What Christmas party would be complete without a white elephant game? This is a party pleaser, doubles as a party favor, all while allowing you to off load some poor unloved item in the hopes of getting something you will love, or at least tolerate.
There are many ways to play the white elephant game. Each is fun, so if your favorite mode of play is not listed here, just play it your way! If you have never played the white elephant game, or don't know how, keep reading.
Getting the gifts: There are a variety of rules that apply when selecting the type of gifts you will use in the white elephant game. Be sure all participants are on the same page. If you plan on having a white elephant game, it might be wise to specify what type of exchange it will be. It can be gag gifts, used items (or the re-gift), pamper me gifts, books well you name it. Just be sure you do name it. If the gifts are to be purchased set a price limit to keep things fair.
The exchange: One way, the speedster white elephant, is to have each person select a gift and open them at the same time. Once all gifts are open the mayhem of stealing begins. Each player can keep the gift they selected or steal one from someone else. If your gift is stolen you then can keep the one you got, and the chance to steal or pass moves around the circle clockwise from the person who went first. If you choose to steal, you get to do so now. Then play goes back to the next person in line. Each player has only one turn to steal or pass (unless their gift is taken). The game ends when the stealing rotation reaches the first person again.
The next way to play is one person goes first and play passes clockwise from them around the circle. The players turn consists of selecting and opening a wrapped gift, or stealing a gift that has been opened by a previous player. If your gift is stolen you open a new gift or take one from another player. (You can't take the gift that was stolen from you back) .When all the gifts are open, and play reaches the first player, a new round begins. Play continues around the circle with each player having one chance to steal a gift or keep the one they already have. Each gift can only be stolen twice. The third person to take it gets it, period.
Note: this is a great game, but not for young children, especially those who are still in the phase of "if I touched it once, it's mine forever". Suggested age group for this game is 10 and up.