Courtesy of Amazon; Courtesy of Modcloth
'Tis the season for holiday shopping, and we always have mixed feelings about this task. Finding the perfect gifts for our loved ones is exciting, but it can also be stressful, which is why we love when a group opts for a simple, lighthearted gift-giving option: white elephant gifts.
What is a white elephant gift exchange?
For those who haven't participated in a round of the white elephant gift exchange, here's how it works: Everyone participating comes with one gift in hand. These can be funny (whoopee cushion, a jar of pigs' feet), useful (fuzzy socks, candles, lotion), or a mix between the two (meme wine labels, Cards Against Humanity). All of these gifts have appeared in my family's white elephant gift exchanges—seriously, no joke about the pigs' feet.
Next, everyone draws numbers, and the game begins! The first person picks a random gift, and the second person can either steal that gift or choose their own. This continues until all of the gifts have been opened, and finally, the person who drew number one gets to pick amongst them all. It makes for an exciting, inexpensive, and comical gift exchange. (And okay, sometimes it's a little mean, so play with people who find the fun.)
So, how do I choose a white elephant gift?
Whether you're playing with a small group of friends or your first holiday season with your S.O.'s family, white elephant gifts just make things more fun. However, the options are endless when it comes to white elephant gifts, and ideally, you need to choose a gift that would be well-received by many different types of people participating.
To help you win the "best white elephant gift" award this year (not that it's a competition, but we are competitive), we narrowed down our 31 favorite gifts for you to choose from.
Silicone Wine Glass Holder for Bath
Fancy a glass of wine while you're getting ready for a party, but you're on a time crunch? Not to worry—this shower wine glass holder is here to save the day (and get you buzzed before you have to go make small talk at your virtual office party). Bubble bath enthusiasts will fight over this white elephant gift.
Shop it! $8.99, amazon.com.
Bonaok Wireless Bluetooth Karaoke Microphone
This white elephant gift allows the lucky recipient to sing karaoke wherever, whenever. What could be better than that?
Shop it! $29.99, amazon.com.
Home Office Candle
Include some irony in your white elephant gift exchange by gifting this "home office" candle. The significance won't be lost on those still working from home during the pandemic.
Shop it! $34, homesick.com.
White Elephant Candle
The candle label says it all.
Shop it! $20, etsy.com.
'The Bucket List: 1000 Adventures Big and Small'
We love this white elephant gift idea because it's giving the gift of experiences. Hopefully, the recipient will actually try to cross these adventures off of their lists (once it's safe to do so)—and think of you whenever they do. Until then, it makes for a great coffee table book for spurring daydreams.
Shop it! $29.59, amazon.com.
NPW Drinking Buddies 12-Count
Hanging these flexing drinking buddies on wine or cocktail glasses is always a conversation starter at parties—and also a useful tool for not mixing up your drinks.
Shop it! $20.28, amazon.com.
What Do You Meme? Core Game
If you're over Cards Against Humanity, offer white elephant gift exchange participants a meme version of the popular party game. It's perfect for boozy nights in this winter.
Shop it! $29.99, amazon.com.
'Stranger Things' Holiday Socks
At a quick glance, these might seem like normal socks decorated in holiday lights, but any Stranger Things fan will instantly recognize the iconic font written by Joyce Byers herself.
Shop it! $9.99, amazon.com.
Kurt Adler 'Stranger Things' Dustin Ornament
Speaking of Stranger Things, this ornament of everyone's favorite science nerd, Dustin, is hilarious. Even Dart is included!
Shop it! $15.72, amazon.com.
Cooluli Mini Fridge Electric Cooler and Warmer
Your beauty-obsessed friends or relatives will love this gift. Stock it with a few of your go-to beauty products, if you want to go all out with this white elephant gift idea.
Shop it! $49.99, amazon.com.
Cell Phone Jail
This clever cell phone "jail" is handy for chill nights in when you want your friends, family, or S.O. to stop staring at their phone and look at you instead. Just lock their phone inside this jail—that'll teach them to stop scrolling Twitter when you're talking to them.
Shop it! $10.89, amazon.com.
Put Your Phone Down Typography Print
If a cell phone jail isn't enough of a clear sign for your friends or family to disconnect from their screens, this actual sign should do the trick. Plus, it's actually really cute.
Shop it! $9.63, etsy.com.
