General Question

flyawayxxballoon's avatar

If you are attending a "white elephant" holiday party that all of your close friends are also attending, should you get those friends regular gifts as well?

Asked by flyawayxxballoon (1352points) December 4th, 2008

In a “white elephant” party, everyone brings just one gift. Should you also purchase gifts as you would regularly, or just the “white elephant” gift?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

10 Answers

critter1982's avatar

Just the white elephant gift. If you want to purchase additional gifts for close friends I would wait until later to give them the gift. Just my opinion.

flyawayxxballoon's avatar

Oh, yes, I forgot to mention that…if I did purchase other gifts, I would definitely not give them at the party.

critter1982's avatar

I guess what it typically always comes down to is a couple of things. How much you normally spend on this friend? If the white elephant gift is about that much then maybe I wouldn’t buy them a gift. Are they buying you a gift? If so then yes I would buy them a gift.

Because you don’t know who your white elephant gift is going to end up with I would likely buy a good friend another gift.

Merry Christmas by the way.

flyawayxxballoon's avatar

Thanks! Great answer…lurve to you. =)
Merry Christmas to you as well.

steelmarket's avatar

I would not mix the white elephant experience in any way with the giving of the real gift. If you have to deliver the real gift while you are at the party, just tell them to put it under the tree and open it later.

Foolaholic's avatar

That’s interesting, I’ve never heard of that tradition. Any idea where the name originates from, because there’s a hotel in my hometown by the name of The White Elephant.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

I am of the gracious giver/gracious recipient school. You give because you want to give the gift, and not because you expect payback. If you get an unexpected gift, you do not rush out and buy a “payback” gift. You graciously accept the gift in the spirit it is given. If gifts are intended as payback, then everyone should just keep their money and buy themselves something indulgent.

I’m not sure where I’m going with this exactly, except to say, give individual gifts if you want to, but at another occasion. The purpose of the “white elephant” is just that, and you wouldn’t want your thoughtfully chosen gift to be in the same camp with the white elephant gifts.

It’s hard to be a gracious recipient, when someone gives you a gift, but you have nothing for them.

shadling21's avatar

IMO, the gift you are giving is your time and energy. Bring a food dish for everyone. If you are particularly close to one or two of your friends, secretly give them a little something. Maybe arrange a time to meet privately (perhaps get them to come to the party early). Keep the random gift thing fun and lighthearted by not showing favouritism.

@Alfreda- It’s so awkward when you receive a gift and don’t have one for the other person! Don’t put your friends in that position.

EmpressPixie's avatar

I would just get the White Elephant gift. I generally have a few “extras” stuffed in my purse just in case someone surprises me with a present. If any of them are particularly close and you just cannot imagine not giving that person a gift, go ahead but give it later. Usually, however, the purpose of that kind of get together is to avoid giving everyone gifts and to be able to save a bit of money (and have super fun!).

Knotmyday's avatar

Just the white elephant. Give your buddies the good stuff afterward, white elephants are just for fun; especially if it’s a round robin. I try to incorporate “soap on a rope” in all of mine somehow.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther