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What is a white elephant gift exchange?

What is a white elephant gift exchange?

Busy Mom from Atlanta GA

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November 30, 20060 found this helpful
Best Answer

Objective: Open, exchange and steal inexpensive, fun gifts and hope your get something good!



Game type:

Passive. Little or no movement is required.


3 or more players.

Needed: Everyone attending the party needs to bring a wrapped gift.

Rules: Everyone brings a gift already wrapped. No one should know which gift you brought. Make up slips of paper with numbers on them and have each person draws a number. People choose gifts according the numbers that are drawn.

To start, the person with #1 picks out a gift, opens it so all can see what it is. Then the person with #2 get to "steal" any unwrapped gift or chose from those not yet chosen and opened. Then person #3 gets to "steal" any already opened gift or chose one of the ones still unopened. This continues around the circle.


Rules: The game continues with the following rules:

A) If someone steals your gift, you can steal someone else's gift (see rules below)

B) Continue until everyone has had a turn for a gift. A turn is ended when an unopened gift has been opened.

C) A gift can only be "stolen" once during a turn.

D) Once a gift has had 3 "owners" the 3rd owner of a gift gets to keep it, it can't be stolen again.

Ending the game: After the last turn, the person who started (since he didn't get a chance at the beginning) can put back the gift and "steal" and gift according to the rules. This starts the gift exchange again (following the above rules) and ends when someone chooses or is forced to take the gift given up by the person with #1. For additional fun, you can go all the way around the circle again having people put back and "steal" gifts they want. Of course, you have to continue to follow the rules above. Make sure the rules are clear to everyone before starting the exchange.

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November 30, 20060 found this helpful
Best Answer

The only thing I would add to what is always posted is the gift should be something that you take from your home. You are not supposed to purchase a gift to give. It should be something from your home that you no longer use but could be useful to someone else.

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December 1, 20060 found this helpful

Well, I understood it to be you-that is everyone attending.. takes something from home (not buy) that they particularly don't like/ or think ugly.. ie, that awful vase Great Aunt Edith gave you last Xmas.

Couple of ways to go, all the 'elephant's are wrapped and placed in a big basket.. or on a table if big things and people take turn in choosing one thing.. When you've unwrapped your chosen 'elephant' you can then swap with someone if they will.. and this can happen as many times as people want to swap with each other. It's all meant for a good laugh.. and usually is!


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December 1, 20060 found this helpful

I always understood a White Elephant gift as being something you don't really want or like....something funny or ugly!

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