Currents, Family, Self

How to Do a White Elephant Gift Exchange

4 Comments 07 December 2012

Cowboy Cactus–I still keep this on my recycling bin.

As though all the crazies came out of the woodwork, we laughed ‘til we cried as we opened such silly items as a stuffed pink flamingo, a wooden sign that read, “This toilet paper roll is not going to change itself” and a redneck briefcase (actually a pair of tighty-whiteys with a wooden handle attached across the top).

The best part: Not having to make happy faces when receiving yet another sweater we didn’t need in a color we didn’t like. The kids really got into it, too—“stealing” what they considered to be the best gifts.

If you’ve never participated in a White Elephant Gift Exchange, the rules are as follows:

  1. Set a price limit. Stay within it. (Wow, I’m a poet, and I know it.)
  2. Wrap gifts to look nice—not giving the slightest hint as to the hideousness that lies beneath.
  3. Have everyone in the exchange draw numbers—up to the number of people total.
  4. The person who picks #1 goes first. He or she selects a gift from among all of the white elephants and unwraps it.
  5. #2 gets to steal #1’s gift or choose a new gift. If #2 steals #1’s gift, #1 gets to select and unwrap another gift.
  6. The game continues like this until all gifts have been selected.
  7. Most games limit the number of steals. Once a gift has been stolen twice, it’s “frozen” and belongs to the last person who stole it. (A total of three people have “owned” the gift—however briefly.
  8. The game ends with #1. Since that person got such a raw deal—having to go first—he or she gets to have the last pick of any unfrozen item.
  9. No under-the-table trades or deals!

Good luck with #8! 

Hot-tubbing Pink Flamingo–Who wouldn’t love this?

Hint: Shop flea markets and garage sales for great white elephant finds!

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4 Comments so far

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Leslie Wilson Bio

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I belong. To God, to Bret (my husband of 23 years), and to my precious children—Charlie, Molly & Reese.

I’m blessed. To speak, write, edit and market for a living.

I’m called. To thrive in life—to find contentment where I am and with what I have.

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