Christmas with my family is always fun. I have two sisters, that each have two kids. They are all grown with kids of their own that are at least teenagers, so we have no small kids with mountains of gifts to open any more. The adults stopped exchanging gifts years ago, so this year we decided to do a White Elephant Gift Exchange to liven things up. We agreed to do this at Thanksgiving.
These types of gift exchanges are quite popular at offices and other small groups, around the holidays. If you have never participated in a White Elephant Gift Exchange, these are the rules:
- Tell everyone that wants to participate to bring a wrapped gift.
- A dollar amount is set for spending
At the Party:
- Count the number of participants and make a corresponding number of slips of paper with numbers on them. Put them in a bowl and everyone draws one. This determines the order of gift opening.
- The first person chooses a present and opens it.
- The second person has a choice, he can choose a gift, or he can swipe the first persons gift instead. If he swipes the first persons gift, the first person gets to choose and open another gift.
- The third person gets the same choice, he can choose and open a gift, or he can swipe someone else's. If he swipes, then the person he swipes from can choose a new gift, or he can also swipe from someone, who then gets to choose a new gift, or swipe one.
- It keeps going on this way until all the gifts are opened. The only additional rule is that once a gift is swiped three times, it is exempt from being swiped again.
We had a great time, with lots of swiping and laughing and mock threats of recrimination. There were 16 of us and it took about an hour. The most often stolen items were:
- Tabletop Cornhole Game (I brought that!)
- A box of candy and lottery tickets
- A Snuggie
- An Obama Chia Pet
Yep, lots of people wanted that Chia Pet. The one who finally ended up with it said they were going to paint a clown face on it with Groucho Marx glasses. Yikes, not very respectful of our Commander and Chief!
Anyway, the White Elephant Gift Exchange provided a lot of laughs and it really added a lot of fun to our Christmas Eve family gathering. We also had some really yummy food! Most notably was the mushroom casserole, bacon wrapped water chestnuts, shrimp and cocktail sauce, flaky spinach pie, mini Caesar salads, crab toast, hot chicken spinach dip, piggies in a blanket, taco dip, and much more stuff that I can't remember right now. It was a feast! I love the food we have on Christmas Eve, everyone brings old favorites, and new things they want to try. Needless to say, by evenings end, we were as stuffed as a Thanksgiving turkey!
It was a wonderful time, fun and relaxing. How was your Christmas?