When it comes to Christmas gift-giving traditions, there are plenty. From the Secret Santa to White Elephant, and from Gift Grab to Musical Gifts, groups have become increasingly creative in the way in which they exchange favors. While creativity is always encouraged, sometimes it’s the older traditions that really knock party-goers socks off…literally.
The Sock Exchange, Explained
If you’ve never heard of a sock exchange, you’re not alone. However, it’s definitely a game worth learning about. A Christmas sock exchange involves exchanging socks filled with goodies. Exactly how the socks are exchanged is up to you and your group. Some parties simply like to toss the gift-filled socks into a bag or basket and allow participants to select a pair at random. Others like to make a game of the whole ordeal and play a slight variation of White Elephant.
White Elephant Rules
If you choose to go to the White Elephant route, there are a few standard rules by which everyone must abide. Those rules are as follows:
- Everyone brings a pair of socks filled with small goodies that meet but do not exceed an agreed upon dollar amount.
- The socks are all placed in one location, which is typically on a table in the center of the room in which the exchange is to take place.
- Everyone draws a number.
- The person who drew one picks a pair of socks first, followed by two, three, four, etc.
- If a person decides that he or she wants a pair of socks previously selected, he or she may “steal” the pair from someone else. The group can decide whether a pair of socks may be stolen once, twice, or three times before it becomes off limits.
- When the last person has gone and no more socks remain on the table, the game is over. The participants keep the socks, and the goodies within them, they have.
Some parties like to keep the contents of the socks hidden until the end of the game, while others believe that seeing what’s within the socks makes White Elephant more exciting. While there is no right or wrong way of doing things, you should set the rules in advance to prevent dispute in the middle of the game.
Fun Gifts With Which To Stuff Socks
It can be hard to find sock gifts worth giving, but with a bit of creativity, you can fill your socks with the type of fun, desirable, and sassy gifts your group of friends or family have come to expect from you. Below are just a few ideas to get you started:
- Dishtowels: No, not your traditional, home-grown dish towels, but rather, towels with sayings so sassy they’d make your Grandma blush. The “Get the Hell Out of My Kitchen and “Hangry” dishtowels are two fan favorites.
- Bacon: Bacon air fresheners, bacon bandages, and back breath mints are sure to be a hit with all your pig-loving friends. Because bacon is gender-neutral, these gifts are the perfect sassy gifts to go with socks.
- More Socks: Socks are much more than the plain white or black foot coverings they used to be. Rather, they’re fashion statements and ways in which people can show off their personalities while still maintaining a professional outward appearance. Some might say that socks are the new underwear. Stuff one sock with a pair of “Raptor Clause” socks and the other with Fa La La La Llama socks. You can also select socks that can be worn year-round, such as “My Favorite Salad is Wine” socks and the “Death Before Decaf” knee-high socks.
With a little bit of ingenuity, you can make the traditional Christmas sock exchange a fun game that even the most un-entertained millennial will enjoy. Christmas is only a month away, so find your socks and the goodies to go with them before it’s too late.