Legend has it that these beasts, although beautiful, were not very useful—not to mention the astronomical upkeep. And, hence, the White Elephant gift exchange we know and love today… where the practicality of the gifts is secondary to the silliness. Sounds a little wild, right? All you need is a group of people up for a funny and festive affair, unwrapping some gifts, and who have a heart two sizes too small okay, just kidding about that last part. Before the exchange, be sure to inform all of the participants of any White Elephant game rules and gift guidelines, like spending limit or themes, so everyone shows up with something at least bordering on appropriate.
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The game derives its name from the term white elephant as defined by something of dubious or limited value or an object no longer of value to its owner but of value to others. In a White Elephant gift exchange, each participant brings a wrapped, unmarked gift and places it in a designated area. Guests are given numbers as they arrive, or their names are randomly drawn, and they select gifts in that order — with a twist. On the first turn, the person assigned with 1 picks out a gift and opens it so all can see what it is. As subsequent players take their turns, they either select a new gift or take any already opened gift from any of the other players. Have any player who has a gift taken away either choose a new gift or take an already-opened gift from another player. This starts the gift exchange again following the above rules and ends when someone chooses or is forced to take the gift given up by the person with 1. With the Secret Santa Generator powered by Elfster, organizing and managing a White Elephant gift exchange is now easier and much more fun. To start your Gift Exchange, just share a few details with our Secret Santa Generator and our elves will do the rest!
A White Elephant Gift Exchange is a popular Christmas event where people vie to walk away with the best present. The White Elephant game is played by a lot of different rulesets — some dead simple and others confusingly elaborate. Here are the basic rules:. Alternatively, someone can draw names from a hat, or the order can be set by the organizer prior to the event. Anyone who gets their gift stolen in this way can do the same — choose a new gift or steal from someone else. After all players have had a turn, the first player gets a chance to swap the gift he or she is holding for any other opened gift. When someone declines to steal a gift, the game comes to an end. Players can keep swapping until someone decides to stand pat, or there are no other eligible people to steal from. Here are some rules tweaks many people use:.
To save this word, you'll need to log in. Log In Definition of white elephant 1 : an Asian elephant of a pale color that is sometimes venerated in India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Myanmar 2 a : a property requiring much care and expense and yielding little profit b : an object no longer of value to its owner but of value to others c : something of little or no value Did You Know? The real white elephant the kind with a trunk is a pale pachyderm that has long been an object of veneration in India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Myanmar. Too revered to be a beast of burden, the white elephant earned a reputation as a burdensome beast, one that required constant care and feeding but never brought a single cent or paisa or satang or pya to its owner. One story has it that the kings of Siam the old name for Thailand gave white elephants as gifts to those they wished to ruin, hoping that the cost of maintaining the voracious but sacred mammal would drive its new owner to the poorhouse. Who will pay for it?