Do you do a “White Elephant” gift exchange at work? That is where a gift is opened by one person, then the next person in line can either open another wrapped gift or steal something already opened. It can be fun, but it can also get stressful.

It seems there is the workplace jokester who has to bring a gag gift, and, of course, the person who ends up with it is not usually happy. In fact, a recent study, 62% of people said that they did not receive a gift that they wanted. However, “White Elephant” gift exchanges are becoming more popular.

Here are five steps for a good “White Elephant” gift exchange, according to the survey:

  1. The ideal number of people is 11. More than that and it takes too long
  2. The most popular week to do it is the third week of December.
  3. There should be a spending limit. The amount that got the most votes was $25.
  4. There should be a max of three steals per gift. So if you’re the third person to steal, it’s yours.
  5. Don’t use the “timeout” rule. That’s where you open all the gifts first, then do a separate round of stealing at the end. It was voted as the worst rule.

Hope this helps you have a peaceful gift exchange!


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