There is a little joke in my family that the best gift someone can give a blogger is a blog post. Well, my brother Lance did just that! Awesome right?!?! AND it just so happens to be that he brings some of the best White Elephant Gifts to the party every year. My favorite so far is #1 below. We were just able to witness it this within the last few days. Such fun and hilarious ideas!
Note: there are some amazon affiliate links below to show you the specific items he mentions.
Lance’s Guide to Awesome White Elephant Gifts
I love white elephant gift exchanges. I don’t know if it is the fact that it is always a competition to see who gets the best (or best-worst) gift, or the fact that you can openly compare and lust after gifts, which is normally a taboo subject at Christmas, but I just love it, and I have gotten pretty good at finding that special gift that is sure to “win” the gift exchange as the best of the night. I am going to share some of my secrets to picking a great White Elephant Gift.
Basic White Elephant Gift Rules
There are certain rules to giving white elephant gifts that you need to know before you attend that holiday party. And here they are:
- Find your gift voice. Do you want to give something useful or something completely unusable? Do you want to be seen as the awesome person who gave the specialty chocolate or the jerk who gave the toilet paper roll statue? Once you decide the tone with which you want to give, finding the perfect gift is a piece of cake (sometimes a piece of cake is a great gift!)
- Pick your wrapping paper. Generally in our exchanges, the worse the wrapping, the nicer the gift. Plus, there is something extremely satisfying about spending an inordinate amount of time wrapping ketchup-flavored Chap Stick.
- Drop your present at the pile or table as quickly as you can. If you have developed a reputation for awesomely awful gifts or truly nice gifts, then you need to take care that the least amount of people can associate you with a certain wrapped present. Half of the fun is discovering who brought which present, so don’t spoil the surprise. Get in, drop it, and get out.
- Don’t let kids play. Children get really offended and do not understand the humor in stealing gifts or in getting a copy of Manos, Hands of Fate. So set an age limit and do a separate exchange of just nice gifts for kids under the age of 12 or 14 or 18.
My Personal Favorites for White Elephant Gifts
Now that we have discussed the basics of White Elephant gifts, you are ready for some of my most fun ideas. Here is the top ten funny gifts for your white elephant gift exchange this year.
1. A live lobster
Actually, a crayfish is easier to keep alive…but you get the idea!
2. Chia anything
3. A board game from your local DI or thrift store
Preferably something dated before 1955.
4. A book
Believe it or not, there is a book of Awkward Family Photos (just like the website) and there is actually a coffee table book of coffee tables. When buying this type of book just think about something that would be a great conversation starter on your coffee table. (Well, not your coffee table, but someone else’s). Half-Price books or your local thrift store are prime locations for finds, but Barnes N Noble and Amazon also yield great results. The Memoirsof Bill Clinton has been making the rounds for a few years. But did you know that Ozzie Osborne has a few books on parenting and life outlooks. You can definitely use your imagination and find some of the most ridiculous people writing the most ridiculous books. Again, peruse around the thrift store book section for awesome and affordable gems, like my recent find of Richard Simmons’ “Never Give Up.”
5. Something to hang on the tree
This year, KISS ornaments were presented to Grandma, and last year my uncle walked away with four out of five of the One Direction ornaments- we couldn’t find a Harry Stiles…Well actually, they were figurines, but a little ribbon/hot glue gun magic turned them into a Christmas decoration specialties.
6. Something completely useless
A bunch of glass grapes, a cassette player, a five iron, record player…you get the idea. Supporting your local thrift store for this type of gift is a must.
7. Something homemade
Who wouldn’t want a fork welded onto the back of a spoon? A cardboard cutout with a picture of Vladimir Putin’s face on it is a must for this year’s holiday season. A toilet paper roll statue, a paper mache globe, a self-portrait, this type of gift costs less generally, and will take up a lot more time, but the look on the lucky recipients face will be epic!
8. Something to hang up
A yarn stitched painting of almost anything but especially wildlife or outdoor scenes (we gave a brown yarn owl stitched on a green felt background a few years ago). Also keep on the lookout at the thrift store for fabulous clocks (like a unicorn one we found yeas ago) or frames. Worst case (or best case) you get a nice frame with glass, take a picture of yourself, and put it in the frame (make sure to sign it). This will be a present they will treasure forever (and remember the next year).
9. Pull out something from your childhood
A laminated children’s book written by yourself in second grade is awesome, a folder containing all of your chemistry homework for four college O-Chem class is awesome (especially if you still have the course book to go along with it) and even copies of all of your high school dance pictures would be much appreciated by your coworkers, I am sure.
10. An ugly sweater
Most of the times the white elephant gift exchange is done at the ugly sweater party, so the recipient of this gift gets to wait a whole year until they get a chance to wear this out on the town. Best case – they are already wearing an ugly sweater and get to open an ugly sweater from you!
Special Note About “Naughty” Gifts
With Naughty gifts the point is to be funny, but not cruel or crude.
And Most Importantly…
Do everything you can to stay within your price limit, because it is awesome to hear someone ask, “How did that much crap just cost 5 dollars?”
About our Guest Post: Lance is a Chiropractor in Mesa and Florence, Arizona by day and goes by the name of “Super Dad” in the evenings to his 5 children and wife. He thrills in finding a good laugh for his White Elephant, reading a good book and trying to soak up as much as possible his little ones while they are still little. Hopefully, this will not be the last time Lance shares his ideas with Fun On a Dime.