In my family, the adults buy one gift - women buy a woman's gift and men a mans gift. We draw numbers to see the order we pick a gift. Gifts can be stolen twice. In the end the woman and man who drew the number "1" get final pick. The challenge comes in picking a gift that could be something wanted/used by any of the women within the wide age range- age 27 to 86. We are supposed to find a gift at a price of approximately $50. I've been looking on Amazon but still not sure. Anybody have any ideas??? :) Thanks!
My family does something similar, I am doing a hooka( all in favor of my family they all smoke tobacco and a couple are pot heads lol. The other is $50 in scratch offs with a disclaimer, if you win more then 100 I want half as a joke lol
Honestly, this sort of exchange is difficult because nobody wants to drag home something they can't really use. The age spread makes it even more difficult. I guarantee you that if you find a clever way to present $50.00 in cash, your gift will be the one they fight over. Maybe you can find a bank that as 25 $2.00 bills and place them in a clear container or covered candy dish, or, if you are careful not to let it get away, you can slip a $50.00 bill into a see-through balloon before it is filled with helium.
My family buys a $5.00 gift for every family member. We start early in the year; look at clearance tables all year long. It takes a little bit of effort but there are some marvelous items on clearance for $5.00. This idea is not for last minute shoppers.
A good flavored assortment on of vinegars and olive oil. We have a store in Bethlehem Pa that has gift packs of the best flavored vinegar and complementary flavored olive oils do not remember the name but I think it is the tap room and they may ship. you could do an internet search to see of they have a web site. If not maybe you have that sort of thing locally.
Thank you for these ideas!! I really like the $5 gift for everyone idea - maybe we can do that next year. The age (and interests) spread does make it very challenging. Money and gift cards work well, but the older ones usually do that (I thought because its more difficult for them to get out and shop, but maybe they are just smarter - LOL). The oil and vinegar is a good idea I had not thought of ... Everybody eats! ;). Please keep posting if you have any other ideas. :)
I've been to a lot of these types of exchanges over the years. Scratch-off lottery tickets are a sure-fire bet to get stolen a couple of times. If you have no limit on the number of "steals" it can be pretty funny. I've never done one where the gift cost was $50 though. It has usually been $10 or $20. $50 seems like a lot to spend on lottery tickets.
Something else that gets a lot of action is restaurant gift cards. They are something just about anybody can use.
In regard to the oil and vinegar idea, I would be sad to bring a $50.00 gift and leave with oil and vinegar. Some are into fine oils and vinegars, I am not. I just don't think that gift will find a wide fan base at a Christmas exchange.
Are gift cards allowed? They're the most versatile, since you don't know who'll end up with the gift, and work for both men and women. Closest gift to real cash too.
Men: Gift card to L.L.Bean, Amazon, Orvis, Cabela's, or sports, food, restaurant or beer-a-month websites.
Women: Salon gift cards (have to live near), Victoria's Secret or Coldwater Creek gift cards, spa cards, jewelry like a Pandora bracelet with an authentic Pandora charm (sterling), Zappos or shoe store gift card, Amazon card
That way, the winner picks what they like (and they'll fight to get it).
Do the people in the exchange drink? If so, then a nice bottle of wine with two nice wine glasses, or a collection of imported beers with some glass mugs, or a bottle of booze and a book of cocktail recipes.
How about a gift basket of imported foods? If you have a World Market nearby, they have some great items.
Does everyone live close by? Maybe you could offer a personal service? You could give a choice, and let the winner choose which one best fits her needs, like coming over to cook her favorite meal for her, complete with dessert and clean-up after, or a few hours of babysitting, or for the older ladies (if they don't drive), a few hours of chauffeur or personal shopping service.
I would hate to get the cash. The day I dropped out of the family gift exchange was the day my sister in law handed me a card with two $20 bills in it. When the exchange becomes a bunch of adults handing each other cash, then what's the point?
Blech , No perfume or scented items. These only work if you really know the person and what they like. I buy my one Sis-in-Law and Niece Bath and Body Works but I know which scents they like. For another Niece she loves totes so I pick up whatever tote they offer on Black Friday. She has a exchange at work that happens after our family Christmas gathering (which is today as in a family of nurses too many are on call to have it on the holliday), She if she doesn't like what they put in the tote has a ready made exchange gift.
My Uncle who reads but will not get a computer tells me a book or two he is after. I find and order it for delivery to his house. (he always gets me perfume which I drop at Goodwill next time I'm around).
FIL (Amish taxi driver) gets a gas card, MIL a replacement for something getting worn out at her house, personal or housewere type item. Other SIL and BIL who are sports nuts get a Bass Pro Shops gift card (I hate sports and couldn't possibly choose something). Military BIL and SIL get something for her mainly craft type items as she does that sort of thing and is very self centered. BIL gets cash passed behind her back and something Ohio State to open in front of her.
This year I noticed that maybe 5 of the guys smoke cigars. So I went with the man gift because they seem to end up with gift they don't like. I went into a cigar store and asked for good cigars and they sold me two that came up to just over $20.00. They wrapped them in some kind of wrapping to keep them fresh. Now I'll sit back and see the men fight over who'll get them. One year someone did a sausage roll and you would think it was a roll of money how they went on about that. Yuck!!!!
So you are looking in particular for the women? It IS difficult for such a wide range. A Kindle is close in price (10% off if you have an AARP discount.) Still, maybe someone older may not like it. My mom wouldn't. She is VERY bright (got a masters degree in the 40s when most women didn't consider college at all...great role model!) BUT she isnt into reading anymore. My mother-in-law, though would...except she is VERY technologically challenged! ha!
Maybe a portable radio/CD player? They are nice for younger people who may be "into" music, but many older people I know like them for sports, working in the yard, etc. Throw in some batteries and some audio books or holiday CDs or to make it Christmas-y ! Gift cards are nice (gas, groceries, department store), plus they know that you didn't get a 50 dollar "value" item for half price or regifted something old or used. (I have one family member who does that...even though she can afford it.) I often forget to use gift cards personally, but still like them. My mom actually gives us kids cash. Nuthin' wrong with THAT! ha ha!! The "tooth fairy" used to fold my kids money into fun origami shapes...so maybe a cheap little christmas tree with ten $5 birds or stars would be cute!
I liked the post about maybe smaller gifts for each next year. Or even exchange a name so you you can pick more accurately. No one wants to be the one whose gift is always traded away! I did this "trade" type of thing at different places, and sometimes people feel hurt. One time I have done it, you trade BEFORE it is unwrapped...it was a little better but still there was always the "darn! I could have had THAT gift instead of this one" comments. Hurtful sometimes.
edit: wow..no voted for trying to think of ideas and considering others' feelings!! geeez! :D
But I agree that fifty dollars is a high limit for this type of game. My family used to it for say, ten dollars. Then I would always get a Whitman's Sampler and at least five people would fight over that.
All the drug stores ( CVS, Rite Aide, Wallgreens, etc..) carry the $50.00 or $25.00 Visa Cards. Like some one else above said, get creative with placement of them inside something inexpensive and visable. sounds like fun. Maybe even super old, disposable tupperware. something gross, (but clean) and funny!
A cozy afghan (or sofa throw) is usually a big hit (for either gender). Another idea is a large tote bag (good for beach, knitting, whatever). I agree with the flashlight idea, as well (a well-made one, not a cheapo); I'm a woman and my son gave me one, which I dare anyone to misplace!!! :-)