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 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.
Unlike the Dirty Santa Gift Exchange, White Elephant gifts are generally more humorous than useful.
The White Elephant Gift Exchange is a fun way to celebrate with family and friends! Use our White Elephant Rules And Numbers to make your Christmas party a smashing success!
White Elephant Rules And Numbers
Many party goers don’t know the difference between a White Elephant and Dirty Santa party. Clarify what White Elephant gifts are so your guests won’t be the brunt of jokes when they bring a ‘real’ gift.
Choose a dollar amount and let your guests know their White Elephant Gift should be valued under that amount.
1. Place wrapped gifts in the center of the room.
When entering, have your guests place their gifts just inside the door to keep gifts anonymous.
2. Have each guest draw a number.
It’s easy to scratch numbers on paper and pass them out BUT, if you want something Extra Special, check out our printables (found below)!
3. The guest holding #1 goes first.
Who would’ve guessed?
4. Number one chooses a gift, unwraps it, and oohs and aahs before putting it on display for all to see.
Gifts must stay in view at all times and remain in their original packaging, if applicable. NO EATING THE FRUITCAKE!
5. Each subsequent guest has two options; they can either steal a gift from a guest who has gone before them or choose an unopened gift from the center of the room.
6. If a guest has their gift stolen, they can either steal from another or choose an unopened gift.
They may NOT steal the same gift that was just stolen from them until the next round.
7. Gifts can be stolen up to three times. A gift is frozen with the fourth owner.
8. If number one has the same gift they started with, they may choose to trade with any unfrozen gift.
9. The jig’s up! Wasn’t that FUN?
There are many variations to the White Elephant Gift Exchange rules. Just be sure you all are in agreement before you get the party started!
No one wants smiles to turn upside down.
Print off a few White Elephant Rules and leave them scattered throughout the room.
When that persnickety guest questions your motives, it’s all in fine print!
Are you ready for a White Elephant Christmas Party?
I’m wishing you a loud and boisterous White Elephant Gift Exchange full of laughter, fun, and useless, crazy gifts!