The holidays are just around the corner and just like every year, your office organizes a gift exchange. That annual anxiety-inducing gift exchange that forces you to buy a somewhat meaningful present for that guy down in payroll or your boss whose partiality towards your gift will determine the likelihood of your promotion. There's no greater holiday stress than this "fun" event with your co-workers. Obviously we think a gift subscription to The Roasters Pack is the #1 gift option, but perhaps your office is trendy enough to have a subscription as their office coffee. So then what?

Here at The Roasters Pack, we're pushing for a new gift exchange movement: the holiday mug swap! the gift exchange, the holiday mug swap means you grant your Secret Santa with just that – a coffee mug. It takes away the stress of hunting down that perfect gift plus who doesn't need a new mug? A good mug can make your mornings a little bit brighter and the cold weather feel a little bit warmer.

Ready to organize a holiday mug swap at your office? Here's how to get started.
  1. Sign up for Elfster, a free online gift exchange organizer. Don't forget to set a deadline for the last day to RSVP. 
  1. Add your colleagues. Elfster will send out an email inviting people to RSVP for the gift exchange.
  1. Go shopping. Once the deadline has passed, Elfster will draw names among the pool of participants. Now that you know who you're gifting, it's time to find them a cool mug!
  1. Exchange mugs. Have everyone place their wrapped mug in the boardroom. Once all the mugs are assembled, look for the gift with your name and open! You can decide whether you want the gifter to remain anonymous or not.

Add a twist to your mug swap!

Dirty Santa

Assign everyone a number before the gifts are unwrapped. The person with the #1 opens their gift. Then person #2 opens their gift and can either keep it or swap with another person. Continue until the last person has an unwrapped gift.

Yankee Swap

Instead of assigning everyone to a Secret Santa, ask anyone interested in participating in the mug swap to bring a wrapped mug on your designated mug swap day. 

Assign everyone a number. Person #1 selects a gift and unwraps it. Person #2 selects another gift, unwraps it, and can either keep it or swap with another person. Continue until the last person has an unwrapped gift.

Trivia Santa

This one involves a little bit of work from the host but it's a fun way to get people into the spirit! It’s similar to the Yankee Swap but the order is determined by your holiday trivia knowledge. 

Using Survey Monkey, send out 10 holiday trivia questions for people to answer (check out this quiz for inspiration). Whoever gets the most correct answers gets to go LAST in the Yankee Swap. Remember, last is best because you get to see most of the mugs unwrapped! 

If there's a tie, randomize the people within that tie group to determine the order they go in.

Don't forget:

  • Set a price limit to keep the exchange fair. 
  • Ensure your gift is thoughtful – don’t be that guy who picks up some random mug on the way in because he "forgot".
  • Consider your office culture – would your mug be inappropriate for your audience? 
  • Receive the gift graciously even if you don't like it.
  • And the number one golden rule of all games... Have fun!
December 22, 2014 — The Roasters Pack Staff

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