We are less than five months away from Christmas, people. And while that seems like forever away, we all know how this goes. Once school starts up again, days get sucked into a mysterious black hole, and soon we will blink, and it will be November 26th. And then, holiday parties and responsibilities will be looming over us as we ask, “How did we let this happen again?”
It isn’t a pretty picture.
But it is preventable.
Do yourself a favor and stop the vicious cycle of last-minute gifts and frenzy and start on some of your Christmas shopping now.
Stock up on some white elephant gifts now and be ready for every party this holiday season.
The History of the White Elephant Gift Exchange
A white elephant gift exchange wasn’t always centered around awkward office parties. History tells us that the white elephant tradition started way back in the day with a King of Siam. In an effort to burden someone he didn’t particularly care for, he gifted an albino elephant. Although sacred, this elephant’s upkeep brought about a very real practical concern of caring for the animal. It perfectly combined the niceties of gift-giving with just enough punch to leave the recipient wishing for the ability to disappear.
And thus, the white elephant gift exchange was born.
Much like the origins, white elephant gifts today are characterized by two general traits: obnoxious and hard to get rid of. And here are the 63 best white elephant gifts to help you get through any holiday party.
They are unconventional. They are troublesome. And some are downright uncomfortable. These gag-gifts will live up to their origins of being both obnoxious and impossible to get rid of.
The only thing worse than opening up a present and finding this hat is knowing that no one in their right mind would steal this from you. Or, maybe it’s the inevitable photo op that may or may not make it to social media. Either way, the terribleness of this hat makes it the perfect white elephant gift.
Who doesn’t love the nostalgic feeling of a good reel viewer? From scrolling past our favorite movie characters or learning about dinosaurs, reel viewers were the best. And a reel viewer full of headshots of yours truly? Even better. Fill this puppy up with pictures of yourself, and you have a gift of gold. This Personalized Reel Viewer from Uncommon Goods will cost you $29.95 upfront with the option to add on additional reels for $14.95.
If an unsuspecting victim catches you making this symbol below the waist, they lose and receive a punch to the shoulder. And since most of us unwrap our presents on our lap, you have a prime opportunity of winning. Or at least, a good conversation starter. (Does something on your lap count as below the waist?)
Upside Down Christmas Trees are the perfect white elephant gift because they are unusual, a bit obnoxious, and I can’t imagine anyone would choose to swap for one of these bad boys.
Where do you even put the star?
While I don’t understand it, or particularly like it, the poop emoji fad is here to stay. And this hat from Walmart combines this unsightly emoji with the classic Santa-hat. At under $10, it is a great gift add-on while having the ability to stand solo if you are experiencing some budget blues yourself.
Listen, 2020 has been tough. Who couldn’t use a little love? This mousepad is ridiculously inexpensive and perfectly combines, “You can do it!” with “What were they thinking?” So even if this doesn’t make it to your holiday party, it can be a pretty funny stocking stuffer.
These holiday gifts stray a bit from the King of Siam’s original intentions because they are totally usable. But we think they are still great options for a white elephant gift exchange.
Taco Tuesday just got an upgrade thanks to these fun dinosaur taco holders. Say goodbye to messy taco plates and hello to the best white elephant gift ever.
Although most bugs will have succumbed to the cold winter weather by the time your party rolls around, the threat is never really gone completely. Come armed with this Bug-A-Salt 3.0 Black Fly Edition, and your recipient will never have to fear mosquito weather again.
Hot sauce is a classic gift that never goes out of style. This sampler pack introduces us to pepper flavors all over the world. And by pairing it with this embroidered toilet paper for afterward, it moves effortlessly into the white elephant realm.
If we have to wear a mask, why not get a good laugh out of it? This face mask is a fun way to commemorate those teeth everyone loved as a child.
An oven mitt plastered with your face. Need I say more?
Gifts Inspired by Hollywood
You can never go wrong with a movie themed gift. Everyone has a favorite Christmas movie!
