A good white elephant Christmas party can become a fun tradition. I always pride myself on bringing an epic gift to our annual party. After over 10 years of white elephant parties, we have seen some hilarious things and some not quite so good. If you’ve never attended one of these parties, try hosting one yourself this year. I’m sharing some of my favorite white elephant gift options as well as tips for making your gathering one your guests won’t forget.
How to Choose a Great White Elephant Gift
- Consider your budget. You can get an unforgettable white elephant gift without spending a lot of money. I would suggest something nicer than the half-used toilet paper roll, broken crayons, or expired cans of food my family used to receive at white elephant parties when I was growing up. The ideas on this list are all around or under $25, so you can be sure to take a fabulous gift without breaking the bank!
- Think about the other party guests. The whole point of a white elephant gift party is for the laughs and fun, right? Just remember the other party goers might not have the same humor as you. If you know someone at the party might be offended by a certain gift, you might want to choose something else. This list includes clean white elephant gifts that should be appropriate for most anyone.
- Keep it fun. Don’t stress about buying the perfect gift. The options on this list are sure to keep everyone laughing.
Funny and Affordable White Elephant Gift Ideas for Christmas 2019
Here are a few great white elephant gift ideas that are all around or under $25. If spending money isn’t your thing, I’ve also listed some good homemade white elephant gift ideas below.
1. Snittens Snot Mittens
We’ve all been there: It’s cold outside, your nose is running, and there isn’t a tissue to be found. Problem solved. The Snittens snot mittens are perfect for both keeping hands warm and wiping your nose on. They are even absorbent and neutral colored so you don’t have to worry about embarrassing streaks.
2. Toilet Timer
Know someone who spends a little too much time in the bathroom? The toilet timer is a great white elephant. It’s a classic sand timer that “goes” for about 5 minutes. When the timer runs out, it’s time to get off the pot! This funny gag gift comes in 5 different options including kid versions and a Donald Trump one, too.
3. Beer Belly Fanny Pack
This is one of my personal favorites. The hairy beer belly fanny pack looks so real, and all of your fellow party goers will get a kick out of it. There are also some other great fanny pack options including six pack abs and a saggy skin belly.
4. Burrito Wrap Blanket
Who doesn’t love burritos and blankets? Combine them and you have the perfect gift. Seriously, this is blanket looks just like a tortilla, but unfortunately it doesn’t taste like one. This gag gift is funny but also practical. The recipient will love it. The blanket is soft and comfortable, and it comes in a few different sizes. Party goers will be fighting over this one!
5. A Mullet Headband
If you’re not part of the mullet trend, you’re just in the way. Better yet, now you can be part of the trend and simply remove it when you need to part of a serious conversation.
There are lots of mullet headbands out there including but not limited to: the Bobcat, the Widowmaker, the Weekender, and the Tailgater. Still, the one I’d go with is the Bobcat, as it’s built just a bit better than the other options out there. It comes in blonde, brown, or black hair so no one will even notice it’s there. If you truly want it to match I’d go a shade lighter for most. It’s under $10 and makes our list of cheap and unique white elephant gifts under $10 as well.
6. Glenda Glitterpoop the Unicorn
Unicorns may seem fluffy and nice but in the inside they’re holding back a lot of aggression. Take Glenda Gliterpoop for example. One minute she has a cute face and pouty eyes. The next, she’s ready to chew your arm off.
Seriously, this little unicorn (measures around 8.5″) is a total hit at white elephant parties. It’s easy to squeeze the doll and have it make the angry face and it’s quite the transformation as you can see above!
We’ve made a few of these in the past by printing out photos, laminating them, and then binding them together. I guess someone decided to take the idea to the next level. Here are two pretty funny options. Keep in mind that whatever you go with, you’ll have to look at it all year round.
You can go with the awkward family photos that never should have been taken or the 365 days of the People of Walmart. As you can see in the images above, either one is a classy choice.
