Monday, August 18, 2008

Secret/Surprise Gift

Wilson Family White Elephant Gift Exchange

Though we don’t have a huge family, we all do get together each Christmas. A couple of years ago, in an effort to cut down on costs, we started drawing names for gifts. Since we get “only” one big gift during the extended family get-together, we also decided to incorporate a white elephant gift exchange. The rules were simple: Nothing over $10; the sillier and more embarrassing the gift, the better.

As though all the crazies came out of the woodwork, we laughed ‘til we cried as we opened such silly items as a stuffed pink flamingo, a wooden sign that read, “This toilet paper roll is not going to change itself” and a redneck briefcase (actually a pair of tighty-whiteys with a wooden handle attached across the top.

The best part: Not having to make happy faces when receiving yet another sweater we didn’t need in a color we didn’t like. The kids really got into it, too—“stealing” what they considered to be the best gifts.

If you’ve never participated in a White Elephant Gift Exchange, the rules are as follows:
1. Set a price limit. Stay within it. (Wow, I’m a poet, and I know it.)
2. Wrap gifts to look nice—not giving the slightest hint as to the hideousness that lies beneath.
3. Have everyone in the exchange draw numbers—up to the number of people total.
4. The person who picks #1 goes first. He or she selects a gift from among all of the white elephants and unwraps it.
5. #2 gets to steal #1’s gift or choose a new gift. If #2 steals #1’s gift, #1 gets to select and unwrap another gift.
6. The game continues like this until all gifts have been selected.
7. Most games limit the number of steals to 3 total. Once a gift has been stolen three times, it’s “frozen” and belongs to the last person who stole it.
8. No under-the-table trades or deals!

I wrote out my favorite White Elephant Gift Exchange Story in A Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts. Check it out, especially all you Elvis fans!!!

Hint: Shop flea markets and garage sales for great white elephant finds!


Karen said...

We have had more fun at Sunday School class parties with the white elephant gifts. For years a fake head that was used for learning to style hair circulated.

And I'm lucky. I don't have to go to a flea market to find them. I raise white elephants in my basement!

Trish Berg said...

Leslie-Great tip. We have done this in the past and it is a blast!

Thanks for the ideas...

Hugs-Trish Berg