White elephant gifts that get “handled”
The white elephant gift exchange party is a social gift sharing event used extensively during the holiday season. Many groups play the standard version of the game, with the standard white elephant gift exchange rules.
Our recreational specialists strive to provide you with some interesting new twists to this traditional gift party, so we have designed the online white elephant gift party for those who have distance to contend with. But if you live close to friends and family you might want to try the Handel’s Gift Can-Share-Go this season.
The Party Rules
The party room is set-up just like the regular white elephant gift exchange or Yankee Swap party, with seating so that all players can have access to a gift pile.
Everyone purchases a fun or unique white elephant gift for the exchange and wraps it so that it is disguised. Hosts are encouraged to set a spending limit for the invitees so that all the gifts will be on an even par.
The Handel’s Gift Can-Share-Go has one unique rule that other white elephant exchanges usually don’t include. Each unique white elephant gift must be “Handled” as many times as possible before the game is over.
You will still need a random name draw to pick the playing order, just like other white elephant games.
The host should purchase some colored dots. These dots are placed on each open gift so that you can track how many times the gift has been “Handled”. Each time an open gift is touched by another player, it is given a dot.
The traditional white elephant “rule of three” does not apply in this gift exchange game. Instead the idea is to see which gifts get “Handled” the most. The thinking is that the most popular gift will get passed around more than any others. More handling yields more dots on the gift.
Step #1 Pull the first name from the hat and this person selects one unopened gift. Place a colored dot on the white elephant gift to signify that it has been ”Handled” once. The player’s name is returned to the hat for future name drawing.
Step #2 This first player has the option of keeping the gift or “Sharing” it with another player. Sharing simple requires passing it off to any other player. Sharing a gift requires that another dot be placed on the opened gift.
Step#3 If the player Shares the white elephant gift they must wait for another gift opening opportunity from the random drawing to make a play for a gift.
Step#4 The next name is drawn at random. Player 2 can steal a gift or open a wrapped gift from the pile. If the random name-draw lands on a player with an open gift, then they have the option to “Share” with any player who is empty handed, or Swap with any player who is handling another gift.
Step #5 If a player has a gift stolen, they have the option to open a wrapped gift or steal any open gift. The stealing rule is just like regular white elephant gift exchanges: No Direct Steal-Backs!
Step #6 Play continues with names drawn at random and gifts Handled, Shared, Stolen, and dotted. The game ends when all the white elephant gifts are opened..
Your going to love this white elephant party!