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The Best Virtual Gift Exchange Game Ideas


This year has been unlike any other. Thankfully, virtual gift swaps are totally doable – and can be a lot of fun! Here’s a quick guide from IDENTITY Boise on how to have some virtual gift exchange fun this holiday season.

How Do I Play Secret Santa Virtually?

The rules of Secret Santa are simple. Each participant is randomly assigned another person to buy a gift for. As the name suggests, who bought what for whom should remain a secret!

For your virtual event, send out an email invite with all the details. Establish the date, time, and price range for gifts – oh, and a link to the virtual event. If everyone wants to keep their Secret Santa secret and is comfortable doing so, share your addresses in advance so you know where to send your gifts.

Elfster makes it easy to randomly assign a Secret Santa. Once you’ve been assigned the person you are buying a gift for, all you need to do is find a gift you think they’ll enjoy, wrap it, and ship it their way! During the virtual event, each person will have their turn to open their gift on camera. It’s that simple!

How Do I Play White Elephant Virtually?

White Elephant is a bit more complicated than Secret Santa, but you can make it work online with some ingenuity! Just like Secret Santa, you’ll want to send out an invite in advance so everyone can prepare.

White Elephant can be played a number of ways, so be sure to establish some ground rules beforehand. Traditionally, each participant brings a gift and discretely places it in a pile. Players draw a random number to determine the order of who draws when – the virtual host can do this in advance using a generator like

On each player’s turn, a player can select a new gift or steal a previously chosen gift. For the virtual party, each gifter holds up their wrapped gift for everyone to see. (Alternatively, you can use a slideshow that displays all the available gifts. Check out this template made by From there, the game can be played pretty much the same way as it normally would! You’ll just need to keep track of who has which gift. When the party’s over, simply ship the present to its new owner – that is, unless you end up with your own gift!

Anything Else?

To liven up the party and get into the holiday spirit, it helps to dress the part. Find yourself a thrift store holiday sweater at Thriftology. Pick up some sweet treats from Cravin’s Candy Emporium to satiate that sweet tooth. Don’t neglect your surroundings – find some cool decorative pieces at Hyde and Seek. Showing off your holiday vibe is part of the fun!

Happy Holidays 2020 – From Our House to Yours

Living out loud is also part of the IDENTITY Boise spirit. Our apartment homes give you the space you need to be true to yourself and find ways to be creative to celebrate the Holidays in style. So, enjoy the experience and Happy Holidays – from us to you!


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