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White Elephant Gift Exchange Poem

Free White Elephant Poem

Our church's youth leaders came over for a Christmas gathering the other night.
We all sat down to enjoy a White Elephant Gift Exchange. 
Instead of following the normal 'open a gift or steal a gift' rules, 
we played the 'White Elephant Gift Exchange Poem' version. 

There's not much choosing in this game.
You get what you get according to the rhyme!  Check it out.

First, have all the guests bring a white elephant gift. 
*Be sure to put a few rules on the gifting, by letting the guests know what type of gift they should bring. Think about your crowd, and decide on some guidelines.
Here's some ideas:
-a used gift that no one would want.
-a humorous gift new or used.
-any new gift that costs $25.
-any used gift with a $5. incentive tied to the top ($5. gift card, cash, ornament, etc.)
-any item purchased at a thrift store.
-a new book. (this is a fun idea to do with a book group.)
-a new board game. (great for kids and families.)
-a themed gift basket.
-a new pair of socks.
-an ornament.
-a bottle of wine.

When guests arrive, have an area where the gifts will be--preferably in the center of the circle of people.

Fun twist on the White Elephant Gift exchange....a poem that instructs you what to do.

Next, write numbers on sticky back nametags.  Have each guest draw a number and then peel off the backing and stick the tag on their shirt.  (You'll need the numbers in plain sight.)

Click here to print out the White Elephant Gift Exchange Poem.

White Elephant Gift Exchange Poem printable

Assign a leader/boss that will read the poem AND enforce the rules!
The leader/boss reads the instructions to the first person.

White Elephant Gift Exchange Poem printable

1.  Lucky you, you're # 1

You get to start all the fun.

So grab a gift and grab it quick.
Cause you're the one who gets first pick.

After player #1 opens their gift, the leader reads the instructions for player #2.
OR if you rather--no one opens their gift until everyone has a chosen a package.
You choose how to play this game--do what works best with your crowd. 

2. Number 2 you're on the way.

It's time for you to have your say.

Get your gift and when you're done,
Swap it off with number 1.

White Elephant Gift Exchange Poem printable

The leader keeps reading the instructions before each person opens (or chooses) their gift.
After their gift is open, they must follow the instructions from the leader.

3. Number 3 its plain to see.

It's your turn to pick which gift `twill be.

And when your choosing job is through,
Swap with 1 and then with 2.

White Elephant Gift Exchange Poem printable

There was a lot of fun swapping going on. 
Sometimes the poem had swapping with numbers,
other times you had to swap with a person wearing red or black or
someone with the darkest hair.
You just never knew...

4. Number 4 must use your head.

So grab a gift that has some red.

If it doesn't suit you to a `T',
You may swap with 2 or 3.

White Elephant Gift Exchange Poem printable

This White Elephant Gift Exchange Poem goes up to 50 people!  We only had 18 people at our party, so we stopped at #18.  However, we were really lacking a closing poem for our last person...

So, I made one up. 
Use this rhyme on whatever number is your last.

We'll wrap this up nice and neat
Since everyone has had their treat.
You're the last and what a ride...
You can swap your gift with anyone YOU decide.

Click here to print out the White Elephant Gift Exchange Poem.

Merry Christmas!!

Looking for some more games? Try some of these!

Plastic Wrap Party Game

Candy Cane Party Games

LEFT/RIGHT Game for Mother's Day


  1. What an interesting game! I'm glad it was fun. :o) Thanks so much for linking up with Whatever Wednesday!!

    For Love of Cupcakes

  2. What a fun way to do white elephants. We always do it the same way and this would be so fun for a change! Thanks for linking up!

  3. Oh so fun.. I was just visiting today over at See Kate Sew.. and she had the CUTEST white elephant gift.. you should stop in and see it.. I have never done or been to a white elephant party but it looks and sounds like a lot of fun!! would love for you to stop in and share it here

  4. We will 'adapt' out white elephant swap and use this wonderful idea. Thanks for sharing.

  5. If people want to do a white elephant than I really like this peom. I am printing. Thanks for shairing.

  6. I LOVE this idea! Maybe we should try it next year for Dinner Group...

  7. We have played the gift swap for a number of years with out adult children. However they are just too nice to swap, so this year the poem took care of that. I added my own ending by starting at number one and allowing everyone one chance to switch their gift. It was a blast and a nice change.

  8. Played this last night with a group of 16 and everyone loved it! Due to time constraints, we DID NOT open the gifts after each number was read but instead, we all opened them at the end. Whatever you ended up with was yours to keep unless you negotiated a trade with someone in the group after the game ended. Everyone loved that the awkward, "I hate to be mean" stealing was avoided and fun was still had by everyone. Thanks for sharing this fun game.

  9. Thank you so much for the printable!!! Love it!!!

  10. My pleasure. Glad it could be used.