The White Elephant holiday party doesn’t sound like it has anything to do with the holidays, but it’s actually a more fun, adult version of Secret Santa. Rather than drawing random names to shop for, every person who attends the party is responsible to bring one gift. This is a great modification, because if one person can’t come at the last minute, there is no shortage of gifts. The game works best with a larger party, of at least 8 people.
To play, the host decides the maximum dollar amount to be spent. It is generally low, under twenty dollars. Each player brings a wrapped gift to a party. The party should have food, drinks, and music–the game isn’t long enough to be the only thing! Try adding holiday-vocab scrabble, charades, or pictionary to your party! When you’re ready to play have everyone sit down around the gifts, and have everyone draw a number to determine player order. The first player can choose any gift. It is unwrapped and then player two goes. Player two can either steal the unwrapped gift, or choose a new gift from the pile. Play continues until each person has gone and there are no unwrapped gifts. Then, player one can choose to steal any gift from any player, and the game is over.
A fun variation to the game is to use the gifts as door prizes or game awards–whichever team wins pictionary gets to pick first, and so on. We love the White Elephant Party because it keeps the holiday gift giving spirit without breaking the bank. It can also be used among friends who want to do gift exchanges, but would rather focus on a fun evening party together than a huge present shopping trip. What sort of holiday parties are you looking forward to?