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Best Family Gift Exchange Ideas (2021 Guide)

Finding the right present for a family member is difficult because you may have too much information about their likes and dislikes. This can lead total a mind meltdown, but don’t worry because we have you covered.

Whether it’s the holiday season or you’re just being thoughtful (does that happen?), some of the best birthday, anniversary or Christmas gift exchange ideas for a big family or a small one are right here.

Top 7 Best Family Gift Exchange Ideas in 2021

1. Instant Pot

instant pot

Everyone is obsessed with this instant pot for a reason. It combines six different kitchen appliances into one and cooks food 70% faster – great for busy families.

Anyone who receives this will be amazed at how little effort it takes to make slow cooked meals, pressure cooked dishes, rice and even oatmeal.

Wonderful family gift exchange gift ideas for a family that likes to splurge can benefit everyone – especially you.

2. Clue Game of Thrones Board Game

Board game call clue the classic mystery game

Think your family is as close as the Starks? This Game of Thrones Clue game will show you all how well you handle a little competition.

A great update to a classic game, you can choose between two locations, King’s Landing or Meereen, thanks to the reversible board and you’ll be treated to custom illustrations on both sides.

One of the best gift exchange ideas for a large family that likes to compete, betrayal, high treachery and bragging rights await those who take on the challenge.

3. Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker

Black coffee maker

Need gift exchange ideas for a family member that doesn’t do mornings? This cold brewer will definitely make their mornings run more smoothly.

The removable filter makes for easy brewing while keeping coffee grounds out of the pot, and the BPA-free pitcher is durable, airtight and non-slip to keep it secure during the early morning scramble to get out the door.

It can make eight servings of any kind of coffee and will make the family member that receives it pretty happy.

4. Super Soft Hypoallergenic Faux Throw Blanket

Luxurious super smooth throw blanket

This faux fur blanket gift idea can add class to any environment it finds itself in – the bed, park or movie theatre – and makes the space more inviting.

Luxurious and comfortable, you’ll be a fool to think the recipient of such a gift is going to leave this on the couch. If they do make that mistake, be sure to slip underneath it for some serious warmth.

5. Portable Ping Pong Table

Ping pong ball with paddles and adjustable clamps

Transform any table into a ping pong game if you love fun family gift exchange ideas that feed your competitive spirit.

Two paddles, two balls, adjustable clamps, a net all in a mesh carrying bag let the family compete anywhere. Retractable and expandable, the net can fit a variety of table widths and the clamps are spring loaded to avoid damaging the table in use.

If you have limited space or simply love family competition, this fun gift is a great addition to the dining or game room.

6. Genealogy Fan Wall Chart

Family genealogy tracer

This blank genealogy chart can be used to trace your family tree, becoming a piece of wall art no one else can ever recreate.

Printed on high quality parchment paper, the antique-style fillable chart can hold up to 511 names (nine generations) of your family. The large design is also perfect for all types of handwriting.

Bonus points if you put in the time and fill it in for the recipient! Large family gift exchange ideas aren’t always personal, but this chart proves they can be.

7. Colonel Popper Microwave Popcorn Popper Bowl

Green popcorn microwave bowl

For those who enjoy experimenting, and of course popcorn, but hate air poppers or that microwave bag flavor, this popcorn gift idea is perfect. With this bowl you can use any popcorn kernels, oil and seasonings as you create the perfect combination of flavors in 4 minutes or less.

It makes up to 14 cups of popcorn, plenty for movie night and is collapsible for easy storage.

Popcorn really does bring families together and this silicone popper will have you all bonding more than ever.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Organize a Family Gift Exchange

Instead of buying something for everyone in your family tree or designing a complicated white elephant gift exchange or Yankee Swap game, a family gift exchange sets up a system for who everyone buys a gift for.

Amazing for large and small families, having an assigned person to buy for takes a lot of pressure off of everyone.

The first thing that needs to happen is to decide on what kind of exchange you’re going to have. Some examples are:

  • Aunts and uncles exchange with each other
  • Cousins exchange with each other
  • Siblings exchange with each other
  • Draw names (Note that this one may have kids and adults exchanging with each other, but you can easily separate adults from kids too.)

Next, decide on how much money you’re spending. This is super important to avoid hurt feelings; getting a gift worth $4 when you spent $50 doesn’t feel good.

To keep embarrassment out of this loving tradition, everyone can keep their budgets discreet by emailing their preferred budget to the person who they are exchanging with.

Benefits of a Family Gift Exchange

Exchanging gifts is a ton of fun, but it can cause a little anxiety because things can add up quickly!

If you are in a large family, a small one that loves big ticket items or you simply don’t have the time, here are fantastic reasons to make a gift exchange your new tradition.

1. Save money

Of course this is pretty obvious but very true and important nonetheless. Instead of buying individual gifts for everyone, you can buy one super awesome gift for, say, the entire side of your wife’s side of the family.

With all the traveling during the holidays, not to mention gifts to the neighbors and coworkers, this will cut down expenses and be a good time.

2. Better gift quality

Spreading $200 over 20 gifts results in cheap gifts. Use that money to buy a great gift without feeling like you’ve let anyone down or that you need to pick up overtime.

3. Focus on the recipient

When you’re stressed about how you’re going to find time to buy everything, you may lose sight of the people you are buying for. The exchange lets you focus entirely on the person or group of people you are buying for. You can brainstorm and spend time doing more research.

It becomes fun to see how much you know about your nieces and nephews, for instance, learning about them and seeing how they will react. And it really does feel good to give from a deeper place.


The best family gift exchange ideas will be different for everyone but when you know the person you’re buying for, there is no mistaking when you’ve found it.