|Mike White picking a present and deciding whether to keep it or swap it for another teacher's present.|
Exchanging gifts is a huge part of the holidays. With Christmas behind us now, giving and receiving presents are mostly over until next year. However, with Kwanzaa, New Year's, and Three Kings still being celebrated or soon to be, some people in the U.S. may still be giving gifts to each other.
As a gift exchange activity this holiday season, NYLC teachers played White Elephant while students watched. It was fun checking out the gifts laid out on the table and finding out the cool and silly presents being unwrapped, and as switching or stealing someone's gift was part of the game, it was also amusing every time someone's chosen gift got stolen.
- CHECKING OUT - taking a look; examining #phrasalverb
Have you played White Elephant before? If you Google this phrase, you'll find out it's also known as Yankee Swap and the rules can get quite complicated. The game can also last a very long time. For us, because we needed to finish in about 20 minutes, we decided to keep it simple, but interesting enough.
Here's our version of White Elephant. If you haven't done this gift-swapping activity, you might want to give it a try sometime.
Before game day:
- Set a maximum value for gifts. Ours was $8.
- Set a date.
- Get as many participants as possible and get them excited about it.
- Remind everyone as the day draws closer.
- Print out numbers and fold them up for drawing. Remember to underline numbers 6 and 9 to avoid confusion about which is which.
On the day of the event:
- Lay all gifts on the table.
- Remind everyone of your rules.
- Once you unwrap a gift, you have to keep it.
- Gifts can only be stolen twice.
- Participants can only be stolen from twice.
- Draw numbers.
- Number one picks a gift and unwraps it.
- Number 2 picks a gift from the table and either decides to keep it or switches it with number one's gift.
- Number 3 then picks a gift from the table and decides to either keep it or switches it with either number 1's or 2's gift.
- And so on until everyone has an opened gift.
That's it! Some participants will get gifts they want, while others will get gifts they don't care for that much, but everyone will have a lot of fun, like we did!
- DON'T CARE FOR - don't like
Here are more photos from our White Elephant a couple of weeks ago. Check out our teachers checking out the gifts they chose.
Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year!
-- Joe Yu, English-language intructor