Christmas Movie Gifts
There is something so...perfect about a full-sized Christmas Story leg lamp. Especially if you’re not the one receiving it. If you can’t commit to the full-size option, you can probably create the same effect with this miniature, 20” one.
The Grinch Accessories
Star Wars Gifts
No holiday party is complete without a mention of Star Wars. And here are our favorite, most unusual gifts stemming from this popular series.
We were sold as soon as we read “GRAAAAWR sounds” in the item description.
Love Princess Leia and coffee? Then this mug is the one for you. And, the double bun handlebar action makes it an excellent pick for righties and lefties alike.
An often overlooked Star Wars character, we felt it was time to give Admiral Ackbar some love. Puns fully intended with this toilet decal and pillowcase. Or, opt for a desktop figurine of the Admiral.
The Office Gifts
Be honest. How many of you thought about The Office as soon as you saw the title of this gift guide? We sure did. And that’s why we hunted down these super high-quality, sequin Dwight and Prison Mike Pillowcases. You can also choose to honor the series by giving a teapot, a framed copy of Pam’s Dunder Mifflin watercolor or the prized Dundie Award.
There are definitely times that I call my ceiling fan my lifesaver. And whoever designed these superhero ceiling fan blades probably did too. They are practical, unusual and a tad obnoxious. Perfect for your white elephant gift exchange.
Most of us liken ourselves to Wonder Woman or Superman as we navigate intense holidays. But I would just like to take this time to bring some attention back to one of America’s favorite superheroes: Thor. And this realistic replica of Thor’s legendary hammer brings up two very important questions: 1. Who secretly wouldn’t want this? 2. What on earth would you do with it?
There are so many great gift options surrounding Bob Ross that he gets his own category. Your guest can sharpen their art skills with this Coloring Book and this wig. Trust me–the wig makes a difference. Or, combat a bad day with this Bob Ross Finger Puppet, inspirational wall hanging and sweatshirt. And remember, this is for a white elephant, so the size of the sweatshirt is irrelevant.
The holiday season is chock-full of prime cooking opportunities. So gifting a cookbook just makes sense. Pack along either this Friends cookbook or Snoop Dogg’s Crook to Cook recipe book, and we’re sure you’ll be a favorite.
Miscellaneous Hollywood Gifts
What is better than a white elephant Hollywood gift?
There’s just something about a good mousepad. Especially one that has Nicholas Cage’s face plastered on it. It’s so uncomfortable to look at that. It’s great.
Pay tribute to The Big Lebowski by wrapping up with this Sweater Cardigan from Etsy.
Unusual but Fun Gifts
These gifts aren’t necessarily troublesome. But they will guarantee that you won’t be the most hated person after the presents have been opened.
At just $16, this dumpling light from Urban Outfitters is as affordable as it is great. And if you just can’t get enough dumplings in your life, you can also incorporate a dumpling keychain, heated slippers or mini air purifier.
I’m not saying the recipient of this velociraptor lawn garden set will have to display it promptly in their yard. But who wouldn’t want to?
There’s just something great about llamas. And this Larry the Llama doormat reminds us why– it’s equal parts practical and charming. Keep the llama love going with this llama chia pet or a llama throw blanket.
So, it’s a little unusual. And maybe a tad obnoxious. But that’s what makes it a great white elephant gift. And while we’re thinking about the bathroom, you might also include some Poo-Pourri for a gift that keeps giving.
Cold winter months inevitably lead to more couch and movie time. And what’s a movie without the popcorn? This stainless-steel popcorn popper creates the best popcorn. There’s nothing like cranking the spinner and hearing the glorious popping of the kernels. But, for a quick and low maintenance popcorn fix, a hot air popcorn popper can do the trick too.
These gifts go one step further. Not only are they fun to unwrap, but they also can create some fun times and good laughs.
Nothing screams nostalgia and good ol’ fashioned fun quite like bubble gum. In this DIY bubble gum kit, your gift recipient will enjoy over half a pound of homemade bubble gum.
