A man caught his co-worker skimping on their white elephant gift after becoming the unlucky recipient.
The rules of white elephant, also known as “Yankee Swap” or “Dirty Santa” in some circles, are simple. There’s an agreed-upon amount one should spend so that all the gifts are equal in value. Participants then draw number and take turns picking out gifts. There’s also an opportunity for some participants to steal from others. For example, whoever draws no. 1 has to pick their wrapped gift first. They open it and show the rest of the party. No. 2 then has the option to either pick a new gift or steal the first person’s present, and so on. If a person is stolen from, they have to choose a new gift.
TikToker Erica (@ericaruppy) shared the aftermath of a white elephant exchange in her office. Filming a co-worker who is Googling a cup he presumably received, Erica asks, through laughter, “What’s the price-check?”
Her defeated co-worker says $3.75.
Erica’s reaction? An all out assault of laughter. She could barely get out the words to joke: “$20 less than $20.”
To make matters worse, Erica says he “brought one of the best gifts today.”
Her video, titled “Idk what’s worse, bringing a $3.75 cup to the white elephant party or price checking the gift after LOL,” was viewed a whopping 3.1 million times.
@ericaruppy Idk what’s worse, bringing a $3.75 cup to the white elephant party or price checking the gift after LOL #whiteelephantgonewrong ♬ original sound – Erica Ruppy
Erica’s video was relatable to anyone who has participated in a white elephant exchange. Viewers shared their trauma in the comments section of the video.
“I’ve been traumatized since I was a 7. My cheer squad did white elephant; I got oranges. I still to this day do not participate,” one shared.
“This is why I stopped participating in these years ago I got used stuff from around someone’s home,” another said.
“I bought a Stanley for my white elephant, I walked away with a rhino pill and a bud light at 38weeks pregnant,” a third claimed, adding it’s a game of luck.
Erica’s video and the reactions it prompted cut to the core of the white elephant gift exchange: It’s not so much about the gift’s monetary value but the fun and camaraderie such events bring, especially during the holidays. While some gifts may miss the mark, it’s the shared laughter and stories that truly make these exchanges memorable.
If you’re a part of a white elephant exchange and are looking for cool gift ideas to give that won’t break the bank, then you might want to consider some of the suggestions posted in this viral Reddit thread from self-proclaimed “frugal” folks. They shared some of the biggest hits from their own respective gatherings. Apparently, seasonal and regional snack baskets are highly sought after, as are handheld vacuums and mini adjustable screwdriver sets.
The Daily Dot has reached out to Erica for comment.