The holidays are right around the corner and that means I will be partaking in my annual White Elephant Gift Exchange with my friends! If you have never heard about White Elephant, then buckle up, I am about to introduce you to the greatest thing ever! Every year my friends and I get together to celebrate Christmas, or as we call it Friendsmas, and we always exchange gifts! Instead of doing Secret Santa we started to do the White Elephant Gift Exchange a few years ago and now it is what we look forward to every year! It is such a laughing so hard you have tears rolling down your face kind of fun time. I will break down the rules to you in this blog to better explain this amazing game!
- Each friend brings one wrapped gift to contribute to the game. It could be a gag gift or something your friends could actually get use out of! I have had friends bring cook books, liquor, sports memorabilia, gift cards and then the occasional inappropriate ones too. We always have a $25 spending limit so everything is equal at the end!
- Lets say you have ten friends partaking, you would put ten scrap pieces of paper with numbers 1-10 into a bowl and have each person pick a number. Whoever gets number one will pick a gift first and number ten will be picking last.
- My friends and I then sit around a dinning room table or on the floor in numerical order (based off the numbers we picked from the hat) with all the wrapped gifts in the center. It is easier to do it that way so you won’t forget who goes next!
- Whoever picked number one from the bowl picks the first gift and unwraps it in front of everyone!
- Once it is second person’s turn, they can either choose to pick a wrapped gift from the middle of steal the first person’s gift! Then the first person has to pick a wrapped gift from the middle and opens it to show everyone. Then it will become the third person’s turn! The first person is unable to steal a gift because there is no one before them to steal from, but don’t worry they will have a chance at the end!
- Keep going down the line of friends, and whoever turn is next can always steal an already opened gift or take a brand new one from the pile! Important rule: once you have chosen to pick from the pile and open the new gift, you can not change your mind and steal a previously opened gift! The newly opened gift is yours unless someone else steals that gift away from you!
- After the last person has finished their turn, the first person gets a chance to swap the gift he or she is holding for an opened gift! Once they have chosen to steal or keep their current gift the game is over!
There are several versions to the game but my friends and I stick with the basic rules which are listed above. I listed another rule that some people play with the keep the game going longer if you want a little more competition added!
- Anyone who gets their gift stolen can either choose to pick a brand new one from the pile or can steal someone else’s gift, but can not steal back theirs. This rotation can only go on for three turns, and then it must move onto the next person in rotation. You can limit it to two turns if you wish to keep it shorter.
- Example) If it is the sixth person’s turn and they steal the third person’s gift and then the third person steals the fourth person’s gift, once the fourth person chooses to steal or pick a new gift the play is then dead. Then the seventh person, who is next in rotation, would then proceed to either pick a gift from the middle or steal a gift and so on.