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This Left Right Christmas Game is a fun Christmas gift exchange game to shake things up. It’s perfect for holiday parties and get-togethers!

For more of our favorite games, try Christmas Trivia, Guess the Christmas Carol Game, and White Elephant Gift Ideas. They are all great additions to the Left Right Christmas Game!


Left Right Christmas Game printable examples for download.

Holiday Party Game

We love the holidays for so many reasons. The food, the traditions, the fun!! We usually have several parties throughout December, and almost always include games.

With some of the other fun Christmas games here on the site like our Saran Wrap Ball, Christmas Trivia and Guess the Christmas Carol Game, we wanted to share another favorite with you – the Left Right Christmas Game.

But, what is the Christmas Left Right Game? It’s a telling of the story – The Night Before Christmas. The words LEFT and RIGHT have been sprinkled throughout the story so it can be played as a game.

Each person starts with a gift and sits in a circle. As you read the story, you pass the gift with every LEFT and RIGHT word read. At the end of the story, the gift you are holding is yours to open.

How to Play Left Right Christmas Game

SET UP. Everyone who has brought a gift to participate sits in a circle. Start with your gift or any random gift and listen as the story is told.

PASS THE PRESENT. Every time the word “LEFT” is read, pass the gift you are currently holding to the left. Every time the word “RIGHT” is read, pass the gift to the right.

OPEN! At the end of the story, the gift in your hands is yours to open.

You may be surprised as to how many LEFTS and RIGHTS are mentioned, but it makes the game more fun.

Typically, we play a White Elephant Game with adults but realized that some little kids had a hard time playing because they didn’t understand the whole “stealing” concept or would be upset when they ended up with a “bad” gift. We just announce to parents to bring a gender-neutral gift under $5.

This game has been great to play instead because they get to shuffle gifts around without stealing involved and they end with a fun gift.

Left Right Game Notes

Hosting for friends. Although we use this story for a simple and cheap cousin gift exchange, it works for church youth parties, classroom parties, or a sports team holiday party. 

Backup gifts. If hosting a more public event like in the classroom, or a youth group, have a few backup gifts so that people who do not bring a gift can still participate. 

Party favors. If you have the funds, you may consider providing the gift for the game as a party favor. 

Price limit. The gifts can be inexpensive or more costly. Make sure that those who are bringing gifts know the price range to stay within.

Consider gender. Since the gift you end up with is very random, you’ll need to consider your guests. If people of both genders are playing, have more gender-neutral gifts.

If hosting a party for a son/daughter and only one gender is participating, the gifts can be both geared toward that gender as well as gender-neutral.

Left and Right Christmas Game printable for download.

Left Right Christmas Story

In the event you are unable to download the cute printables, copy and paste the story to a word document.

Twas the night before Christmas when RIGHT through the house, Not a creature was LEFT stirring, not even a mouse–The stockings were hung RIGHT by the chimney with care, In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled RIGHT snug in their beds, While visions of sugarplums danced RIGHT in their heads. And mama in her kerchief, and I in my cap, Had just settled RIGHT down for a long winter’s nap. 

When out on the LEFT lawn there rose such a clatter, I sprang RIGHT from my bed to see what was the matter. Away to the window I LEFT like a flash; Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow LEFT a luster of midday to objects RIGHT below. When what to my wandering eyes should appear, But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer.

With a little old driver RIGHT lively and quick I knew in a moment it must be St Nick. More rapid than eagles his coursers they came And he whistled and shouted and called them by name, “Now, Dasher! Now, Dancer! Now, Prancer and Vixen! On Comet, on Cupid, on Donder, on Blitzen!

To the RIGHT top of the porch! To the LEFT top of the wall! Now dash away, dash away, dash away all!” As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly When they meet RIGHT with an obstacle, mount RIGHT up to the sky.

So up on the housetop the courses they flew, With a sleigh full of toys, and St Nicholas too. And then in a twinkling, I heard RIGHT on the roof, The prancing and pawing of each little RIGHT and LEFT hoof.

As I drew in my head and was turning around Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound. He was dressed all in fur, from his head RIGHT to his foot, And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot; A bundle of toys he had flung RIGHT on his back, And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes– how they twinkle! His dimples how merry! His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry! His droll little mouth was drawn RIGHT up like a bow, And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow;

The stump of a pipe he held RIGHT tight in his teeth, And the smoke it encircles his head like a wreath; He had a broad face and a little round belly That shook, when he laughed like a bowl full of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a RIGHT jolly old elf, And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself; A wink of his LEFT eye and a twist of his head, Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but he went straight RIGHT to his work, And filled all the stockings, turned LEFT with a jerk, And laying his LEFT finger aside of his nose,

And giving a nod up the chimney he rose; He sprang RIGHT to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle, And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove RIGHT out of sight, “HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD-NIGHT!”

Left Right Christmas Game printable for download.

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About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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