The annual workplace Secret Santa is a great way to encourage a bit of festive cheer in your office, but what if you’d rather be naughty than nice this Christmas? What if you’d like to add a whole extra layer of fun and mischievousness on top of the usual Kris Kringle shenanigans?
Well, that’s when you organise a white elephant gift exchange. Also referred to as a thieving Secret Santa, this twisted take on Kris Kringle encourages theft, greed and jealousy — and it’s ridiculously good fun. Everyone brings a gift just like they would for a normal Secret Santa, but no gift is meant for any one person and all players have the opportunity to steal other people’s gifts.
It sounds like a recipe for mayhem, and it often is. So if you want to spice things up with a white elephant gift exchange instead of the traditional Secret Santa, take a look at the thieving Kris Kringle rules.
- Every participant brings a gift of an agreed value.
- Make sure it’s a secret who brings which gift, then place them all around the office Christmas tree.
- Prepare slips of paper with numbers from one through to the exact number of gifts. Each person draws a number out of a hat and the person who gets number one gets first choice of which present they would like to open.
- Number one opens their gift and everyone watches on jealously.
- When number two’s turn arrives, they can choose to “steal” the already unwrapped gift or open another one of their choosing.
- If they steal the first person’s gift, number one gets to choose another gift to open.
The white elephant exchange then proceeds in this manner, with every person getting the choice to either open a new gift or steal one that has already been opened. Any item can be stolen on any player’s turn. As you can imagine, this can be quite hilarious as everyone greedily eyes off other people’s Christmas goods, with some gifts changing hands multiple times.
In some variations of the thieving Kris Kringle rules, gifts become “frozen” and can no longer be stolen once they’ve already been taken three or four times. In other white elephant rules, you’re free to keep on stealing from your co-workers right up until the very end.
If you’re looking for white elephant gift ideas, check out our helpful lists of unique Secret Santa gifts for men and Secret Santa gifts for women. It doesn’t matter whether you’re looking for funny presents, quirky presents, gifts for foodies, gifts for gadget lovers or just something cute and memorable, we’ve got thousands of great white elephant gifts.
You can also find out more about how to set up a normal Secret Santa if you think running a thieving Secret Santa in your office could be dangerous. Our article on Secret Santa rules can give you the lowdown on everything you need to know.
But if you want to mix it up this year with a thieving Kris Kringle, it’s time to tackle the elephant in the room. A white elephant exchange is twisted, joyous fun, allowing everyone to join in the merriment and unleash their inner cheekiness. It’s easy to set up and will most likely bring a sense of excitement to those tired of the usual Secret Santa gift exchange.
It may not technically be in the spirit of Christmas, but you’ll love every second of it.