trCookie swaps and Secret Santa parties are some of the most beloved holiday traditions, but none of them could even touch the infamous White Elephant swap. It not only promotes exchanging gifts with a room of people you love — but it also includes an extensive amount of blood, sweat, and tears. Especially if your white elephant gift ideas are clever enough to make those in the room play hot potato with your gift.
To preface, the White Elephant swap is a party in which the guests bring gifts for no one in particular. Everyone puts their prepared gift in the center of the room, each person picks a number, and then you start. The person who drew number one gets to pick a gift from the pile. Say they choose a graphic tee covered in cats that you know you can’t live without — and you, thanks to some blessing from above, drew number two. This means you can actually snatch that gift from their hands instead of opening a new gift. Each person gets two chances to steal a gift from another before the gift is "dead" (aka, unstealable), so make sure to be prepared and snatch wisely.
Evidently, White Elephant gifts are never actually meant to be something useful. Sure, some folks will bring that nice candle or journal to the table, or even a homemade tray of holiday cookies, but those involved mostly bring some ridiculous item (or items) to make friends laugh as they savagely swap.
If you find yourself with a White Elephant party rapidly approaching, or now feel the sudden urge to throw one yourself, these gift ideas will hit every type of person joining you for the festivities.
1. Selfie Citation Notes
If there is a person joining you for this year’s White Elephant who absolutely despises selfies (and finds any way imaginable to critique someone who takes one), you know they are going to fight pretty hard for this notepad.
2. The Beer Belt
If you’re feeling it, this gift would fly around the circle if you fill it with a few beers before hand! Your friends are going to go nuts.
3. Who Run The Office Desk Plaque
Who Run the Office? Desk Plaque, $29.99, Modcloth
Because who wouldn’t want some Beyoncé encouragement while working on their desk?
4. Troll’s Poppy Doll
Troll’s Poppy Doll, $9.99, Target
Still forever singing Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling?” Well, this little troll came from the movie and will surely make people start singing his song when opened.
5. All Wound Up Boxer Briefs
All Wound Up Boxer Briefs, $19.99, Modcloth
White Elephant is basically the time to pull out all the embarrassing moments, especially if it means opening up a pair of these boxer briefs. It could be passed like hot potato; people are either going to love it or hate it. Either way, it will make for a great White Elephant swap.
6. Raccoon Body Pillow Gray & White
Raccoon Body Pillow, $19.99, Target
People seem to always grab the biggest gift first in the White Elephant, so bring the biggest with this Raccoon body pillow. Plus, who wouldn’t want a body pillow? You’ll certainly be kicking off this holiday shindig with an overall jealous rage from the group.
7. Kale Yeah! Mason Jar
Who doesn’t love Kale humor? Especially if you are a group who despises eating kale, then this mason jar will not be kindly accepted. Remember, the crazier the gift, the better the swap.
8. Head Massager
Head Massager, $6, Dormify
Come on, who doesn’t want to snatch one of these things when they see it lying around in a store (or a friend’s place) and immediately start massaging their head (no matter how gross that may be)? This will be unanimously loved and stolen numerous times during your swap…and at such a cheap price.
9. Dancing Reindeer Wind Up Toy
Dancing Reindeer Wind Up Toy, $5.95, Paper Source
I mean, what better time to get a dancing reindeer toy as a serious gift then for a holiday White Elephant?
10. Velvet Hair Scrunchie Set
I mean, who doesn’t go crazy over a set of velvet hair scrunches? (Other than Carrie Bradshaw.) This will be stolen like crazy, no doubt.
11. Monster Voice Changer
Monster Voice Changer, $19.99, Paper Source
This is bound to be probably the most annoying, yet possibly the most loved White Elephant present amongst your crowd. Sometimes purchasing what seems silly and childish will end up being one of the most beloved gifts at a White Elephant party.
12. Darth Vadar And Friends
Darth Vadar and Friends, $14.99, Modcloth
Everyone is buzzing about the release of Rogue One, and it probably won’t slow down much by the end of the holiday season. So who wouldn’t want a happy little Darth Vadar book?
13. Unicorn Magic Keyboard Cover
Tie-die and glitter is the hot trend lately, so tap into that with this unicorn keyboard cover. It will be passed around like hot cakes.
14. Books Are Bae Mug
Books Are Bae Mug, $12, Dormify
This is probably the perfect gift if you’re going to be surrounded with a bunch of book nerds who prefer Saturday nights in with Harry Potter and Katniss Everdeen.
15. Sriracha To-Go Bottle Keychain
Some people may be repulsed by the idea of having a condiment hanging with their keys, but others may go absolutely crazy over the idea. This gift will probably cause quite the controversy!
16. Vintage Cats Desk Calendar
Vintage Cats Desk Calendar, $9.07, Paper Source
Just in case you know there will be a cat lover at your party, it may be worth your while to buy a crazy cat-related gift such as this calendar to get them going.
17. Bite Me Mug
Not only is there a picture of a doughnut on it, but this will go over well with all of the coffee-lovers who are absolute monsters in the morning before their first (or maybe even second) cup.
18. Avocado Halves Socks
Everyone loves getting a new pair of socks – especially if there are avocados on them.
Images: Courtesy of the Brands