Having a white elephant gift exchange game is a hilarious way to bring people together and break the ice. If you want to make "Yankee Swap" or "Dirty Santa" even more memorable, don't settle for the usual presents!
These white elephant gift ideas are not only guaranteed to get some big laughs, but they are also practical too!
Related: Really useful gifts under $30
What Is A White Elephant Gift?
A white elephant gift is funny, playful, and unforgettable. It comes from an ancient tale about the King of Siam giving rare and exotic albino elephants to those he didn't like.
You'd think it would be an honor to receive white elephants, but imagine taking care of a 6-10 ton mammal. It could be messy, expensive, and often outright ruinous. Thus, the curse of the white elephant was born.
What Are White Elephant Gifts Supposed to Be?
White elephant gifts are usually cheap and amusing in some way. Depending on the party, they might be either practical or impractical. They might also follow a party theme such as office gifts, nurse gifts, gamer gifts, etc.
The rules of a white elephant gift exchange are simple:
- Everyone chooses a wrapped gift. One person starts the game by opening theirs.
- The next person in line can either unwrap their gift or steal the previous one.
- The next person in line can either unwrap a gift or steal from any of the previous ones.
Here is a list of timeless white elephant gift ideas:
1. Humorous Coffee Mug
"Of course, I talk to myself. Sometimes I need expert advice."
If you know someone who would agree with this "wisdom," you've just found the perfect coffee mug for their collection.
In addition to being a funny gag gift, it's a fully functional 11-ounce mug made from durable white ceramic. If the recipient is not a java junkie, they could repurpose it as a pencil or candy holder.
Whether you're looking for boss gifts, friend gifts, or dad gifts, this mug will be great for any white elephant party.
2. Bluetooth Karaoke Speaker Mic
Do you have that friend or co-worker who loves belting out old tunes on karaoke nights? Does their lack of singing voice make them all the more eager to serenade you? Consider tossing a karaoke microphone into their white elephant exchange.
Compatible with any smartphone, it lets them connect to speakers via Bluetooth and screech their hearts out in surround sound. The mic is available in multiple colors if you want to buy something particularly gaudy for extra razzle-dazzle.
3. Adult Coloring Book
You might start a bidding war with this one. Things I Want to Say at Work But Can't is an adult coloring book filled with one-liners like "dealing with your bull**** is not in my job description."
Each quote is surrounded by swirls, mandalas, and pretty, passive-aggressive flowers. You've probably heard that adult coloring books can be great therapeutic tools, but you might not be aware that they also make fantastic Yankee Swap gifts.
If you're looking for cute white elephant gift ideas, you need to have this planter on your shopping list.
The tongue is not only for design; it is a cotton pad that functions as a self-watering device! Fill up the ceramic bowl every few days. Then the plant roots will soak up hydration.
You can choose from several different animals with different types of seeds. The cat, for example, grows clovers, and the dog grows mint. The panda goes the extra mile with wild strawberries.
Planters are also excellent midwife gifts.
5. Sea Salt Flakes
Hailed as "pixie dust" by its devotees, this fancy salt is the kind of thing that most people wouldn't buy on their own but would love to receive as a gift. You don't even have to be a foodie to appreciate it.
However, once you extol the virtues of this product, don't be surprised if Dirty Santa gets quite dirty indeed. There might be elbows thrust and punches thrown - it is a really good salt.
6. Squatty Potty
Did you know that bowel movement can be improved with a squatting posture? It's real science, so be sure to mention it when everyone starts groaning at the sight of the Squatty Potty.
Despite its goofy name, it's a solidly built piece of craftsmanship; it's even made from eco-friendly bamboo!
It's hard to beat potty humor when it comes to funny white elephant gifts, especially when they're good for you!
7. Board Game
Board games come in every variety under the sun, including Christmas board games that will be especially apt for the holiday season. You can even find funny board games that riff off popular classics, such as the "cheater's version" of Monopoly, wherein skimming from the bank is encouraged, and landing on the jail block puts you in plastic handcuffs.
The more outrageous the board game is, the more likely it's a hit during a white elephant party. Who knows? You might even wind up breaking it open and playing a game or two with your fellow partygoers!
Good white elephant gifts will make everyone laugh, not just the gift recipient. These "d*mmit dolls" are sure to do the trick.
As their name suggests, they're meant to soothe stressful moments by providing an outlet for their owner to say "d*mmit!" whenever things aren't going as planned. They're also in a convenient three-pack so that multiple dolls can be passed around the party.
Your co-workers will love this white elephant gift, especially if they need to blow off a little steam in the office every now and then.
Another great gift for the office is this decision-making paperweight. It'll fit in nicely with other desk accessories, but it isn't just dead weight for holding down files and folders. It also works as a kind of randomized fortune teller that will allow you to spin a wheel and land on sections labeled "yes," "no," "tomorrow," "sit on it," and "pass the buck."
