The White Elephant Game: Do’s and Dont’s

The beloved game can be so fun yet cause playful fights between friends and family.

Well, if you’ve ever played with some of the people I have then you would understand. I enjoy playing the White Elephant Game, but I feel there are a few dos and don’ts that come along with it.

The Don’ts

Don’t be the person to bring a boring gift. I mean, come on, who brings a cutting board to a White Elephant game? And yes, I was the one who ended up with that gift. But I did switch with someone for a bottle of vodka afterward.

Don’t be afraid to take what you want. If you see it and it’s your turn take it. Someone is going to be upset. But that is how the game goes.

Don’t be the one who looks upset that you didn’t get what you wanted. SN: I was that one person a long time ago and I’m still hearing about it. But in my defense, it was my first time playing.

Don’t be the first one to pick a gift. I’ve learned that the higher your number the better chance you’ll get at getting the gift you want.

Don’t let your gift go without a fight. Not literally but try and talk them out of it, if you can. I mean what is a White Elephant game without negations?

The Do’s

If this is the adult version of the game, DO get wine or spirits. If you’re a drinker this is the best gift to receive.

Do play fair; no one likes a cheater.

Do set the rules early and ensure everyone knows how to play the game.

If possible, DO try and use the same wrapping paper. Who knows you might end up with the gift you bought if it’s something you wanted.

Do specify the amount. For example, everyone can do a $25 gift, etc.

Gift cards are a good idea, by the way, they are easy and effective.

When you pick your gift and do not want anyone to take it DO try and be discreet. Sometimes others will forget what you have.

With that being said, DO have a strong poker face. The more subtle you are the better.

If you didn’t get the gift you truly like, DO find someone who will switch with you. I’m sure someone will be happy too.

Finally, DO have fun. It’s all about the memories and I’m sure conversations will come up the following year about how fun the game was and that it should be done next year.

What is your take on the White Elephant Game? Do you make up your own rules?

Looking forward to reading your versions and getting more ideas!

Ja’Nae was born in Houma and raised on the outskirts of New Orleans known as the Westbank, where she still resides. She’s currently dating her boyfriend of 3 years and together they raise their daughter A’nylah. After attending Jackson State University, she moved back to New Orleans and then earned her master’s at Full Sail University in Public Relations, she currently works part-time at a local Bra Boutique where she enjoys helping women feel good about themselves. In her free times, she’s looking for the latest fashion trends, working out, learning how to organize her life, relaxing by enjoying a good movie or series and finding fun things to do with her new family.


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