Ready for Christmas!?!?

For those extended family gatherings, and all you who are hashing out the options: “do we do gifts, or no? How about White Elephant? Should we trade names? … wish lists….?”

I have invented a game!

This card game allows players to “barter” presents at any budget level. Any number of people can play, and it’s fun to watch without being a humbug if you choose not to participate.

Best of all, it’s SO easy!

So if you’re curious – and you think you’re family might want something refreshing – check out the game and have some FUN this Christmas!!!

Christmas Card Game     


1. Buy or make presents. Any thing you like! (Scented candles, fuzzy socks, a box of popcorn, a nice new exacto blade…whatever!)

a. Bring as many presents as you would like BUT *NOTE: The number of presents you contribute is the number of CARDS you receive. You barter with your cards. The more cards you hold in your hand, the more bargaining power you have!

2. Wrap your presents.

3. Label the present with the contents, instead of a normal to/from label. (The more specific the label; the more bargaining power that gift may have. The more vague the label; the more fun it may be to open… you choose).  If your entire group has never played this game before you will also need a desk bell & cardstock to print the cards.


1. Pile the presents together.

2. Remember how many presents you brought!

3. Have a scribe or two enter the label descriptions on pre-cut CHRISTMAS CARD GAME trading cards.

4. The cards are then shuffled and piled.

5. Left of the shuffler chooses a card and announces the description. (“fuzzy socks!”)

6. Next left chooses a card and announces it… (“a sci-fi book”) and so on around…

7. Each player now has one card. All the cards-in-hand have been announced. Ring the bell twice to signal open market, and the trading round begins! Call out potential trades to one another. Any player may trade any other player for their card. (Obviously, this is a one-to-one trading ratio). At each successful trade, ring the center bell.       Be quick!      ONLY THREE TRADES ARE ALLOWED this round!!! Close the round by ringing the bell three times in sucession.

8. Round two. Each player who brought two or more gifts draws another card and announces the draw as before. On round two, FOUR TRADES are allowed, and more than one card may be offered to acquire your trade. (ex: “I’ll give you my gourmet coffee, AND my sci-fi book for your electric blanket”). When four trades have been made, close the round and draw again.

9. Successive rounds are played the same. Trades allowed increase by one each round. Players stop drawing cards after they have drawn as many cards as the number of gifts they came with. (ex: players who brought four presents will draw four rounds, and not draw the fifth, on round five of the game. Players who brought one gift, only draw a card the first round, but may trade on any or all of the others).

10. The game is concluded when all the players have drawn their max. In a case of large disparity, where 8 players brought three gifts each, and one player brought ten, players may agree to chose whether the “balance” of cards is picked up by the 10-gifted player on the third round, or whether all ten rounds should be played out long form.

This game emulates the stock market and was inspired by the century old Parker Brother’s game called Pit. The basics are reappropriated for holiday joy. Let us freely give, and freely exchange. We are richly and joyously blessed. Let’s have fun!


Game creation and card design by Angela Mohney, Dec. 2010 Adaptations welcome.

You can find these instructions available for download on Scribd OR Google Docs and a Word Document for the printable cards can be found on Google also HERE

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  • aminuteortwo - This is an awesome way to enjoy the spirit of giving without the anxiety of commercialism! Love it!!!ReplyCancel

  • aminuteortwo - This is an awesome way to enjoy the spirit of giving without the anxiety of commercialism! Love it!!!ReplyCancel

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