How to Give a Great White Elephant Gift

White Elephant

By Brynne Ramella. If you're not familiar with White Elephant, it is a gift exchange with a twist. While there are many different rules followed for this game, the most concrete rule is that these gifts are typically silly, non-traditional gifts. Now, I've only ever participated in White Elephant once and I had a rather hard time finding a good White Elephant gift. However, I know it is a common tradition for many families. So here are a few pointers for how to give a great White Elephant gift.

  1. Be silly. Don't take yourself too seriously when you buy a White Elephant gift. Have fun. A great silly gift is a set of vinyl mustache decals. Mustaches are trendy, and it could be something fun and goofy to stick on something like a wine glass.
  2. Know your audience. Many versions of White Elephant allow you to "steal" gifts for a number of rounds. So, have a certain friend in mind that's participating in White Elephant when you shop. If you have a friend in this gift swap who is into photography, find a silly accessory to go with your friend's camera! That friend will snatch up that gift at the first chance they have!
  3. Be cheap. Okay, this may sound bad. But White Elephant may just be the only time that you can get away with spending as little as possible. Check out this list for some ideas that won't break the bank!
  4. Be weird. Have you ever stumbled upon a knick knack that you loved, but were too embarrassed to buy since it was a little...different? Now's your chance to snatch that up! If you're still a little embarrassed when you purchase it, just give the excuse that it's for White Elephant! And you might even have the chance to steal your strange little item during the gift exchange.
  5. Be practical. No one actually wants a practical gift for Christmas, because where is the fun in that? White Elephant is a great chance to buy an odd, yet incredibly practical household item to give as an gift. For example, a friend just told me that her sister-in-law gave her an apple slicer for Christmas and she absolutely loves it and uses it all the time. How great would that be for White Elephant?

Have fun! Be sure to share your favorite White Elephant gift with us on Facebook or Twitter!