How to Throw a White Elephant Party

How to Throw a White Elephant Party

Looking for a fun way to get your friends or coworkers together? Want to host an event without cutting into your Christmas budget? You’re in the right place! In today’s post, we’re going to provide you with everything you need to know to throw an unforgettable white elephant party. Keep reading to learn about what a white elephant exchange is and how to host one, and then head over to The Christmas Light Emporium when you’re ready to order the LED Christmas lights you need for a fun and festive Christmas!

Throwing a White Elephant Gift Exchange


What Is a White Elephant Exchange?

Let’s start with the basics — what the heck is a white elephant party? In the context of the Christmas season, the words “white elephant” don’t refer to an animal. Instead, they refer to a gift that’s tacky, funny, useless, or just plain weird!

Give the Group Plenty of Notice A picture of presents in a circle.

The Christmas season is one of the busiest times of the year. Between last-minute projects at work, travel plans, shopping, and other parties, you’ll probably find it difficult to organize a white elephant party late in the season. So, plan out who you’ll invite and when you’ll hold the exchange at least three or four weeks in advance.

Create Your Gifting Rules

Once you have a date and a list of attendees, it’s time to figure out the rules of the exchange. Try not to be overly strict or complicated — it’s supposed to be a fun event, after all. The two most common rules used to host white elephant parties include:

  • Regifting: Regifting allows everyone to give away something they already own. Many people’s finances are tight this time of year, and regifting is a great way to ensure that everyone feels comfortable. However, some people don’t have useless or tacky items lying around that they can regift, so you will probably want to incorporate the next rule into your party.
  • Limits: Limits on value and spending are another way of making sure that everyone receives something similar in value to what they gave away. A limit of $10 or $15 is almost always enough for people to find fun gifts without feeling obligated to spend too much money.

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Decorate and Dress Accordingly

No party is complete without decorations! 

Many people choose to go with an all-white theme for obvious reasons, but anything festive is sure to be a hit. If you’re hosting the party in your home, have everyone put their gifts under a tree or in an area where everyone can see them. If you don’t have a tree, then you can always draw attention to the area with LED Christmas lights. Your guests will have a great time admiring any oddly shaped gifts and trying to guess who brought what!

Given the fun and lighthearted nature of white elephant parties, this is a great time to encourage everyone to come in an ugly sweater or something slightly tacky. Christmas can sometimes be a stressful time of year, and we can guarantee that everyone will appreciate a chance to let loose and laugh for an evening!

Get the Party Started! 

There are a lot of white elephant rule variations out there, and we certainly can’t cover them all in one post. We’re going to provide you with the most commonly used white elephant exchange rules, but keep in mind that you can always amend them to fit your party’s needs! 

Start by cutting small squares of paper and writing out consecutive numbers equal to the number of people in participation. If you have 20 people in your exchange, then you’ll have 20 different slips of paper. Fold the squares and put them into a container. A picture of presents against a blue background.

Once you’ve mixed up the slips of paper, have everyone in the party draw a number. Have everyone look at their number after the slips have been drawn. Whoever drew number one will pick a gift first, whoever drew number two will go next, and so on.

Have the person who drew number one select a gift and open it. Their turn ends and the person who drew number two will go next. They can either choose to steal a gift that was previously opened (in this case, the first person’s), or they can choose to pick a new gift from the pile. In most white elephant exchanges, players cannot steal back gifts that have been stolen from them until at least one round has passed. You may want to set a limit on how many times a gift can be stolen in order to keep the game moving. Eventually, everyone will end up with a goofy, lighthearted gift and the person who went first will have the opportunity to exchange their gift.

As we said above, there are plenty of additional rules and variations that you could incorporate into your white elephant exchange, but we’ll save that discussion for another post!

Order Your LED Christmas Lights Today!

If you need Christmas lights and decorations to make this year’s Christmas the most magical one to date, then head over to The Christmas Light Emporium to view our incredible selection of LED Christmas lights. We have prices lower than you’ll find at any big-box retailer, and we provide each and every one of our customers with the support they deserve. Whether you’re shopping for a single light strand or enough lights to cover your home from top to bottom, we’ve got enough Christmas magic for the entire neighborhood!

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