in partnership with World Market. all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Garrett and I have thrown a handful of White Elephant gift exchange parties since we have been married, and it is always our FAVORITE party to throw! This year we have a new house that we haven’t furnished yet, so we decided to invite all of our close friends over and fill our space with people! Since we love to host this kind of party, I’m going to share a few things we do that help to guarantee a fun time for everyone who comes and a few ways to lighten the load of the hosts!
This year I partnered with World Market to get my house party ready. I always love shopping their site or store during the holiday season. They have such amazing kitchen items and entertaining dishes, and they are always the first place I check when I am throwing a party. I have decorated for Christmas for the past two years with ornaments and decor from their Holiday section, and it is so beautiful and so reasonably priced! They are currently having a 10% off sale online with code: JOLLY10 (& free shipping on orders over $50). You can also watch a cute little holiday film on their site here.
Here are some tips for throwing an effortless holiday party:
- SEND EMAIL INVITES: It makes for a more “formal” invite than a text, but it is SO much easier and more convenient (for the host and guest). It is easy to RSVP and guarantees that it gets to your guests right away. I used Paperless Post to send mine and they have great options!
- SET THE SCENE: Now that we are able to have a larger number of people in our home, I picked up some great entertaining pieces from World Market. I LOVE their home entertaining section. I set up a cheese platter with this marble tray, filled up this water jug with water, ice, and cranberries for color, and displayed my pies on some cute cake stands. I love all of the gold serving utensils they carry too. Their prices can’t be beat either! They are currently having a 10% off sale online with code: JOLLY10 (& free shipping on orders over $50).
- BE CLEAR OF WHAT IS EXPECTED IN THE INVITE: If you are having a White Elephant party for a big group (8+ couples) make sure to tell the guests to bring one White Elephant gift per couple. Also, it’s important to be specific about the kind of White Elephant gift the couples are supposed to bring. If you want the gifts to be a little nicer for a small intimate gathering, you might want to suggest a price point/budget for the gift. You can also opt for a more formal looking card. I wanted our White Elephant gifts to be silly and clever, so my invitation said “Bring the funniest gift you can find + a plate of goodies to share.”
- ASK GUESTS TO BRING A PLATE OF GOODIES TO SHARE: Some might think it is tacky to ask party guests to bring food to to a party that they are invited to, but those aren’t the kinds of people I invite to my parties 😉 Dividing out the food makes party prep much less stressful. It also gives people an excuse to bake a yummy holiday recipe they have been wanting to try! When guests asked me what kind of food to bring (appetizer/dessert) I told them to bring whichever one they would prefer. If I am having them bring food, I’m not going to be picky! One of my best friends brought 25 tacos from Taco Bell and it was a riot (and a hit!) They were gone in minutes!
- SPECIFY THE DRESS CODE: Not everyone has a fancy holiday party to attend, so on my invitation I told my guests to dress as “festive or fancy as you please.” This meant that we got a great amount of amazing ugly Christmas sweaters, and any of the women who wanted to wear dresses and sparkles and statement earnings felt free to dress as fancy as they wanted without feeling like they would show up overdressed. I also want to note, that as a host for the party, you need to go all out in how you dress. Make it funny/quirky (Garrett wore this hilarious dog sweater) or fancy (I went with a nice sweater, statement earrings, a pencil skirt, and heels), but whichever way you go, dress ALL OUT. This way you won’t have a guest who feels overdressed and everyone will feel festive!
- DOUBLE CHECK NUMBER OF GIFTS + COUPLES: If you are throwing a White Elephant party, make sure you count all of the presents and the number of couples to make sure they add up. I always have a few extra White Elephant gifts wrapped and prepped just in case we are short any! I also had a bowl with small pieces of paper with numbers on the paper ready to go for each couple to draw from. I just made sure to include the exact number of papers as couples/presents.
Shop my favorite holiday entertaining items below:
White Elephant Gift Exchange Rules:
If you haven’t heard of a White Elephant party, they are so much fun! We had 16 couples come and they each brought a creative wrapped gift and placed it under our Christmas tree. After about an hour of mingling/eating, we had everyone sit around the tree and I had each couple pick from a bowl of papers all numbered 1-17 (17 couples including us). The couple that drew #1 went first and selected a gift to open in front of everyone. The couple that drew #2 went next, and they can either select an unopened present under the tree, or “steal” any gift that has already been opened. If your gift gets stolen, you get to select a new gift under the tree, or steal from someone else (just not your original gift). Since there were so many couples, we only allowed a gift to be “stollen” twice. The second time a gift is stollen, it can’t be taken again and is safe with the couple. Repeat this till every couple has had a chance to open or steal a gift. It is so much fun to see the kind of cleaver gifts people bring! We had exceptionally hilarious gifts at out party, so I compiled a list of some of the best White Elephant gifts if you need any ideas! World Market is the BEST place to get White Elephant gifts! They have an entire section on their site dedicated to funny and clever White Elephant gifts.
20 OF THE BEST WHITE ELEPHANT GIFT IDEAS
- A vinyl record of Mariah Carey’s Christmas album
- “Basket Case” basketball hoop hat
- 50 Shades of Chicken Cookbook (hilarious. and it has real recipes!)
- A Magic 8 Ball
- A betta fist
- Mr. Right and Mrs. Always Right mugs
- Tiny dog book
- World’s smallest Etch A Sketch
- Kitty cat egg mold
- Santa sunglasses
- A hot dog stapler
- Stitch up the leg holes in a pair of large tighty whities and attach a handle to the waistband and call it a “Briefcase”
- A fanny pack that looks like a man’s fat roll
- “Freeze the perfect man” ice tray
- Voice changing microphone
- “Thats what she said” game
- Farting Animals coloring book
- “Gangsta Wrapper” mug
- Big Foot slippers
Shop more good White Elephant gifts below: