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Quick survey

OK, so I was asked to emcee the white elephant gift exchange this afternoon. However, I'm hearing a bunch of different ways to actually do one, so I'll ask you guys:

What are the rules of a white elephant gift exchange as you understand them?

Maybe I'll be able to cull the best ideas and use them today.


( 29 comments — Comment )
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 17th, 2004 10:04 am (UTC)
I meant more specific things, you moron. Some people say you can take any gift opened before you, some say a gift can only be stolen a limited number of times, some say a person can only have a gift stolen from them a limited number of times, some say you steal and not open a gift, some say you can open a gift first, etc. There are lots of variations, apparently.
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 17th, 2004 10:21 am (UTC)
You're weird.
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 17th, 2004 10:06 am (UTC)
ummm I have no clue for i have never ever been part of one!

though as i understand the term White Elephant it generally refers to getting a bad gift
except that White elephants in thailand and other places are good luck so ....
OH just throw presents at people as hard as possible and then they get possibly good stuff and a few injuries. that always makes for good game
it should suddenly make people rethink what they hope is in the box at anyrate. and the greedy one's will be afraid to sidestep the on coming high speed gifts of death incase something really nice but fragile is in it
it would be like tossing the bridal bouquet if it was wrapped in razor wire
Dec. 17th, 2004 10:21 am (UTC)
Last time I checked gift exchanges were not supposed to be full contact sports.
Dec. 17th, 2004 11:21 am (UTC)
you have not been to many red neck gift exchanges
Dec. 17th, 2004 10:11 am (UTC)
do a search under "Yankee Gift Swap"...


Could be the same as a white elephant..
Dec. 17th, 2004 10:24 am (UTC)
It is. I've also heard it called a Grinch exchange.
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 17th, 2004 10:24 am (UTC)
Ah, you remember it having limits. I also didn't think of someone who got a gift stolen from them being able to steal another one rather than just opening a new one. Keen.
Dec. 17th, 2004 10:32 am (UTC)
This is also how I remember it being.
Dec. 17th, 2004 12:17 pm (UTC)
We have played that you can't steal a gift back immediately (that you had to take some other gift if yours was stolen, but could steal it back later if the subsequent gift was stolen), but otherwise there were no limits. And it's much funnier to see a hotly contested gift go around multiple times even though it does take longer. And yes, we played that if yours was stolen you could steal from somebody else. This makes it take even longer. Best if played in small groups.

I've also heard it called a "Chinese Auction" or a "Polish Auction".
Dec. 17th, 2004 02:50 pm (UTC)
This is how we did it - can't steal back right away, but could steal it later. We did stick with the 3-steal limit, plus the first person got the option of putting their gift back and stealing a gift at the end, which made for one last round of stealing. t'was quite amusing. :)
Dec. 20th, 2004 10:51 am (UTC)
Ah yes - quite forgot to mention about the first person getting another turn at the end. Glad you had fun!
Dec. 17th, 2004 02:52 pm (UTC)
Oh, and I've heard the term "Chinese auction" used for a different type of raffle. You put all the items up for grabs on a table with a cup in front of each one. Everyone gets one raffle ticket and can put it into the cup of whatever prize they want. At the end you draw a ticket from that cup for that item. This is how we run it at the Blue Feather Ball at Pennsic.
Dec. 20th, 2004 10:52 am (UTC)
Ah! I've seen that called Tombola. Funny how many different names there are for the same thing, ain't it?
Dec. 17th, 2004 11:30 am (UTC)
Gifts may not be stolen more than three times.

This is probably the most hotly debated rule.

Using it limits the time the exchange takes, but means people who go later don't get a chance at early "good" gifts. Not using it means everyone gets a chance at everything, but the exchange can take a while.

Either way, a specific gift can only be stolen once per round -- if A steals the fizzgig from B, Bcannot steal it back. When B then steals the frobnik from C, C cannot steal the fizzgig or the frobnik.
Dec. 17th, 2004 02:52 pm (UTC)
Ah, we allowed stealbacks, just not in the same turn.
Dec. 17th, 2004 10:38 pm (UTC)
*nodnod* thet's what I was attempting to say :)
Dec. 17th, 2004 10:16 am (UTC)
Ok a real idea and it could be fun too
I would hold up a wrapped present and extol on it's unknown virtues
"this one is heavey folks! could be a lump o gold!" and then have those interested in ti come forward and play hot potato with it (or some variation of that) until a piece of music stops playing (i am sure you could find some throughly wrong ans short chirstmas MP3s for it or just have everyone sing somehting or some such) then who ever is holding it gets that and cannot participate in the next gift death match
for gifts that are not fought over there is a random YOU MUST TAKE THIS WRAPPED TURD drawing to force the really picky but unlucky people to take WHAT IS LEFT....Mwhahahaha but don't make people take thier own crap.

then after all is said and done Turn out the lights and Everyone try to steal thier favorite presnts in the dark MWhahahahahahahaha But they are stuck with what they have when the lights come on NO MATTER WHAT
Dec. 17th, 2004 10:25 am (UTC)
Christmas is not the time for blood sports, dammit! :P
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 17th, 2004 11:24 am (UTC)
you have Obviously never been to the mall on christmas eve
or my family christmases

besides it's not like i am saying to make people wrap tape on thier hands sticky side out and coat them in broken glass ornaments and thai fight to the death here

just some good natured games involving the gifts like Hot potato
I know you grew up in philly but i doubt that philly is so hard core that hot potato was a full contact blood sport... or maybe it was
basketball is like that here
Dec. 17th, 2004 10:56 am (UTC)
Limits just shorten the game...
I'm doing one next week.
--$15 limit (we're doing new gift exchange)
--Gift can be stolen three times (fourth person keeps it)
--Must open gift if taking a new one

The limit came into play when I had a group of 25 and no one wanted the last item on the table. I finally broke the chain after 25 minutes!!

Dec. 17th, 2004 11:05 am (UTC)
Re: Limits just shorten the game...
Oh, and no "Steal Backs".

Person who was stolen from can chose to steal a different item or open new. Depends on how long you want the game to last.
Dec. 17th, 2004 03:01 pm (UTC)
Re: Limits just shorten the game...
We did allow stealbacks, but not in the same turn. We also stuck to the limit of 3 steals - with 37 presents, I thought that was prudent. :)
Dec. 17th, 2004 11:58 am (UTC)
I posted on the 'Dope about it here.

Although, I can't help but feel I'd done it once before.
Dec. 17th, 2004 03:01 pm (UTC)
Keen! I just replied.
( 29 comments — Comment )

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