White Elephant is no ordinary gift exchange. We love this game in our annual Christmas tradition because it's that wonderful and elusive combination of simple and hilarious. All you need to do is to show up with a wrapped gift and hope you don't end up with the white elephant ...
What's a White Elephant Gift Exchange?Good question. The term “white elephant” is rooted in the folklore of some Asian countries where they were regarded as holy pets that symbolized power, wealth and fertility.
Much like that puppy your five year old thought was such a great idea, at first glance owning a white elephant was seen as a great honor. But as reality set in, the novelty wore off and owning a white elephant proved to be nothing more than a burden (and you thought yard cleaning after little fido there was a pain).
Ancient royalty who were displeased with their assistants were known to offer the white elephants as gifts, transferring the burden on to its new owner. Doh. I think I'll take a wristwatch any day.
And so from these auspicious beginnings, comes the modern-day white elephant gift exchange...
How Do You Play?There are tons of different little rules, so don't be afraid to make up your own using the basics...
- Everyone brings a wrapped gift. Have a bit of fun with the criteria for the gift, like:
- used but reusable gifts (no half-eaten chocolates allowed)
- just re-gifts from last year
- only red or green gifts
- only gifts that start with the letter f
Oh, and don't forget: Once you touch it, it’s yours - you can't touch, rattle or otherwise get a feel for a gift before you take it. You cheater, you.
Enjoy! Get strategic and don't be shy to steal!
What's your favourite variation?
|The radio controlled tarantula won last year|