INSIDE: Festive times are just around the corner! Learn what a white elephant gift exchange is and get some fun and affordable white elephant gift ideas here.
You’ve heard the term before, but what exactly is a gift exchange with white elephants and how does it work? We’re going to go through all of this below and share some fun and inexpensive white elephant gift ideas so you can make the most of this year’s Christmas party.
A gift exchange with white elephants can bring laughter and fun to almost any holiday gathering, such as a family or a Exchange of business gifts. However, developing a gift idea can be a challenge.
While you want to have fun at a white elephant party, you want to keep gift giving affordable too. Here are some great value white elephant gift ideas (each costing less than $ 25) that will start someone’s day !!! (Here are more Gift ideas for employees and very affordable gifts for relatives if you need these ideas too. For more ideas on how to keep your vacation expenses in check, see How To Make Christmas On A Budget.)
Check out some of our other gift guides:
WHAT IS A WHITE ELEPHANT GIFT EXCHANGE?
A gift exchange with white elephants is a fun twist on the Christmas present. Instead of buying a gift for a specific person, buy a simple gift that is suitable for everyone. The rules for white elephants are pretty simple: buy cheap and steal!
When playing with white elephants, every person who takes part in the Christmas party buys an inexpensive gift that they can bring with them anonymously. (I recommend setting a price limit so everyone knows how much to spend.) Guests place their wrapped gifts on a table or under the tree.
If you’re curious, read this Backstory about the name “Gift of a White Elephant”.
DIRECTIONS TO RUN A WHITE ELEPHANT GIFT PARTY
At the beginning everyone draws a number. The person who draws the number 1 selects each wrapped gift that they want to open. The second person has the option of either choosing a new gift to open or stealing the gift opened by player 1. If player 2 steals, player 1 chooses a new gift to open.
When it is the third person’s turn, they can choose from either player 1 or 2 and steal this gift. When one theft happens, the person who has run out of gifts opens another one. The game will continue until all of the presents have been opened.
In this game, you want to get the highest number so that you can choose any gift you want – even if it has already been opened.
Another type of white elephant swap is a Yankee swap. It follows similar rules except that you don’t steal gifts. You open one and are allowed to keep it (of course you can have a gift exchange afterwards).
Both games are great fun, and if you want clever or fun gift ideas, I’m here to help! All of the Christmas gift ideas listed below cost no more than $ 25, making them affordable yet unique!
What kind of gifts do you give?
Now that you understand how it works, it’s time to start thinking about the types of creative and inexpensive white elephant gift ideas to give.
The gifts you exchange may vary depending on the type of party or exchange you are attending. Sometimes the gifts are thoughtful or useful. The gifts can also be something around you that you no longer want (i.e. a new gift).
But most of the time, people exchange funny gifts for white elephants. These make for lots of fun and laughs not only when people open them up, but also when they struggle to either get rid of them or claim the gift they really want. So let’s get to some fun white elephant swap gift ideas …
FUN AND CHEAP GIFT IDEAS FOR WHITE ELEPHANTS
There are many fun ways to hold a gift exchange with white elephants. Sometimes the gifts are all homemade; other times they will be funny. You can set price limits or even make sure the white elephant gift is used by your home. If you want to find creative and unique white elephant swap gift ideas that go beyond the boring gift card, check out this list.
- Mason jar cocktails. If bringing adult drinks for gift exchanges is okay, here’s a really nice idea from Somethingturquoise.com.
- Autograph from you. A fun white elephant gift idea is to take a selfie, print, sign and frame it! Imagine the surprise of your recipient when he or she opens this fun white elephant gift!
- Nap sack. This is the perfect gift for those times when you just feel the urge take a nap!! (It’s not a real gift, but you can put something in the box, such as a fluffy blanket or throw. Kohls has blankets on sale every holiday season, making them extremely affordable.)
- Muffin Top Baking Cup. These Cupcake liners are perfect inexpensive white elephant gift ideas for the baker at your Christmas party!
- Wine bottle glass. You know you have this friend who needs one of these wine glasses.
- Lottery tickets. These also make funny white elephant gifts! Just make the recipient promise to share the profits!
- Bacon rolls. The bacon lover in your group needs these patches. You know it. And i know And once the box is opened, so will the bacon lover! Best white elephant replacement gift idea ever!
- Ax pizza cutter. Who doesn’t love pizza? This great gift is fun however you “cut” it! LOL! I even love the circular saw pizza cutter!
- Cards against humanity. You definitely have to have the right amount this game. It’s crazy popular and good fun … but you don’t want Grandma to end it up (unless she’s as crazy as you are).
- Bear paw gloves. Nothing says love like something out of the oven … when you use your bear Paw oven glove.
- Poo-pouri. These funny little object makes a great inexpensive gift idea for white elephants and is sure to bring lots of laughs!
- Coasters. Here is a great idea for a white elephant gift that is practical and that anyone can use. You can give funny coasters or something more traditional.
- Dog butt magnets. Because why not? (My mom got these as a gift when she moved into her house, and they are my kids’ favorite magnets.)
- Bob Ross socks. Let’s all say it together: “Happy Little Trees”.
- Emoji golf balls. These Golf balls are a great white elephant swap gift idea for the golf lover. They help you with your swing. And if not, they are at least easy to see in the sand trap.
- Bring me socks. Bring me wine, tacos, beer … whatever you want! This is a fitting gift for your friend who loves to laze around and get others to get the drinks. Find all kinds of fun styles on Etsy.
- Money duck. Now you know if your friend is showering with soap or not! These funny duck soap contains cash inside. But you have to use it up before you know how much you are going to get!
- Good morning coffee cup. This fun Sleep / wake cup changes when you add a hot drink. The mug is a perfect white elephant gift for the person who is not so in the morning.
- iPhone charger sticker. Turn your iPhone charger into a fun little creature with these fun and affordable white elephant gift ideas.
FINAL THOUGHTS ABOUT THESE CHEAP GIFT IDEAS FOR WHITE ELEPHANTS
White elephant replacement gift ideas can feel daunting, but when you have all of these great value white elephant gift ideas available, you can stop fretting and be very excited to have a great time!