Most of us don't take white elephant seriously. It's a game, after all, and the items tend to range from the meh to the ridiculous. However, it's always nice to give something a person will actually use, so we've rounded up the best white elephant gifts under $50 that everyone wants and needs. You may like our picks so much that you end up grabbing one for yourself.
What are the rules of a white elephant gift giving party?
If you're not familiar with white elephant, it's a gift exchange where participants try to get the best gift. Also known as Dirty Santa or Yankee swap, there are lots of variations on the gift-giving game. However, there are some basic rules:
Each person or "player" brings a wrapped gift to the party.
Names are drawn or pulled from a hat to decide the order each player goes in.
All gifts go in the center of a circle, while participants gather around. The first player selects a gift and unwraps. The next person up can either choose to take that person's gift or select from the remaining unwrapped gifts. Note: a gift can only be taken from another once per turn.
After everyone has gone, the first player can take someone else's gift. Anyone who has had a gift stolen can do the same. If someone decides not to take a new gift, the game ends.
It sounds complicated, but can be fun. If you're curious about other ways to play the game, check out WhiteElephantRules.com.
While many opt to bring fun gag-type gifts, others go for thoughtful, practical or must-have presents that people can't wait to get their hands on. We think the best white elephant gifts under $50 are a combo of all three (let's save the gag-gifts for April fools, shall we?), so no matter who goes home with it, they'll be happy.
What are good white elephant gifts?
We've selected 15 of our top best white elephant gifts under $50 that anyone would want. However, there are many great options out there. Here are some of our other favorites.
Best White Elephant Gifts Under $50: Editor's Picks
Feet keep warm and stay supple with this best white elephant gift under $50! Everyone needs socks, and three come in this set from QVC. But there's more to love about the Muk Luks Shea Butter Footie Cabin Socks besides practicality. The knit footwear is super soft, and its faux-shearling lining is infused with moisturizing shea butter. It's an easy way to keep rough heels at bay, and they also make great stocking stuffers!
Give the gift of extra power with this pocket size powerbank. It has a smart chip to fast charge most smartphones, and can be used to give juice to earbuds and other gadgets. A water-resistant pouch is included in the order, and the device comes in three pretty colors.
These stackable storage containers are so cute, they may motivate you to meal prep more often. They're made from BPA-free plastic for durability, and have silicone lids to lock in foods' freshness. Three containers come in an order, the largest one with two compartments, so you don't have to mix the peas with the carrots if that's not your thing.
Who doesn't need a little relaxation... or a pick-me-up... or help with sleep. These very cool CBD Wellness Patches may be able to help with any of these — and then some. Each patch is infused with CBD and a blend of essential oils and/or botanicals that may soothe, energize or help the wearer mellow out. Although we don't recommend the gift for anyone under 18, we're sure any adult will be intrigued by this unique variety pack.
Winter gloves are essential for many of us, and so is using our phone. Fortunately, these Etip gloves make it easy to do both at once. They're made of recycled tech fabric for a custom glove-like fit — see what we did there? — and the fingertips work on the glass screen without issue. Available in Tnf grey and Tnf black, everyone will want to steal these!
We consider this the next best thing to a standing desk. The Beblau Laptop stand is great for those low on space or who do a lot of traveling for work. The stand securely holds your computer, tablet, or phone, is made from a mix of recycled and vegan materials, and is small enough to slip into your bag. Best of all, it's less than $40 bucks, making it one of the best white elephant gifts under $50.
Who knew safety could be so stylish? The folks at SHES BIRDIE, of course! The keychain length device is sleek and unassuming, but is wake up the neighbors loud — exactly what's needed in an emergency. All it takes is a simple pull of the top to set off the 130db siren and flashing strobe light. It can be attached to your house keys, necklace, or even a belt loop.
The Mask This Way 5-Mask Starter Set is a treat for the face, and anyone would be lucky to receive it. For less than $20, the recipient can enjoy two charcoal-based masks, one with rose clay, and another with hydrating avocado. More than 16,000 shoppers on Sephora heart it, earning it a well-deserved spot on our best white elephant gifts under $50.
