Today's YouTube video is on the topic of gift giving, especially around the holidays. So I thought I'd share a little about Swedish gift giving traditions in today's blog post! There might of course be more than those I write about, but these are the most common!
1. Individual gifts
Of course, this is a pretty standard way of giving gifts, even in Sweden. You get something for someone based on who they are and what they like. Sometimes these gifts are just handed over on Christmas eve (we celebrate Christmas on the 24th of December) and sometimes they're all put in a sack and handed out by someone dressed up as Santa (sorry kids). We have never done this at our house since we stick to more American traditions, meaning that Santa comes during the night and we open our gifts around the Christmas tree in the morning.
2. Secret Santa
I can pretty confidently say that this tradition is directly adopted from America or wherever it was thought of, 'cause I don't even know if it has a Swedish name. If you don't know what Secret Santa is, you basically put the name of all "participants" in a bowl and then one by one you pick a name from the bowl (without knowing of course) and then you only buy a gift for that person. This is a great option if you're all on a budget and can't afford to give gifts to 10 people. When doing this you only get one gift and you only give one gift! :)
3. The Gift Game
This is a really fun way of giving gifts and it can be the only source of gifts at Christmas (that's the way Sonny's family does it, no individual gifts) or the way we'll do it with my family this year - individual gifts + the Gift Game just for fun!
So, what is the Gift Game?
Step 1 is for everyone involved to purchase a few gifts each, usually with a price limit of around $5-$10. In the end you want the number of gifts to be approximately three times as many as the number of participants, but it's not vital. As long as people have one each it's doable. These gifts need to be pre-wrapped and preferably wrapped in a secretive way (example: a lipstick wrapped in a shoe box).
Step 2 is that all gifts are placed on a table and all participants gather around. You need a dice or two to play. So, the first person throws the dice and if they get a 1 or a 6 they get to pick ANY gift from the pile of gifts. This continues around the table until all gifts have been divided among you. Use two dice to speed up the process if you are a lot of people.
(If one person is left without a gift when all have been selected, they get to pick any gift from anyone before the next step starts).
Step 3 is that everyone unwraps their gifts and then you one by one around the table show the group what you have gotten so everyone knows what's up for grabs, so to speak.
Step 4 - one person sets a timer on a secret number (usually around 15-25 minutes) and then you start playing! The point of this is that no one knows when the game ends (except the person who set the timer of course).
Step 5 is very similar to step 2, one person at a time throws the dice (or two dice) and if you get a 1 or a 6 you get to STEAL a gift from someone else!! This process continues until the timer runs out and what you are left with at the end is what you get! You are of course allowed to STEAL BACK a package someone has stolen from you. It becomes quite clear which are the most popular after a few rounds hehe.
Extra rule 1: You are not allowed to steal a package from a person who only has one package!
Extra rule 2: All games need a winner and a loser of course! So there's nothing wrong with purchasing "boring gifts" that no one probably wants... and sometimes those boring gifts all of a sudden become the most popular 'cause more than one person wants it haha!
So if you want to spice up the gift tradition at your house, you should definitely try this gift game!
Now, comment on this post what your traditions are!