According to Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary, “a white elephant is an object no longer of value to its owner but of value to others. Or something of little or no value.” To throw this type of party, I recommend including both the rules and gift budget in your invitations to eliminate any confusion or crazy fighting happening at your holiday party.
Here are the basic rules for a legit “White Elephant” gift exchange:
1. Each party guest brings an un-labeled, wrapped gift of the same monetary value.
2. Everyone draws one slip of paper from a hat (slips of paper are numbered to match guest count).
3. The person who draws #1 is the first to select a gift from the pile.
4. Once the first gift is opened, the person who draws #2 gets the choice of either “stealing” person #1’s gift or choosing their own wrapped present from the pile to open.
5. Next, person #3 gets the choice of “stealing” ANY unwrapped gift or choosing a new wrapped one to open.
6. Turns proceed until everyone has a gift. A turn is ended when a gift is opened.
* If a gift is stolen from you, you can steal a gift from someone else, or open a new one!
* A gift cannot be stolen more than once in a turn.
* The third owner of a gift gets to keep it and it cannot be stolen again.
* At the end of the last turn, the first person (who had no choice at the beginning) can choose to put back his or her gift and steal ANY gift that is still available.
* Then the gift “exchange” is started again (see #3 and #4 above) and ended when someone either chooses or is forced to take the gift given up by person #1.
Bonus Tip: Encourage your guests to purchase really kooky and unique gifts. This makes the exchange a lot more fun!
What’s the wackiest gift you’ve ever received at the holidays? Let me know in the comment section below.