Move over holiday cookies, donuts are what we crave. They're so easy to make when you have the Brentwood Mini Donut Maker. It has seven non-stick slots, so you and the entire fam can enjoy their fill of the doughy goodness. The preheat and power indicator practically make it mistake-proof — please don't leave unintended though — and the gorgeous purple exterior brightens up any kitchen counter..
We can't believe this Gourmia Air Fryer is under $50, but it is! If you know someone who hasn't experienced the wonder that is an air fryer, we suggest you grab this for them pronto. We also suggest gifting one for white elephant, because who doesn't like the convenience of these timesaving machines? This one's FryForce 360 Degree Technology ensures all sides of chicken tenders or broccoli are evenly cooked, and the nonstick cooker tray can be popped into the dishwasher for easy cleanup. It's a great choice, especially if you know anyone who wants to cook healthier without sacrificing flavor.
These gorgeous coasters are made from real marble, and feature a gold brass inlay for a modern touch. They will look handsome on anyone's bar cart, coffee table, or even a work desk.
Snuggle up with the ultra-plush blanket throw. Along with being just the thing to cozy up with while watching your favorite streaming show, it adds texture and color when thrown over a sofa or chair. Made from polyester, the blanket can be placed into the wash and tumbled dried, and is available in six different colors.
The trouble with white elephant gifts is you never know who's going to grab yours. However, maybe your gift will inspire someone to do something fun and crazy. Case in point, this COOLA Organic Sunscreen and Lip Balm SPF 30 Sun Protection Kit, makes us feel like we need to book a vacation to an island, and maybe whoever receives it will feel the same. It's vegan, dermatologist-tested, and approved by TSA — basically a sign that it needs to be enjoyed on some tropical holiday far away.
A shot of tequila isn't necessary for a great time. Don't believe me? Try some of the recipes from Mocktail Party. They're fun, creative, and delicious. No matter if the receiver is seeking a healthier lifestyle or simply wants to try a different form of mixology, this book gives no shortage of options, and even has some tips for creating faux-cocktails when dining out!
Everyone is going to be jealous of whomever grabs this best white elephant gift under $50. The JBL Clip 3 is available in lots of cool colors, is waterproof, easy to transport, and plays up to 10 hours of music. It's also noise-canceling, and just the thing anyone needs to get the party started.
If you're set on gifting a fragrance for white elephant, we suggest going with something unisex, like the Discovery Set from Malin +Goetz. It comes with six miniature earthy scents that can be layered or enjoyed alone. Each are vegan, cruetly-free, and will make any nose sing this holiday.
This wellness gift set has something for everyone: a Vital Protein packet, Dove deodorant, CeraVe Moisturizer, and several other goodies. It's a sure winner, whether chosen by a gal or guy, and it's not even $20!
A diffuser is always a safe option, and Paddywax is the brand to know if you like your home smelling fantastic. We love the smoky scent of brown-tobacco patchouli, but there are nine fragrances to select from, including yellow-Meyer lemon, wild fig, and cranberry.
We secretly hope this white elephant gift is chosen by a fan of The Office but if not, it's still a stellar grab. Pretty enough to be left on the kitchen table like a work of art, the teapot's stainless steel steeping cylinder locks tea in place for a leaf-free sipping experience. The pot is available in two different color combos, and is sure to make any teetotaler happy.
We know we live in a digital world, but there's something to be said about the art of writing things by hand. These grid journals from Rettacy are durable, have 320 pages, and an inner pocket for notes, cards, or receipts. Two journals come in the set, and they're available in a variety of colors.
Whether adorned with the best cheeses or crackers and dip, this paddle round is a handy accessory to have. Made from Acacia wood, the board looks fantastic as a center piece or set against your kitchen wall. Keep clean with a simple wipe down, and an application of butcher block oil.
We love all things vintage, including this Chutes and Ladders game from Hasbro the Retro Series 1978 Edition. It's just like you remembered, from the colorful spinning board to the classic playing pieces. Anyone who gets this will have a chuckle, plus a major dose of nostalgia.
Regardless if a person likes java or tea, this Instant Pot Milk Frother is nice to have on hand. It steams, can make milk hot or cold, and gives the option of turning it super thick or light. The two-setting switch means it's easy to operate, and the non-stick interior makes it dishwasher safe.
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Woman’s World.