The White Elephant Gift Rule Book

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White Elephant” gift exchanges or “Yankee swaps” are more popular than ever.  58% of people in a new survey said they’ve done one before.  And 27% of us did one last year, up from 14% five years ago.

Just don’t count on getting a good gift.  62% of people said they did NOT receive a gift they wanted the last time they played.

That might be because the most popular type of present to BRING is a gag gift . . . while the gift we most want to end up with is a useful household item.  Here are five steps for a good White Elephant gift exchange, according to the survey . . .

1.  The ideal number of people is 11.  More than that, and it takes too long.

2.  The most popular week to do it is the third week of December.  So, THIS week. 

3.  There should be a spending limit.  The amount that got the most votes was $25.

4.  There should be a max of three steals per gift.  So if you’re the third person to steal something, it’s yours.  Not everyone agrees though. 19% said it’s the one rule they’d like to ELIMINATE from the game.

5.  Don’t use the “timeout” rule.  That’s where you open all the gifts first, then do a separate round of stealing at the end.  It was voted as the worst rule to use.  

“White Elephant is one of the most popular holiday games, yet players rarely seem to agree on the rules or how much to spend,” said Glenn Lehrmann, VP of Communications, Wish. “As a leader in affordable goods, Wish felt compelled to take a scientific approach to settling the debate once and for all. We created the Wish Elephant Official Rules and Gift Guide, curating gift selections at $15$25 and $35 price points, to help simplify the shopping and gift-giving process for White Elephant players this holiday season.”

To see all of the gifts Wish has curated for Wish Elephant this holiday season, from meat socks to belly fanny packs, to makeup brushes, accessories and more, visit: