One of my absolute favorite holiday traditions is our annual ornament exchange. It works just like a white elephant but everyone brings an ornament to exchange instead of a gift. Our family has done this for several years now as budgets got tighter and picking a gift that someone would be happy with became more difficult.
The ornament exchange simplified our gift giving process and made it more enjoyable for everyone, young and old.
White Elephant Ornament Exchange Rules
- Bring a wrapped ornament
- Choose a number from the hat/box/cup/etc
- The first person selects a gift from the pile and opens it for all to see
- The next person can choose to STEAL the gift, or select from the pile
- If the gift is stolen, the person who’s gift was taken can select from the pile again or steal another ornament
- After everyone has a gift, the first person gets to select from all the gifts in the pile
We limit our steals to 3. Once a gift has been stolen 3 times, it can no longer be stolen. The gift also cannot be stolen more than once in the same turn.
My favorite thing about our holiday gift exchange is re-living the memory of that year as we unwrap the ornaments to decorate the tree. And every ornament is well thought out and shares the style and character of the person bringing it.
I love having a Christmas tree full of wonderful memories.