8. Stylish Fingerwear
In the last few years, I’ve seen several items from Accoutrements, the company behind the Handerpants, at our white elephant party. One I’m excited about this year is the Handicorn, which allows your hand to look like a majestic unicorn. Ever dreamed of being a unicorn? Now you can be one, or sort of, or at least your hand can be. Accountrements also makes a handipug, handihorse, finger hands, and other funny options to put on your hands. These are always a hit.
9. Emergency Underpants
On a more serious note, my wife and I could have used a pair of these at Disneyland with our middle child this past year. Accidents are no joke, but now you can make them into one!
10. Potty Putter
11. A Funny Book
“Crafting With Cat Hair” is a real passion for many owners out there. This book shows you how to transform those clumps you find around your house into amazing works of art. You can create everything from a tote bag to a picture frame using the leftover crafting material from your cat. You could also pair this book with the book “Knitting with Dog Hair”. As that book says, it’s “better a sweater from a dog you know and love than from a sheep you’ll never meet”. Truer words were never spoken, kind of.
12. Donald Trump Chia Pet
It doesn’t matter your political affiliation–this is a funny white elephant. This kit comes with everything you need to grow the perfect “hair” for Donald Trump. It’s easy and fun to get the chia seeds growing into the perfect rug. If Trump isn’t your first choice for this gift, there are plenty of other options including Hilary Clinton, Barak Obama, Abe Lincoln, Bernie Sanders, and George Washington.
13. Edible Insects
Want to give a good, healthy gift to your friends? How about some protein packed edible insects. Not to worry–these are not fried or frozen. They are dehydrated bugs and they look almost as alive as when they were actually alive. If your friends are anything like mine, you will get a mixed reaction with this edible white elephant gift. Some people will be disgusted, while others will want to pass them around and give them a try. The package contains a variety of grasshoppers, worms, and crickets.
14. Portable Pizza Pouch
15. Horse Head Mask
Horse hooves can be added to your hands to make the illusion feel even more real.
Don’t want to be a horse? No problem! This is also available in a squirrel, pigeon, pug, magical unicorn, chicken, bald eagle, and other designs.
16. A Funny T-Shirt
Another good option for your white elephant gift is a funny t-shirt. Although there are unlimited options I could show you here, the one that we chose to feature on this article is the “World’s Okayest Brother”, which we just thought was okay or kind-of funny. Other good options like Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump riding a pig can be found on this page.
17. Fairly Odd Novelties Redneck Tree Plunger
Get into the redneck spirit of Christmas with this is a hilarious gift option for your white elephant gift exchange. What makes a better white elephant gift than a plunger dressed up as a Christmas tree? Rednecks everywhere would rejoice to get this under their Christmas tree. This gift can capture even a few more laughs with a little dirt thrown on the plunger to make it look like it has been used.
18. A Homemade White Elephant Gift Idea
Didn’t like any of the ideas we had above? Make a homemade white elephant gift. One fairly easy one we’ve done in the past is a shave with me Barbie.
Shave With Me Barbie Instructions:
- Get a cheap Barbie from the dollar store.
- Cut off a bit of the back of her hair.
- Take the cut hair and glue it to all the unsightly places you can think of.
- Put the Barbie back in the plastic case.
- Add a Razor and a sign.
Voila! You’ve got the funniest gift of the entire party for less than $2.
5 Good White Elephant Party Board Games
What’s a good white elephant party without some good and funny party board games? Here are a few that have worked great for us in the past.
Cards Against Humanity
Admittedly this card game is going to be completely inappropriate for many people. It does advertise itself as “a party game for horrible people” so be aware of that if you decide to get it. Still, it’s the number one board game right now, so there must be a lot of horrible people.
The rules are as simple as a game like Apples to Apples. Someone picks a black card and the other players answer with their funniest white card. Again, for the sensitive out there, I’m warning you now that this game can be inappropriate, racist, and overly sexual at the same time. So, if that’s not you or your group of friends, try out one of the other options below.
I’ve never seen my Dad laugh as hard as when he plays this game. He’s a terrible artist, but that’s what makes it so fun. If you’ve never played Telestrations before it’s basically like the drawing version of the classic Telephone Game.
