Christmas Auction

by Julie
(Wichita Falls, TX)

Christmas Auction Santa Bucks

Christmas Auction Santa Bucks

Instead of getting gifts for each other, all of the adults in my family participate in our Christmas Auction.


Each person brings a few small gifts or handmade items. We lay all of the items out and number them.

Everyone gets the same amount of "Santa Bucks" - usually 20 or 30 depending on how many items there are to bid on.

We take about 30 minutes to check out all of the items and write down what we want to bid on each one. When everyone has their bids ready, my mom "auctions" off each item.

It is so much fun to see what item will be "hot" every year. We usually have a mystery gift (wrapped) to bid on. Some years it is a gift certificate and some years it is a gag gift.

Christmas wouldn't be the same without the auction!


Printable Santa Bucks for this Christmas Auction are available upon request by clicking HERE!

Comments for Christmas Auction

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Concerns
by: Allie

I have read everyone's comments. I come from a family where I have to make sure everyone gets a gift because we are not bringing gag gifts. From what I can figure, if you bring two gifts you get to win 2 gifts. That seems fair to me. After your two gifts you are "out" of play, even though you may have money left (oh well). It might be interesting to see how creative people get with there "left over" money. The only thing I can't decide is if to have them all sitting out on display or if I show them one at a time as someone suggested above.

I may also incorporate a way for everyone to start out with the same amount of money, but have games to win more. I somehow think that will cause a lot of strife with my family though, again, since we aren't bringing gag gifts.

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We have played with beans
by: Rita

Our family calls it "Don't Blow Your Beans". Everyone is given a zip bag with dried beans to use as money. When you 'blow' your beans, you are out of the game. Dollar Tree will be your best place to shop.

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Gift Idea
by: Anonymous

What a great list of ideas. Thought I would share a gift idea I had last year that went over really well. I bought 20 - $1 lottery tickets and scratched the win code off (in PA there is a barcode that you can scan to see if the ticket is a winner). I kept only the winning tickets; most people didn't notice the win code had been exposed, so everyone who got a lottery ticket was excited to be a winner.

Of course, this sets up the expectation in future years that EVERY lottery ticket is a winner.

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This is a great idea..see my twist to it
by: Anonymous

Our family Christmas get togethers usually have over 30 people. Since I plan the activities each year... here is what I've planned. This year each person who comes, will get a set amount of money to start with. I will have everyone put on name tags this year. This also helps the new comers in the family. We will play a new game (ice breaker) called MERRY CHRISTMAS.

To Play:

  • Give out paper & pencils/pens with the words MERRY CHRISTMAS (or whatever words you prefer) written down in a column.
  • Everyone has to get a name beside each letter. The key to this is that the person has to have that letter in their 1st or last name.
  • Unless you have very few people...only one person per list.
  • The one who gets their list fully autographed first, gets extra bonus bucks.


Our main game is bingo. Each person brings a wrapped gift $10-$20..not junk something even they would like. As they bingo, they go pick out a gift from the guys/girls piles (separated).

Then we play games where each person who participates, answers trivia Christmas questions, which earns money. I'm doing a Christmas Jeopardy format this year... so they will play in teams. The ones in the team that answers correctly gets points/money.

Then we will start the auction & they will bid according to how much money they have. I think this will be a huge hit.

Reply: Such great ideas. I might have to come to your party : )

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Can't Wait to Try!
by: Anonymous

We are going to try the auction idea this year. We have decided to use gold chocolate coins as money, with people to receive them on arrival, but also being able to earn more during the day ie. longest torn minty wrapper, guessing correct joke answer from Christmas Bon Bon, 2011 trivia questions etc... Still deciding whether to wrap or not.

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Variation to get money
by: Kim

We have played this for many years at our house and it is a blast!! We don't hand out money though. You have to win it. We have a list of random things people would have or bring and they get money for that; like if you are wearing a Christmas themed piece of clothing you get $5, or you get $1 for each button you have on your clothes, $1 for each picture you have in your wallet, $20 for the person who can name all the reindeer, etc. Make it fun!! Then you auction off your items.

Reply: Love this! A definite winning addition to the auction. It even stretches the length of the activity out.

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Christmas Auction
by: Anonymous

Last year I decided to have a Christmas Auction with my sons and their families. I purchased several gifts and brought new items from home that I had won or been given and never used. I kept all the items in a shopping bag and pulled out one at a time to auction off. Therefore everyone did not know what else there was to bid on so if they wanted a gift they had to take a chance and bid before everything was gone. There were 6 adults and two older grandchildren that played. I gave each of them 20 Santa Bucks. They really seemed to enjoy the game and I had some good gifts. At the end of the evening I gave each person $1.00 for each Santa Buck they had left. This was just an added surprise for them.

Reply: Great idea. I love that.

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Christmas Auction
by: Janis

I love Christmas auctions. We played last Christmas and I cannot wait to play again this year.

We had everyone bring an unwrapped gift of $20 value. Then, they were given an envelope with $50 (play money).

