A White Elephant Gift Exchange – it’s naughty and nice at the same time.
Join us in the fun of the season in which the Spirit of Giving meets the Grinch of Taking. The point is to have fun getting to know the quirks and preferences of your neighbors, not necessarily to end up with the best gift.
This silly holiday tradition comes from the white elephants that were supposedly vindictively gifted by the King of Siam to anyone who tried to cross him.
Legend has it that these beasts, although beautiful, were not very useful—not to mention the amount of food needed and poop produced.
And, hence, the White Elephant gift exchange we know and love today . . .
where the practicality of the gifts is secondary to the silliness.
Merriment includes music and refreshments.
White Elephant Game Rules
- Bring a wrapped, anonymous gift which can be an obscure object that you received as a gift but haven’t used.
- Draw numbers to determine who gets to unwrap a present in which order.
- The person who drew #1 selects a gift from the pile, opens it, and holds it up for all to admire.
- A commentator announces the play-by-play as the game progresses to accentuate the madness of it all.
- The person who drew #2 decides whether to steal that gift or unwrap a mystery present from the pile.
- The game continues in this manner, with each person getting the chance to steal someone’s gift or unwrap their own surprise.
- Each gift can only be stolen three times in the game.
- Each gift can only be stolen once per turn.
- When there are no more unwrapped gifts, the person who drew #1 gets one last turn. If they decide not to steal a gift, keeping the one they have, the game is over. If they do steal a gift, the game continues until someone decides to keep their gift, rather than steal.