How to hold a white elephant party

white elephant partyThe holidays are coming! It time to organize your annual office “white elephant” party, where participants bring something from home that they no longer want but that someone else may find valuable. Other names for these gatherings are “Yankee Swap” or “Shove Under” parties (because you bring something that you would otherwise shove under the bed!)

The rules of the game are simple. Each participant brings a used, wrapped item which is collected and displayed. Players are given numbers that indicate the order in which they will choose packages. After the first player has selected and removed the wrapping from a gift, the second player has the option of also taking a mystery package…or swiping the unwrapped item from the first player!

As odd and interesting offerings are opened and stolen, hilarity ensues. With luck, by the end of the evening, many surplus goods will have found appropriate new homes.

Josh Hannah and others at Wikihow know that this kind of party is supposed to be fun! (Not, as Dwight Shrute on The Office called it: “Machiavelli meets Christmas.”) That’s why they are no Indian givers…they freely divulge the rules for a White Elephant gift exchange. They even offer suggestions for wacky gifts!

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