Here is a fun idea for The BEST White-Elephant Gift Exchange EVER!!!
The invitation told guests to bring 2 wrapped white elephant gifts per couple (something that cost around $1) and their favorite dessert or appetizer. Rob and I provided the drinks, plates, napkins and eating utensils. (This was an awesome way to save some money, and there was great variety of food. You don’t need to do a big, formal meal to make it a fun party!)
So people mingled and ate for the first little while and while chatting they were asked to write down (secretly) something about their spouse that not many people knew. They then folded their papers up and stuck them into a bowl to be used later. We got a whole spectrum of answers, from “My wife drove a bus for an occupation in college,” to “My husband does the same naked dance each time he gets out of the shower!” It was fun to see what some people came up with, and since you were telling a “secret” about your spouse and not yourself, people gave info up more freely and it was a whole lot funnier!
So we took the bowl of “hidden secrets” and put all the presents in the center of the room. I drew one “secret” from the bowl and read it. The room then would try to guess who’s secret I just read and when it was confirmed that “Sally” was the one who “made animal noises in her sleep”, Sally would then get to pick a present from the pile of presents, or steal one that had already been opened. It was a pretty unique way of exchanging the gifts and the laughter was non stop!!! People were laughing at the secrets being told, then laughing even more when the random gifts were opened.
Since we had a large group of people, (about 20 couples) this took up most of the time and there wasn’t a need for another activity, but if your group is smaller, I would suggest having one more game or activity.