My family has a tradition. Instead of exchanging gifts, we all buy lots of small gifts (usually stuff like movies, candles, frames, CDs, whatever, you get it) and then we play Bingo and as you get a "Bingo" you get to go pick a gift from the "bed of gifts" ... my bed covered with gifts. The original idea behind this was to save money and add an new tradition to Christmas Eve.
Now, the first part didn't work. I spend way more money on Bingo gifts than I did when we just drew names. My mom probably spends hundreds of dollars because she makes sure everyone has gifts in Bingo particular to their likes and needs. She always has a movie she knows I want or stuff from Bath & Body Works (I love that stuff!) and CDs for my kids and whatever for my brothers.
However, the second part worked like a charm. Christmas Bingo is a tradition in my family like no other. We have to do it; everyone loves it; and I know of others who have heard about our tradition and have taken it on as their own. My kids probably actually like Bingo better than opening gifts on Christmas morning. It's just more fun ... it's like shopping for free. And, there's so much stuff you don't want or need. It's an extravagance, but sometimes you just need that.
My stepdad is so funny. He always brings a big sack to carry all his loot home. He's like Santa in reverse. My mom is the Bingo caller. Sometimes we take turns. Also, sometimes my mom asks trivia questions to break up the "Bingo." However, I personally hate that. She doesn't ask simple trivia questions like "Who is the current American Idol champ?" or "Angelina Jolie is in a long-term partnership with what famous actor?" I like pop culture trivia. No, she caters to the boys. And her trivia is stuff like "Who was named the MVP in Super Bowl V?" Who knows that stuff? I will tell you who ... my brothers! It's irritating. I always lose in her trivia contests. So mom, if you ever read this, give me a break and give me some pop culture triva so I can win!
If you are ever looking for a fun, new tradition to begin with your family ... try Christmas Bingo. It's great for all ages. And not hard to learn. lol