, especially with larger groups, can last for hours (our family record is 3 hours). As the game goes on it gets harder and harder to track who had what gift and what round they had it in. Then when that round finally ended, the whole thing starts over in the next round. It became more of memory game than a gift exchange; it was exhausting!
Too Nice - Although this never happened with our family, we have heard stories of some families that are so nice and polite, no one steals any gifts from one another; so the entire game lasts a total of 2 minutes 32 seconds. Although no gifts were stolen, there also wasn't any fun in playing the game.
To combat these issues, we came up with an idea to have tasks and directions on a card. Everyone still brings a wrapped gift, but on their turn, each person takes a card and follows the directions. The gifts stay wrapped throughout the game & are not opened until all of the cards are played. It was a big hit and solved the issues from past gift exchanges.
It took a few years of tweaking and adjusting, until it evolved into the super fun Gift Exchange we know and love; A 54 card deck with entertaining cards that not only keep the game moving, but also keeps you laughing from start to finish
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