Our Kids’ Sibling Christmas Gift Exchange 2022

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With a lot of kids, it doesn’t really make sense for each child to give a gift to each sibling. It would be way too much work, too much money, and too much to open on Christmas! Instead, we do a sibling Secret Santa sibling Christmas gift exchange for our sibling Christmas gifts.

Our kids get so excited to chose and give thoughtful gifts to their siblings, and it’s one of the best parts of our Christmas morning. We always do the sibling gifts first, when excitement and enthusiasm are high, and to let those sweet gifts and kind hearts shine. They get so proud of themselves and feel so grateful to their sibling, and it fosters love and gratitude. It makes me misty just thinking about it.

sibling gift exchange

How We Set Up the Sibling Christmas Gift Exchange

At the beginning of December, we put each sibling’s name in a hat and they go around drawing them to choose someone for whom to choose a gift. They use their family economy money to pay for their gifts and honestly get so excited to use money they’ve worked hard to manage to bring joy to a sibling. I love that it allows them an opportunity to be generous to someone else.

We always set a dollar limit so things stay about equal – we’ve done anywhere from $15-$25 depending on the year. Our kids start participating in the sibling gift exchange by the time they understand the whole present-giving process, usually around the age of 3. We always help give lots of ideas to the younger ones and may not give as much detail so they don’t spoil the surprise. šŸ˜‰ We also give some or all of the money to our younger kiddos who aren’t fully participating in family economy yet, so they can still participate in the gift exchange.

How Our Kids Select Sibling Christmas Gifts

While it’s great for some people to go to a store and allow their kids to walk around to find something, that’s never worked well for our family. Our kids tend to get distracted by the zillions of options and are less honed in on specific interests for their chosen sibling. (I’m like this, too – I hate walking around a store looking for a gift!)

Instead, one parent will discuss a few times with them over the course of a few weeks to think about their sibling’s interests, needs, and to generally brainstorm ideas. I also have a running list of gift ideas for each child so may suggest a general genre or a few items if they’re struggling, and then let them choose between them.

Then, either Dan or I will order the item and help the kids wrap (the older kids wrap on their own). It’s so fun!

Our Kids’ 2022 Sibling Christmas Presents

Here’s what our kids are giving each other this year!

  • N (age 12) choose this dino night lantern to give to A (age 5). A loves dinosaurs and also crafting! He’s also adding in a treat from Trader Joe’s.
  • K (age 10) decided to gift M (almost 3) a dance party to do together since M loves dancing. We ordered these mini disco lights that connect to a phone, along with nail glue + rhinestones and nail design pens (M is very into getting her nails done). She also added in a few $1 rolls of paper streamers.
  • T (age 8) found this hammer multitool for N (age 12). N is very into building and tinkering and is always heading out to his station in the backyard to work with wood and other scraps, so I think he’ll love this.
  • A (age 5) is gifting T (age 8) this hover toy. A remembered that T has been asking for flying cars and was so excited to find something lie this.
  • M (almost 3) is giving K (age 10) these teacup and teapot earrings (I directed M a fair amount with this one ;)). K has been very into earrings lately and absolutely loves tea, and M has been asking to get her ears pierced, so I thought it would be something fun for her to gift.

Do you do a sibling gift exchange? I’d love to hear how it works!

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