White Elephant Gift Exchange Rules
We have written out the basic rules and guidelines for the White Elephant Gift Exchange. This game is usually played at Christmas parties or fun holiday gatherings with family and friends.
These rules are not set in stone. Change them as you wish, but set the rules before starting the game.
Agree before hand if there is a spending limit and/or a theme.
The objective is to open, exchange and steal inexpensive or expensive, fun gifts, unique gifts, new gifts or old gifts...from your opponents!
To make it even more interesting you can bring a gift you found,a gift you dont want anymore, either because its outdated, or it's the wrong size, you dont like the person that gave it to you, obnoxious, tacky, it's out-of-style, atrocious, or just plain ugly!
Everyone brings a wrapped gift. Nobody should know which gift you brought so dont put your name on it! It should be an item that someone would actually want or use. (Or you could make it interesting and bring something totally off the wall) This gift could be new or in old condition. It could be anything. A game, a music CD, a figurine, but something that would appeal to multiple people. Some items fought over in the past included campy jewelry, nice jewelry, toys, and most famously, pink flamingo bedroom slippers or crazy gag gifts!. It is unnecessary (and sometimes important) that the original owner does not identify him/herself.
Prepare slips of paper with numbers on them and have everyone draw one.
On the first turn, person #1 chooses a gift, opens it, and it is admired by all...you hope! On the second turn, person #2 gets the choice of "stealing" any unwrapped gift (#1's) or choosing a wrapped one. On the third turn, person #3 gets the choice of "stealing" any unwrapped gift (#1's or #2's) or choosing a wrapped one. Game continues based on the following:
1. - If a gift is stolen from you, you can steal a gift from someone else (see #3 and #4 below), or open a new one.
2. - Turns proceed until everyone has a gift. A turn is ended when a gift is opened and (hopefully) admired by everyone.
3. - A gift cannot be stolen more than once in a turn.
4. - The third "owner" of a gift gets to keep it - it is unavailable to 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 - see #4 above. 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.
Some fun tips:
Wrap the gift really pretty and "foo-foo" especially if its a crank gift. It is so funny when everybody fights over a gift that is beautifully wrapped and then they open it and its a bottle of ketchup or something!!!
Also if your gift is small wrap it up in a big box. You can even put one box in another and so on. Then the participant has to open numerous boxes. People love to choose the largest present, but then when they start opening it..they realize its all paper and boxes and a tiny little gift inside!
These are the rules and tips for the White Elephant Gift Exchange. As I said you can change the rules as you wish. This is a very fun game and really gets the party going. We have given you some gift ideas here on our site that can be used for the White Elephant Gift Exchange if you need some ideas.
We hope we have given you some good tips and information to organize your White Elephant Party. Good Luck and have fun!!