In other words, if you need an excuse for slacking off, you can just leave your choices in the hands of fate.
10. Toilet Night Light
Everyone knows the pain of stubbing their toe in a dark hallway during a midnight bathroom break. Well, you can say goodbye to that particular routine with the help of a color-changing night light!
It will provide a soft, visible glow that cycles through 16 different colors and will lead you straight to your target with unerring accuracy. That is because the light itself gets attached to the toilet bowl.
11. Whiskey Glass
If you're doing a Yankee Swap with the fam, your dad might appreciate this shot glass. It declares "Best Farter Ever" in big, bold print with "oops! I meant father" in smaller text underneath. Despite its humor, it's a high-quality, lowball-style whiskey glass that can hold a generous shot, so it's sure to get used even as it makes him laugh.
It'll be perfect for dads known to unleash heat-seeking missiles after every Christmas dinner.
12. Bread Pillow
Oui oui! This gigantic body pillow looks so much like French bread that it might make you hungry. It's golden, buttery, and ready to be sliced. It just so happens to be filled with cotton stuffing rather than yeast!
As for its effectiveness as a white elephant present, it will get passed around, squeezed, and quality tested with a post-party nap or two. Its unique baguette shape is strangely perfect for full-body snuggles.
13. Waterproof Notepad
The best white elephant gift you can give are ones that are both fun and functional, and Aqua Notes ticks off each box equally.
It's a real notepad that you can use for ideas, appointments, and reminders, but it's waterproof, and its pad comes with suction cups to attach to shower walls and other weird places where people suddenly remember things. It's also among the top gifts for writers since you never know where inspiration will strike.
14. Shower Beer Holder
A shower beer holder is one of those funny white elephant gifts that are useful. You're almost guaranteed to have your co-worker come back to you and say, "Hey, I'm using that thing!"
It can stick right to bathroom tile without any adhesives or suction cups required, and since it's made from silicone, it's fully waterproof. The size is standard for any beer can. That might just become a white elephant gift that gets repeated year after year as its legend grows.
15. Lavender Grow Kit
That indoor herb-growing kit. In fact, with everything that a beginner needs right there in the box, it'll be perfect for first-timers who have never grown their own herbs before. Seed options include mint, lavender, chamomile, and lemon balm.
Once the user has cultivated their plants, they can use the herbs in various ways, including cooking, aromatherapy, and homegrown medicinal treatments.
16. Star Wars Molds
May the Force be with anyone who tries to steal this gift. It's a collection of eight silicone molds from the Star Wars franchise, including Darth Vader, R2-D2, the Millennium Falcon, and Han Solo in carbonite.
Since they can tolerate both the heat and the cold, you can use them to create everything from ice cubes to baked desserts. They're sure to be a hot ticket item at your white elephant party, especially if your group skews towards pop culture nerds. Who can resist Boba Fett?
From the pastrami sandwiches of When Harry Met Sally to the butter-poached lobsters of Annie Hall, Hollywood cinema is filled with delectable dishes, and this cookbook shows how they can be made right at home.
There are recipes, pictures, and even movie quotes that will inspire the chef and the cinephile alike! It'll be a great white elephant gift for anyone who enjoys puttering around the kitchen. It might even catch the eye of someone who likes movies but doesn't cook a lot, opening their eyes to new possibilities.
18. Candle Accessory Set
Start a fight at your office among the candle ladies with this candle accessory kit. They'll start wrestling each other to get their hands on its collection of modern candle-making tools, including a bell snuffer, wick trimmer, and wick dipper.
They make everything with high-quality stainless steel, and polishes are available in black, silver, and copper. The tools even come with hanging holes if the gift recipient wants to display them on the wall when not in use.
19. Pet Butler 'Prank Box'
The funniest thing about this white elephant gift is that it's completely fake. It's an empty "prank box" with an outrageous cover that declares itself a pet butler kit.
Complete with a cheesy, as-seen-on-TV infomercial design, it'll make your gift recipient think that you've just given them a dog sweater designed to hold table trays, but you can put whatever you like inside the box. For even more fun, put an even sillier gift inside - you'll get to enjoy the expression on their face twice over.
The Best White Elephant Gifts for Every Occasion
A good white elephant gift is something that people will be talking about for years to come. Whether you're looking to amuse, amaze, or awe, use these gift ideas to come out as the party's winner.
This article originally appeared on Wealth of Geeks by Bobby Kania.
Sylvia Silverstone is a passionate writer who loves to share her knowledge and expertise on a wide range of topics, including beauty, life hacks, entertainment, health, news, and money. With a keen eye for detail and a talent for storytelling, Sylvia's engaging writing style keeps readers coming back for more.
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