“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

Have you ever heard of a White Elephant party? Today we are looking at this hilarious holiday custom and teaching our students how to host (and play) this traditional holiday party game! A White Elephant party is a great way to recycle old gifts . . . and have a laugh.

You will need:

  • Some friends
  • A party location
  • Something in your home that you do not want anymore (gift wrapped)
  • Pieces of paper and a pen

Holiday Party Christmas

Here’s how it works:

Write numbers on small pieces of paper. For example, if you have ten people coming to your party, then you should have ten strips of paper with 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 written on one of them.

Find something old in your home that you don’t want. Maybe it’s an old coffee mug. Perhaps it’s a strange gift that you were given that you don’t like: examples include board games or photo frames. In reality, it can be anything you don’t mind getting rid of!

Everyone at the party takes a number. Number One goes first.

The person who chooses Number One picks a gift and unwraps it.

The person who chooses Number Two goes next. He or she has two options: pick a gift from the pile and unwrap it, or “steal” the gift that Number One chose. If the person chooses to steal the gift from person Number One, then person Number One gets to choose another gift.

The game continues in this way. Gifts can only be stolen twice: after that, the person who has the gift keeps it!



Expressions with “WRAP”

Before you give your white elephant gift, you will have to gift wrap it. Do you know these expressions with “WRAP?”

That’s/It’s a wrap

Definition: the project has finished (usually said after movie or TV production)

Example: That’s a wrap! I’ll see everyone back here next week for editing.


Wrap (something) up

Definition: finish something

Example: Can we wrap this up soon? I have to get home for dinner.


To be wrapped around someone’s finger/To wrap someone around your finger/To have someone wrapped around your finger

Definition: complete adoration for someone (often used to describe the father/daughter bond)

Example: He’s been wrapped around her finger since the day she was born.

Example: She’s wrapped him around her finger since the day she was born.

Example: She’s had him wrapped around her finger since the day she was born.


To keep something under wraps

Definition: to keep something hidden until a future time

Example: I can’t believe that we kept the party under wraps. Usually my boyfriend always finds out about surprises!


To wrap one’s head around something

Definition: to be able to understand something (often used in the negative)

Example: I can’t wrap my head around this complicated Conditionals construction. Could you please help me?


Happy holidays to our students and staff! We hope you enjoy your celebrations as you wrap up 2015!