Winter Wonderland -Elephant gift exchange- 1/25/2014

Set up The food Gift exchange Behind the scene

White elephant gift exchange

After Dinner we moved on to our white elephant gift exchange.  A white elephant gift exchange is a holiday party game and the goal is to entertain and have fun.

White elephant gifts are traditionally "presents" that are considered extremely tacky and useless.  The thought is to give everyone a chance to rid themselves of these tacky gifts and invariably gain a new one but not necessary a better gift since they are suppose to be tacky.

There are many ways to play this game but our rules are for each couple to bring 2 gifts.  The first gift should have a value between $20 to $25 and the second gift should be a gag gift and should not be purchased.  The gag gift is preferred to be tacky, humorous, useless, or re-gifting unwanted item or trinket as the main goal is to choose wacky, funny or entertaining gifts. ..  Each gift should be wrapped nicely without any name.

Let the game begin!

First thing before the game begins, I wrote out 12 consecutive numbers (12 participants) on small pieces of paper, fold them, and put them into a small bowl.  Each participant has to draw a number.  The number signify the order for each participant to choose a gift.   Each gift can be stolen twice and steeling a gift is highly encouraged.

Loan drew #1 and is the first person to choose a gift.   She got a bottle of wine in a wooden box.

As soon as we saw the gift we all said oohs and aahs and all of us were thinking of steeling it until we read the label:  Happy Birthday!  Bottled especially for Dr. Nguyen (Huyen) on November 2003. 

Darn this was a gag gift and the bottle is over 10 years old!  Not a good sign, it has been sitting in Phuc's & Huyen's wine cellar all this year waiting for a new owner that is willing to open an drink it.. or should it be re-gifted next year?

I can't remember what it is but I think Tuan got some type of body or hand lotion.

Minh got a pound of Peet's coffee which I was able to steel back from him.


Tuan opening his gift and trying to figure what he got....

It is a mini Donut Maker!

Don't think Tuan wanted this gift in particular and I don't think anybody is going to steel it either.

Trung got a Pasta Boat and 2 boxes of Barilla spaghetti. We were trying to figure out how this thing was working...


Yep! I stole the Peet's coffee so Minh has to pick another gift...

He got a complimentary toiletries sample from a hotel -  Minh travels quite a bit and a free sample of toiletries is definitely not what he needs - Still funny tough!

The 2nd gift that came with the toiletries was a leather wallet!  Minh probably has no use for it either! 


Huyen got a Rejuvenique mask that was pretty scary -something with electricity to shock your face... HELL NO, nobody in the right mind will be putting this on their face and risk to be electrocuted!

SUPER TACKY AND SUPER FUNNY AT THE SAME TIME.  This is exactly the type of gift I wanted people to bring because we laugh so much after reading at the description of the mask and it kept us going for a while.

I told Huyen to keep it and then re-gift it next year - Good luck to next owner! 

Maily got a scale but when she opened it, she found an old personal scale in Kilogram (The box has nothing to do with the personal scale she got)



Ha got a leather wallet.

Hoa examined the wallet and was not sure if he wanted to steel it or pick a new gift...

He decided to choose a new gift and got a Oatmeal Special care set with foam cleanser, cleansing cream, and massage cream.

Score... this one for me.


Hanh got a $25 gift certificate from Amazon!

We definitely had a lot of fun playing this game...
All of us showing off the gifts. When the night was over I reminded everyone to make sure to take their gift home and not to leave it behind, as I definitely do not want to collect junk -got a lot of laughs out of that.

Next year will be a very interesting game as I am curious to see how many gag gifts will resurface.  My guess are the "Rejuvenique" mask, the personal scale, and probably the pasta boat will magically re-appear to everyone delight (I'm sarcastic here!) but we will have to wait and see....

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