'Tis the season for all things Christmas, and that includes the office White Elephant Gift Exchange. Sometimes these are fun, sometimes they're absolute torture. Based on a Harris Poll survey of more than 2,000 adults on behalf of Wish, here are some simple guidelines that will make your gift exchange go much better.

First of all, the optimum number of participants is eleven. More than that and it takes too long, fewer and things can get personal when the stealing takes place.

Next, limit the dollar value of the gifts. This can be a tricky one, if you set the limit too high those who get inexpensive items can be disappointed and if you set it too low the gift goes in the trash with the wrapping paper. The most popular dollar amount in the survey was $25. That made the gift exchange reasonably affordable for all participants and gave everyone enough of a price range to find something interesting.

The best time to hold your office White Elephant Gift Exchange seems to be the third week of December, that would be the 15th through the 21st this year.

During the gift exchange most people agreed that three steals should be the limit. That means that the third person to steal the item locks it down. Oddly, nearly 20 percent of the people in the survey wanted to remove this rule completely.

Another rule that people wanted eliminated was First In, Last Out. That's the rule that says the first person to choose a gift has the option of stealing after all of the gifts have already been opened.

Don't worry if you didn't get what you wanted or if the recipient of your gift didn't seem very excited, that's pretty normal. According to the survey most people said they wanted to bring gag gifts, but receive household items.

The whole idea of a White Elephant gift goes back to ancient kings in Asia. If the king was upset with one of his subjects for some reason he would "gift" them a rare albino elephant, a gift that was burdensome and expensive to maintain.

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