This can double-up as an ice breaker. Tell everyone to bring a wrapped gift (with a budget) and place them all in a common place. The next step is to have all participants write down a little-known fact about themselves on a slip of paper. Draw papers one-by-one, reading out the fact on each as you do. The first person to guess who the fact is about can choose their present first. Carry on until all of the gifts have been exchanged.
Rather than giving to receive, why not try giving to make a difference? Have workers write down their name and favoured charity, and then everyone pulls a one name from a hat. Workers make a small donation to the charity they pull out in that person’s name.
Exchanging your favourite recipes allows everyone to learn more about each other while sharing something they really love. Tell employees to make a gift basked complete with instructions and ingredient needed to make their dish, choosing random names like in Secret Santa. This could be a fun ice breaking activity if samples of dishes are brought in and shared.
Holiday cheer exchange
Tell everyone to bring in a small, wrapped gift. Everyone sits in a circle and stands up if they meet certain criteria, such as “if you’ve decorated your Christmas tree” or “if you’re wearing red”. Those who are standing swap gifts. How many rounds are played are optional, just be sure that everyone ends up with a gift other than their own.
This game is much like ‘Musical Chairs’ – but rather than swapping seats, employees swap presents. When music is playing, gifts are passed to the left. When it stops, they’ve found their gift!
The numbers game
Have everyone bring in a gift. Randomly place numbers on the floor, and play a song – when it ends, everyone has to stand on a number. You now have two options: draw a random number, and whoever is standing on that number goes to choose a gift. Or you can label presents with numbers, like in a raffle, and the number everyone is standing on when the music stops dictates the gift they receive.
With less than a fortnight to go before Christmas, now is the prime time to encourage some workplace bonding sessions through festive activities and exchanges. HC outlines some gift-giving ideas.