The best white elephant gifts for gift exchanges including ideas that are both useable and hilarious! Bring one of these to your next white elephant party or dirty Santa and guarantee they’ll be stolen all night long!
I’ve yet to meet a single person who has never participated in some sort of holiday gift exchange and most of us have participated in quite a few. What nobody talks about is how difficult it is to pick out the perfect gift exchange gift, especially if it’s a white elephant exchange!
I’ve hosted and been to my fair share of Christmas parties and gift exchanges in the past and these ideas are inspired by some of the best gift ideas I’ve ever seen and heard about.
These are perfect if you’re looking for the best white elephant gift ideas or funny white elephant gifts – if you want actual gifts or a thoughtful gift idea for say a secret Santa, check out some of my gift guides instead! There’s everything from Christmas gifts for runners to 12 days of Christmas gift ideas!
So grab a gift, wrap it up nice, and pretty – maybe even add one of these Christmas gift tags – and get ready to play!
What is a White Elephant Gift
Before we get into the gifts, let’s start with a quick clarification of what white elephant gifts actually are. I was talking to someone recently and realized that some people don’t know what a white elephant gift exchange actually is.
I mean, it’s possible there’s a totally different white elephant gift definition, but this is how I’ve always heard it.
A white elephant gift is a gag gig, something that’s designed to be funny and not taken seriously.
If you’re going to a white elephant gift exchange, the goal is to bring something that will make people laugh or will be something unique and funny. It’s a good thing if people are laughing when your gift gets opened!
I know some people tend to go on the more offensive route, but that’s not my thing so these gifts are funny without being offensive. There’s a little potty humor but always practical potty humor!
I also try to bring things that are funny but not something that will go in the trash as soon as everyone leaves. So no empty paper towel rolls or broken picture frames, but to each their own. I also like to follow whatever the gift exchange theme is (if there is one).
A white elephant gift exchange typically includes swapping presents with someone else. They may be played a little differently – it might be a dice gift exchange or even a never have I ever Christmas game, but it likely includes some stealing. Coming up with a gift that you think people will actually want (but a funny one) will make the stealing portion of the game so much better!
The Best Elephant Gifts
I purposely included white elephant gifts that would be funny but also things that people might actually keep, not just throw in the trash five minutes later. They’re perfect crowd pleasers for your next holiday party!
These are inspired by some of the best white elephant gift ideas I’ve seen in all the parties I’ve hosted, but there are plenty of others out there if you want to just use this as an inspiration spot!
White Elephant Game Ideas
If you need some ideas for how to do a white elephant gift exchange and not just funny gag gifts to take to one, these are some of our personal favorites that would work well with funny gifts!
- Rock paper scissors gift exchange
- Holiday hustle gift exchange
- Gift exchange card game
- Christmas never have I ever game
- Scrooge your neighbor
- 12 days of Christmas gift exchange
White Elephant Gift FAQs
A white elephant is typically a gift exchange that uses funny or gag gifts. Try to pick something that’ll make people laugh but also something that people can actually use like Poo-Pourri, a funny coloring book, or an unneeded but still useful kitchen appliance.
Also, make sure that the host is expecting you to bring an actual white elephant gift (aka gag gift) and not looking for real gifts. Some people don’t realize white elephant is traditionally funny gifts and you don’t want to show up with a game of toilet tag when others brought gift cards and iPods.
Spend close to whatever the budget is set for by the person hosting the white elephant gift exchange. If the budget is $20, stick to the $15-$25 range. You don’t want to be the person who spends way under or way over. There’s a budget for a reason.
The best white elephant gift I’ve ever received was a toilet time gift basket with toilet books, a squatty potty, and a travel sized potpourri. It was funny and we still use it to this day!
The best white elephant gift I’ve seen was a singing fish that you hang on your wall. It was not only a hilarious gift, but it turned into a tradition for the person who ended up with the gift to hang it up for the year then bring it back the next year. Everyone was constantly trying to be the one who ended up with the singing fish!
More Christmas Gift Ideas
If you need help finding other Christmas gifts, I’ve got plenty of ideas for those as well!
- Best Star Wars gifts – an entire collection of great Star Wars gifts!
- 12 days of Christmas gift ideas – both classic and creative versions of gifts for the 12 days of Christmas!
- Experience gifts for kids – forget things and give experiences instead, these are some of the best!
- Gifts for foodies – if you know a foodie, they’ll want something from this list!
- Gifts for entertainers – know a hostess with the mostest? Get them something from this list!