Girlfriend Celebrations - Because Girlfriends Make Life Better

A Pink Elephant Party for your Holiday Girls Night!

Looking for a holiday-themed girls night idea? We’ve got just the thing. One of our most popular posts from the past was a “Pink Elephant Party” — a traditional white elephant gift exchange with the fun, meaningful, and girly twists you expect from Here are all the details you need to plan your own holiday celebration and color it pink!


Let’s be honest: It’s hard to get together with girlfriends in December. Social obligations and holiday preparations leave little time for a girls’ night out. Cookie exchanges, secret Santa swaps, and dinner parties are all time-honored ways of celebrating the holidays with girlfriends, but for the busiest among us, they just add more pressure. And we want fun—not frazzled nerves—so for December, suggests this:


Don’t get together until Christmas and Hanukah are over. Then, during that lazy, quiet week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, host a no-pressure gathering that affords your girlfriends an opportunity to “get away from it all”–from cooking, cleaning, wrapping, thinking, and entertaining houseguests. You’ll also give them a chance to get rid of one “undesirable” holiday gift with our Pink Elephant Gift Exchange. Think of this party as a girlfriend’s refuge–one that should be easy for the host as well. The idea is to simply have fun, be together, and relax in a way that you haven’t been able to do in weeks.


Setting and setup

 Comfort is key, so hunker down in front of the coziest fireplace you can find. If none of your girlfriends wants to host, a local coffee shop (or tavern) offers a simple subsitute.



If you’re feeling ambitious, you can surely create some cute pink elephant invitations using pink card stock. How hard would that be? But, since we want this party to be super-easy, phone your girlfriends or use anyvite.


Food and drink

Keep it simple. Chinese take-out and sparkling wine would be fabulous. Go ahead and polish off those leftover holiday cookies too. Diets can wait until January!


Connecting Activities

Pink Elephant Gift Exchange: You’re probably familiar with “White Elephant” parties where everyone wraps up an unwanted item to exchange. The results can be hilarious as everyone fights over the prettiest-wrapped gift, only to find out it’s something really ugly or useless. Since we’re all women here, we’re calling it a Pink Elephant. Here are the rules: Everyone brings one wrapped gift. You will have to lay some ground rules about the type of gift to bring. Traditionally, a white elephant is merely something you no longer want. But, in some circles, gifts are actually purchased for this game. You know your friends. Set your own rules depending on their tastes and senses of humor. Here are a few options for a gift theme:

  • Bring a usable but unwanted gift from holidays past or present.
  • Bring a usable but unwanted item that is “female” in nature.
  • Bring a new gift with a value of $XX. (This makes it more of a chore, and we don’t necessarily recommend it. But, if you’re going to buy something, make it something “girly”–it’s a Pink Elephant party after all!)
  • Bring a gift that is pink (not just the wrapping), not to exceed $10 in value. This could be anything from a scarf to nail polish to a box of tampons!

Here’s how to play: When guests arrive, have them leave their wrapped gifts in a designated place. When you are ready to start the game, everyone draws a number from slips of paper in a hat. The girlfriend who draws “1″ gets to pick a present first, and so on. Number one picks a present from the pile, but does not unwrap it. Then number two may either steal a present from number one, or pick one from the pile. If your gift is stolen, you must pick another one from the pile or steal one from another player. However, a gift may only be stolen three times, and then the fourth person must keep it. Once everyone has a gift, it’s time to reveal what’s under the wrapping paper!

Pink Elephant twist: If you want to steal a girlfriend’s gift, you must give a sincere compliment to that girlfriend or tell a funny (true) story about her.  

Other activities: Though the Pink Elephant is the main attraction of the evening (we said it was a low-key evening), you may not be ready to break up the party just yet. So play some board games, watch a chick movie, do your nails. Ask everyone to bring favorite pictures of your get-togethers throughout the year and reminisce. Be sure to take some photos at this gathering, too. If you haven’t already done so, now is the perfect time to assign each girlfriend responsibility for organizing a monthly gathering in the coming year.

Party favors

You’ll all be leaving with a Pink Elephant gift (and you *will* take it with you!), so no favors are really needed.

Have a great time! Please let us know if you host your own Pink Elephant Exchange. Or, use the comments form to submit some holiday girls night ideas of your own.


Image by TangoPango via flickr


  1. [...] bookmarks tagged girls A Pink Elephant Party for your Holiday Girls Night… saved by 9 others     xOkewlgeekoX bookmarked on 11/20/08 | [...]

    Pingback by Pages tagged "girls" — November 20, 2008 @ 6:05 pm

  2. thank u soooo much this helped alot!!!

    Comment by Sierra — November 29, 2008 @ 12:20 pm

  3. We’re planning a “Girl’s Day Out” Luncheon at my job after the holidays and we’re definitely going to have a Pink Elephant Gift Exchange. Everyone has been asked to either bring a pink gift and/or wrap it in pink paper and ribbon. We’ll keep you posted after the holidays. Thanks for this neat and nifty idea.

    Comment by Choklate — December 15, 2008 @ 5:34 pm

  4. Choklate, we can’t wait to hear how it goes. Happy Holidays!

    Comment by Dawn — December 16, 2008 @ 10:51 am

  5. [...] was something we haven’t done. We were heading up to the ranch in November and I suggested a “Pink Elephant” theme and the girls loved the idea. I also copied the “Which Wine are You” [...]

    Pingback by Real Girlfriends: The Rough Riders and a Pink Elephant | Girlfriend Celebrations — August 10, 2009 @ 7:45 am

  6. I’m throwing a Pink Elephant Gift Exchange tonight – and we are each bringing our favorite beauty product(s) not to exceed $25-30. It will be fun – great way to get the girls together. And I AM including party favors – my favorite, yet cheap & chic: Dr Pepper Lip Smackers. Can’t wait – I deffo got some tips from this!

    Comment by Karina — December 23, 2009 @ 12:31 pm

  7. My family lives out of state, so last year for christmas i went to my best friends house for xmas. They had a pink elephant exchange and it was a great way for me to get to know his family and vice versa. Plus i got a really cool OSU candle holder! This is a great idea, especially to avoid an akward holiday exchange with new people.

    Comment by syd — May 13, 2010 @ 2:11 am

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