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Special Event: White Elephant Gift Exchange Party

This will be the last Monday Meetup I host for this year. Therefore, I would like to add a little holiday spirit to it. 

If you are not familiar with the concept, a "white elephant gift exchange" is a North American holiday party game. Everyone who comes to the party needs to bring a wrapped gift, but the goal is to have fun rather than to gain. Here are the rules:

1. Choose a gift that you want to bring to the party. Gifts can be inexpensive, humorous items or used items . The term "white elephant" refers to a gift whose maintenance costs exceed its usefulness. (In other words, something you can't get rid of, e.g. an ugly wallet; perfume with an unpleasant scent; weird art found at second-hand store; an obnoxious T-shirt, etc.) If you want to buy something new instead, the suggested value is around $15.

2. Make sure you wrap the gift before bringing to the party, so other people can't guess what it is. All gifts will be piled up in the center.

3. Everyone draws a number to determine the order to select gifts. The first person picks a gift from the pile and unwraps it. Now the FUN BEGINS. 

4. On subsequent turns, each person has the choice of “stealing” any unwrapped item from someone else or choosing a wrapped one from the gift pile. When a player's gift is stolen, they can steal an unwrapped item from another player, or select a new gift from the pile of wrapped gift. 

5. Rules of stealing: 

 a. Each gift can only be stolen once per turn. So you can't steal the gift back right after it's stolen from you. You have to wait till at least the next turn. 

 b. Each gift can only be stolen 3 times in total. After the third time, it is "frozen" and can no longer be exchanged. 

 c. After all players finish their turns, the first player can take one final turn and swap with any "unfrozen" gift.

6. Optional: it can be helpful to label your wrapped gift as more appropriate for "men", "women", or "unisex", to help others choose. 

I hope everyone can come to the party and have some fun. If you can't make it, I wish you a happy holiday and hope to see you soon next year. 



The best way to get here is to use the T. The office building is right next to the Red Line Kendall Square stop, across street from the Microsoft building. You can exit from the east end after you get off the train. For directions from Red Line Kendall/MIT station to the CIC building, please see

Once you are in the lobby, please show your ID to the receptionist for a visitor's pass. Then take the elevator. There will also be a sign on the door with directions and a phone number. You can use the lobby phone to call me to open the door.

If you drive, you can park at the Garage (hourly parking) attached to the building. Street parking nearby is very limited.


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  • David

    皆さん, thank you all for coming to last night's Meetup. I hope everyone had fun at the gift exchange. For those who are leaving Boston, I wish a nice trip back to Japan. Keep in touch, and hope to see you soon in the future. Everybody, have a nice holiday and hope to see you soon after the new year.

    December 17, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    A friend and I will cannot make 5:30, but will arrive at 6pm. :)

    December 16, 2013

    • David

      6 is fine. The gift exchange probably won't start until 6:15

      1 · December 16, 2013

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