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Left Right Gift Exchange

Left Right Gift Exchange copy

Looking for a way to switch up your white elephant gift exchange this year? Use this poem and every time you read the word “left,” students pass their present to the left, and when you read the word “right,” students pass it to the right. We’ve done it several years and the kids always love it.


Twas the Night RIGHT Before Christmas

(You may want to cut parts out so it doesn’t take as long)

Twas’ the night RIGHT before Christmas when RIGHT through the house. Not a creature was LEFT stirring, not even a mouse– The stockings were hung RIGHT by the chimney with care, in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be RIGHT there. The children were nestled RIGHT snug in their beds, while visions of sugarplums danced RIGHT in their heads. Mama in her kerchief, and I in my cap, we had just settled RIGHT down for a long winter’s nap. When RIGHT out on the LEFT lawn there rose such a clatter, I sprang RIGHT from my bed to see what was the matter. Away to the RIGHT window I LEFT like a flash; tore open the shutters and threw up the sash. The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow LEFT a luster of midday to objects RIGHT below. When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a miniature sleight and eight tiny reindeer. With a little old driver RIGHT lively and quick; I knew RIGHT in a moment it must be St. Nick. More rapid than eagles his coursers they came; and he whistled and shouted, and called them RIGHT by name: “Now, Dasher! Now, Dancer! Now, Prancer and Vixen! On Comet, on Cupid, on Donder and Blitzen! To the RIGHT top of the porch! To the LEFT top of the wall! Now dash away, dash away, dash RIGHT away all!” As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly when they meet RIGHT with an obstacle, mount RIGHT up to the sky. So up to the housetop the coursers they LEFT flew, with a sleigh full of toys and St. Nicholas, too. And then in a twinkling, I heard RIGHT on the roof, the prancing and pawing of each little RIGHT and LEFT hoof. As I drew in my head and was turning LEFT around? Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound. He was dressed all in fur, RIGHT from his head to his LEFT foot, and his clothes were all LEFT tarnished with ashes and soot. A bundle of toys he had flung RIGHT on his back, and he looked like a peddler just opening his pack. His RIGHT and LEFT eyes, how they twinkled! His dimples? How merry! His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry! His droll little mouth was LEFT drawn up like a bow, and the beard LEFT on his chin was as white as the snow. The stump of a pipe he held RIGHT in his teeth, and the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath. He had a broad face and a round little belly, that shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly. He was RIGHT chubby and plump, a RIGHT, RIGHT jolly old elf, and I laughed when I saw him in spite of myself. A wink of his LEFT eye and a LEFT twist of his head, soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread. He spoke not a word, but went RIGHT straight to his work, and filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk. And laying his finger to the LEFT of his nose, and giving a nod, he LEFT. Up the chimney he rose. He sprang RIGHT to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle, and away they all LEFT like the down of a thistle. But I heard him exclaim, ere he LEFT–out of sight, “Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night!”


– Author Unknown


Gift Exchange Tickets

One way to encourage kids to bring a present is by giving out tickets. Here is one you can print for free.

Gift Exchange Ticket copy

In order to get a present from under the tree, kids need a ticket. However, if you don’t want kids to feel left out, buy some extra presents for the kids who don’t bring any, but let the people with tickets choose their gifts first.


Categories: Christmas, Games, mixers, Youth Ministry Ideas

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