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Home » Holidays » Christmas Party Games » White Elephant Gift Exchange

White Elephant Gift Exchange

White Elephant Gift Exchange

The white elephant gift exchange game is popular for good reason: it's a blast! Everyone loves to see the reaction when the gift they brought is opened. And, when it's stolen by another guest, this Christmas party game really heats up!

The White Elephant Gift Exchange

Hostess Hint: We play the white elephant gift exchange game EVERY year at my Holiday party (8 years running). It has become so popular that guests start looking for unique white elephant gifts months in advance.

White Elephant Gift Exchange I once suggested playing a different game to neighbors, and I was quickly out-voted. People really look forward to it! And, so do I.

Here's How to Play the White Elephant Gift Game

Tell everyone ahead of time that you'll be playing the White Elephant Gift Exchange Game at your party. It's a great idea to put this information in the invitation along with a price limit for the gifts.

Some guests may have never played, so let them know that any type of gift makes a good Christmas exchange gift: gag gifts, re-gifts, chia-pets, snuggies, strange and unique gifts, or even "nice" gifts ... tell them to get creative! The more creative your guests, the more fun the game will be.

As guests arrive to the Christmas party location, have everyone place the gift they brought on a table or under the tree.

White Elephant Game When you're ready to play the game, write numbers on small slips of paper, and place them in a hat. Or, print out the White Elephant Party Game and Kit. It has 60 White Elephant Witty Fortunes, party invitations and more. Each fortune has a number of it for the white elephant game.

White Elephant Game Rules

Each person who brings a wrapped gift randomly selects a number from a hat.

In the order of the number each person drew (beginning with person no.1), guests select an unwrapped gift, or steal a previously opened gift.

If a player has his gift stolen he may select to steal a gift from someone else or open an unwrapped gift.

Gifts may be stolen up to three times during the game. After which the gift remains "safe" with it's holder.

After everyone has opened a gift, the person who drew no.1 may select to trade her gift with anyone who holds a gift that has not been stolen three times already. The host of the party may select to modify this rule in any way he or she chooses BEFORE the game begins.

No one can hide his or her gifts during the game. Players must be able to see what gifts have been opened.

Bribing, haggling, and pleading are all acceptable forms of preventing steals!

White Elephant Gift Exchange Party Kit (up to 60 players)

The printable party kit includes:
  • Printable White Elephant Invitations
  • 60 Whimsical and Funny Fortunes (each numbered for the game)
  • 20 Beautiful White Elephant Gift Tags (with funny expressions)
  • The Official White Elephant Rules Poster and Poem

For easy printing, the 60 fortune cards are designed for Avery 8371 perforated business card stock, available online, at Walmart, Office Stores, etc. But you can also print them on card stock or plain paper and cut them apart.

White Elephant Game

White Elephant Party Kit

Suitable for Adult Christmas Parties


P.S. Want a fun White Elephant Game idea: I always sneak one or two really good gifts into the mix to make the exchange very competive. I also tell everyone No Gift Cards to encourage creativity.

More Ideas for The White Elephant Game

This traditional Christmas party game works just as well for birthdays too. Just use the same rules that you would use for a Christmas party. Everyone brings an inexpensive wrapped gift, and everyone leaves with a gift. The fun is in playing the game!

Get the details on how to blend this game with pin the tail on the donkey for a very fun adult birthday party idea!

You'll find more gift exchange games and fun Christmas party ideas on the Christmas Party Games and Ideas page.

See our very own version of the "white elephant" in the fun Christmas claymation video we created to feature our Christmas printables.

Share it with your friends! You can get our free Christmas printables E-book here. Other Related Pages:

White Elephant Gift Ideas

White Elephant Gift Ideas

For the gifts that get attention, get stolen, and get big laughs, you won't want to miss these Christmas gems! We've searched for the funniest and most fun white elephants on the planet and put them all in one place.

Return from White Elephant Gift Exchange to Gift Exchange Games.