White Elephant Gift Ideas

The beginning of the holiday season means white elephant gift exchanges are just around the corner. Dedicate a little extra care to your preparations for this fun tradition to ensure your gift is the most sought after and talked about.

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Funny items are great for providing a laugh when they’re unwrapped. Bizarre items capture the crowd’s attention. And of course you can buy a genuinely nice gift that everyone will want to get their hands on.

If you can find an item with all three of these characteristics, you’ll have won the day. We’ve collected some of our favorite suggestions to help you secure your title as the best gift giver of them all!

1. File this one under “Bizarre but slightly useful.”

The Couch Guest Book from Knock Knock is a hilariously fancy tome in which the people sitting on your couch can record their names, thoughts, doodles, and other random scribbles. As the book fills up with illustrations and messages, it will become a book for guests to thumb through as well.

The sophisticated book measures 8.5″ by 5.5″ and has a ribbon page marker. A padded hardcover and metallic foil stamping complete the look of this absurd item. It’s perfect for an office with frequent visitors or for a home coffee table.

2. If you have a co-worker who is always complaining of being hot, throw this fun gift in the mix.

The Desktop LED Message Fan gives a message while cooling off its operator. It is powered by a USB port and has three display settings: “I’M FEELIN’ YOU,” “YA FEELIN’ ME,” and smiley faces.

This simple gift will grab people’s attention as they read the various LED messages. It also comes in handy when an office or room gets stuffy.

3. Give something adorable, practical, and nostalgic.

These tiny walkie talkies are sure to be a hit at any party. They are fully functional and can communicate with one another from up to 150 feet apart.

These powerful little devices can send a signal through walls and floors, so you never have to be incommunicado with your office mate or neighbor. These nugget-sized blasts from the past look great on a shelf and even make a great throwback children’s toy.

4. The future is here, and you can give it to your friends, family, or co-workers.

These prism glasses are the perfect white elephant gift. They’re bizarre and funny-looking, but they also serve a very practical purpose.

These affordable, futuristic glasses allow a tired couch potato to watch TV fully reclined. That’s right! We no longer have to prop ourselves upright to binge watch. Simply lie back, put on the glasses, and watch your favorite TV show reflected squarely into your view. Everyone at your gathering will want to take a look through these peepers. The only hard part will be holding onto them as others try to steal this gift away.

5. Darling it’s better, down where it’s wetter—take it from me.

This handmade, artisanal mermaid tail (mermaid tails can be artisanal, right?) is sure to be a big hit—especially for those who get chilly easily. The knitted tail will keep its recipient warm while transforming them into a colorful mer-person.

It works great for movie nights, lounging, sleepovers, or more casual (and thermostat-challenged) office environments. You don’t have to be a super-fan of The Little Mermaid to want this cozy tail for yourself. Just be sure to take it off before you try to walk anywhere.

6. Who says ‘90s technology is obsolete?

These floppy disk coasters prove that there’s still space for slower, more fragile digital storage devices in our lives. They won’t fit in a modern computer, of course, but they can protect a coffee table from unsightly condensation rings.

This throwback to a couple decades ago comes with six silicone floppy disk coasters in a variety of colors that will remind some people of elementary school and others of their first jobs. Younger participants may need a brief explanation of the contraption we once used and loved.

7. You might cripple your office’s productivity with this popular game, but it’ll improve morale.

Desktop bags will be an instant hit among procrastinating co-workers. It can be played solo or in teams, and it will help stave off boredom and get the creative juices flowing.

The set comes with four mini bean bags and one board with a hole in it. See who has the best motor skills in your office with this addictive little game.

8. Give your office misanthrope the gift that says everything for them.

A “Now You May Speak” coffee mug is the perfect way for grumps and grouches to display their cantankerousness without opening their mouths. As they progress through their morning coffee, the cup will let others know how close they are to becoming approachable.

This mug communicates a love for coffee and an inability to function without it. It’s also a great way to signal to coworkers that you’ve just arrived and could use a little more time before entertaining any requests for help.

9. The most sought-after item in your home or office might just be a pint of Cherry Garcia ice cream.

Which would make this Ben & Jerry’s Euphori-Lock the second most valuable item in the joint. Never worry about dessert theft again with this high-tech, specialized pint locker.

This functioning lock comes with a pre-assigned three-digit combination and a twist-lock installation. Of course, as the person giving this gift, you might glance at that super-secret combination just in case you get the munchies one day in the future.

10. This little projector packs a big punch.

Parents will jump at the chance to grab this rotating night light projector. Anyone else who loves seeing the night sky projected throughout a room will too.

This gadget is perfect for a baby or child’s room, but it’s also a great mood-setter for a party. For those who like to wind down before bed at night, it offers a simple way to relax with some ambience. The gentle but inspiring night sky can make any room more peaceful.

11. Sometimes you just want to bring a super-weird item for a white elephant gift exchange.

This cat pillow case really does the trick in those instances. While most participants will try to avoid the stylish kitty, there will almost certainly be a cat person who can’t live without it.

And why wouldn’t they swap or steal in order to take kitty home? The pillowcase is a soft 50-percent cotton, 50-percent polyester blend that’s machine-washable. It fits most standard size throw pillows and is a beauty to behold.

12. When someone’s watching four hours of Mindhunter or Stranger Things, they don’t want to end up haggard in the end.

That’s why this binge-watching beauty kit will be such a hit. It has 21 items to usher someone through the daunting task of staying current during the new Golden Age of Television.

There are lotions and face masks to care for the skin and a decision-making coin that answers the difficult question, “Should I stay or should I go to bed?” This gift will gets lots of laughs, but it’s as practical as anything else. Of course it should go without saying that it includes a pair of ultra-comfy fuzzy socks.

13. Make the Harry Potter fans in your gift exchange very happy.

This awesome Muggles mug is simple but irresistible. Whoever ends up with it will have a reminder each morning that even though not everyone is magic, some of us are.

Choose between two sizes—11 or 15 ounces. The minimalist art and tongue-in-cheek sentiment will spread smiles and camaraderie among all the office Rowling fans.

14. Give something warm now that winter is coming.

Sriracha keychains ensure that their owners will always be packing a little heat. This adorable (but perfectly functional) keychain allows someone to bring their favorite sauce to any restaurant or dinner party.

The set comes with two bottles with clips (sauce sold separately). These can be used for their intended purpose or filled with lotion or creams.

15. It’s time to start preparing for dry skin and icy roads.

This essential winter kit has a little bit of everything to make the cold weather more bearable. For your car, there’s a mini ice scraper. For your home, there are boot wipes to clean off snow.

The pack also has cuticle oil, lip balm, a reusable hot pack, and much more. Everything comes packed neatly in a “Frozen AF” clutch. Cool.

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