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Chinese Christmas Gift Exchange


Full Member
Does anyone have any ideas about how to word a note home to parents about a chinese gift exchange?
The students want to have a chinese gift exchange. I am asking each student who wishes to participate to bring a $5 unisex gift on the last day of school.
Pregnancy brain has officially hit......I have been sitting at the computer for the last 45 minutes and I don't have a single word typed! Boo me!

~ Lindsey


Senior Member
What is it?

I've never heard of this. What is it? Is it truly a Chinese tradition? If not, I don't think I'd call it that in the letter home.


Full Member

I teach in a small town, and they all refer to the gift exchanges as "chinese gift exchanges".

The way it works is that everyone brings a gift. Everyone then draws a number. Number one gets to select the first gift from all of the gifts. Number 2 gets to either select a new gift or they can "steal" someone another person's gift. It continues on until everyone has a gift and all of the gifts are taken. Then the first person gets to pick from any of the gifts (if they so choose).

This is a very fun exchange. I just don't know how to word a note going home about it.
~ L

NJ Teacher

Senior Member
Gift Exchange Game

I also would leave the word "Chinese" out of it, even though we used to do this same activity at our staff party and call it a Chinese auction. I would call it a gift exchange game, and explain the rules the same way you did in your post. I would also make sure that the children participating truly understand that they might have to lose the gift they received with their number if a person with another number wants it. We gave up this game at our parties after our social committee felt that it was too upsetting to people. I thought that was ridiculous as I never participated with the absolute certainty I'd get a great gift there, but the point is that even some adults can't handle passing the gift on. Have fun! <!--christmastree-->


Senior Member
Yankee gift exchange

I've played this game and around here it is called Yankee gift swap. I WOULD NOT call it a Chinese gift exchange. If fact, I would just call it a gift exchange and explain the rules the day you do it.


Not "Chinese"

'Tis a fine and fun frivolity. It goes against several Chinese gift-giving traditions. Until recently in Chinese communities, gifts were given from a person in higher status to one of lower status: parents to kids, boss to employees, sometimes a small item from older brother to younger siblings. Gifts to teachers were gifts from parents. Gifts were generally new cash in a red envelope. New Year and weddings were the main gift-giving times. The times they are a-changing: merchants have been pushing more general gift-giving for Mother's Day, anniversaries, etc.