Receiving a Gift Game

person s holds brown gift box

Photo by Kim Stiver on

Every year since my boys have been very young we have played the Receiving Game. We gather some empty gift bags and hand one to each son. Then we sit in a circle and pick a person around the circle to give a gift. I give everyone a couple of minutes and the boys collect gifts for one another or me from around the house.

After that, we sit in a circle again and present our gifts to Mom or one of the brothers. Each person takes the gift from giver and thanks them. THEN, he/I open the gift and find something nice to say about the gift. “This is my favorite color.” or “I love the smell of this candle.” or “I can always use socks! Thanks!” The comment must be positive and accompanied by a genuine smile. Inevitably, a brother thinks it is funny to give underwear and this year was no different. 🙂 It brought many laughs and a good lesson on receiving.

Why would we play this game EVERY year? It is important to me that my boys learn to receive gifts given to them around the holidays. It is important that they put the GIVER in front of their own feelings and preferences, even if they get underwear.

Here are our rules while playing

  1. Sincerely thank the Giver
  2. Put yourself in the Giver’s shoes and give a kind remark about the gift
  3. Never say “I already have this.” (We will exchange it later.) Again, never say this.
  4. Never say “I don’t like this color, item, toy, character, etc (Again, we can exchange it if needed.)  Find something you DO like about the gift and say that.
  5. Remember the Giver is the most important one in this transaction.

Each year we write a paper, handwritten Thank You for our gifts as well. Yes, it takes time. Yes, it can be a pain for Mom. No, the boys don’t love to do it. However, it is so very important that we thank others for their gifts. It is important that we think about the Giver and what they did for us to get presents to us: thinking about us, money, time, purchasing, wrapping, bringing the items.

Through this process, we reflect on the Giver of the most precious gift: the Lord Jesus Christ and our salvation through His blood. He, a sinless God, became a sinless man to die on the cross for us. We deserve death for what we do wrong every day (I might be speaking for myself only here…) But, His blood was shed and Jesus Christ gave up His life for us-for me, for you. He paid the price of our sin. Then He was buried and rose again from the dead, conquering death. Praise the Lord!

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and Thankful, happy 2019.