White elephant gifts are a popular activity at our family and friend Christmas parties. The kids particularly like this activity because they get to walk away with a gift. Part of the fun of the white elephant game is the range of emotions from disappointed, to competitive, to excited.
There are many poems and versions of the white elephant game, but I’m going to share my favorite. I haven’t been able to identify the original source, so if someone knows, comment or send me a message and I’ll credit them.
This poem is fun because each person picks a number and the poem builds upon itself and re-engages participants throughout the game. I usually have a bowl of numbers with the number of party participants and have everyone pick a number.
Have fun! Do you do white elephant games at your Christmas parties?
Fun White Elephant Gift Exchange Poem
1. Lucky you, you’re # 1
You get to start all the fun.
So grab a gift and grab it quick.
Cause you’re the one who gets first pick.
2. Number 2 you’re on the way.
It’s time for you to have your say.
Get your gift and when you’re done,
Swap it off with number 1.
3. Number 3 its plain to see.
It’s your turn to pick which gift `twill be.
And when your choosing job is through,
Swap with 1 and then with 2.
4. Number 4 must use your head.
So grab a gift that has some red.
If it doesn’t suit you to a `T’,
You may swap with 2 or 3.
5. Jump to it 5, don’t drag your feet.
Take your gift back to your seat.
Wonder of wonders, it’s yours for a spell.
But what comes next, you can never tell.
6. Number 6 it’s your time to go.
Grab a gift and don’t be slow.
Now put on a smile so they won’t be sore,
Cause you must swap with #4.
7. Is a lucky number it seems,
You choose a gift that has some green.
Poke it, and shake it until you get back.
Now trade with someone wearing black.
8. Number 8 its up to you.
To get a gift that has some blue.
Now go quietly to your place.
Or trade with someone with a smiling face.
9. Nine, we haven’t forgotten you.
So choose your gift and don’t be blue.
Consider well and when all is said.
Trade with someone wearing red.
10. Number 10 come to the front.
For yours you shouldn’t have to hunt.
Now hurry back and look alive.
For you get to swap with #5.
11. Your turn 11 is finally here.
Pick a gift and hold it near.
Back at your seat look both ways.
If your choice was right then it may stay.
12. Number 12 jump to it sir/girl.
Make your choice, and with a whirl
Glance around to see who’s where.
Swap with whomever’s got the darkest hair.
13. Well, now, what do you know.
It’s finally 13’s turn to go.
There you go, you’re doing fine.
Now swap with 3 or 6 or 9.
14. Number 14 it’s your turn to shine.
So find a gift and don’t you pine.
Somewhere you really have a friend.
You get to trade with number 10.
15. Number 15 how do you do?
There should be a fit up there for you.
So pick one out without delay.
Now trade with someone wearing gray.
16. Number 16 your patience is great.
Go get a gift and don’t be late.
When your return, spin around.
And switch with someone wearing brown.
17. 17 your choice is here.
Find a box and hold it near.
When you return and look behind.
Swap with 11 if you don’t mind.
18. Number 18 boogie to the tree.
Choose the largest gift you see.
Admire it well, then turn with a wink.
And swap with someone wearing pink.
19. Now #19, do as you’re told.
Find a gift which has some gold.
When you’ve chosen we must be fair,
Trade with whoever has the blondest hair.
20. Number 20 how patiently you’ve waited.
Go get a gift before it’s outdated.
Shake it a bit and look around the floor.
Swap it with someone who’s five feet four.
21. 21 it’s time for fun.
For swapping time has just begun.
After trading with 4 and 9.
Swap with two even numbers–That’s fine.
22. 22 it’s time to make your way.
Get a gift that’s pretty and gay.
Now get ready to use your bean.
You must swap with 8 and 14.
23. 23 your turn has come.
Choose your gift with a lithe hum.
Look it over and when you’re through.
You may swap with a number having 2.
24. Number 24 have you been bored?
Well, we’d like to show you you’re adored.
So choose a box, see what you get.
Now you may trade with a brunette.
25. Let’s go 25, look alive.
Pick a gift of any size.
Show the gang that you’re O.K.
And swap with anyone you say.
26. It’s time for 26 to mix.
Get a gift if just for kicks.
For you’re to trade, if you have the knack.
With anyone whose shoes aren’t black.
27. Number 27 how lucky you are.
You’ve seen all the gifts chosen so far.
If a pretty box catches your eye.
Grab it, make a trade, and don’t be shy.
28. Hop up 28, don’t drag your feet.
Study your gift as you reach your seat.
Now grin a bit and smile some more.
Trade with 22, then 24.
29. Number 29 you must wake up.
Run up there as spry as a pup.
Make your choice, isn’t this keen?
But you must swap with 17.
30. Number 30 your wait was long.
But when we’re through you’ll sing a song.
Just look them over from small to large.
See a favorite? Then forward charge!
31. Number 31, how about that?
On your chair so long you’ve sat.
But get a gift, it’s not too late.
And trade with 30, 20, and 8.
32. O.K. 32, jump up quick,
And snatch your prize.
Then trade with the person
With the bluest eyes.
33. Well 33 it’s here at last.
You may break your giftless fast.
Gaze around at all the lasses.
Trade with someone wearing glasses.
34. 34, can there be more?
This poetry may be a bore.
Find your gift and look around.
Swap with the youngest member found.
35. 35, it is really true?
That 34’s rhymes now are through.
Well, choose your gift, now you see.
You trade with two numbers having 3.
36. 36 your waits been endless.
But now you know that you’re not friendless.
Look around and “case the scene”.
Then swap with someone wearing green.
37. 37 the end is near.
But have a gift, and never fear.
Now let’s shake up the early ones, like 7.
Trade with odd numbers through 11.
38. 38, it’s your choosing time.
Please make it better than this rhyme.
When you have it, look around.
And trade with those from out of town.
39. 39, go to the tree.
Choose the smallest gift you see.
If you wish to make a trade.
Find the largest that was made.
40. 39’s turn is finally past.
It’s number 40’s turn at last.
Find your gift and make a date,
To swap with #38.
41. 41 are you still awake?
Go get a gift for heaven’s sake.
Pick it up nice and quick.
Then trade with numbers having six.
42. Guess whose turn has come up now.
42, please take a bow.
Choose your gift, isn’t it keen.
Now trade with 15 and 19.
43. Oh my goodness, it’s getting late.
43, let’s see your fate.
Go get yours, sakes alive.
You have to trade with 25.
44. On we go to 44.
There must be at least one more.
Take your pick, are you in heaven?
Alas, you’ll swap with 27.
45. 45, it’s time for you.
Guess what it is you have to do.
Trade with 28, then 29.
Now you can say, “This one is mine!”
46. Skip on over 46.
Time for you to stir and mix.
Make your choice and then connive,
To swap with #35.
47. 47, we’re now to you.
There’s a gift for you there, too.
Isn’t this a lot of fun?
Now trade with 40, then 41.
48. 48, there’s not much left.
Still we won’t leave you bereft.
Maybe you’ll choose an old, rare wine.
Would you like to swap with 39?
49. 49, are your eyes still open?
Are you sitting there just hopin’?
Trot on up, what’s your fate?
Then trade with number 48.
50. We’ll wrap this up with #50.
We bet what’s left is really nifty.
However, one last swap is due.
With the gal who’s sitting left of you.
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