Prizes for Games at Family Holiday Gatherings

My daughter has family holiday gatherings at her house and some of the relatives bring one or more guests. This is fine with my daughter and I have no say over who attends.

One of my contributions to the gatherings is to purchase prizes and host some games. This Christmas we will be playing Bingo, and I want 3 of the prizes to be $10 gift cards. I also plan to purchase some cheap prizes and gift-wrap them, but I want the gift cards to go to family members only and the wrapped prizes to go to guests. I know the logical thing to do is give gift cards to the first 3 people who Bingo, but I can't bring myself to give out $10 bills of my own money to people I don't even know.

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When I make the announcement about the prizes, how should I word it so no one thinks I am being unfair and no feelings are hurt. If I could do it in a humorous way, maybe that would help. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

By Fortunately

December 1, 20100 found this helpful

Your plan sounds too complicated. Forget the gift cards and just give small gifts to any and all game winners. It's not nice to favor family members over other guests.

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December 1, 20100 found this helpful

I would just not tell them ahead of each "round" what the gift is. I would keep them all in a bag, and reach in and "randomly" grab a prize for the winner. If it is family, just grab one of the gift cards. If a stranger, just grab a token gift. No explainations or apologies needed.

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December 1, 20100 found this helpful

You wrote ". . . how should I word it so no one thinks I am being unfair and no feelings are hurt."

I seriously hope you have a change of heart about this idea because you are being unfair and feelings will be hurt. Ya' think no one will see through your scheme as only the "family" gets the good gifts?

I understand that you might want to give the nicer gifts to your family members, but this is a bad plan of action and a very rude way to treat guests. Again, you are being unfair and feelings will be hurt and someone will see you in a very unflattering light. Seriously, people will pick up on your favoritism and nothing you want to hide will remain hidden. Deceit is always displayed in the end.

Why not make all the contest prizes equal in value, enjoy a fair contest, and find another way to distribute the gift cards to family members only? Just be honest in your approach and everyone will have a happier holiday, you included!

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Anonymous Flag
December 1, 20100 found this helpful

whatever

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December 2, 20100 found this helpful

My apologies if I misunderstood your original post. I just looked at the issue as you hosting a game at your daughter's house that included invited guests of family members. Thanks for responding because you let me know of another point of view. Regardless, I would try to avoid any activities at this event that favors the family over the non-family guests and simply reserve the special gifts for a more intimate family setting.

Obviously I didn't express my sentiments as well as I should have, but my point was only to emphasize that many holiday "guests" don't mind taking a back seat to traditional family routines, but nobody appreciates being "duped" with a preconceived method of giving the good stuff to the most favored. You stated this was not your intent, so I believe you.

None-the-less, your motives are questionable. Is a $10 gift card (x3) really worth such a "fixed" party game? I just can't get past the fact that you really want to exclude guests from a fair game/contest.

I am sorry if we disagree, but you asked the question and I merely responded. Regardless, I wish you and yours a happy, healthy Christmas season and a fantastic New Year.

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Anonymous Flag
December 2, 20100 found this helpful

whatever

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December 2, 20100 found this helpful

I quit! I'm not interested in playing these petty word games. You have every right to give your own family members the gift of your choice, but trying to justify faking a holiday celebration game by giving your family members a gift card and other guests a dollar store piece of junk is just plain mean spirited.

I was trying to be nice by offering a point of view that you might not have considered, but I guess that was something you weren't interested in pursuing. Let's just stop this debate. Do what you want and ignore (rather than degrade) anyone that disagrees with you! Thirty dollars is a lot of money to me, too!

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Anonymous Flag
December 2, 20100 found this helpful

I also host family holidays and when 1 or 2 people start bringing their friends, everyone thinks they have the right to do it. The numbers keep growing and my house isn't all that big.

On the gift cards I know where you are coming from. Because of the economy and some of my relatives losing their homes and/or jobs, several of them are in bad financial shape. People are proud so if you try to hand them money or a gift card, most people won't take it even if they need it unless there a reason, like a birthday. I can see where prizes can be one way of getting money to them.

My suggestion is that before Christmas you could put everyone's name in a hat and have someone else draw out 3 of the names. At the party, you could tell them -- I put your names in a hat and what's his name drew 3 names, then I would give those 3 people the gift cards.

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December 2, 20100 found this helpful

It's Christmas, there is no reason that one should be ashamed to accept a gift. I would forgo the $10 prizes at the game, and just give everyone who wins something the same type of prize. Give the $10 gift cards to those you have in mind as a gift from you during the gift-giving time when other gifts are handed out. A great way to save face for everyone concerned. Surely guests who were not invited by the host and hostess do not expect gifts and will be satisfied with the "prizes" they won.

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December 2, 20100 found this helpful

One more comment? Why are you the one supplying the gifts? Anyone wanting to play could bring a gift to put in the "prize" bag , family and guests (even give it a $1 limit, then could even be a dollar bill). Those who bring guests could bring a gift for the person they had invited if they don't want to ask them to. Is it very important to you to be the"provider"? Your daughter seems to love having an "open guest house", so maybe she should be doing this.

Could make small Christmas stockings for the family members to take home with what you want them to have, and just tuck them in their pockets or whatever as they leave the party, with a Merry Christmas?

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Anonymous Flag
December 2, 20100 found this helpful

Fortunately, why don't you simply give the three gift cards personally to your family members of choice as a personal gift in a Christmas card in privacy and not include the gift cards in the bingo game at all and use penny's, nickels or quarters gift wrapped for the bingo winner gifts instead? It's not complicated to separate family gift giving and fun bingo game gift tokens!

Christmas is about Christ and loving and sharing and giving to even those who are strangers to you! If you're not willing to contribute equally for a bingo game in the spirit of the season then simply don't contribute at all. And I am so sorry to admonish you but if your daughter does not mind her invited guests bringing one or two more people with them then those 'extra's' are indeed 'invited'.

KansasCindy, Bless you for your patience!

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December 2, 20100 found this helpful

I love the idea of a penny, nickels and quarters gift wrapped, will remember that in the future for some of our parties. Perfect for when it should all be just for fun, anyway!

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December 3, 20100 found this helpful

Hi there. Have you considered getting three more cheap gifts and then wrapping the gift cards with the gifts in a way that you can identify which wrapped gift has the card in it, such as with different wrapping paper or a bow etc? That way the prizes for both family winners and non-family winners will look the same but you'll know that family winners will get an extra surprise.

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December 3, 20100 found this helpful

Buy gift boxes all the same sizes and insert your gift cards into a box then wrap. You may have 10 prizes but you will know that the boxes with a certain color ribbon are the ones that have the gift cards. No will be the wiser as long as you're the one handing out the prizes.

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December 10, 20100 found this helpful

I'm sorry, there's no way to do this without hurting feelings. Buy dollar store gifts for prizes to go to whoever wins bingo, get your $10 gift cards and tuck them into cards for the people you want to have them. The point of the games is to have fun, right? Nobody cares what the prizes are. You won't come off seeming like a very nice person if you try in any way to pull off your original idea. Just forget about it.

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December 12, 20100 found this helpful

I don't understand why you don't want someone you don't know to get the $10.00 gift card? Does this mean you never give to a charity? Who knows, that person who wins it could possible need that money. Some people don't tell everyone they are in need of money or food. I would think if your daughters friends are inviting them they must be trust worthy I mean they are friends with your daughters friends. What ever you do, it should be fair and equal to everyone. The object is to have fun!

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