/ / / Everything you need to know about White Elephant Gift Exchanges.

Everything you need to know about White Elephant Gift Exchanges.

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So you’re invited to a Christmas party and have been asked to bring a white elephant gift, so you choose not to quick check with the internet for white elephant gift ideas and finally turn up for the party holding this:

 

Sigh!

Everything you need to know about White Elephant Gift Exchanges

What is a White Elephant gift?

A white elephant gift can be anything crazy, unique, hilarious, something found around the house that can be gifted…practically anything under the sun.

White Elephant gift exchange rules

The way a White Elephant Gift exchange works is all participants bring an unmarked, wrapped gift and place it in a pile.

Each participant is given a number or their names are randomly drawn to pick a gift of choice, in the order the number or name is drawn.

Person #1 picks a gift from the pile and opens it to show everyone what he/she has received. Person #2 has the option of “stealing” the gift person #1 has or picking another gift from the pile and unwrapping the same to show everyone.

Here’s what needs to be remembered:

The game continues with the following rules:

  • If someone steals your gift, you can steal someone else’s gift or choose and open a wrapped one.
  • Continue until everyone has had a turn for a gift. A turn is ended when an unopened gift has been opened.
  • A gift can only be “stolen” once during a turn. If a gift is taken from someone during one round, she cannot take it back during that same round. She can, however, take it back in a later round if she is in a position to select a gift.
  • A gift cannot be immediately stolen back from the player who just stole it.
  • Once a gift has 3 “owners,” the 3rd owner of a gift gets to keep it – it is retired and can’t be stolen again.
  • The gift exchange ends when the last wrapped gift is chosen and opened.

After the last turn, the person who started (since she didn’t get a chance at the beginning) can put back the gift and “steal” a gift according to the rules. This starts the gift exchange again (following the above rules) and ends when someone chooses or is forced to take the gift given up by the person with #1.

Here’s what needs to be remembered, as per SecretSanta.com:

  • If someone steals your gift, you can steal someone else’s gift or choose and open a wrapped gift from the pile
  • A gift can only be “stolen” once during a turn. If a gift is taken from someone during one round, he/she cannot take it back during that same round. He/she can, however, take it back in a later round if he/she is in a position to select a gift.
  • A gift cannot be immediately stolen back from the player who just stole it.
  • Once a gift has 3 “owners,” the 3rd owner of a gift gets to keep it – it is retired and can’t be stolen again.
  • The gift exchange ends when the last wrapped gift is chosen and opened.
  • After the last turn, the person who started (since he/she didn’t get a chance at the beginning) can put back the gift and “steal” a gift according to the rules. This starts the gift exchange again (following the above rules) and ends when someone chooses or is forced to take the gift given up by the person with #1.

Everything you need to know about White Elephant Gift Exchanges- MommySnippets.com (1)

How to ace a White Elephant exchange

zulily believes you should always walk into a party with the most steal-worthy gift.

They also advise :

  • Joining forces and forming an alliance with one or two friends. Why? To agree to split or share the gifts!
  • Wearing your poker face. Why? When you don’t show excitement when you get a good gift, chances are it just might not be stolen.
  • Don’t judge a gift by its wrapping . Why? Because often the prettiest wrapped gifts have the worst present!

White Elephant gift exchange ideas

Need some inspiration to pick that steal-worthy gift?


Consider a one time succulent gift.

At $4.75 a month, this is such an affordable white elephant gift idea.

Or maybe even get a 3 month, 6 month or if you’re feeling really generous, a 9 or 12 month subscription, to surprise a new friend each month, thereby starting a new tradition- a “year round white elephant gift celebration” ! 

These wacky, under $20, gifts may not be available when you search but there will be others.


Psst! Don’t forget to check out our Ultimate Christmas Gift Guide!

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