Before creating this gift guide, we had no idea what the “white elephants” origins were. Where did this gifting concept come from?
Well, according to HistoryExtra, the term white elephant symbolizes “any burdensome, expensive, and useless possession that is much more trouble than it is worth.” And it’s believed that the term was coined after actual albino elephants that were discovered in Siam, which is now modern-day Thailand.
Because the white elephants were so rare when one was discovered, it immediately became the property of the King. However, due to the fact that the white elephants were allegedly “useless” and more of a nuisance, the King would reportedly “give white elephants away to anyone who displeased them.”
So while the white elephant gift exchange, Yankee swap, secret Santa, isn’t meant to wreak havoc on someone’s life, but rather bring a little joy to it, I suppose some of us find it a nuisance to shop for it. And that’s why we created this gift guide, to take the burden of buying a white elephant gift out of the equation, leaving you with only joy and laughter!
Here are 30 of the Best White Elephant Gifts That Everyone Will Fight Over.
$8.99 at the time of publication
If we are really being honest, the year 2020 is the best time to make this your white elephant gift. It’s funny, it’s unique, and yes it is incredibly useful given the toilet paper shortage we all experience over the last nine months.
$15.95 at the time of publication
Let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want a pair of socks with your face plastered all over them. We have a feeling this is a white elephant gift that could be stolen a lot throughout the night. And the lucky person who does end up with them, well then they’ll just be reminded of you every time they open their sock drawer.
$32.99 at the time of publication
“Besides a wireless microphone, BONAOK microphone can be used as a speaker and a recorder, with colorful LED light,” Amazon reports. And what better way to get a white elephant party started than with some wireless karaoke?
$22.95 at the time of publication
We all love a good pun. So who wouldn’t want to receive an epic pack of kitchen towels that has a different pun on each towel? From saying like “Let’s give them something to taco ’bout” to “Don’t go bacon my heart,” these are sure to be a hit as well!
$25 at the time of publication
Coasters are those things that everyone should use but no one wants to buy for their home. So the white elephant gift exchange is the perfect place to gift someone coasters and it’s the perfect opportunity to make the coasters funny. And thanks to Etsy, you can do all that!
$20 at the time of publication
Not only will you get to see which of your friends has a green thumb, but the flowers that grow in these mason jar garden are edible! So not only is this white elephant gift unique, but it’s also the gift of nutrition.
$16.32 at the time of publication
Could this white elephant gift be any more on-brand for this year? Twenty-twenty was filled will zoom meetings, both professional and personal. So giving something this mug is sure to help them remember the year that was! Not that we can really ever forget.
$35 at the time of publication
Now, this white elephant gift option is sure to make people laugh. It’s a wooden frame that mimics a scene from Nickelback’s music video. “Look at this photograph. Every time I do it makes me laugh.” And that’s surely what will happen when someone opens up this gift this holiday season.
$30.99 at the time of publication
We’re not going to lie, this white elephant present goes against the grain because it’s pretty practical! And although these freezer pint glasses are designed to keep your beer nice and cold, they don’t have to be used just for beer! They can keep any beverage cold!
$23.99 at the time of publication
What’s better than a toilet? A toilet that lights up at night. Look we all know that getting up in the middle of the night to use the restroom can be a bit of a task. You try not to make any noise or turn on any lights in order to avoid waking up others. See, you thought this was going to be a gag gift when in all actuality, it’s a pretty practical white elephant gift.
$28.29 at the time of publication
Look, toasters for toast or frozen ego waffles are a pretty normal thing to find in a kitchen. So what is something not a lot of kitchen have but they should? This Nostalgia Pop-Up 2 Hot Dog and Bun Toaster With Mini Tongs. Perfectly cooked hot dogs (of any kind) and perfect toasted buns make for an easy lunch and a great white elephant gift.
$11.99 at the time of publication
A succulent pot, a paper clip holder, candy jar, really this corgi-shaped vase can be used for anything. And it’s adorable, so who wouldn’t want to unwrap this during a white elephant gift exchange.