We used the money playing dice to try and double our money or possible lose the money that we bet.

After an hour of playing dice we would stop and then start auctioning. Everyone had a blast, some people won 2 or 3 items at the auction and of course some did not win anything.

In our family, we are all about the fun of playing the game. It didn't matter if you won something or not.

Reply: Totally love the added dimension of starting with a dice game. How fun! Thanks for sharing.

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Tried it last year - doing it again!
by: Karla

My family did the auction thing last year and we loved it! Here are the rules we used:
Everyone who wants to participate brings 3 $10-$15 unwrapped gifts. While we're visiting and eating, the gifts are on "display". Each person gets $300 Santa Bucks to start and someone is "chosen" to begin auctioning off one of their gifts. Whatever money they "won" auctioning off their gift, they got to keep to spend later. We didn't pull numbers for the order of the auctioneers, we just let whoever wanted to go next, do it. At the end, there were people who did not spend all their money. I had a couple of extra gifts just for that. Still in the end, there were people still left with money, but as long as they know it's either spend or lose it, they didn't "hold back" on their bidding. We did it with children, teenagers and adults and it worked beautifully. I recommend this game to all families and friends.

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White elephant gift trade
by: mary

Every year my extended family gets together for a Christmas party and everyone brings a white elephant gift. There is around 40 of us. We put all the gifts in the middle of the room and sit around them. Someone starts by picking one of the wrapped gifts and opens it. The next person can either take the gift from the person that just opened the one or pick one from the unwrapped pile. Now if they picked the all ready opened gift the person they took the gift away from then gets to pick another gift from the unwrapped pile or take a gift away from another person. That keeps going on until all the presents are opened. An opened gift can only be traded 3 times then it is dead and the person who ended up with it after the third trade keeps it and it can not be traded any more. Now say there have been ten gifts opened so far. The next person can either choose any one of those ten gifts that people have already opened (except for the one that has been traded 3 times already) or pick one from the unwrapped pile. We have a lot of fun doing this. We do a separate one for the children 10 years and under. We always let the children do there's first.

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Our Family auction
by: Anonymous

We have a Christmas auction with about 35 people.
I put together gift bags with fun items that match
and call them funny names like Italian
Night..
Spaghetti sauce, spaghetti, Parmesan cheese, and festive napkins.They don't know what is in the bags.. I just give them a hint.
They each bring 1 gift ( spend 5 dollars)I put play money from the dollar store in envelopes...
everyone gets a different amount just like real life. They bid and once they "win" 2 gifts they can't bid again. We had a great time this year.
A spa bag went for $612.00. One suggestion..don't use the one dollar bills in the pack takes too long when they only go up one dollar bids.

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PRINTING SANTA MONEY
by: Anonymous

I tried 8 times to print out the santa money, but no luck. It does not accept my submission of the name at the bottom. sorry

You can send me an email via my contact form and I'll email it to you. ~ Wendy

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Christmas Present Auction
by: Anonymous

How we have done it in the past is give out Monopoly money, $500 to $1000. The gifts are all wrapped, from toilet paper to some really good stuff. You can have whoever can afford it that year, go to the dollar store and get stuff and have everyone else bring white elephant, or handmade items. My one son, who is actually 30, got into it so much, he was going around the house wrapping orange peelings and stuff, and his gifts, the "Jesse" gifts were going for the highest price.
Then there is side money going on between people that want what someone else got, and trying to get more money etc.
It can get really crazy and be a lot of fun. You can add your own twists and rules to it.

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Another way to play...:0)
by: Anonymous

We have done this for the last 3 years at our company party, and it is the "hi-lite" of the evening.

When I send the invite (our parties are usually for couples), I include 2 envelopes with random amounts of play money. The envelopes are sealed and they are asked not to open them, and bring them to the party. There is an envelope for each person invited. Then throughout the evening, I have a tape recording of Christmas music. I actually recorded a 90 minute tape, with a lot of silence, and random spurts of music. The first person who hears the music start up, shouts "Merry Christmas", and they get an additional envelope of money (be careful who you sit by, because we had one guy who would spit food all over, trying to be the first one). I also have several other games where more envelopes of money can be won. At the end of the party, everyone counts up their money, and the auction begins. I usually have as many gag gifts as good one...the fun part is, they have no idea what they are bidding on as all the gifts are in gift bags. It is fun to see them bid $1,000's of dollars for a gag gift, and a really good gift goes for less than $100. For the last auction item, I let couples pool their money together and bid.

I always collect the play money after the party to use for the next Christmas party. Like several others said, I am on the look out for gifts throughout the year. You can find some very interesting things on clearance.

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I done the auction for my family for 4 yrs now
by: Angie

I have tried doing it a few different ways but the most fun is by wrapping every gift to make it look very appealing. I give every person 5 auction dollars, these can be monopoly money or make your own. I make sure there are enough gifts for atleast for two per person. The auctioneer starts holding up the fancy bags or boxes and tells them if it is heavy or whatever and people are bidding on stuff they have no idea what it is. It makes it so much more fun because people are competing for some gifts that nobody would want. When the person wins the item they open it and see what they won. Some people share there extra money with others or bid on another item if they can. We even allow some people to put an opened gift they don't want back in the auction to see if anyone else will bid on that opened gift. We do this with about 25 people and have a blast. The key is to make it look appealing. Guys always want to pick heavy items so we put like a training bra and a rock together.

