Many different groups choose to do some variation of White Elephant around the holidays. I’ve also heard this game called Dirty Santa or Yankee Swap. Chances are if you’re attending holiday gatherings this year, you’re bound to find yourself in a situation where you’re playing a version of this game.
If you’ve never played this game before, you probably have no idea what I’m talking about so I’ll quickly give you an overview of what this is all about. Usually each player or participant is asked to bring a wrapped gift to contribute to a pool of gifts that will be used to play the game. Usually all players will sit around a table or in a circle where the gift pool can easily be seen by all. Each player will draw a number which will determine the order that the players take their turns. The player who goes first will choose a gift and open it. Each player following will have the option to open a wrapped gift or steal a gift that has already been opened! In the event that a player has their gift stolen, they will then have the option to open a new gift or steal from another player. Some groups will have rules against stealing the same gift multiple times within a turn. As I mentioned earlier, there are many different variations of this game! The host of your particular gathering will definitely give you the official rules of their version of the game.
White Elephant gifts always come with a price you are asked to aim for. It’s usually between $10-$20 funny, weird and unique gifts are usually the biggest hit so below I’ve listed 5 great ideas at 3 different price points to help you get specific ideas, or draw inspiration. All the images are Amazon links so be sure to click them for more information on the brand, exact price, exact item name, and other details I may not have included.
(Around) $10 Ideas
Red Wine Stain Remover! This is a gift that will probably get a little chuckle especially since chances are someone will be drinking wine while this game is being played. I think this is a perfect White Elephant gift because it’s both functional and kind of funny.
A Funny Throw Pillow. First of all, this will probably throw people off when it’s wrapped because the size and weight and also, home items like throw pillows with a hilarious phrase on them are an interesting touch to a household. An item like this will definitely be a hit! Of course, depending on the crowd you’ll be with you could always just get a regular decorative throw pillow!
An Adult Coloring Book. Adult coloring books are still all the rage. They’re great for calming anxiety and killing time! Of course you could just pick up any old coloring book, but a funny one like The People Of Walmart Adult Coloring Book is sure to get the attention of the group and make everyone laugh.
A Nerf Gun. When it comes to White Elephant, I think the most random and unexpected gifts always end up being the most fought over! A Nerf Gun is such a weird unexpected gift and if there are men playing, they will be stealing this EVERY TURN.
Novelty Band-aids! There are a lot of great novelty band-aids like these bacon bandages above! One of the best things about a gift like this, is even though it’s funny it is still useful. Besides, the next time you see a friend or family member wearing a bacon band-aid you’re sure to get a good laugh.
(Around) $15 Ideas
A Novelty Clock. I think a novelty clock is a really funny White Elephant gift because people don’t really use wall clocks anymore but they can still be a really interesting conversation starter at the office or really anywhere it’s displayed. I love the Melting Clock pictured above. If there are any art lovers in the group they will definitely get a kick out of this nod to Salvador Dali.
Funny Socks! Socks are something functional that everyone needs. Most people wouldn’t purchase a pair of socks like the Bob Ross ones pictured above, but they’ll definitely wear them or re-gift them to someone else who will. This is a gift that’s sure to get a laugh.
A hilarious Welcome Mat that everyone can relate to. This is another gift that I love just because of how random it is. I know if I saw somebody open this at White Elephant I’d probably steal it and proudly display it in my home.
A 60 Pack of AA Batteries! First of all, no one could ever have too many batteries. You’re probably thinking this is the most boring gift on the list. Don’t worry! All you have to do to make this one funny is create a label that says “Gift Not Included” then you have a joke and the most functional White Elephant Gift of all time.
Desktop Corn Hole/ Bean Bags set! I actually can’t even explain how fun this game is. One of my cousins brought it to our family Thanksgiving last year and it actually lead to our entire family having a tournament across the dinning room table. Ever since then I thought it would make a genius White Elephant gift!
(Around) $20 Ideas
Big Fuzzy Slippers! Honestly, the more outrageous the better. These obnoxious pink bear paw slippers above are so perfect. Of course there is always the issue of people having different sizes but luckily people do have the ability to steal, trade or re-gift. I think part of the fun is the possibility of 6 foot tall grown man opening these.
A Game. The idea of having a game as a White Elephant gift is brilliant because it keeps the party going, especially if it’s a unique game most of the players have never played before. Relative Insanity pictured above is a perfect game if the majority of your group is family. It was created by Comedian Jeff Foxworthy and has been featured on several talk shows.
A Grilled Cheese Toaster. Yes, you read that correctly. This is a toaster specifically designed to make grilled cheese sandwiches. It has baskets to safely and easily cook 2 grilled cheese sandwiches at once. So this is another odd yet useful White Elephant Gift.
The Huggle Hoodie. This is pretty much a snuggie on steroids. Why would you not want to pretty much live in a blanket? I still don’t own one of these but I’ve wanted one since I spotted it on a friend over the summer. You better believe if I saw this at a White Elephant I would be ready to fight for it. If you don’t like this idea, really any of it’s “As Seen on TV” family members would be good choices.
This Hamilton Beach Breakfast Sandwich Maker. This is seriously my favorite thing on the list. It’s random enough to be a perfect White Elephant gift but there’s actually a good chance the recipient will actually enjoy it and use it.
I hope this list gave you a lot of good ideas! My goal when choosing a White Elephant gift is to pick out things that are fun, interesting and people will actually like, or that they will have potential to re-gift to someone else. I hate to get things that will just end up in the trash when spring cleaning rolls around. I also recommend wrapping the gift as beautifully as you possibly can. I like to try to make my gift the most aesthetically pleasing and I’m always hoping to have my gift picked first.