In a Yankee Swap, also known as a White Elephant gift exchange, participants are assigned random numbers and choose gifts in order, trading or "swapping" if desired. The gifts in this type of exchange are usually gag-type gifts, as the fun is more in the trading than the actual receiving.
A Yankee Swap or White Elephant gift exchange is a fun way for coworkers or a large group of friends to exchange gifts. Be sure to put a monetary limit on the gift so that everything is equal for all the participants.
- Assign the numbers and collect the gifts
- Start the exchange
- Continue down the list so everyone has a turn.
Assign a random number to each guest as he or she arrives. When the gift exchange begins, the person with number one will start and the draw continues in numerical order. Each participant brings one gift, and all are collected in one area.
All players should sit in a circle around the gifts, or in an area where everyone has a clear view. The first player selects a gift from the pile, opens it and shows it to everyone. Player number two has the option of stealing the previous player's gift or selecting an unopened gift, opening it and showing it to the crowd.
Repeat step two until everyone has had a chance. If a person's gift is stolen, he or she has the option of selecting an unwrapped gift or stealing an open gift from another participant.