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35 Minute to
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White Elephant Party Ideas

The White Elephant Gift Exchange has nothing to do with real white elephant, or even a fake white elephant.

The term white elephant refers to a gift that the receiver did not like or couldn't use. The White Elephant Gift Exchange is about trading unwanted presents for other unwanted presents ... but it is a lot of fun!

white elephant

How to Play the White Elephant Game:
Guests bring a wrapped gift to the party.
Place the gifts under the tree or stack in the middle of the party room.

The players sit in a circle and draw numbers (one for each guest) to see which order they get to choose a gift.


*You can sit in the circle first and go around in a clockwise direction instead of drawing numbers.

The player with the #1 goes first and chooses a present from the pile.

#1 opens the present and then it is #2 players turn.

#2 has two choices. They can either choose to open a gift from the present pile or they can steal the present that #1 opened.
- If they choose to open a new present they simply open a new present from the pile and it is #3's turn.
- If they steal #1's present then player #1 gets to open a new present. It is then player #3's turn.

#3 can open a present or steal either #1 or #2's present.
- If they choose to open a new present they simply open a new present from the pile and it is #4's turn.
- If they steal #1 or #2 present then the person who's present was stolen can choose a new gift, or steal a present from #1. *

They can't steal back the present that was stolen from them during that round.

This continues until the last present has been opened and then #1 gets a final turn.

It is a great idea for a holiday, Christmas or birthday party. The White Elephant Gift exchange is known by many names across the country such as Dirty Santa, Yankee Swap or Secret Santa. No matter what you call the White Elephant gift exchange ... it is lots of fun for all the party guests!

Instructions and some fun variations for the White Elephant gift exchange.

It can get very competitive and the game can go very fast.

A few more rules that you can add are:
A gift can only be exchanged 3 times during a turn.
After going around one time you can go around again in reverse order.

White Elephant Gifts
Gifts for the White Elephant Gift Exchange Party can be almost anything.

There are many variations on what type of gifts you ask your guests to bring ... just be sure to include it on the invitation so everyone brings roughly the same value of items. For example you can ask guests to bring:

Gifts under $10.00
(or any price point you choose)

Some examples are lottery tickets, gift cards, iTunes cards, holiday items, scarf, gloves, hot chocolate with mugs, etc.

Unwanted gifts that were given to you that you don't want or want to give away.

Nice gifts valued over $25.00 (or $50.00, $75.00, $100.00)

Gag gifts

- Funny items like 7 days of the week shampoo with 2 bottles missing, two left foot slippers, joke gifts, ect.

Something from your home that you didn't buy.

The White Elephant Gift Exchange Party works with all age groups. It is an easy and inexpensive way to get party guests together, laughing and having fun at your next holiday party.

Christmas Scavenger Hunt

New Years Scavenger Hunt

Gingerbread Man Party

Penguin Party Ideas Charity Party
Polar Bear  







    We've listed our favorite kids birthday party ideas, tips, cool party themes, b day party celebration ideas and advice for kids birthday parties sent in by parents with years of experience - we refer to them as the experts!  Fun birthday party, party planning and ideas that really work for boys and girls, kids, tweens and teenage parties. Kids games, Real simple and cheap birthday party ideas for kids for home parties. © Kelula 2007 - 2016