Tis the season for holiday gift exchanges, which are undoubtedly the source of every year’s most despised gifts. It’s rare that you leave a White Elephant/Secret Santa/Whatever You Call The Gift Trading Game with something you’ll actually use and love. No longer!
These gift ideas are sure to spark joy for the recipient, whoever that may be. Most of the options we rounded up are $50 or under, because if you’re going to a White Elephant party with a higher minimum than $50, uh...I want to be at that party. Let’s get into it!
Personally, I believe that White Elephants are the best opportunity to buy something totally childish and superfluous. Give the gift of fun, and don’t take it too seriously! You can accomplish all that and more chaos with the Nerf Mega XL Boom Dozer Blaster, which means something to someone. And it’s also just $20 today, so it’s perfect for those low-minimum gift exchanges.
If your party has a $15 minimum, this is the perfect gift at $20. Especially for workplace White Elephant parties, this planner is a genuinely helpful gift that you’ll get to watch the recipient use all year round. The planner is basically a super bullet journal, with undated calendars so you can live the same day as many times as you want and lots of helpful templates to track all your healthy new habits.
Who doesn’t love a White Elephant gift that has nothing to do with work? Give the gift of a new hobby with this complete candle making kit. You might even be lucky enough to get a candle back from the person who ends up with this creative and fun package. The set includes a wax pouring pitcher, 20 pre-waxed wicks, three wick-centering devices, 1 lb. of soy wax flakes, and two tins with gift boxes, among other things.
Especially if you’re buying a gift for an office holiday party, this arty class is a great way to tell your coworkers to relax and unwind during the holidays. For just $30, the 25-hour courses will teach your gift recipient the basics of figure drawing, contouring, proportions, and character drawings. The best part? You can buy this gift with only 10 minutes to go until your party starts because it’s an instant download.
It’s $50, it’s adorable, and it’s guaranteed to make the person who opens it first smile a big one. This Game & Watch functions as a clock and a handheld console for three games, so it’s an awesome gift for your work-from-home buddies. I use mine to kill a few minutes between tasks when I have writer’s block, and I stare at the clock all day because it’s super entertaining. It’s a White Elephant shoe-in.
This throw blanket is cozy, festive, and honestly a wonderful gift no matter who you are. Who doesn’t want something to warm them up? Charter Club’s plush throw blanket is on sale for $12 at Macy’s, and it’s humongous. If the pictured style isn’t your favorite, pick from several other options that’ll fit your White Elephant party’s aesthetic.
Okay, full disclosure, this is my favorite option. This is what I would pick if I were at a White Elephant party, because it’s one of those gifts you’d love to have but you’ll probably never buy for yourself. The complete kit comes with a shaker, frother, mixing spoon, ice tongs, muddler, pouring nozzle, and so many more things. Not to mention that this looks great on the countertop of any millennial kitchen.
Alright, this one’s a little expensive for a White Elephant gift, but who doesn’t love Calvin and Hobbes? Now you can gift them all for a mere $70. Four paperback volumes containing every cartoon to ever appear in syndication, and you can save $55 with this sale. It’s the perfect gift to give before the holiday break, especially if your White Elephant attendees have little ones.
This post includes original writing by Joe Tilleli, Sophy Ziss, Zoë Hannah, and Keith Stawarz.