5 White Elephant Christmas Party Themes

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What is a White Elephant Party?

Tis the season! Christmas time is here! Who doesn’t love a good Christmas party? Every year my cousin and her husband host a white elephant gift exchange but what makes their party unique is that it is a themed costume party. They pick a ridiculous theme every year and every year we all get dressed up accordingly and have the best time partying the night away.  

What is a “white elephant gift exchange?”  From my experience attending different white elephant parties throughout the years, everyone seems to have their own interpretation of what the white elephant gift exchange is. The general idea is this: 

Every person who comes to the party must bring one wrapped present. Everyone who brings a gift, draws a number and this determines each person’s turn in choosing a gift to open. The person with the number 1, chooses a present to open first. Then, the person with number 2 has a choice: They can open a new gift or steal the gift that the first person already opened. If they take the present from the first person, that person chooses another present to unwrap. The person with the number 3 can then choose any previously unwrapped present or a new gift that has not been unwrapped . The game continues until all presents have been unwrapped and everyone has a gift. 

In most cases, the gifts are gag gifts. They certainly don’t have to be but it makes for some seriously good laughs. One year, my brother opened up a box with cat food and a gallon of milk. He doesn’t have a cat and is lactose intolerant. It was hilarious. We still laugh about it today. 

5 Themes for Your White Elephant Party

The memories we’ve made at these parties are priceless. I encourage you to have a little (or a lot) of fun this holiday season! Here are 5 White Elephant Gift Exchange Party Themes:

1. Ugly Christmas Sweater Party: This theme is becoming a classic trend this time of year. In the past, ugly Christmas sweaters could only be found at thrift shops or discount stores. Now, you can find them anywhere or easily DIY one with minimal artistic talent! It’s a fun theme that your guests are sure to love.

2. A Thrifty Christmas: Set a budget. Challenge your guests to find an entire Christmas outfit at a thrift shop and see what they show up in. This theme is sure to get some laughs. 

3. Christmas Vacation: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is full of hilarious characters that your guests can choose from. I guarantee an “Uncle Eddy” will make an appearance and it won’t disappoint.

4. It’s a Denim Christmas: that’s right. Head to toe denim. Think Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears at the American Music Awards circa 2001 (Google it if you don’t know what I’m talking about).

5. 1980’s Christmas: People really enjoy a good 80’s themed party. Hair spray and leg warmers…what’s not to love?

I sincerely hope you are all excited about this season. I know it can be busy and feel overwhelming. Try to spend time enjoying the company of people that you love. Throw a party. Relax. Have a drink (or two). No pressure, just fun. 

May your days be merry and bright!

If you like this post, check out my other party planning blog posts.

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