You’ve been invited to or want to host a gift exchange party but what kind? There are so many different gift exchange versions that it leaves you wondering if they’re all the same with different names or if they truly are different. Specifically, what is the difference between White Elephant and Dirty Santa?
What Is The Difference Between White Elephant And Dirty Santa?
According to Wikipedia, the distinction between White Elephant and Dirty Santa has been blurred.
Originally, the difference between the two was the type of gift brought by party goers.
White Elephant Gifts
A White Elephant Gift is typically a humorous ‘gag’ gift or something a person has laying around the house and no longer has a use for.
White Elephant gifts are generally more humorous than useful.
This makes sense because the White Elephant is defined as a possession that is useless or troublesome, especially one that is expensive to maintain or difficult to dispose of. Supposedly, the King of Siam gifted rare albino elephants to courtiers who had displeased him, that they might be ruined by the animals’ upkeep costs.
Dirty Santa Gifts
A Dirty Santa Gift is typically fun, new, unique, and in good taste. Dirty Santa Gifts are usually items the recipients will want and use.
The Dirty Santa Gift Exchange is a family friendly game where participants STEAL gifts from each other in the attempt to end up with the best gift.
It is called Dirty because it encourages you to ruthlessly STEAL gifts from each other.
Dirty Santa tends to be more popular in the South and White Elephant is not tied to a specific region.
Because both gift exchange games are played in a similar way, it is easy to see how the lines have blurred.
What Kind Of Gift Exchange Party Should I Host?
Whether you host a Dirty Santa or White Elephant Gift Exchange Party, you can’t lose!
The trick is to make sure you let your guests know what to expect.
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Avoid confusion by wording your invite clearly.
Dirty Santa Invite Wording
Dirty Santa is a family friendly gift exchange game where participants steal gifts from each other in the attempt to end up with the best gift!
Gifts for Dirty Santa are typically fun, new, unique, and in good taste.
Unlike the White Elephant gift exchange, Dirty Santa gifts are usually items recipients will want and use!
White Elephant Invite Wording
White Elephant is a family friendly gift exchange game where participants steal gifts from each other in the attempt to end up with their favorite gift!
White Elephant Gifts are typically humorous ‘gag’ gifts or gifts that have been received but the recipient no longer has a use for. White Elephant gifts are generally more humorous than useful.
Whether you host a White Elephant or Dirty Santa Gift Exchange, it is also a good idea to provide a gift limit for your gift exchange party.
The goal of a gift exchange is to have FUN and SAVE MONEY. With that in mind, gift limits are often set anywhere from $10 – $25.
Dirty Santa Printable Game Pack
If you choose to host a Dirty Santa Gift Exchange Party, I have printables to help!
The Dirty Santa Printable Game Pack includes:
- 1st Steal Cards
- 2nd Steal Cards
- Frozen Cards
White Elephant Printable Game Pack
If a White Elephant Gift Exchange Party is in your future, check out these FUN printables!
The White Elephant Printable Game Pack includes:
- 1st Steal Cards
- 2nd Steal Cards
- Frozen Cards
What Kind Of Gift Should I Take To A Gift Exchange Party?
You’ve been invited to a gift exchange party but the host wasn’t clear and you aren’t sure what kind of gift to take?
Perhaps the host of the White Elephant or Dirty Santa Gift Exchange Party you’ve been invited to doesn’t know the difference between the two. Or maybe they think you will automatically know what kind of gift they are thinking of.
If you don’t want to ask, you can always play it safe with a funny but useful gift!
Here are gift ideas that would work for BOTH a White Elephant and Dirty Santa Gift Exchange.
No fire pit? No problem! These sweet City Bonfires give you the opportunity to make s’mores, right at home!
It’s the perfect Dirty Santa or White Elephant gift that anyone can appreciate!
The gift that works for White Elephant OR Dirty Santa parties!
It’s funny … yet incredibly useful for taking care of business.
Who wouldn’t love this?! It’s a mason jar turned
wine pop glass with a fancy stem and a lid! It’s just fun enough that it might be a Dirty Santa or White Elephant hit!
Let’s just say I would totally go for these keychain screwdrivers.
I often find our regular screwdrivers … the ones that should be in the garage … in random kitchen drawers.
My husband likes to keep them handy, in the kitchen.
I like them in the garage.
These portable screwdrivers would be the perfect compromise for the kitchen!
This was one of the gifts that was stolen so many times at our party last year, that it was frozen.
Because it’s always fun to hear whimsical gurgling sounds as you pour your favorite beverage!
You know, I’m not big into wine but this could be fun for Sparkling Apple Cider!
My daughter and I perused a cute little gift shop the other day and they had a few of these. The lady said they purchased them for the Wine Walk in town but had sold nearly all of them before the Wine Walk even happened.
We even got to see the GurglePot Chirpy in action and, I must admit, it was pretty awesome!
The store employee told us most people love the novelty but others don’t want everyone to know when they refill their glass. Ha!
I’m calling this a hit!
This Core Workout Board intrigued me so I picked one up for myself BUT guess what? My couch potato, teenage daughter actually likes it! I’ve left it strategically placed in the living room and she’ll pick it up once in a while and actually work out! Woot!
As simple as it is, this Simply Fit Core Workout Board does the trick!
Who wouldn’t LOVE a sweatshirt and blanket all wrapped up into one?
How many times have you tried to prop your phone up in your car to see your directions then hit a bump in the road and your phone drops?
You’re left to find your way by words alone.
So dramatic, right?
That can be hard for the visual person.
Have you seen the commercials for the CupFone? I’m totally on board and want to try this thing out!
No more dropped phone … no more pulling over to retrieve said phone …
The stylish way to talk on your cell phone AND it eliminates 99% radiation from using a mobile phone.
My daughter purchased the Retro Handset for a Dirty Santa gift one year and it was stolen so many times, it became frozen! That’s what I’m talkin’ about!
Check out this ring light that clips right on your phone!
We all know these sunglasses are the rage!
You need multiple pairs!
Whether you host or attend a Dirty Santa or White Elephant Gift Exchange Party, FUN is the name of the game!
Pick a gift and show up ready to laugh a lot and have fun!