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The White Elephant Gift Exchange Party

Invitation to a White Elephant Party

What is a White Elephant Party you may ask? Well do you have a group of friends all wishing to exchange gifts but aren’t interested in the usual secret santa? If you do then this gift exchange is for you!  If this game seems familiar to you it may be because it also goes by a few other names such as; Yankee Swap, Black Santa, Chinese Gift Exchange, Dirty Santa, Naughty Santa, Thieving Secret Santa, Parcel Pass, Christmas Swap Thing, Greedfest, or Pollyanna.

There are two different ways to play, the naughty way or the nice way…

In both versions gifts are typically inexpensive, humorous items or used items from home. The term white elephant refers to a gift whose maintenance costs exceed its usefulness.

Naughty White Elephant Exchange:

To keep with the spirit of the White Elephant the gifts are often gifts the participants have received previously as presents but do not want.  If you are going to play the naughty way you will find used items you don’t want from around your home or something that may embarrass someone to receive.

Nice White Elephant Exchange: 

In the nice version of the White Elephant Exchange you actually may go out and purchase an item or give something that you don’t have a use for from around the house, but the gift is actually something someone would appreciate and you usually set a cap of $10-$15 dollars.


Here are some extra variations of the game: 

Since the process of stealing can prolong the game and can give distinct disadvantages to certain places in the order of play, different variations have arisen.


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