Our Kids’ 2023 Sibling Gift Exchange

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One of our kids’ favorite parts of Christmas morning is their sibling Christmas gift exchange! Since we have a lot of kids, each child gets a present for one other – this makes it so there aren’t a million gifts, and also they can choose something a little nicer when not doing so many.

While I know lots of people who love having their kids make sibling gifts, I haven’t ever felt like I have the craftiness or mental/physical bandwidth in December to make this happen, so purchasing one gift works well for us! Our kids really love thinking through what will be special and fun for their chosen sibling.

We always do the sibling gifts first, when excitement and enthusiasm are at their peak, and to let those sweet gifts and kind hearts shine. They’re always so proud and happy to give, and really gracious and grateful receivers. It’s the sweetest.

How We Set Up Our Sibling Gift Exchange

This whole thing is relatively simple – we just toss names in a hat and choose. We don’t keep the recipient secret after choosing – it would be complicated and fail pretty quickly, haha. But they’re great about keeping the actual gifts a surprise!

We usually set a budget of about $20-25 per gift, and our kids use money they’ve earned or has been allocated to them through our family economy system. (We provide the funds for any kids too young to have their own money, though they don’t usually participate until they’re about 3 years old.)

One parent usually discusses a bit with them to see what they’re thinking and provide any support with ordering or finding items. They usually have some great ideas of what their sibling will enjoy or has been wanting, and we also help them think through interests if they need some additional ideas.

Here’s more about how we manage the process of sibling gifts in a large family!

Our Kids’ 2023 Sibling Christmas Presents

Here’s what our kids chose for their sibling Christmas gifts this year!

  • N (age 13) is getting a magnetic wooden chess set from M (age 3), along with a cheap pair of knit gloves. He’s been wanting both and was considering purchasing them on his own, so I think he’ll be thrilled.
  • K (age 11) is getting gifts from N (age 13). He found her a couple things at a Christmas market we visited in Strasbourg, France – some really cozy slipper socks (I have a pair I love and she had commented that she’d like some; they’re very similar to these) and some Christmas-flavored herbal tea (she’s a tea lover for sure!).
  • T (age 9) is getting something from his little 3 year old cousin who is visiting so this will be a surprise to all of us!
  • A (age 6) is getting a remote controlled car from K (age 11). His older brothers each have one and he’s been really wanting one of his own. He’ll be over the moon!
  • M (age 3) is getting a gift from her 2 year old cousin who is visiting, so that’s another surprise!
  • Cousin N (age 3) is getting a nature explorer kit from T (age 9). T has loved his own kit for several years and was excited to gift one to N.
  • Cousin M (age 2) is getting some animal-themed things from A (age 6) – a dino memory matching game (not finding the exact link but it’s similar to this), a dino hatch egg, and a sweet little stuffed cheetah.



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