HomeSundaysStaff & VolunteersCreative White Elephant, Dirty Santa, Yankee Swap Gift Ideas for Church Volunteer...

Creative White Elephant, Dirty Santa, Yankee Swap Gift Ideas for Church Volunteer Appreciation Events


Have you ever been to a church gathering where the participants have to bring a gift for a White Elephant, Dirty Santa, or Yankee Swap gift exchange? These gift exchanges are a great way to infuse some fun into volunteer appreciation events.


The Dirty Santa game is an easy and fun holiday party game that is commonly played at Christmas events like a church volunteer appreciation party. The goal of this gift exchange game is to bring a present and then steal gifts from other players until each player gets one they want to keep. If you’re planning a Dirty Santa gift exchange at your upcoming holiday party, here are the rules you need to know!


1. Gather the Gifts: Ask all guests invited to the party to bring a wrapped gift in whatever price range you decide on – usually around $15-$30 per person. Place all the gifts in one area of the room and make sure everyone can see them all.

2. Determine Who Goes First: Have everyone draw numbers (or assign them based on order of arrival) so that you know who will go first when it’s time to start playing. Whoever has the number 1 goes first, followed by 2, 3, and so on until it reaches the last person who get their turn last.

3. Taking Turns: Starting with Number One, each player can choose any single wrapped gift they'd like from the pile, or if someone else has already chosen one they like better – they can “steal” that gift instead and put it back into play for someone else to take later on.

4. Stop Stealing After Three Times: To ensure fairness for everyone involved – remind players that once any single gift has been stolen three times – it's taken out of play and whoever currently holds it keeps it for good! This way there won't be any item circling around forever without ever being claimed by anyone as their own!

5. Ending & Winning: Once every single gift has either been taken or taken twice and removed from play – the game ends with each participant getting to keep whichever item they took or stole last!

The winning dirty Santa is whoever got away with holding onto the most expensive item in terms of both monetary value and sentimental value!

volunteer appreciation party


These fun exchanges are often organized by church leaders as an icebreaker activity at special events or meetings. The key to having an event where you hear a lot of belly laughs is to inspire people on how to select the perfect gifts for each exchange and provide some creative ideas to make your gifts stand out.

When selecting gifts for a White Elephant exchange, remember that the goal of this game is to choose the most unique and unusual gift you can find.

Pick something unexpected like funny kitchen gadgets, humorous books, silly gag gifts, or quirky home decor items – anything that will make people laugh or be surprised! When selecting gifts for Dirty Santa and Yankee Swap exchanges, keep in mind that these games involve trading gifts with one another. Choose items that are easy to re-gift such as candles, mugs, notebooks, framed photographs, and other small decorative items.

If you’re looking for creative ways to make your gift stand out even more during these exchanges, consider adding special touches to it. For example, if you’re giving away an item like a mug or candle holder, personalize it with a phrase or decoration that refers to a shared memory that everyone on the team would have a chuckle over. Or if you’re giving away books or stationery items – create your own custom covers with inspirational quotes from the Bible on them!

white elephant gift ideas church game


1. Star Wars The Child Chia Pet Floating Edition with Stand, “aka Baby Yoda”

2. Giant Funny Realistic Burrito Tortilla Throw Blanket

3. Famous Painting Patterned Art Socks 

4. Desktop Cornhole Bean Bag Game Set

5. 3D Moon Lamp with Ceramic Base, LED Night Light, Mood Lighting with Touch Control

6. Avocado Tree Growing Kit

7. 6-Piece Floppy Disks Coaster Table Coasters for Drinks

white elephant gift

Finally – don’t forget about presentation! Wrapping up your gift in stylish paper can make all the difference when playing these types of games. Use festive colors and materials like tissue paper to make sure your gift stands out in the crowd!

By following these tips and using your creativity when selecting gifts – you’ll be sure to impress everyone at your next church White Elephant, Dirty Santa or Yankee Swap exchange. Have fun playing this fun festive game at your next holiday gathering – may your Dirty Santas be merry indeed!

CTT Staff
CTT Staff
ChurchTechToday is the #1 church technology website for pastors, communicators, and leaders. With the goal to provide insight into a variety of topics including social media, websites, worship, media, mobile, and software, ChurchTechToday aims to shed light on how church technology can empower and position churches for impact and growth.


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