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Are you gearing up to host a white elephant gift exchange? We also call them “Yankee swap” gift exchanges in our neck of the woods. We’re sharing white elephant gift exchange ideas, rules and everything that goes into hosting an awesome white elephant gift exchange! As the hosts, we’ll be in charge of setting up, choosing a topic, and of course serving up awesome food, drinks and desserts!
White Elephant Gift Exchange Ideas
We decided to hold our white elephant gift exchange this past weekend, and the first order of business was choosing a gift exchange topic. This year, the theme of our white elephant gift exchange is games. We’re encouraging everyone to and bring a lightly used gift wrapped game from their home collection. This way no one needs to spend a bunch of money to participate and have a great time! Great idea, right? Of course the ideas for white elephant gift exchanges are endless.
Sometimes it’s fun to host the gift exchange with gently used items, not only is it an inexpensive way to run a giveaway and make sure everyone can participate, it’s a fun way to get a peek into the lives of your friends, you never know what’s lurking in the back of their closet!
Here are a few white elephant gift exchange ideas:
- General gifting (no topic)
- Board & Card Games
- Christmas Ornaments
- Specialty foods
We thought a gently used game gift exchange is a great way to have a lot of fun, while saving our guests money, too! If you’ve never hosted a white elephant gift exchange, you’ll find a great printable below which outlines the rules of the game. There are so many variations, it’s impossible to list every-which-way the game is played, but there really is no wrong way – it’s all about the fun-factor!
White Elephant Gift Exchange Rules
How to play:
1. Each guest brings a wrapped gift to contribute to the gift exchange
The gift topic or theme should be chosen beforehand by the host.
2. Guests draw numbers to determine gifting order
Draw numbers from a hat, and go in order from 1 to how many ever guests there are participating.
3. Guests should sit where they can see everyone else, and all the gifts
Everyone sitting within eye-shot of all gifts and participants make playing easier.
4. Guest who drew #1 selects a gift from the pool and opens it
Show the gift and tell everyone what it is! Guest #1 goes first, and gets to choose if they want to swap gifts last!
5. Sequential guests can choose to either pick an unwrapped gift or take a previous guest’s gift
Guests who get their gift taken must must unwrap a new gift and can choose to keep that gift or trade it with another.
6. After all participants have had a turn, the first participant may swap the gift they are holding for any other gift
The first participant only needs to swap the gift if they wish.
A popular variation: Once all gifts are open, if and after guest #1 swaps with another, that guest may choose to swap the gift for another person and so on. The game stops when one sequential player states they will keep the gift they’ve just received in the final swap round.
Note: There are many variations, some variations can make the gift exchange last a very long time, while others aim to shorten the length of time the gift exchange takes. All variations are fun and entertaining – there’s no one right way to play!
White Elephant Gift Exchange Party Food
Now that we know what our white elephant gift exchange topic is, we need to get busy making food to serve up to our guests! We’re whipping up some delicious, Red Baron® French Bread Pizza for our guests to chow down while we’re partying.
We’ll cut the pizza party style and serve it up along with delicious dipping sauces – ranch, marinara and a homemade garlic dipping sauce (see recipe below!). For drinks we’ll have juice and other beverages ready to go in the fridge!
Red Baron® French Bread Pizza is an awesome party food to serve at your white elephant gift exchange. It’s perfect for a meal, snack or appetizer to make any time and for any occasion, really. We got the hearty Red Baron® Pepperoni French Bread Pizza Singles and Red Baron® Supreme French Bread Pizza Singles with crispy crusts. They’re easy to serve and easy to find, right in the freezer aisle at your local Walmart. Walmart certainly makes hosting a holiday party easy and these are the best French bread pizza’s we’ve had! We highly recommend them!
We’re cutting the pizza into strips for easy dipping. Finger food pizza, there’s no better party food – right? Okay, so back to that homemade garlic dipping sauce. It’s a really fun recipe and it should only take about 15 minutes or so to put together, and most of that time is peeling and mincing the garlic.
Have a tip for peeling garlic? Share it in the comment section below!
Homemade Garlic Dipping Sauce
This garlic dipping sauce is a nice creamy garlic dipping sauce. It’s delicious and a great dip to serve at your white elephant gift exchange party with Red Baron pizza. You can add more or less garlic, onion and seasonings to fit your taste buds.
Gather your ingredients – mayo, sour cream, yogurt, garlic, onion, paprika, salt, and pepper. (complete recipe below)
Measure out ingredients.
Mince or finely chop garlic and onion.
Mix all ingredients in one bowl.
Serve topped with chopped chives.
Garlic Dipping Sauce Recipe
- 1/2 cup Mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup Sour Cream
- 1/2 cup Plain Yogurt
- 10 Garlic Cloves – Minced
- 1/2 Small Onion – Minced
- 1 tbs Chopped Chives
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- In a bowl, mix together mayonnaise, sour cream and yogurt.
- Add in finely chopped or minced garlic, finely chopped or minced onion, paprika, salt, and pepper – mix well
- Move to serving dish, garnish with chopped chives
- Serve with Red Baron® French Bread Pizza cut party style or refrigerate
- Note: allowing dip to chill for a few hours will help distribute the flavors
Popular White Elephant Gifts
There are two gifts which seem to always pop up at a white elephant gift exchange. People will talk about these gifts for the next several weeks, even years – they’ll definitely talk about those two gifts at next year’s white elephant gift exchange. What gifts? The two gifts I’m talking about are the hilarious, which is usually quite edgy, sometimes racy gift and the popular gift, which gets swapped more than any other gift during the party!
This year’s most popular gift was the game “Card Against Humanity“. This is a grown-up game which can get out of hand very quickly, or so I hear!
So that’s how we throw a white elephant gift exchange party around here! I hope these easy, go-to pizzas and my fantastic garlic dip helps you host an awesome holiday party.
Don’t forget to grab the white elephant gift exchange printable rules (above) to help make your party easy as pie….pizza pie!
Which variety of Red Baron will you serve at your party?