A White Elephant party is usually themed around re-gifts or other items the participants do not want. However, it is also possible to pick a theme, such as coffee table books, food, holiday ornaments or crafts.
A White Elephant Gift Exchange, also called a Yankee Swap, is a common holiday party activity in business environments as well as friend and family gatherings. Variations with different rules exists, but they are mostly based on the standard version of the game.
Step 1: Have every party attendee bring one gift
It should be wrapped, so no one can see what they are getting.
Step 2: Determine the order in which participants will be choosing gifts
This can be done by drawing numbers out of a hat.
Step 3: Have the first participant select a gift
The first participant then unwraps the gift, so that everyone can see what it is.
Step 4: Have the next participant select a gift
The next person, and all subsequent participants, can either choose to "steal" a gift a previous participant has chosen or pick a new, wrapped one of their own. The person whose gift is "stolen" then can "steal" someone else's present or choose a new one from the selection of wrapped gifts. Typically, a gift can only be "stolen" three times; other limits may be placed on the game to keep it running smoothly and efficiently.