White Elephant Party Rules

If you’re gearing up for a White Elephant party and feeling a bit puzzled about the White Elephant Party Rules, worry not! We’re here to guide you through the whimsical world of White Elephant gift exchanges with a splash of fun and a dash of simplicity.

White Elephant Party Rules

This game is sometimes called a Gift Swap, Yankee Swap, Black Santa, Chinese Gift Exchange, Dirty Santa, Greedy Punter, Thieves’ Christmas or Naughty Santa.

The objective is to come home with the gift you want and leave one you do not want. The gift can be new or used. It can be bought or created it can not be stolen. Well that is until you play the game.

The first thing you need to do is invite 6 or more people to play. You will need to create a limit to the amount that can be spent. You will ask each person to wrap their gift and place it in a central location. Then you will draw numbers based on the number of people there. The person that receives #1 will select the first gift. They will also have the opportunity at the end to take anyone’s gift.

The person that selects the next gift will have the option of taking the gift of the person before him or her or selecting a new unwrapped gift. The person who is selected third can take the gifts of the person selected prior to them or a new unwrapped gift.

The white elephant is really the gift that didn’t get traded and someone was stuck taking home!

The White Elephant Party Rules are easy to follow which makes this a fun party game.

Rule #1: The Gift That Keeps on Giving…or Stealing

In the enchanting realm of White Elephant, every gift is a potential treasure chest waiting to be cracked open. The game kicks off with each participant bringing a wrapped present – the catch? It could be something uproariously funny, incredibly useful, or just downright peculiar.

The mission? Leave everyone in stitches and full of glee.

Rule #2: The Gift Parade

As your fellow party animals gather ’round, arrange the gifts in a display that’s more tempting than cotton candy at the carnival. Draw numbers to decide the order in which participants will swoop in to choose their presents.

The first lucky player snags a wrapped gift, and the thrill of the game unfolds!

Rule #3: Trading Places (and Gifts)

Hold on to your party hats – here comes the twist! After the initial gift unwrapping extravaganza, subsequent players face a crucial decision: unwrap a fresh gift from the pile or be a little mischievous and swipe a gift from someone who’s already unveiled their surprise. Get ready for a symphony of laughter, gasps, and perhaps a touch of strategic scheming.

Rule #4: The Three-Time Charm

To keep the gift-swapping circus lively, a present can only be stolen three times. Once a gift has found its third home, it’s a done deal – no more magical rides on the White Elephant express for that particular gem!

Rule #5: The Grand Finale

As the spotlight shines on each participant and the final gift is unwrapped or slyly stolen, the grand spectacle reaches its conclusion. Every partygoer now stands proud as the owner of their ultimate gift – no more swapsies allowed! Cue the confetti!

Tips for White Elephant Party Success:

  • Keep it Light: The enchantment of White Elephant lies in the whimsy. Choose gifts that are funny, quirky, or just downright amusing.
  • Mind the Audience: While a rubber chicken might be the star of the show for some, consider the tastes of your fellow partygoers to ensure a rollicking good time for all.
  • Embrace the Bizarre: In the fantastical land of White Elephant, the more unique and unexpected the gift, the better! Let your creativity run wild for maximum surprise.
  • Don’t Take it Too Seriously: Remember, it’s all part of the circus act! A touch of friendly competition and heaps of laughter make for the most spectacular White Elephant parties.

So, there you have it – the whimsical world of White Elephant party rules laid bare. Get ready to step into the big top of gift-exchange excitement, filled with laughter, surprises, and maybe a few head-scratching moments. 


Swappy The White Elephant Party Game Kit

Add a new twist to your white elephant party game with Swappy! This fun holiday game with a twist involves Swappy cards that dictate whether to pass, keep, or steal gifts, but with a catch—players may have to name all the reindeer or sing Jingle Bells to keep their gifts or unwrap them. Swappy is easy and fun to play; form a circle, place gifts in the center, and let the holiday surprises unfold as players follow Swappy’s instructions until all gifts are unwrapped.

Do you need White Elephant Gift Ideas. We have them in our White Elephant Gift Ideas.

elf on the shelf

Also check out our Elf Calendar. For the adults, we also have an Adults only Elf on the Shelf post!