White elephant Christmas parties can be a lot of fun, but if you are the one hosting the party this year there can be some extra added stresses that may not make it as fun for you.
Don’t let hosting a white elephant gift exchange party get you down this year and instead organize and prepare so you can have the best party anyone has ever gone to.
*And for all you readers who may have never even heard of a white elephant party, it’s basically a fun get together with friends and family in which there is also a fun gift exchange. You bring a gift depending on the guidelines of the exchange and then you get to pick a gift during the party. There are all kinds of different variations that people follow from funny and wacky gifts to gifts you need around the home.
Here are 5 tips you need to follow for hosting your Christmas white elephant party this year.
1. Be Sure You Specify the Gift Exchange Guidelines Clearly On the Invitation
Make it clear to all your guest the exact guidelines and limits you have set on the white elephant gift exchange. If it has been the same thing year after year you still want to write it out for all your guests as you don’t want anyone’s feelings to get hurt during the exchange.
Be sure to include the price limit on the gift, which usually ranges anywhere from $10-$25. This is probably one of the most important aspects of the gift exchange so make sure it is clearly written where your guests will see it.
Include any wrapping stipulations such as only plain red wrapping paper or the gift must come in a plain bag. Some people use wrapping guidelines so you don’t know whose gift you are choosing when it comes to the exchange.
2. Consider Who Is On Your Guest List
White elephant parties are meant to be fun and the last thing you want is some type of drama with your guests because people don’t like each other or don’t get along well.
Also consider the fact that some people may have inside jokes that others may not get if they aren’t that close to you.
It’s your choice who you invite but in general most white elephant gift exchange parties are usually smaller and more intimate rather than a normal, holiday party. It’s definitely not a bad thing to have a small guest list with this type of party.
3. Set the Rules to the White Elephant Exchange Before the Party Starts
There are some basic, general rules that go along with a white elephant exchange but some people like to mix things up a bit.
For example, there are some people who only allow “stealing” a gift twice instead of four times. Also, there are some people that determine who gets to pick gifts first by the time they arrived at the party instead of drawing numbers from a hat.
It’s up to you what rules you follow, but your guests will have a lot more fun if the rules are laid out and not changed during the party. You could even print up a fun Christmas themed rule sheet to hang at the party so everyone knows what is going on.
4. Themes are Fun for a White Elephant Party
If you want to make your party a little more unique, choose a theme for it that will not only control the décor of the party but also the gift exchange as well.
Some themes you could choose from include:
- Let It Snow – everything has to do with snow or cold weather
- Christmas In Hawaii – anything to do with Hawaii
- Funny Christmas – gag gifts and funny outfits
- Blue Christmas – gifts have to be blue as well as all blue décor
- White Christmas – stick with “white” theme and everything has to be white
You don’t have to choose a theme for the party, but sometimes they make it even more interesting for your guests as well as coming up with some neat gift ideas.
Plus, this also lets your guests know more about what type of gift they should buy for the exchange.
5. Choose One Person to Buy the Gag Gift
One idea that we liked to do sometimes during our white elephant gift exchanges was to choose one person that was in charge of an awesome gag gift. This is usually the creative or “clown” in the bunch that gets chosen to buy the gift.
When it comes down to the actual exchange you and that person are the only ones that know there is a gag gift among the presents. It’s definitely fun to watch the person open the gag gift and everyone gets a big kick out of it.
Keep in mind that the gag gift can still be a pretty nice gift and some of the time it is even the one that gets stolen the most.
Hosting a white elephant party for Christmas doesn’t have to be stressful if you just plan ahead and get organized so you and your guests can have a great time together.