For the majority of white elephant enthusiasts, a gift exchange game really has very little to do with receiving gifts. It’s much more about getting together with loved ones or friends or colleagues, and just having a bit of fun, conversation and silly banter together. The white elephant party is perfect for starting interesting or funny conversations, and more often that not the gifts come second to the opportunity to go to a party and have a good time. Entertainment, rather than gain, is generally the purpose of these events.
So why not do some good with your gift exchange party, and use it to help out a charity? The best way to do this is to make it known beforehand that no one will actually leave with a gift. Instead, all gifts will be gathered together at the end and donated to a charity bric-a-brac shop or fund raising garage sale, where they will hopefully be sold to raise money for a worthy cause. All your party guests still have the fun of wrapping, opening, stealing and bantering about gifts, but you’ll also be helping a good cause.
Alternatively, you could decide to help a specific charity by donating the gifts themselves. So, for example, you could organise a white elephant party to collect items for a local church making a relief trip to an impoverished area or war-affected country. Each party guest would be told to bring a new or used children’s toy, game or book, and at the end of the normal exchange game all of the items would be given to the charity collection, to be distributed amongst kids who normally don’t ever receive gifts.
You could even play the game the ordinary way, and keep the gifts, but devise some kind of system to raise money for a favorite charity. Maybe there could be a small entry fee for playing the game, if the gifts are to be of good quality. Or each gift could come with a card attached, specifying a small amount to be donate to the chosen charity in exchange for getting to keep the gift. There are lots of options – so with a little thought and planning, you can make your white elephant gift exchange an event that will bring happiness to so many more people than just the party guests themselves!
How else could you use a gift exchange party to help charity? Share your ideas!