I’ve played this in a group with kids and a group of adults and have always had a good time.
Boxers or Briefs
If you’ve ever played Apples to Apples, then you know the basic rules of Boxers or Briefs. You have a set of cards in your hand and you’re trying to convince one of the players that your card is either the funniest or the truest answer.
Fortunately for your white elephant party, Boxers or Briefs is a bit more inappropriate than Apples to Apples. That being said I’ve played this with my parents and my kids, and it’s not so inappropriate that someone will get offended.
This is one of those games that everyone has to be excited about in order to be fun. I’ve had a couple laugh so hard you cry kind of moments playing it as well as a couple boring games.
One person each round is “the customer”. This is basically the buyer that you’re trying to sell to. Depending on what the customer draws you, the “inventor”, might be selling to one of many types of people including a caveman, nurse, ninja etc…
At this point the inventors take two cards from their hand, put them together, and the invent something that they think the customer will want the most. When it gets really funny is when people are willing to act out the part and really work with it. Imagine selling a lightning bra to a ninja and you can see what I mean.
Saran Wrap Ball Game
We’ve also done a more homemade game with this saran wrap ball. Place some gifts inside and saran wrap them as you see in the picture.
To play, start by having someone roll dice until they get doubles. Using their hands only they have to unwrap the ball without tearing the Saran Wrap. As soon as someone else gets doubles the ball gets passed to them. Guests keep what they unwrap.
To make it more difficult we’ve also had the guests wear gloves!
Tips for An Unforgettable White Elephant Party
- Know Who to Invite
You don’t have to invite only people who know each other. However, you probably want to make sure those you invite have similar tastes or personalities. It can be a disaster if your guests are uncomfortable with the gifts, games, or food/drinks at your party.
- Give Plenty of Notice
Especially if you are having your party during the holiday season, be sure to send an invitation well before your party so guests can plan for it. This also gives time for party goers to find a perfect gift. Otherwise you might end up with the typical, predictable half used bottle of shampoo or box of macaroni and cheese.
- Be Specific about Gifts
Decide on a price limit on gifts the guests should bring. This will make your guests feel more comfortable. Also, let them know if each couple is expected to bring one gift or if you want each person to bring his or her own gift. You can specify if you want them to bring one purchased gift and one homemade white elephant or if one gift should be practical. Maybe you want to leave it open ended and allow party goers to decide what type of gift to bring.
- Make It Exciting
While the white elephant gifts are often the highlight of the party, you will want to incorporate other activities into your party as well. You can ask guests to bring their favorite Christmas treats or have a contest to see who can make the best (or worst) fruitcake. Board games are always a fun way for everyone to get to know each other better. We love having guests wear an ugly sweater. Sometimes we give gifts for the best sweater.
- Have Delicious Food
Excellent food always makes a party better. Serve festive food that everyone can enjoy. If you’re like us, we often end up with nothing but dessert so it might be a good idea to ask some guests to bring savory foods.
White Elephant Gift Exchange Rules
A white elephant gift exchange, called Yankee Swap by some, has rules that are different for just about everyone. The basic premise is the same. Everyone brings a gag gift and exchanges it. Ultimately, you can do it however you like, but here are some basic guidelines to go by.
- Place all the gifts in the center of the floor.
- Decide who goes first. This can be done in a number of ways: closest birthday, name out of a hat, best costume, or whatever you want.
- Go around the circle clockwise opening gifts. After the first person goes the next can decide to steal a gift or open a new one. (We sometimes make everyone open a new gift the first round so that the wimps can’t just skip their turn.)
- Go around the circle at least one more time, allowing your guests to steal gifts from each other. Once a gift has been stolen twice it’s “locked” and can’t get stolen again.
The gift exchange can go pretty fast without some additional rules. Here are some we’ve used before to stretch it out a bit.
- In order to steal (or open) a gift, you need to roll dice until you get doubles.
- Anything wearable needs to be worn by the opener.
Your white elephant party can be the best of the year if you make it that way! What are some gifts you’re giving out this year? We’d love to know. Tell us below.