so…here are what (to me) sound like some fun switch-ups. the groups are just for example.
-for a friends group --how about everyone making a "my favorite playlist- including one guilty pleasure song"…and picking them out of a hat. each person has to guess whose playlist they got. gift: laughs and some new music to try.
-for an office --everyone emails a favorite festive recipe to one organizer. the list gets divided up and each person receives a recipe or everyone gets the whole list and has to guess which recipe is whose. then on party day, everyone makes their recipe and shares! gift: lots of yummy recipes and the chance to try them.
-for adult family members --each person makes a "my top books of this year" list and they get pulled out of a hat. each person guesses whose list they got. this could be fun with the kids too, i doubt they'd like to be left out. gift: new book list to look for at the library. each person could email their list and you'd have a complete list of everyones choices. you could even make this into a book exchange where everyone brings books they don't want anymore- or just one they liked- and exchange or lay them out for everyone to "shop".
i like that each of these ideas costs nothing, promotes community, provides a party activity and results in good gifts! there is no waste or mistake gift.
i also think these ideas are great to add to a christmas card- a little bonus gift- no extra postage required!
just celebrate friendship the best that you can!