If you have been invited to a White Elephant party and have never been to one, you might be wondering just what exactly that is and what you need to do. White elephant party is a holiday event. Usually White elephant parties are held in December of each year. Most Christmas parties are also white elephant parties, because they involve white elephant gift exchange.
If You Are Invited
If you have been invited to a white elephant party, you will need to bring a gift exchange present with you. This gift needs to be well wrapped so no one ca guess easily what it is. Read about the history of the history and rules so that you get a better understanding of what it’s all about.
To determine what gift to bring, find out if the organizer of the event has set out any rules and recommendations, which will usually include the price limit or price range of the item as well as a theme.
If there are no themes and price limits and you just have to decide on your own, stick to something funny or simple that’s under $20 or $25 and you should be all set.
If the host of the party is taking care of the food and drinks for the guests, you don’t have to bring anything with you but usually sweets and treats are appreciated by everyone.
If You Are Hosting
If you have been entrusted with running a white elephant event and are in charge of organizing every detail, there are a few important points to keep in mind:
It’s important to decide, set and announce the rules of your gift exchange to each participant. The most important part to be made clear from the beginning is the theme (if any) of the gifts to be exchanged as well as the price, because the guests will be buying their white elephant gifts before they show up to the party and they need to know what to buy and how much to spend.
For all the in game rules, you can make the announcement right before the exchange when everyone arrives, but it also does not hurt to set these rules in advance and make them known. it’s up to you as an organizer to decide how you want to handle this part.
Before the game begins, you can ask guests if they know of any fun rules that you might want to consider incorporating or just stick to once that you had decided upon.
Deciding And Announcing The Date
Most White Elephant gift exchange parties are held in December before Christmas, but some are done after, on the New Years or even first days of January. These later ones are for “get rid of gifts you don’t want” type of events where one persons trash is another’s treasure.
For the most part, work, business and corporate events take place in weeks leading up to Christmas. Find out what day majority of your coworkers would be able to attend by giving them ability to give you feedback on what day is best. It’s a good idea to plan a party on a day when most would be able to participate.
Big families and friends do the exchange on the Christmas day itself. This has become a fun Christmas tradition for many of us as everyone eagerly anticipates playing the white elephant game.
When you decide to announce the date, make sure to include the rules as well, so that everyone is aware of what to bring as well as how much to spend on a gift.
Arranging Food And Drinks
There is no party without yummy snacks, tasty treats and great drinks. If you are hosting a party, make sure there will be enough food and drinks for everyone. If this is a corporate event, you can use a catering service that specializes in accommodating larger groups, or you could do a pot-luck, just like it’s done in a family setting and if everyone is up for getting the buzz going, don’t forget to bring a party drinking card game, like Precarious for example.
Make sure there are lots of refreshments and make it known in advance if alcohol will be served to allow guests to plan their commute and possibly contribute. Please make sure you read the note on safety and responsibility at the end of this page as well.
Running The Exchange
Once the guests have arrived and all the gifts are in place, draw numbers to determine the order of players randomly and start the game by following basic rules as well as your variations. usually the game starts after everyone has had something to eat and drink, so don’t jump into opening gifts right away as people arrive.
Safety And Responsibility
As a host, safety and wellbeing of your guests must be of utmost importance. It is important to ensure that everyone has safe means of getting back home, especially if alcohol has been consumed. Drinking and driving should not be an elephant in the room, the only elephant allowed is white elephant gifts being exchanged. Please encourage your guests to make arrangements for safe and responsible transportation to make sure that when the wonderful party comes to an end, everyone will be able to get back home safe and sound.
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