If you’re hosting or attending a white elephant gift exchange this month, here are some tips and free printables to help with this fun Christmas tradition! A white elephant gift exchange is a popular game where each member of a group brings a funny/interesting wrapped present of a certain dollar amount – entertainment then ensues as people exchange and steal gifts. And everyone ends up a winner with a gift!
How do I get started?
- The game usually works best with at least 4-6 people and even more fun with larger groups.
- Decide on a dollar amount for gifts AHEAD of time so it’s pretty even and communicate this information on your invitation. Click HERE to print a free invitation!
- Also decide if you want a specific themed gift such as exchanging only holiday ornaments, kid’s toys, or books! Some people even choose to do re-gifts or small items they may not use at home any longer which involves no spending at all.
What are the rules?
- Click HERE for some basic white elephant gift exchange rules that you can print out and display at your event!
- Place limits on exchanging or stealing gifts so the game will have an ending point. Visit WhiteElephantRules.com for more detailed directions.
- If you are thinking of planning this activity for very young children, first read the rules and then decide if your kids can handle it. (Side Note: I made this mistake once and there were tears because some kids were too young to understand the concept of picking a present and then having it taken away 😦 ).
What do I bring?
In general, most white elephant gifts are under $20. You could go with a funny gift like a clever coffee mug, book, or Christmas ornament. Functional yet creative gifts are also popular. An example would be a fun kitchen gadget like this pineapple core remover, a hot sauce keychain, or a set of holiday cookie cutters. The more interesting the gift is, the more fun the game will be 🙂
Have you ever been to or hosted a white elephant gift exchange? If so, what did you bring? Any other tips you can offer?