The Christmas Dice Game is an awesome and easy holiday gift exchange game that can be played at your annual Christmas party or an office holiday shindig. Grab the printable Christmas gift exchange game card, and learn how to play this fun dice game!
If you’ve ever been to a big holiday party, then chances are you’ve played (or at least heard of) the Dirty Santa game. A Dirty Santa gift exchange basically involves swapping or “stealing” gifts with different people in a group. There are a TON of different variations to this fun gift exchange, but what if you could play Dirty Santa with dice?
Then you’ve got a fast-paced, surprise gift exchange game that’s fun for all! And that’s pretty much the idea of this Christmas Dice Game.
One of the main differences between Dirty Santa vs this Christmas Dice Game is that with the former, you play “dirty” by stealing the most prized gift in the group… So all of the gifts are opened when they are received, and if you’re the lucky player that gets to go last, then you get your pick of ALL of the gifts in the game. For instance, if the player that goes before you opens a giant Reese’s peanut butter cup and you’re a huge chocolate fan, you can steal their gift and then they have to pick one of the unwrapped gifts.
But with this Christmas Dice Game, no one knows what gift they have until they land on the square that says “Keep your gift and open it”! And then no one can steal your gift!
If you’re looking for fun and easy Christmas games to play at your holiday party this year, then give this Christmas dice game a try!
What You Need to Play the Christmas Dice Game
If you’re going to play this fun Christmas gift exchange with dice at your holiday party, then you’ll need to do a little prep work first. Be sure that all of your guests know about the gift exchange ahead of time, and set a budget for the gifts. For instance, you can tell everyone to bring a wrapped gift that costs about $20.
You will also need these supplies:
- two dice
- printable Christmas Dice Game – Available in my shop here!
- printer and paper
- slips of paper with numbers (to pick out a starting gift)
- about 5 or more players, each with a wrapped gift – The more players for your Christmas gift exchange the better!
How to Play the Christmas Gift Exchange Dice Game
This Christmas gift exchange with dice is super easy to play, and it’s a fun way to pass Christmas gifts around a circle without anyone knowing what the gifts are… It replaces the “dirty” in the traditional Christmas gift exchange with a “surprise” element instead! Here’s how to play:
Step 1: Have all of the gift exchange players sit in a circle.
Gather all of the players together and have them sit in a circle. It’s important to have everyone in a circle of sorts, because some of the actions on the game card are based on direction, like “Switch gifts with the player on your right“.
Step 2: Pass out the wrapped gifts.
To play this fun gift exchange game, you’ll need to start out with everyone holding one gift.
You can start by having each person hold on to the the gift that they brought to the gift exchange, but I find that the game works better if everyone starts with a surprise gift… that way no one knows what gift they have when the game begins. Starting this way also helps the gifts to “travel” more around the circle.
Try this to pass out the Christmas gifts:
- Place all of the wrapped gifts in the center of the circle.
- Make slips of paper with numbers 1 – the number of people playing the game. So if you have 15 players, then make 15 slips of paper numbered 1-15. Place the numbers in a hat.
- Have each player draw out a number from the hat. Whoever draws number 1 gets to pick their gift to start the game with first. The person with number 2 picks a gift second, and so on until all of the gifts in the center of the circle have been claimed.
- Then the game begins by rolling the dice.
Step 3: Decide who will roll the dice first.
My family decided to let the youngest player go first, but here are some other ideas for determining who will roll the dice first:
- Pass the two dice around the circle and let each person roll both dice. The person that rolls the highest number (adding the two dice together) gets to go first.
- Play in alphabetical order of first name. The person whose name starts with the letter “A” goes first, etc.
- Draw numbers out of a hat to determine who gets to go first.
Step 4: Play the Christmas Dice Game to exchange gifts.
This Christmas gift exchange dice game is a little different than most you’ve probably seen because there are actually two dice involved, which means more fun options for what to do on your turn!
