The LEFT RIGHT game is so fun to play in your Christmas gift exchange! It’s easy and everyone will be laughing.
An exchange of white elephant gifts is a staple in almost every Christmas party, right? Each person brings a cheap gift (or gag) wrapped in nice paper, and then people take turns selecting a gift. Some versions of the game involve the opening of gifts immediately, and then the gifts can be stolen a certain number of times. It’s usually a lot of fun, but with large groups it can take a long time, and sometimes younger children are disappointed when they steal the gift they opened. The LEFT RIGHT game is a great alternative to the exchange of standard white elephant gifts. It’s pretty fast, it does not involve stealing (so nobody gets sad) and it’s absolutely funny!
HOW TO PLAY THE LEFT RIGHT CHRISTMAS GAME FOR GIFT EXCHANGES
The premise is simple: everyone sits in a circle holding the gift they brought. Someone reads the story aloud, and every time you hear the word “left” everyone passes their gift to the left. Every time you hear “right”, everyone passes your gift to the right. It sounds easy enough, right?
Well, story is written with MANY lefts and rights, so there are many pastimes happening. If you are late, or forget what is left and what is right, you can try to pass your gift in the wrong way, which generates a lot of laughter. The game on the right-hand side works for all ages, but it’s especially fun for children who think that everything is very funny.
Before playing, count how many people are in your group. There are 17 rights more than left in story, so if you have exactly 17 people playing, everyone will end up with their own gift. If this happens, simply say this at the end: “To open the gift you are holding is left.” And everyone will pass once more to the left.
The story of the game on the right will take about 5 minutes to read, allowing a little waiting time for the group to catch up on the pass. If you want to extend the game, you can have everyone open their gifts and then give the opportunity to each person to exchange their gift with another person. Or you can even read the story again so everyone can see what is happening this time. Read it faster the second time to make it more fun!
One thing to keep in mind is that it is easier if the person reading the story is not playing the game.
Left Right Christmas Story
Santa has a problem. He’s lost his Santa sack and can’t remember where he left it! This is no ordinary sack: on Christmas Eve Santa ties his sack right on top of his sleigh and sets off to deliver the right gifts to the right children. Every time he gets to a new house, the gifts for the children in that house magically appear in the sack right in time for him to hop down the chimney. Since he’s had the special Santa sack he’s never left a gift behind!
- “Santa!” calls the Head Elf, Snowflake. He’s Santa’s right hand man. “It’s time to go, right now!
- “But my Santa sack,” says Santa. “I don’t know where I left it!”
- “Where did you last see it?” asks Snowflake.
- “Right here by the sleigh!” says Santa.
- “Well, it’s not right here anymore,” says Snowflake. “You must have left it somewhere else and you better find it right now!”
- “But that’s the problem – I have no idea where I could have left it,” said Santa sadly.
- “Write down everywhere you’ve been today,” said Snowflake, “and l’ll get the other elves to help us look right away!”
Santa made his list and Snowflake called the other elves over to help.
- Snowflake pointed to Elf #1 – “Ok, you need to check the cocoa corner.”
- “Right,” said Elf # 1. What’s the fastest way to get there?”
- “Go straight through these doors, then take a left at the Candy Cane Castle, then right at Gingerbread Lodge, then another right at the cookie kitchen. Start looking right now!”
- “Right you are!” said Elf #1, and he left to look.
- Snowflake turned to Elf #2 and said, “Go check the workshop for Santa’s sack! And take the shortcut:
go left right past the sled garage and you’ll find five doors on the left. Take the one that’s right next to the one on the furthest left.”
- “Was that a right at the sled garage?”
- “No, left.”
- “That’s right.”
Snowflake checked Santa’s list again and pointed to Elf #3. “Right, you’d better check Santa’s bathroom. I don’t know why he would have left his Santa sack there, but you never know, right?”
- “Right,” said Elf #3, and he left right away to go looking.
Snowflake checked his watch. “Oh dear, Santa, we really do need to leave right away. Are you sure you can’t remember where you left your Santa sack?”
Santa shook his head from right to left, and then from left to right. “I wish I could remember where I left it! Why aren’t the elves back yet? What are we going to do? Christmas could be ruined! I can’t stand to think of ali the children waking up tomorrow to the wrong presents. I need that sack to make sure I deliver the right gifts to the right children!”
- “You’re right,” said the head elf. “This is getting serious. There’s only one thing left to do.”
serious. It’s time to cali in reinforcements.” Snowflake pulled out a walkie talkie and pushed the right button to activate the loudspeaker.
“We have a code red,” Snowflake said on the loudspeaker. “Santa has left his sack somewhere on the premises, and we need to find it right away. I repeat: Santa has left his sack and we need to find it right away. İt is imperative that the right gifts get to the right children, so please start looking and make sure no stone is left unturned. If found, deliver the sack to the sleigh right away!”
They waited a few more minutes, but no one arrived with the sack. “You’re just going to have to go without it, Santa,” said Snowflake.
“Maybe not!” rang out a voice right behind Santa. İt was Mrs. Claus, and in her hands was a bright red sack. “You left this in the closet while you were getting dressed. Something telis me you need it right about now.”
Santa gave Mrs. Claus a great big hug. “You’re the best!” he exclaimed. “I don’t know what I would do without you.”
“Right you are,” said Mrs. Claus. “Now get out there and make some dreams come true. Merry Christmas!”