Yankee Swap…Parcel Pass….Greedfest…whatever the name, we love the game!

by Shea Homes Arizona on November 30, 2012


A white elephant gift exchange, which has many other names in various parts of the country, may be exciting for two reasons: First, it is a fun time to get together with friends while enjoying the holidays. Second, it is a great opportunity to clean out your gift closet! After all one man’s Snuggie, may be another man’s treasure.

Today, friends and families have taken this tradition and added their own twists. Some white elephant gift exchanges may indeed involve quirky items and re-gifts from the bowels of a gift closet. Other white elephants may incorporate themes such as holiday decorations or As Seen on TV products. Either way, we should all be happy that actual white elephants are no longer involved in the gifting process.

The origin of the white elephant gift can be traced by to 1850 in Siam, modern day Thailand. The albino pachyderms of the area were good omens and prized possessions but incredibly costly to care for. It was noted that the King of Siam would award a white elephant to a disagreeable courtier and the financial burden of the sacred gift would ruin them. And so the term white elephant became utilized to describe an item that’s expense is exponentially higher than its value to the owner.

With our current Facebook contest, Shea Homes Arizona has been asking our friends to submit photos of the wackiest white elephant gift that they have given or received. We have noticed the overwhelming amount of random treasures but no living, breathing elephants- thank goodness!

Don’t forget to enter our Wackiest White Elephant Photo Contest before December 7. What is the best white elephant gift you have ever received?

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Bruce Christensen December 1, 2012 at 2:02 pm

Our family has used these gift swaps for years. Just like you suggest, we have created several variations of the white elephant gift exchange game.
In fact, we have become so passionate about the game that we started writing down the various games we adapted and put them together on the AlbinoPhant blog.
This year we are using the Lefty the White Elephant story to add in a Left/Right game with the traditional gift exchange.
If you are interested, here is a link to the Lefty story: http://albinophantblog.com/white-elephant-gift-exchange/lefty-the-white-elephant-a-gift-exchange-story/
We also like your idea for sharing wacky gifts in a photo contest…
Happy Holidays!


Shea Homes Arizona December 4, 2012 at 7:45 am

Hello Bruce, It must be so much fun at your house over the holidays! We love your website. Happy Holidays, to you as well!


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