Each family has its very own holiday tradition that they hold dear. It may be purchasing a new ornament, eating something special, or hosting a big party to celebrate. Others have their own variation of a gift exchange. Perhaps they exchange names for a Secret Santa, or buy a random gift for a white elephant exchange.
White Elephant rules are simple. According to White Elephant Online, each person involved buys a gift that they believe many people at the celebration would like to have. (Be sure to set a price limit beforehand.) On the day of the exchange, everyone should bring their gift already wrapped. Then, everyone picks a number that will be the order they’re permitted to choose a gift. The person who chooses number one goes first. They pick a gift from the pile and open it. The next person can either choose a new gift from the pile or steal a gift that’s already been opened until everyone has a gift.
There are different variations of the game, with some rules including a gift can only be stolen three times and that each person can only have their gift stolen three times. Some people also allow the person who drew the first number to go again after everyone has a gift at the end of the game, making it even more fun.
So, what should you buy for a White Elephant exchange?
Games are always a good choice
Who doesn’t love to play games? It seems that there’s a game for everyone out there, whether they like the classics such as Monopoly and Life or a cool trivia game, per Meeple Mountain. Perhaps, you can find a strategy game to place under the tree as your White Elephant exchange.
Part of the fun of getting a game as your White Elephant exchange gift is that you can unwrap it and play with it right then and there with your friends and family members. Another option could be to buy an outdoor game that could be played when the weather gets warmer such as giant Jenga. There are so many options to choose from, that will surely have everyone at your party thinking about stealing the game for themselves.
Alcohol-related gifts could be a big hit at adult parties
Instead of giving a gag gift, or yet another candle or blanket, think about aiming your gift at a more mature audience. If you’re headed to an adult holiday party that’s holding a White Elephant exchange, consider bringing an alcohol-related gift (via VinePair). This could be as simple as a nice bottle of wine, cocktail glasses, or a high-quality corkscrew.
Gadgets are some of the most coveted White Elephant gifts
When you open your White Elephant gift you’re hoping to see something cool or unique. One of the best things you can hope for out of your gift is a gadget that will be either fun to play with or helpful in your everyday life. Items such as lenses for your cell phone camera, a mini drone, or a drawing tablet can be some of the biggest ticket items at a White Elephant party (via Daily Dot).
If your friends and family members are music lovers, a Bluetooth speaker or karaoke microphone could make for the perfect gifts as well.
Foodies will love snack-themed gifts
Everyone loves snacks, and giving the gift of food can be a huge hit at your White Elephant party. You could opt to put together a gift basket of snacks like pretzels, candy, cookies, popcorn, and more, or you can go for the gourmet route (via Town & Country). There are plenty of options for gourmet gifts such as a chocolate gift basket, a bacon sampler, a cheese sampler, or even a food subscription box.
This gift can also be shared with friends at the party if you’re so inclined.
You can’t go wrong with practical gifts
While practical gifts may not be flashy and fun, they are actually some of the best items to get during the holiday season. Adults have a lot going on and useful items can be helpful in the kitchen, bathroom, and at the office. Items such as neck pillows, headphones, bathtub caddies, portable phone chargers, phone stands, and more can be the gift that keeps on giving throughout the year (via Family Money Plan). Plus, it’ll be a gift that many will grab for during a White Elephant exchange.
Remember, White Elephant can be fun for all involved, especially if you know how to choose the right gift to bring.