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BINGO
by: Anonymous

We do a variation of this game at our house. Each year everyone brings at least one gift for each person in their family, we wrap them and write if it is best for a man, woman, child, etc... Then we play "Christmas Bingo", and when you win, you pick a gift and open it. Next person to bingo can pick a gift or "steal" one that has already been opened. We play til all the presents are gone. When the last present is opened the game is over and whatever you have is yours. Some items are "hot" and travel around many times. Some people can get more than one gift as some people bring several, but everyone gets at least one.

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looking for answers
by: Anonymous

My question with regards to this auction is pretty much the same as Jims...what incentive is there for people to hold back with their bids or just bid everything they have and then they are done. Do any of these queries get answered?

I haven't played this game myself yet and have attempted to contact the person who shared the idea several times, but have had no replies. ~ Wendy

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A Roll of Pennies
by: Teresa

I heard about this game but wasn't sure about the details so I was excited to find this site. I am going to give everyone in our family a roll of pennies to bid with. I am not sure how many gifts should be available...maybe enough for 3 each?? Some good ones and some crazy ones. Should they open as they win the bid? I hope I can make this work!! :) Always looking for new ways to have family fun and make some memories! Thanks for all your help!

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Rules for the Auction
by: Kay

I would still love to have someone who has done the auction before tell how it works. Apparently someone other that the Diva Girls Parties shared the idea in the first place. The first idea said that they number the items and leave them unwrapped. Everyone has about 30 minutes to look over the gifts and jot down what they want to bid on. I have my "money" and guess I'll just wing it unless someone gives more specific details. Guess you can just have as many items as you want to bid on. We are planning on doing this for our family Christmas get-together instead of giving everyone gifts.

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This is a Great idea
by: Anonymous

This a a great Idea! I cant wait to try it in my new house next year. Thanks and God bless.

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How does it work?
by: Stacy B.

Why doesn't everybody just bid their maximum bucks on the one they want and everyone ties? Maybe I hang out with a meaner crowd. I don't really understand how it would work, though.

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christmas auction
by:

We have a family auction each year and my mom and I purchase items all year long for the auction. I work at a department store so I get alot of great deals. We also print up play money with family pics. We make auction paddles out of paper plates and straws, with pictures of the famous Cristmas characters, (the 8 reindeer, santa, mrs. c, elfs, etc.) The kids even are anxious for the auction. All of our gifts are put into christmas bags stapled for no peeking. Because we no longer exchange gifts, this is fun and everyone usually gets a couple of gifts.

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Question About the Christmas Auction Game
by: Jim

There will be about 20 people at our party...and
each will bring a wrapped gift. If a person wins one of the gifts...should they be out of the auction....otherwise if they win 2 of them... someone will not have a gift in the end?....Your opinion?

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A Few Questions Regarding the Christmas Auction
by: Kay

There will be 3 families for a total of 10 people at our Family Christmas Weekend. We are renting cabins at a State Park. How many gifts should each family bring? Maybe 10 per family so each person could possibly buy 3 each? And each person should get about 30 Santa Bucks? There are 6 adults and 4 grandchildren ages--22, 18, 16, and 14.

Anything else you can tell me about the auction will certainly be appreciated. I am the grandma.

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love it!
by: Anonymous

This is so cool! We usually do the gift exchange game on Christmas Eve when I have all the family over, but we're getting so, so, so big, that it takes forever. I can't wait to do this this year, and the following years to come.

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what a great game
by: Gary

This has become a Thanksgiving Day tradition with our family. Each family member brings a gift bag with an item. Our limit is $1 per bag (think Dollar Tree). We bid blindly on each bag which must be opened when won. Sometimes it suits the person, but a lot more fun when it doesn't suit them at all. Some trading goes on afterwards for sure.

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Donation
by: Anonymous

We did this with our Bible Study Group. We then we voted to donate the money to a favorite local charity. It was great and lots of fun!!

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That is the best idea I ever heard !
by: Anonymous

What a great idea. Who came up with that. It would give everyone a chance to "win" and get exactly what they want. A person can bring what they think each family member might like or bring a gift that they want to bid on themselves. Whoever had the idea was a genius! GREAT IDEA!!

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So Cool
by: Anonymous

My family will try this next year!

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Awesome Idea
by: monty

This is awesome. Thanks for the idea.

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Auction
by: Anonymous

Our family has done this for years and we have so much fun. We always use items we have at home that we want to get rid of but there still nice. My sister is the auctioneer and she is so good at it you think you're at a real auction.

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Awesome Idea
by:

I LOOOOOOOOVE that idea.... absolutely love it. How fun! Thanks so much for sharing it.

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