After a few years of drawing names to minimize costs and headaches, my extended family tried a new plan a couple of years ago. It worked so nicely that I suggested that we do it again. I hope it advances for participants the notion of the true meaning of Christmas - giving with genuine Christian spirit to loved ones.
The concept is rather simple. Instead of going out to buy what might be a perfect gift for the recipient, we each give a gift of our time and talents. Participation is optional, and any age can join in.
Above is the gift I offered the previous time we tried this idea. I shared doing it in this post. Everyone wrote their "gifts" on a 3"x5" card, and we put them all in a basket. After drawing numbers, we went in order drawing cards out of the basket. A gift could be "stolen" by the next person who drew if they really wanted a particular gift that had already been drawn. "Stealing" could only happen on your turn, so you had to pay attention to who had what. Number One could steal after everyone had drawn. We had about 20 or so involved and it was lots of fun. Kevin got the gift my sister Carol offered - a drawing. She is quite talented, and her drawing of our house now hangs in our dining room.
The reflection of the Christmas tree and my ugly mug can be seen in the glass on the picture, but you aren't looking at those, are you?
Examples of some other gifts include a home-baked apple pie from Mom; lasagna prepared by sister Sandy; car-detailing from a brother-in-law; an afternoon of yard work from my husband; teeth-whitening treatment from my s-i-l, the dentist; free babysitting from DD; computer clean-up/maintenance from a nephew; and so on. It was a wide-ranging variety of "gifts" and some were "stolen" a lot.
I have another idea for what I will offer in this year's exchange. I will share it with you after Christmas.
Happy Quilting, Friends!