Originally Posted by hiller64
Cout Barb and I in. But please explain what a Chinese Grab bag is?
Here is the explanation from THIS
page, but edited for our occasion...
"Within a pre-determined budget($15), everyone who wants to participate buys a gift and brings it, wrapped but without a gift tag, to the party and puts it in the pile.
After everyone has arrived, count the gifts/participants, put each number on a small piece of paper, fold it and toss it in a bowl. For example, if there are 10 participants, you'll have 10 pieces of folded paper in the bowl. On each piece is a number: 1 or 2 or 3, etc. up to 10. Each participant has to pick a folded piece of paper from the bowl. You want a high number, not a low one.
Now the grab bag starts. The person who drew number 1 chooses a gift from the pile - obviously you don't choose your own gift. The gift is unwrapped and everyone oohs and aahs. Now it's number 2's turn. Number 2, and every subsequent number-holder can either 'steal' an unwrapped gift or choose a wrapped gift from the pile. Remember: if you steal and the grab bag is still going on, your gift can be stolen from you again.
NOTE: ‘Stealing After Being Stolen From’ Rule: If you are stolen from, you can either choose a wrapped gift from the pile or steal any gift except the one that was just stolen from you
(otherwise it simply becomes a tug-of-war).
This is why you want a high number. Think about it. If you are Number 10, you can either choose the last wrapped gift or gaze around the room and hand pick your gift and steal it for yourself. And since you’re last, nobody will be able to steal that gift from you - unless you relax that ‘stealing after being stolen from’ rule mentioned in the paragraph above.
A bit of strategy is involved. Remember some gifts are definitely better than others, since they're put in the pile anonymously. I've seen modest gifts wrapped elaborately to entice people to choose them, or gifts wrapped to disguise the contents . As you open the gift, say nice things about it to compliment the anonymous buyer, but if you secretly don't like the gift, you may want to gush about like Vanna White to encourage someone to steal it from you. If you LOVE the gift, you say nice things about it, but not too nice. In fact, you can bluff and say jokingly bad things about it to discourage a steal. ("Who needs another plasma tv?") And some gifts are just bad matches with the recipient (my 23 year old daughter ended up with a magnifying hobby light). Be careful not to hurt anyone's feelings or embarrass them by insulting the gift.
Another nice thing about the Chinese grab bag is that even with no-shows, everyone ends up with a gift. You can choose not to participate, but come anyway to watch."