Skip to main content

Face Magazine of Acadiana

White Elephant Party: The Gift Exchange With A Twist

Nov 28, 2018 09:22AM ● By Camille Mosley

If you’re looking for a fun activity for a small group of ten or so people, try hosting a White Elephant Party.

A White Elephant party is a gift exchange gathering where funny, nice, and sometimes not so nice gifts (the white elephant) are exchanged. The goal of a white elephant party is to entertain rather than to gain. Everyone brings a gift so everyone ends up with a gift, but what you end up with is anyone's guess.

Here’s how it works. Make a guest list and figure out the who, what, where, and when stuff. Choose a theme and a budget for the gifts. The average budget is usually between $10 to $20 dollars, but be specific because the last thing anyone wants is to receive a dollar store trinket after they dropped $20 on the perfect Velvet poster. Guest are asked to bring a wrapped gift that mimic’s the parties theme, such as funny, embarrassing, silly, etc. 

Once everyone arrives, lay out the rules:
  • Gifts are put in one specific area.
  • Everyone draws a number.
  • First person picks a gift and opens it.
  • Then the second person can either pick a gift or steal the opened gift. This continues until all of the gifts are opened.
  • A gift can only be stolen three times before it is "locked," meaning it cannot be stolen again.
  • If your gift gets stolen, you can choose another gift to open or steal someone else's gift. You cannot, however, steal back your gift.

The most important part of a White Elephant party is to always have fun!