21 Best White Elephant Gift Ideas: The Ultimate List

White elephant gift exchanges are such a fun way to swap gifts with a group of friends, extended family, or even colleagues. This type of gift exchange keeps everyone on their toes and involved throughout the entire opening process since the gift in their hands is always up for grabs.

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Unlike a normal secret Santa where you purchase a gift for someone specific, with a white elephant exchange you'll need to shop knowing that your gift could wind up in anyone's hands. This can make it a bit more complicated to find that perfect gift.

White Elephant Rules 

The rules are simple. Each player brings one wrapped gift to contribute to a common pool. Typically a budget of around $30 is set, but this can of course vary. On the day of the exchange, players draw names to determine what order they will go in. The first player selects a gift from the pool and opens it. The following players can choose to either pick an unwrapped gift from the pool or steal a previous player’s gift. Anyone who gets their gift stolen in this way can do the same – choose a new gift or steal from someone else. This goes on until finally, the first participant has the opportunity to steal from any of the opened gifts, choosing their favorite.

What to Gift in a White Elephant Exchange

White elephant gift exchanges typically have a few gag gifts that wind up in the pool, along with some really well thought out gifts that anyone would like. We've included several of each all at around $30 or less.

White Elephant Gag Gifts

Some of the best gag gifts we've heard of this year include the Squatty Potty, a desk vacuum, or a bag of unicorn farts (yep, that's a thing).

Want to keep your White Elephant gift on the more serious side?

A set of 12 Christmas socks, a giant candy bar for a tasty treat or even a new mug with a great quote are all wonderful choices. 

See Also:

25 Best Yankee Swap Gifts

55 Best Gift Exchange Ideas $20 or Less


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