White Elephant Gift Exchange

Also: White Elephant Gift Ideas & Rules

So it’s holiday season of 2024 and you want to kick off a great White Elephant Gift Exchange party? Or maybe you have been invited to a christmas party and want to know more about this gift exchange. Either way, we have gathered all the information, rules and even amazing gift ideas for you!

If you are organizing an event, follow these steps.

What is White Elephant Gift?

Nowadays a funny, GAG, unique or unusual gift that may or may not be useful would be a great fit for this gift exchange, but the original idea behind White Elephant Gift was that receiving it should be a burden. The recipient should not be able to easily dispose of it, yet the cost or maintenance would outweigh the usefulness of the item several fold.

It all makes sense when we look at the origins:

The term “White Elephant” comes from an old practice in Siam, currently Thailand, were kings were accustomed to gift obnoxious courtiers with such animals that would burden the recipient with the cost of maintenance. See, the courtiers could not get rid of these animals as they feared to offend the king, yet cost involved in caring for the present was sure to put the giftee in financial ruin.

What is a white elephant party?

White Elephant Gift Exchange party is a modern adaptation of this ancient practice with a fun and joyful twist played around Christmas time every year. It’s a party game for work, office, friends and family gatherings.

Usually there’s six or more players involved, but the game may have less participants. The larger the group, the longer the game lasts. White elephant Christmas parties are often the source of joyful rivalries between the participants who try to get the gifts they want and avoid the ones that are undesirable. The objective in the end is not the gifts, but to rather laugh and have all around good time.

How To Play White Elephant

If you are hosting or attending a Christmas party that will have a gift exchange, you will want to know how to play White Elephant. You might be asking yosuelf: How does white elephant work exactly?

The idea is simple: Everyone brings a wrapped gift. You can pick a gift from our White Elephant Gifts page. Numbers are assigned to each player by draw. First player selects a gift and opens it. Then the next person gets to open a new present or steal one from the already opened gifts. In the end the last person will either pick the last gift or steal from someone and the stealing will continue until there are no more unopened gifts.

Familiarize yourself with white elephant rules

Go ahead and get yourself familiarized with White Elephant Rules. The concepts are simple, but there are many interesting variations and you should decide which rules to apply to the game for your particular group. The key is to communicate the rules very clearly to the players, because some of them may already be familiar with other rules. Establishing a set of instructions to follow will ensure that these horrible gifts are awarded fair and square!

Get Featured!

Are you running a gift exchange this Christmas season? Want your company or group to be featured by Sasssy Santa? Just contact us and we will feature your story on our blog, along with a funny or happy picture of your party for the whole world to see!