White Elephant Gift Exchange

A White Elephant Gift Exchange is a popular Christmas event where people vie to walk away with the best present.

Each player brings one wrapped gift to contribute to a common pool.

Players draw numbers to determine what order they will go in.

The first player selects a gift from the pool and opens it.

The following players can choose to either pick an unwrapped gift from the pool or steal a previous player’s gift. Anyone who gets their gift stolen in this way can do the same – choose a new gift or steal from someone else. A present can only be stolen once per turn, which means players who have a gift stolen from them have to wait to get it back.

If a present gets stolen three times, it’s frozen and the person who holds it gets to walk away with it.

After all players have had a turn, the first player gets a chance to swap the gift he or she is holding for any other opened gift that isn’t frozen. Anyone whose gift is stolen may steal from someone else. When someone declines to steal a gift, the game comes to an end.

What Makes the Best White Elephant Gift?

A “White Elephant” gift is any item that the player has lying around the house, and would actually like to get rid of, or just a humorous, silly gift.

Funny gifts make the biggest splash at the party, but aren’t always the most desirable items for swapping.

Weird artwork and gadgets are also popular at Christmas gift swaps, and are often highly sought after.

There’s nothing wrong with buying a genuinely nice gift, especially since it has the potential to fuel a lot of competition during the game.