$17.99 at the time of publication
This game turns “everyday scenarios into ruthless actions that will push your friendships, test your relationship, and have your opponent running for the hills.” It’s a white elephant gift that will see which couples in your group are the strongest. May the odds be ever in their favor!
$7.97 at the time of publication
Who says coloring is only for children? And to be honest, sources say coloring as an adult can help reduce stress, anxiety, improve vision, sleep, and focus. Talk about a white elephant gift with all of the benefits!
$9.98 at the time of publication
You know how the worst part about mopping is stepping on a part of the floor you just cleaned? Well, allow this white elephant gift to solve the problem for you. For women AND MEN, these mop slippers are amazing.
$10.28 at the time of publication
Give the gift of laughter at your next white elephant gift exchange by wrapping up this joke book that comes complete with 1001 of the “funniest, laugh-out-loud rib-ticklers.” We’re already laughing just thinking about it.
$29.99 at the time of publication
Yup. We went there. It’s a $29 bidet attachment for your toilet seat. Talk about a white elephant gift to get everybody talking and stealing because who wouldn’t want to end up with this?
$19.31 at the time of publication
Just like the hot dog toaster, this grilled cheese toaster is also something the people at your white elephant gift exchange didn’t know they wanted! It also has an easy-to-clean toaster basket and adjustable toasting dial.
$14.99 at the time of publication
This white elephant gift could be either looked at as really gross or incredibly satisfying. In fact, although it’s categorized as a gag gift, this pimple popping simulator is supposed to be a stress reliever as well.
$15 at the time of publication
It’s a reversible stuffed octopus that lets people know how you are feeling without ever having to use your words. It’s also an incredibly unique white elephant gift to wrap up.
$9.49 at the time of publication
Let’s be real. This would probably be the worst white elephant gift to receive at an exchange. But to be honest, it’s also incredibly useful because let’s be honest, our cars could always use a good cleaning.
$7.58 at the time of publication
It’s a weird white elephant gift but I can definitely see people fighting over this silicone scalp massager. How nice does this sound when massaging your scalp with shampoo?
$18.74 at the time of publication
Do you remember the squatty potty? Well, we say bring it back by wrapping one up for your white elephant gift exchanges this holiday season.
$30.99 at the time of publication
It’s a blanket that looks like a burrito. And we’ve said it before but we are going to say it again, there is nothing like getting a blanket for Christmas.
$21.99 at the time of publication
As we said, nothing beats getting a blanket for Christmas, but this particular white elephant gift is in the shape of a mermaid tail. It also means your feet will never get cold!
$10.99 at the time of publication
It’s a pillow that if you move the sequins one way it is all black, but if you move them in the other direction it reveals a picture of actor Nick Cage. Now that’s a hilarious white elephant gift.
$26.99 at the time of publication
Baby Yoda took the world by storm this year. So take your white elephant gift exchanges by storm this holiday season by wrapping up this plush Baby Yoda.
$22.26 at the time of publication
Next on the white elephant gift guide is cozy pair of slippers that are microwavable-safe. How delightful do these sound? And the smell of lavender!
$19.88 at the time of publication
Having had multiple Care Bears growing up in the 90s, how exciting is it that we can bring a blast from our past to our white elephant gift exchanges? And there are so many feelings to choose from.
$15.99 at the time of publication
This cool intersection between tech and fashion has Bluetooth headphones built into the hat so you never have to worry about your earbuds again. And it would make for a really cool white elephant gift that everyone will be fighting over! And it comes in a waffle knit or a woven knit.
So how is a white elephant gift exchange executed? Just buy one of these gifts and wrap it up. While at your gathering, everyone will pick a number out of a hat and the person who draws number one will be the first to pick from the wrapped gifts. That person will then open the gift they picked and the person who picked number two will decide whether or not they want to pick from the pile of wrapped presents or steal from person number one. If they steal, then person number one gets to pick another present to unwrap and person number three will go. That pattern then continues until all of the white elephant gifts are unwrapped!
Sara Vallone has been a writer and editor for the last four and a half years. A graduate of Ohio University, she enjoys celebrity news, sports, and articles that enhance people’s lives.
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