Wednesday, December 19, 2012

White Elephant meets Porcelain God

Like many families, offices, and friends ... i fall victim to White Elephant games MULTIPLE times every Christmas.

For those of you who have been living UNDER A ROCK,
White Elephant works like this:
  1. Have guests sit in a circle with White Elephant Gifts in a pile in the middle.
  2. Each person draw a number from the basket (put numbers from 1-number of guests) or you can do it by Birthdays. January 1 would go first, December 31 would be last.
  3. The person who draws the number 1 or has the earliest birthday begins by unwrapping one of the gifts and showing it to the group.
  4. Person #2 can now choose to either open a new gift or steal the open gift from person #1. Then person #3 follows and so on and so on.
  5. Play continues until everyone has a gift.
    Optional — You may want to give the #1 person a chance to steal a different gift at the very end of the game since they otherwise do not get the chance to do any stealing
    *NOTE: If your gift gets stolen, you have the option of either
      1. A) opening a new gift or
      2. B) stealing an open gift from someone else. Once a gift has been opened it can be stolen by anyone whose turn it is, with two exceptions:
        1.  A gift that has JUST been stolen from you is now OFF LIMITS (for you).  No stealing gifts back that have just been taken from you (but you can steal it back if it is stolen later in play)
        2. Once a gift has been stolen 3 times it is out of play and stays with the 3rd and last “stealer” - It's now on LOCK!
And, because I've never understood exactly why it is called White Elephant ... I went to work with google and found out. 
In case you're interested too...I'll share:

In Thailand and other Asian countries, the white elephant was considered a holy being. But, the upkeep of this animal was outrageous to say the least. They needed special food, holy housing, and all sorts of special treatment. So much in fact, that usually only a king could afford a white elephant. The death of a white elephant spelled DISASTER  so these animals were pretty pampered pets. The origin of our white elephant gift began when ancient kings became EXTREMELY DISPLEASED with their assistant. They would make a gift of the white elephant to the assistant. At first, this appeared to be a great honor. But soon, the assistant would become crippled by the financial burden of the white elephant. Hence, when we give silly, ELABORATE gifts of little value, we call them WHITE ELEPHANT GIFTS.

Usually, at our family Christmas we play White Elephant, but most of the presents aren't a joke or white elephant-ish. The majority of them are nice, but every person picks their own gift, so it's fun to play with steals, etc.  (note: i say MOST because EVERY year my brother brings some ridiculous gift no one wants - and somehow i ALWAYS end up getting it). This year I lucked out with his hand picked Gnome Chia Pet and an As Seen on TV Tortilla Bowl Maker.  Thanks Jon Ryan. Thanks.

My gal pals and I also have an ornament exchange every year in which we play White Elephant to try and head home with the cutest, most sparkly colored decor.  Leave it to my friends however to mix in some questionable Christmas scenes and ugly, UGLY ornaments.

However, our office Gift Exchange is MUCH more fun and includes a healthy mix of white elephant items and good ones.  This makes the game great because steals are truly coveted and it really is complete luck of the draw combined with strategy.

About 3 years ago, i decided to participate with a White Elephant gift that played both sides of the fence. In other words, i supplied some nice alcohol (because what else do co-workers really want?) and combined it with some funny bathroom trivia books.  That same year another co-worker brought an infamous As Seen on TV items.  So, the following year we agreed to stick to our themes and stay the course.

I stepped it up that year, and purchased a full on white elephant gift.  You can find it here if you'd like to gift one.  I give you ... Potty Putt Putt:

And this year...I was so proud of myself when i found this little fella online.  That's right a Toilet Mug.  I made sure to wrap it extra pretty and this thing is SO MUCH bigger than i expected that everyone was eye balling this baby, and it was chosen at a perfect time - PRIME for steals.  The Toilet Mug was stolen twice and ended up heading home with my co-worker Barry.  I can't wait to sit in a morning meeting with him and watch him drink his watery brown coffee from a toilet - SICK.  You can purchase it here if you are interested :)

If you need more White Elephant Ideas, I'd be glad to help pick some out.  They're so fun to shop for and the look on people's faces when they are expecting something so great and wind up with a Chia Pet or worse is PRICELESS.

I'm already on the hunt for next year's potty themed present ... What magical Porcelain God gift will i come up with...?!?! Muuuahhhhh---hahahahahahha.


  1. oh my goodness, I LOVED this post! I need that toilet mug and the potty putt putt. You're the cutest. ~ Noellie Bellie

    1. I'll keep that in mind for next year's gift exchange. You might get REALLL lucky :)


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