I think this type of party would be fantastic for a community! They are really simple to set up and most people who have them place a reasonable price limit on the gifts. Here’s a couple of other ideas for your gift rules:
Re-gift—Everyone must bring a gift they would like to get rid of. This is a great idea if you want to have your party AFTER the Holidays.
Something from your home- Have everyone bring something they already own but just don’t want anymore.
Price limits – ranging from $5-$20
Gag gifts only – this might be my favorite!
I would suggest serving snacks, holiday cookies, and finger foods.
Here is a great resource for all the rules on a White Elephant Party to help with planning.
And don’t forget, advertise your event!!