Since the printable dice game is set up like a quadrant, you’ll need to have players roll just one dice at a time.
Roll the first dice and find the corresponding number at the top of the game card. Then, roll the second dice and find that number on the left side of the card. You’ll find the action to be done for that turn where the two dice numbers meet on the printable dice game.
Let’s look at an example:
Susie rolls a number 4 on the first dice. Then, she rolls a number 2 next. So, Susie looks on the printable Christmas gift exchange game card for number 4 on the top row and number 2 on the left side column. The corresponding action is:
“Trade with the youngest player.”
So, Susie would swap gifts with the youngest person in the group. *NOTE – If the youngest player has already unwrapped their gift (and is therefore out of the game), then Susie would trade with the next youngest player.
After Susie has completed the action on the game card, then the two dice get passed right to the next person in the circle.
How the Christmas Dice Gift Exchange Game Ends
Before you start playing the Christmas dice game, you need to let all of the players know how and/or when the game will end. You have a few different options for ending the Christmas dice game:
Set a timer for the gift exchange.
If you only have a limited amount of time to play the dice game, then you may want to set a timer for about 30 or 45 minutes, depending on how many players you have. Then when the timer goes off, the game ends and all of the remaining players unwrap the gift that they are holding.
Play the dice game until all of the gifts are opened.
This is my favorite way to play the Christmas dice game, but it can take a little bit longer if you have a large group.
Play until all of the players have landed on a space that says “Keep your gift and open it”. Since each player only has one Christmas gift to start out with, then once they land on that space, they are out of the game and the gift that they opened is theirs to keep.
Go around the circle a set number of times.
You can also go around the circle a predetermined number of times. So for instance, before the game starts, tell the players that each person gets to roll 3 times, then the game is over and they keep the gift that they’re holding.
FAQ’s about How to Play
What if I have my own gift when I land on the “unwrap your gift” space?
If you are holding your own gift (the gift that you brought for the gift exchange) and you land on the space that says “Keep your gift and unwrap it”, then you should select another player to open the gift that he or she is holding. You should NOT open the gift that you brought.
How many players can play the Christmas dice game?
I suggest playing this fun Christmas dice gift exchange game with at least 8 to 10 players… The more surprise gifts moving around the circle, the more fun this easy gift exchange is!
Does everyone get a gift in the Christmas dice game?
Yes! Throughout the entire game, all players should have a gift. If someone chooses to swap with you, you get the present that they were holding. So at the end of the game, everyone goes home with a Christmas gift.
Can I steal a gift in the Christmas Dice Game?
You can’t “steal” a gift like you would in a Dirty Santa gift exchange… You can only swap unwrapped gifts with other players. But you won’t know what gift you have until you land on the “unwrap” space or until the game ends and everyone opens the gifts that they are holding.
Once a gift has been unwrapped, that gift and the person who unwrapped it are out of the game.
What happens when I land on the “Keep your gift and unwrap it” space?
After you land on that space and unwrap your gift, the gift that you unwrapped is yours to keep. No one can steal it, and you can’t roll the dice again. Once you unwrap a gift, you’re out of the game. The game continues with the remaining players in the circle that are still holding wrapped gifts.
Printable Christmas Dice Game
Want to try this fun and easy Christmas Dice Game at your holiday gift exchange? Just click the link down below to check out the printable dice game in my shop!
Other Printable Christmas Games for Your Holiday Party
Want some other fun Christmas game ideas to play at your party? Check out some of these other posts:
Christmas Charades – This classic party game has a fun Christmas twist with holiday related items and phrases to act out! Great for a wide range of age groups!
Christmas Scattergories – This Scattergories printable game includes a few different versions of the game cards and over 60 different categories! A fun and challenging word game to play at your Christmas party with your adult guests!
I hope you guys have fun playing this Christmas dice game at your holiday gift exchange! What is your favorite way to do a gift exchange with a crowd? Leave me a comment down below and let me know!
And don’t forget to PIN this post for later!