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White Elephant Party Gift Ideas to Celebrate the Season

white elephant gift ideas

For your next holiday party or family get-together, instead of regular gift-giving, why not try a white elephant gift exchange? Below, we’ll talk about what a white elephant gift exchange is, how to play, and give you some white elephant gift ideas.

What are White Elephant Exchanges?

White elephant gift exchanges turn gift-giving into a game. Instead of purchasing a gift for a specific person, everyone brings a silly or useful gift, and the group plays a game to find out who gets which gift.

By turning gift-giving into party entertainment, it reduces the stress of having to pick the ‘right’ gift, especially for people who you don’t know well or who are hard to please. It also can be a great way to eliminate pressure to spend a lot of money, as some of the best white elephant gifts can be under $5.00.

How Does White Elephant Work?

According to the website White Elephant Rules, here’s how you play:

  1. All participants should bring a gift-wrapped present to the party. (Host should set a spending limit and what kind of gift to bring).
  2. Each person draws a number or rolls dice to determine the playing order.
  3. Everyone sits in their playing order in a circle or a line and should have a clear view of the gifts.
  4. The first person chooses a gift. They should open it and show it to everyone.
  5. Each person after the first can either choose to open a gift or steal one that was already opened.
  6. After each person has had a turn, the second turn begins, and each person without a gift can choose to open a new gift or steal a gift. A present can be stolen only once per turn.
    The game continues until everyone has a gift and then the first person declines to steal a gift from someone else.

What Are Good White Elephant Gifts?

To make the game fun, choose gifts that are silly, a little obnoxious or creative. Generally, it’s more fun to get something interesting and low-priced rather than something nice and more expensive.

How you approach gift choices may depend on the people playing. If it’s an office party or a party with kids, you might want less offensive gifts than if it’s a group of long-term friends. There are endless white elephant gift exchange ideas, but you want your present to be unique.

Gift Ideas For Friends

When you have a diverse group of friends, it can be difficult to come up with ideas of what to bring to a white elephant party. Here are some suggestions:

  • Star Trek Garden Gnome
  • Crazy Cat Lady Action Figure
  • Duck Feet Finger Puppets
  • Wine Bottle Glass
  • Chewbacca Drink Koozie

Presents For Office Parties

For office parties, you might want to strike a different tone. Here are a few silly ideas:

  • Office Jargon Stamp  
  • Desktop Skee-Ball
  • Brain Dump Pad

Funny Ideas For Families

What gifts would work well with partygoers of all ages? You can’t go wrong with these wacky white elephant gifts:

  • Lump of Coal Soap
  • The Original Toilet Mug
  • Breakfast at Tiffany’s Sleep Mask
  • LED Ice Cubes
  • Emoji Pillows

If you really want to stir up trouble, how about a Jar of Nothing? And the best part: you can expect that gift to show up year after year.

Where to Find Good White Elephant Gifts

Online there are a number of places to get funny toys, gadgets, and housewares. ThinkGeek and Archie McPhee are a couple of options, as well as

If you’d like to shop locally in San Antonio, there are a few places you might look for the perfect white elephant gift.

Traders’ Village Flea Market (9333 SW Loop 410 at Old Pearsall Rd) will have a wide range of options. You might also try Next Generation Gifts and Resale (25896 Campbellton Rd Lot #3, 78264). Don’t discount thrift stores and garage sales, which are great sources for white elephant gifts, often at a significant discount. There’s the Green Door Thrift Shoppe (1030 Nacogdoches Road), Thrift Town (2864 Thousand Oaks Dr.), and a number of Goodwills around town. If you really think about it, you can find creative white elephant gift ideas at almost any store.

Happy Holidays From ABC

Everyone at ABC Home & Commercial Services hopes that you and your family enjoy the holiday season. Give us a call if you need help with your holiday lighting, and we’re here to lend a hand if you need any landscaping or heating needs throughout the winter.

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