“White Elephant” gift exchanges or “Yankee swaps” are more popular than ever. 58% of people in a new survey said they’ve done one before. And 27% of us did one last year, up from 14% five years ago. I’m part of that 27% as I was invited to a house party last year and participated in my first ever White Elephant gift exchange and ended up with a lovely token gift- a hand painted Alpaca in a 6×6 frame that sits atop my computer.
Just don’t count on getting a good gift. 62% of people said they did NOT receive a gift they wanted the last time they played.
That might be because the most popular type of present to BRING is a gag gift . . . while the gift we most want to end up with is a useful household item. Here are five steps for a good White Elephant gift exchange, according to the survey . . .
1. The ideal number of people is 11. More than that, and it takes too long.
2. The most popular week to do it is the third week of December. So, next week.
3. There should be a spending limit. The amount that got the most votes was $25.
4. There should be a max of three steals per gift. So if you’re the third person to steal something, it’s yours. Not everyone agrees though. 19% said it’s the one rule they’d like to ELIMINATE from the game.
5. Don’t use the “timeout” rule. That’s where you open all the gifts first, then do a separate round of stealing at the end. It was voted as the worst rule to use.