Alcohol Print Michael Scott
"Do you think that doing alcohol is cool?" Michael Scott quotes never get old, and this subtle sign would look nice over a bar cart.
Shop it! $5.54, etsy.com.
Dwight Skinny Can Cooler
Continuing on The Office train, this "Dwight Claw" koozie, which plays on the popular spiked seltzer, White Claw, is hilarious.
Shop it! $9.99, etsy.com.
Balanced Co. Michael Scott Bottle Opener
Prison Mike is bound to be a crowd-pleaser—and this bottle opener is actually super useful for your beer-loving friends and family.
Shop it! $10.95, amazon.com.
Custom Funny Christmas Wine Bottle Labels
These punny Christmas-themed wine labels are sure to get a chuckle out of everyone at the party. Pair the labels with a few bottles of wine and this gift is bound to get stolen a few times.
Shop it! $10, etsy.com.
Sea Star Set of 2 White Ceramic Succulent Planter Pots
Go the literal route with these white elephant succulent holders.
Shop it! $10.38, amazon.com.
Photo Gallery Playing Cards
Customize some playing cards to include a funny photo of someone who the whole gang knows. If you're exchanging gifts at home, choose a favorite family photo, or if you're playing at the office, put a close-up of your boss's face on them (but only if they're the type of boss who would find humor in that).
Shop it! $10, shutterfly.com.
Elago Leather AirPods Case
While it's unlikely that everyone participating in your white elephant gift exchange owns AirPods, it's totally likely that at least one person will, and they'll want to steal this gift. With this keychain case, they'll never lose their precious pods again.
Shop it! $20, anthropologie.com.
Espresso Patronum Starbucks-Themed Mug
A Starbucks and Harry Potter-themed gift? Who wouldn't love this? We'll never be able to say "expecto patronum" normally again, BTW.
Shop it! $24.95, amazon.com.
Mr. Coffee Mug Warmer
It happens to everyone: You pour a cup of coffee and then get busy with work, and soon enough, the mug is cold and you haven't taken one sip. This clever gift will eliminate that issue.
Shop it! $10.99 (orig. $15.99), amazon.com.
The Ultimate Anti-Spill Cup Holder
For all those couch potatoes during quarantine (aren't we all?), this cup holder will get plenty of use this winter.
Shop it! $25, amazon.com.
Silver Buffalo 'Friends' Central Perk Logo Ceramic Mug
Any Friends-themed gifts are winners in our book, and this oversized mug will make the recipient feel like they're sipping coffee with the gang at Central Perk.
Shop it! $23.99, amazon.com.
'Friends' The One with the Ball Game
Toss the iconic ball from "The One with the Ball" episode of Friends while you try to win a trivia game inspired by the show.
Shop it! $14.89, target.com.
Mudpuppy Hot Dogs A-Z Puzzle
Puzzles were everyone's favorite pastime when quarantine first started, and with winter approaching, we have a feeling the trend is going to come back in style.
Shop it! $16.99, amazon.com.
Chronicle Books Cat Tarot Cards
Give the gift of predicting someone's future—accompanied by cute cat illustrations.
Shop it! $19.95, urbanoutfitters.com.
Hyp 'Riverdale' South Side Serpents
For the Riverdale fans out there, show your South Side Serpent pride and highlight Pop's Chocolate Shop with these footies.
Shop it! $14.99, amazon.com.
Kikkerland Dog Butts Animal Magnets, Set of 6
Who wouldn't smile when they see these dog butt magnets? Not anyone we want to be friends with.
Shop it! $17, amazon.com.
Christmas Hair Scrunchies
Spread a little holiday cheer with this pack of nine Christmas-themed hair scrunchies. We have our eyes on the Santa hat and boots option.
Shop it! $12.99, amazon.com.
Poop Emoji Slippers
Who doesn't love the poop emoji? It brings a smile to anyone's face, and these plush slippers actually look super comfy, TBH. If you're unsure what size to purchase since you don't know who will end up with this gift, opt for an average size, like 8 or 9 in women's.
Shop it! $19.99, amazon.com.
Chia Child 'Star Wars The Mandalorian' Baby Yoda Pet
Chia Pets are the ultimate throwback gift, and this Baby Yoda version is ideal for 2020.
Shop it! $19.99, amazon.com.