New Gift Giving Traditions for the Holidays

The Working Centre was fortunate to be a part of some creative gift giving this holiday season. A local family generously shared their new tradition with us. Rather than exchange presents at Christmas time, the adults in the family play games together in a spirit of community giving – competing good-naturedly with one another for the privilege of donating to the charitable organization of their choice:    

“In our family there is enough good fortune that the current generation of adults (my wife and I, her brother and sister plus spouses and her parents) have agreed not to buy each other presents for Christmas.

We have committed instead to spending time together and contributing some money to charity. 

How It Works:

Each person brings $50 and an idea for a game to the Charity Olympics. After our kids are in bed there is an opening ceremony, and then we each declare what charity we are playing for that year. Couples play as a team.

The games are made up and can really be anything. They usually have an element of nonsense to them; the creator of the game determines how it is played and how points are to be attributed. Some of the games include:

  • Couples cooperatively blow a ping-pong ball down a countertop toward a target - each with a straw in their mouth.
  • One couple tosses ping-pong balls down a hallway trying to get as many as possible into a sombrero on their partner's head.
  • One person from each couple bakes one cookie and the four non-bakers guess who made each cookie.
  • Couples try to include as many of the James Bond movie titles into a story, within a certain time limit.
  • A combined score of how many Malteser chocolates can be moved from one jar to another in 60 seconds with a straw.
  • Each person carves their partner's likeness into a potato and everyone guesses who they all are.

For each game an ordinal score corresponds to points (1st place = 4 points) and the winning couple at the end of the night donates the $400 to their charity/charities of choice.”

The winners of this year’s competition were playing on behalf of The Working Centre; we are grateful for the generous donation and thoughtful community participation.