White Elephant Gift Exchange
The White Elephant Gift Exchange is a game that is about opening gifts and stealing each others’ gifts! It’s one of the most fun party games you can do during the holidays — especially Christmas — or, really, anytime.
This party game works best when there are at least eight players.
Setup for the White Elephant Gift Exchange
This party game requires each person to prepare a gift — to buy something in a store, or to grab something from the house. Each person needs to wrap the gift so that no one knows what is inside. It can be fun to use interesting or odd shaped boxes to trick other people. It’s recommended to set a price limit — for example, $5 or $10 — so that the gifts are of similar quality.
White elephant gifts tend to be silly or humorous. However, a person can prepare nice or interesting gifts as well. The game is meant to be played for fun rather than to obtain actually highly desirable gifts.
You will need to determine the selection order. Take scraps of paper and number them based upon the number of players. For example, if twelve people are playing, then prepare numbered sheets from 1 to 12.
Playing the White Elephant Gift Exchange
As each person arrives at the party, place each gift in a pile in the middle of the room or on a table. Have each person take a sheet a paper to determine their selection order. The person who picks “1” picks first, the person who picks “2” goes second, etc.
On a person’s turn, the player can open a new (unwrapped) gift or steal a person’s gift they have already unwrapped. Once a person’s gift is stolen, that person can also steal from another player, or open a new gift. However, there are rules about how many times you can steal and whether or not you are allowed to steal a gift that was just stolen. It’s recommended that a gift cannot be stolen more than a total of three times and that a gift cannot be immediately stolen again (no two steals of the same gift in a row).
Each person takes their turn. Usually, the player who picked “1” also gets a final turn at the very end of the game. Have fun!