White Elephant Gift

Name of Group Game: White Elephant Gift



Small Group (3 - 9 people)


Large Group (20 + people)


Age: Elementary School – Adult

Time: 35 - 40 minutes

Summary: Traditional holiday game- bring a gift to exchange and get a gift in return!

Goal: End up with a good gift.

- Ask all participants to bring a wrapped gift (value under $10) ahead of time
- Deck of cards

How to Play the White Elephant Gift Game:
1. Have everyone sit together in a circle. Pile the gifts in the middle of the circle. Have each person draw a card from the deck of cards.

2. The person with the lowest card, the two of spades, picks a present first (Card suit from lowest to highest: spades, clubs, diamonds, hearts). After picking a present, the first person unwraps it for everyone to see.

3. Next, the person with the next lowest card has the choice of picking a gift from the pile or stealing the first person’s gift. If he/she chooses to steal the person’s present, the first person can take choose and unwrap a different gift from the pile.

4. This pattern continues until everyone has a gift. When the last person picks a gift, the game is over. After the game, people can barter and exchange their gifts.

A gift can only be “stolen” three times. After a gift has been stolen from two different people, the third person is able to permanently keep the gift (the gift cannot be stolen anymore).

Instead of using playing cards, people can draw numbers from a hat. The person with the lowest number picks a gift first.

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