The best white elephant gift ideas

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Outline some shopping guidelines before adding items to your cart. Ask the leader of the gift exchange for a budget, figure out if there is a theme and ask who is invited to give you an idea of potential gift recipients.

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Which white elephant gift idea is best?

You’ve been invited to a party and need to bring a white elephant gift. Under normal circumstances, gift shopping for a specific person can be a fun and personal experience, but shopping for an unknown gift recipient can be a bit daunting.

Before adding random gifts to your cart, gather a few guidelines for this white elephant gift exchange. Ask the organizer about the white elephant rules, like the expected budget and size of gifts and any other specifics they have in mind. Find out who all is invited, whether there’s a theme and any other hints that might point you in the right direction for what gift to bring.

What is a white elephant gift?

A white elephant gift is a fun and often quirky gift that you can exchange blindly between friends, family or co-workers. The gift needs to be accessible enough to a group of people that anyone could use or enjoy it. The idea is that the gift is unique yet appropriate for a wide audience. This usually makes white elephant gifts cheesy or silly.

What are the white elephant gift rules?

Generally, the group exchanging gifts will agree on white elephant gift rules, including the value of the gifts so everyone is on a level playing field. You and everyone else will bring one wrapped gift and then either assign gifts randomly or pick them out one at a time. Each guest can choose to open their gift or steal one that’s already been opened. The person whose gift was stolen can then choose to open a new one or steal another gift. 

How to choose a white elephant gift

The goal is to pick out a unique and funky gift that can still be fun for the person who’s stuck with it at the end of the night. You’ll want to outline some guidelines for shopping before getting started.

Ask the leader of the gift exchange for a budget first so you know how much to spend. Figure out if there is a specific theme for the party. If you don’t already know the guests, ask who is invited so you have an idea of the audience you’re shopping for. These clues will help you pick out a gift that aligns with the group’s rules and the party’s tone.

If you’re looking to wrap your white elephant gift in beautiful and high-quality gift wrap, check out the complete wrapping paper buying guide from BestReviews.

Best white elephant gift ideas

Best white elephant gift ideas under $25

Cold Beer Coats

Cold Beer Coats

Bundle up your cold drinks with these irresistibly cute nylon puffer-jacket-inspired beer cozies. The beer coats are made of nylon, cotton and aluminized paper. Choose from four different color combinations or get them all to share the warmth. 

Sold by Uncommon Goods

Leg Lamp Nightlight

Leg Lamp Nightlight

Light up the dark hallways of your home with this leg lamp night light inspired by the classic holiday film, “A Christmas Story.” The light stands 8 inches tall and comes with the bulb included. It’s a perfect gift for a pop-culture-loving crowd. 

Sold by Amazon

Things They Don't Teach You in School Party Trivia Game

Things They Don’t Teach You in School Party Trivia Game

This fun group trivia game will have you laughing all night at the weird and random facts you didn’t know. The game provides over 400 question cards and is suitable for two or more players ages 17 and up. 

Sold by Amazon, Macy’s and Uncommon Goods

Indoor Desert Grow Kit

Indoor Desert Grow Kit

For a green gift that keeps on giving, this all-in-one grow kit comes with a beautiful self-watering terracotta planter, organic seeds and grow medium. You can choose from a cactus, bonsai or aloe plant, which will all sprout in under a month. 

Sold by Amazon and Uncommon Goods

Bicycle Pizza Cutter Wheel

Bicycle Pizza Cutter Wheel

This is a fun kitchen gadget, no matter how you slice it. The bicycle-shaped pizza cutter features two stainless steel blades and a stand. It’s easy to clean and use, and it makes a playful addition to pizza night. 

Sold by Amazon

Best white elephant gift ideas between $25-50

Corkcicle 12 oz Triple-Insulated Stemless Wine Tumbler

Corkcicle 12 oz Triple-Insulated Stemless Wine Tumbler

With a beloved reputation, this Corkcicle stemless wine tumbler is the perfect gift for a group of wine or cocktail lovers. The stainless steel tumbler is triple-insulated to keep your drinks hot or cold for hours. Easy-grip sides, a silicone bottom and a spill-resistant lid make it easy to use. The tumbler comes in various colors and patterns. 

Sold by Amazon

OXO Good Grips Pour-Over Coffee Maker

OXO Good Grips Pour-Over Coffee Maker

Everyone will perk up at the sight of this caffeine-friendly gift. This dishwasher-safe pour-over coffee maker includes ribbed dripper walls, a water tank, lid and 10 coffee filters. Coffee lovers may have to steal this gift before the party is over. 

Sold by Amazon and Macy’s

Invigorate Shower Steamers Gift Set

Invigorate Shower Steamers Gift Set

Bathtubs aren’t the only spot for a calming soak. These vegan shower steamers help you unwind without a bathtub. Made with Epsom salt and relaxing essential oils, you can create a spa-like experience while you shower at home. 

Sold by Uncommon Goods

W&P Homemade Gin Kit

W&P Homemade Gin Kit

If you’ve ever wanted to explore DIY alcohol, this homemade gin kit is a fun first step. The kit includes two empty gin bottles, two botanical blends, a funnel and a filter. Just pick out your favorite vodka and start blending. 

Sold by Amazon

Tabletop Cornhole

Tabletop Cornhole

Turn any party into a game night with this tabletop cornhole game. The kit includes a wooden game board, two launchers, eight mini bean bags, four score pegs, felt game board feet, an Allen wrench to adjust the height and instructions. 

Sold by Uncommon Goods

Best white elephant gift ideas over $50

Cuisinart 1.5-Quart Soft Service Ice Cream Maker

Cuisinart 1.5-Quart Soft Service Ice Cream Maker

Dish up your favorite soft serve with this compact ice cream maker. The Cuisinart machine includes condiment containers, a cone holder and enough room to store for 1.5 quarts of ice cream. This adorable machine brings everyone’s favorite pastime to your kitchen counter. 

Sold by Amazon, Macy’s and Wayfair

Handmade Chip and Dip Serving Bowl

Handmade Chip and Dip Serving Bowl

Never lose sight of your dipping bowl with this combination chip and dip stone serving bowl. Handmade details and unique colored glazing make this a winning gift choice for any household. 

Sold by Uncommon Goods

Vinglacé Wine Bottle Insulator

Vinglacé Wine Bottle Insulator

Give the gift of impeccably insulated wine with this stainless steel, double-walled and vacuum-insulated storage vessel. Available in 12 colors, the Vinglacé wine bottle insulator is easy to use at home or on the go. 

Sold by Amazon

Nostalgia Retro 6-Can Personal Refrigerator

Nostalgia Retro 6-Can Personal Refrigerator

One lucky party guest will walk away from the gift exchange with this timeless personal refrigerator. The Nostalgia retro fridge holds six 12 ounce cans or plenty of snacks to get through the day. AC and DC power cords and a carrying handle make it easy to use, and a shelf helps organize the interior storage space. 

Sold by Amazon, Home Depot, Macy’s and Wayfair

City Skyline Bookends

City Skyline Bookends

These city skyline bookends are unique enough to stand out in a sea of gifts. The skyline bookends create a crisp and unmistakable silhouette on either side of your books, turning your bookshelves into a work of art. They are made of carbon steel and you can choose from various cities. 

Sold by Uncommon Goods

 

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Katy Palmer writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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