Oregon Family of Thieves – Online Yankee Swap

Posted by PartyWeDo on Thursday, November 19, 2009

Bruce and Sarah Christensen

Bruce and Sarah Christensen

The Christensen’s of McMinnville are not going to get arrested for helping friends and neighbors steal gifts from each other this year. Their family has been stealing from each other in an online white elephant gift party for the last 3-years. Now they are sharing the fun on Facebook, so everyone can start gift swapping this season.

You have probably played one of the White Elephant Gift Exchange, or Yankee Swap games during the holidays in the past. It is the gift party where everyone brings a fun wrapped gift, they put the gifts in a pile and then they take turns opening, stealing and bantering together.

The Christensen’s have figured out a way to mimic this same activity in social online networks, like Facebook. They call their online white elephant party, AlbinoPhant, a party application, hosted on Facebook. The unique thing about AlbinoPhant is that you use real gift images in the game and then those real gifts are delivered to your door after the completion of a party.

AlbinoPhant is just like the traditional gift swap party, and can be played from any Internet connection. This means that family members from all across the country can join the party without leaving their homes. This will be helpful for tight family budgets this year.

White elephant parties allow families to stay connected and share gifts with each other in a lively atmosphere of fun and games. With the enhanced sharing tools on the web, the online version allows more expressive conversation than ever before. A steady stream of AlbinoPhant comments allows party participants the opportunity to post YouTube videos and images to assist in participating in the fun. There are even opportunities to share some of the conversation outside of the party in other social networks, allowing the party atmosphere to spill over to other corners of the web.

The online gift exchange is a labor of love by the Christensen family. Sarah Christensen, a mother of five and grandmother of seven, shares her love of the game by commenting, “When our youngest left home three years ago, we missed our family gift exchange party so much we started doing our party online.” And Bruce Christensen added this comment, “We visited more in 19-days while we were playing, than we do all year, because of this party”.

The Christensen’s hired a team of Facebook developers and other web professionals to take their simple family party and turn it into a fully operational Facebook application. Their entire family loves this game and is thrilled to share it with others.

Their family won’t find themselves in jail this Christmas, but they are excited to be spreading gift thievery and lively banter well beyond Oregon this holiday season by playing AlbinoPhant.

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