If you liked the game Exploding Kittens, you will probably also like Throw Throw Burrito. This card game combines the excitement of dodgeball, making it great for parties. And if the thought of dodgeball brings back less than ideal childhood memories, don’t worry. The foam burritos have been noted to be “soft enough to throw at your great-great Aunt Marlene without having to feel guilty.”
It’s never a good idea to gift a pet to someone who may not be ready for that responsibility. But gifting the necessities for that special little buddy is fair game. And honestly, who doesn’t have the time to care for a pet fish? With a full fish tank setup, your guest will have no excuse not to go promptly to the store and rescue a feeder fish from their impending doom.
It seems like there’s an advent calendar for everything these days. But an advent where you enjoy a mini wine bottle for 25 days? Now that’s a gift worth giving.
Think of it as a commoner’s version of a droid. Sure, you don’t have any video capabilities. And your flight range is a bit smaller. But we’re confident you can still have some fun with this crash-proof “paper” and a smartphone.
Cornhole never goes out of style and is a great addition to any party. We’ve never tried cornhole in the winter, but I’m sure someone, somewhere, has mastered a cornhole drinking game in the middle of the snow. Just remember to finish your wood with some water-resistant finish before busting it out mid-winter.
Even if your budget is not brag-worthy, you can still bring a pretty sweet gift. Hopefully, this list helped you find the perfect gift for your party or at least helped you soak up some inspiration.
And if none of these are right for you, don’t forget about the endless treasure trove that is your local thrift store. Some of my personal favorite thrift store gifts have included roller blades that were the wrong size and a broken elephant desk figurine.
You may also be interested in: 6 Ways To Start Saving Money For Christmas Right Now
The 63 Best White Elephant Gifts:
- The Worst Christmas Tree Hat Ever
- Personalized Reel Viewer
- The Circle Game Figurine
- Upside Down Christmas Tree
- Poop Emoji Santa Hat
- Doge in Taco Rolls Mousepad
- Dinosaur Taco Holder Set
- Wine Glass Bottle Topper
- Bug-A-Salt 3.0
- Hot Sauce Gift Set
- Embroidered Toilet Paper
- Hillbilly Face Mask
- Customized Oven Mitt
- The Christmas Story Leg Lamp - Full Size
- The Christmas Story Leg Lamp - Mini
- Charlie Brown Christmas Tree
- Modern-Day "Charlie Brown Tree"
- Mini Leather Grinch Backpack
- Max’s Singular Antler
- Chewbacca Mask
- Princess Leia Coffee Mug
- Admiral Ackbar Toilet Decal
- Admiral Ackbar Pillowcase
- Admiral Ackbar Desktop Figurine
- Sequin Dwight Pillow
- Prison Mike Pillowcases
- Pam’s Dunder Mifflin Watercolor
- Dundie Award
- Superhero Ceiling Fan Blades
- Replica of Thor’s Hammer
- Bob Ross Coloring Book
- Bob Ross Wig
- Bob Ross Finger Puppet
- Bob Ross Inspirational Wall Hanging
- Happy Little Trees Sweatshirt
- Friends Cookbook
- Snoop Dogg’s Crook to Cook
- Nicholas Cage Mousepad
- Ode to The Dude
- Nacho Libre Luchador Mask
- Stretchy Pants Pillow
- Friends Door Decor
- Holiday Armadillo Costume
- Smoko UO Exclusive Dumpling Light
- Dumpling Keychain
- Dumpling Heated Slippers
- Dumpling Mini Air Purifier
- Velociraptor Lawn Garden Set
- Larry the Llama Doormat
- Llama Chia Pet
- Llama Throw Blanket
- Happy Toaster
- Bathroom Guest Book
- Stainless-Steel Popcorn Popper
- Hot Air Popcorn Popper
- DIY Bubble Gum Kit
- Throw Throw Burrito Card Game
- Fish Tank Setup
- Mini Wine Bottle Advent Calendar
- Smartphone-Controlled Paper Airplane
- Cornhole Set