Every Christmas for the last 10 years or so, my sister and brother and I, and our spouses, have had a grab bag in lieu of buying gifts for everyone. We started out by drawing names and buying a gift for the person whose name we picked. There weren't too many rules, just that you couldn't pick yourself or your spouse, and started with a maximum of $20 to spend on the gift. We have brought the max up to $25 now, and have made changes to the way the gifts are selected.
For the first few years we wrote our name on a piece of paper, and a list of 3 things that we would like. This made it easy, but not challenging. Then we decided to write our name on a piece of paper and a single theme for the gift, such as food, liqour, something warm, etc. The possibilities were endless. One year we made a rule that no gift cards, since that was too easy.
One year we had one rule...the gift had to be a "gag" gift. That was the last year for that one!
This year, my sister, not I, came up with an idea for gifts..."Make it or bake it". Since not everyone in the grab bag is the creative or cooking type, I added that it could be something that was handmade as opposed to being mass produced. This could be something from a kiosk in the mall, which there are no shortage of but many of the items are handmade. There are also a lot of Christmas craft fairs at the different schools, churches, and park districts in the area. I added that there were numerous kits to be had at Michaels, Joann Fabrics, etc., that even the guys could create from!
The funny part of the suggestion when it was announced after Thanksgiving dinner as we always do, was they all that it was my idea! I plan on making everyone a little something, such as a key chain or phone charm, but I am still contemplating what I will make my intended recipient.
Sorry, I can't reveal who it is, that has to remain a secret until Christmas Day. But my sister usually figures out who has who by process of elimination, and she only needs to know who she has to do this, although now that my son and nieces and nephews are getting older and have jobs and will be involved with the grab bag, I have a feeling it won't be so easy to figure out who has who!
It will be interesting to see what everyone comes up with for their gift. Almost makes me feel like a little kid anticipating what Santa might leave under the tree!