Gallery: HOW TO: Swap, Sell or Steal Your Way to the Holiday Gift You R...


You dropped hints, posted on your Facebook wall and even flat out told your relatives exactly what you wanted for your holiday gift, but sadly, you still ended up getting a Snuggie. But wait! Before you throw in the (in this case, fleecy) white towel, did you know that you can still swap, sew, sell or even steal your way to the holiday gift you really wanted? Read on to see our 5 tips on what you can do to take your happiness into your own hands – and get that Snuggie to someone who actually wants it!


Sometimes all it takes is a few stitches to turn something you hate into something you would actually buy yourself. For example, you may find a Snuggie silly but with this easy DIY, you could have a totally wearable new poncho. Bored with the blasé gloves Aunt Mabel gave you? Turn them into useful touchscreen compatible gloves to keep for yourself or turn them around on Etsy to make enough money to buy what you really wanted!


While we at Inhabitat don’t endorse thievery, we think that in certain controlled cases, stealing can actually be quite fun. Case in point: White Elephant (a.k.a. Yankee Swap, Black Santa, Chinese Gift Exchange, Dirty Santa, Thieving Secret Santa, Parcel Pass, Christmas Swamp Thing and Pollyanna), a game where the object is to bring an unwanted holiday present and steal your way to one you actually like. The rules are quite simple (see the most basic form below), and the thrill of playing is actually even more of a present than the actual gifts themselves.

How to Play White Elephant:

Each person brings one wrapped gift. Then everyone draws numbers or straws to determine the order in which they will choose gifts. The very first person opens a wrapped gift and their turn ends. Then the second person can choose either to open a wrapped gift or “steal” a previously opened gift. If a person has his/her gift stolen, he/she can also decide whether to open a wrapped gift or steal an unwrapped one, but once a wrapped gift is opened, the turn ends. The game ends when all of the gifts have been unwrapped.


If the gift you want the most is cold, hard cash, there are a number of ways to sell your unwanted presents to the highest bidder. Whether it be on eBay, another collaborative consumption site, or just having an impromptu “garage” sale in your living room, trading your stuff for some fast bucks has never been easier.


The beauty of this time of year is that there are a ton of other people out there who didn’t get what they wanted for the holidays either waiting to upgrade to something they like better – possibly the gift you have sitting on your bedroom floor. And now there are a bunch of websites dedicated to letting you broadcast what you have to offer, browse for what you really want and perform a trade in an organized and secure fashion. Some of our favorites are Swapstyle (for clothes), Bookmooch (for books) and Spun for CDs and DVDs.


Last but not least, you can always save your unwanted gift to regift to someone else. Yes, we know that regifting is supposed to be taboo, but that notion is old news! If you know someone who would love to have a Snuggie, and you have a brand new one that you don’t want, why would you not give it to them? Plus, they might feel obligated to give you a gift in exchange and it could very well be exactly what you were hoping for!

Lead image modified from Chica and Jo‘s awesome coal bag.


or your inhabitat account below

1 Comment

  1. Patrick O'Donnell December 23, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    No, there can only be one steal per turn and you can’t steal back immediately what was just stolen from you, in that scenario.

get the free Inhabitat newsletter

Submit this form
popular today
all time
most commented
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
Federated Media Publishing - Home