We should all have a list of white elephant gift ideas once the holiday season hits. What’s a white elephant gift exchange, you ask? The basic gist: Buy a gift (typically within a certain budget) and bring it, wrapped, to the big event. Draw straws to see who picks first, second, and so on until everyone gets a gift. When it’s your turn, you may pick a wrapped gift or “steal” one that’s already been opened.
Sure, some variations exist, but the hardest part isn’t playing the party game, it’s finding the time to shop for a really great white elephant gift that isn’t over the price limit (typically around $10–20). So we pulled together our favorite thoughtful and funny white elephant gift exchange ideas, which also double as Christmas gift ideas, stocking stuffers, and secret Santa gifts. Skip the gift card and don’t make your white elephant gift exchange contribution (or any holiday gift) an afterthought this year.
Our Top Picks
Sometimes all the white elephant holiday party needs is an adult coloring book. This one offers an opportunity to take a break from all of life’s most stressful things—put down the phone, shut the laptop, and get out the crayons.
If your budget is a bit higher, consider a beautiful set of coasters. This option channels some of Yoshitomo Nara’s most iconic artwork in an unexpected place.
This card game is all about getting to know someone—like, actually getting to know them. With four levels that dig into a person’s background, social views, and values, this game gets more vulnerable the longer you play.
Instead of wrapping up some half-dying succulents, got for something a little more fun. These collection of seeds attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds and can be planted just about anywhere.
Basquiat’s crown-topped dino is pretty recognizable, and socks are a great place to show a hint of (really good) taste. If there’s anyone at the white elephant gift exchange who enjoys art, they’ll be into these.
Sometimes the best white elephant gift is a little bit silly.
Everyone loves learning something new. Less funny and more DIY, this is a great gift if you’ve got someone in the crew who loves taking on new projects. Fingers crossed they pick this one.
Sometimes the best white elephant gifts just lie down right in front of you. Case in point, this might be the funniest night light out there—if anything, it’s a unique gift.
This rechargeable speaker is perfect for impromptu park hangs, backyard self-care moments lounging with a moisturizing face mask, or just dancing it out in the living room.
Never have we seen a better white elephant exchange contribution than this fun little machine that makes mini heart waffles. After all, breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
We love the message behind this bottle: Get outside and do whatever makes you the happiest. Plus, it’s made of 50% recycled material.
This adorable silicone wine bottle stopper will keep their wine fresh and looking cuter than cute.
There is a world of methods for steeping tea, but we’d like to think this crustaceous infuser is the most fun way to do it.
Be honest: You want these colorful pens for yourself. They’ll surely make bullet journaling or grocery lists all the more fun for your giftee.
The pink and white pattern is sweet and will draw plenty of compliments from dinner party guests. In terms of white elephant, this practical gift is also real score.
We’ve all thought the same thing when cracking open a fortune cookie: “I wonder who writes these?” Well, now whoever gets this gift set has the power of knowing the answer.
Everyone could use another coffee mug, that’s just science. This adorable ceramic cup comes in three prestigious-looking dog designs inspired by oil paintings and antique French furniture.
Who doesn’t love a cute little iPhone accessory? Help any foodie upgrade their Apple game with this card-forward gadget that may just be the perfect white elephant gift.
No one really buys their own sponge holders, right? And there’s no denying that this one from Amazon will only add to someone’s sink curb appeal.