Although the holiday season might look a bit different this year, you can still plan your usual gift exchanges, Secret Santas, and—our personal fave—white elephants. Just make the parties virtual to practice social distancing and send your gifts in the mail afterward. Easy peasy! Or, you can host a smaller get-together with roommates or family members in your household.
Also known as Yankee Swap or Dirty Santa, White Elephant is the bee’s knees! But if you’ve never participated and have no idea what to expect, here’s the scoop:
Everyone who wants to participate needs to purchase a gift that’s worth the same amount and draws numbers to determine the order that they get to pick a random gift out of the bunch. Sounds simple, right?
But of course, there’s a twist! If you’ve got your eye on a gift that someone else has already opened, you can choose to steal their gift instead—cue the drama, suspense, and revenge! In other words, expect even the closest of friends to turn against each other in the blink of an eye and snatch gifts right from their loved ones’ tight grip.
Gotta love the holiday spirit!
Since there are so many different kinds of gift ideas you can bring to one of these shindigs, you might be wondering where to start. You can go the quirky, random, silly route, or you can decide to bring something functional and nice—it just depends on the theme and the group of individuals you play with. If you need some gift-inspiration to get the ball rollin’, here are 15 white elephant gift ideas that everyone will want to nab.
1. Breakfast Sandwich Maker
They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Unfortunately, mornings are pretty hectic for most people, especially families with little ones. So how do you cope with hunger pangs at breakfast time? If you are like most people today, you have to rush through the meal, gobble down whatever’s handy at the moment in the kitchen, or grab a quick on-the-go bite.
Well, ladies and gents, that’s where a Breakfast Sandwich Maker comes to the rescue! It’s all about making a tasty fresh breakfast sammy you can grab and go. (Okay, now who’s hungry?!)
2. Snoop Dogg Cookbook
Looking for a cookbook with, say, a little more personality? Welcome to the Boss Dogg’s Kitchen—the very first cookbook and recipe book from The Dogg himself. From Crook to Cook: Platinum Recipes from The Boss Dogg’s Kitchen. You’ve probably seen Snoop Dogg work his culinary magic on VH1’s Emmy-nominated Martha and Snoop’s Pot Luck Dinner Party, and now The Dogg’s up in your kitchen—with his first cookbook!
3. Air Popper
Make a favorite movie night treat in a matter of minutes. A Hot Air Popper is extremely easy to use—just add the kernels with the built-in measuring cup, plug it in and let the popcorn magic begin. And the best part? Gone are the days of having to share the popcorn bowl—with this air popper, cups of tasty popcorn are popped to perfection per batch so everyone can have their own bowl! With an air popper, you can customize the flavor by adjusting the seasonings to your liking or keep it plain for a low-calorie snack.
Want to bring a gift to the table that is sure to cause a riot amongst your group of friends? Consider SwingTie—the original swing hanger! SwingTie makes it easier than ever to install a swing or hammock. Whether you’re looking to swing from a tree or rest in a hammock on your annual camping trip, SwingTie is the quickest way to get swinging.
5. Soft Throw Blanket
You really can’t go wrong with a comfy-cozy soft throw blanket in the winter. When you can’t think of anything else, this is a simple white elephant gift idea that is always immediately stolen.
6. Hot Dog and Bun Toaster
Make hotdogs the easiest meal of the week with this handy-dandy white elephant gift idea! Designed to toast two yummy hot dogs and two buns simultaneously, this toaster means there is barely any washing up and no waiting for the second hot dog to be ready!
7. Grilled Cheese Toaster
Are hot dogs not really your thing? Maybe you’d prefer a grilled cheese toaster instead! If you ask us, grilled cheese sandwiches are the epitome of comfort food, so having this awesome toaster will make life just a little bit easier.
Fitted with two reusable baskets and an adjustable dial for the perfect level of doneness, a grilled cheese toaster will create the perfect toastie in a matter of minutes and is sure to be a gift that anyone would enjoy… or steal.
8. A Movie Night Basket
If you like to get creative with your gifts, consider putting together an awesome movie night basket! Theaters are currently closed due to the current pandemic, so help one of your lucky friends to Netflix and Chill with a basket full of goodies.
Not sure what to add to your basket? Think about all the movie night essentials, like popcorn, candy, and soda pop, and you’ll be on your way to creating a gift that is sure to get nabbed in no time!
9. Sweet Treats
Who doesn’t love a tasty sweet treat around the holidays? Spend an afternoon whipping up some delicious holiday treats like double-fudge brownies, rice crispy treats, and chocolate cake for your friends. As soon as this scrumptious gift is unwrapped, watch as they battle it out to take it home. Who will come out victorious?!
10. Burrito Blanket
Not really a fan of sweet treats? Skip the chocolate and bring a burrito blanket to the elephant gift exchange instead! Whoever gets this unique gift will be head-over-heals to wrap themselves in a giant fluffy tortilla, but hopefully, they don’t get used to it too quickly because this is one fun gift that is sure to get snatched.
11. Travel Hammock
Nothing is better than getting outdoors and taking in the fresh air. If you want to bring a gift to the party that will cause a little bit of family-fun drama, you need a travel hammock. These hammocks are made specifically for traveling and are great for camping trips. Just don’t forget to include SwingTie for quick and easy installation.
12. Water Bottle
Yes, water bottles are definitely a thing right now! You don’t have to carry around the huge plastic one anymore; there are so many with sleek designs that will make any trip to the gym more enjoyable. For a fun wintery touch, look for a water bottle with a fun holiday design to bring to the white elephant gift exchange.
13. Lottery Tickets
Make a quick run to the local gas station and buy a bunch of dollar scratch-offs. Simply wrap this gift up with a sweet note that reads, “Though you could use some luck to help you get through the holidays.” Fingers crossed, the ticket winners are lucky!
14. Face Masks
Given the increasing severity of the pandemic sweeping over the nation, a handy-dandy reusable face mask will certainly be one of the most popular gifts at the gift exchange due to the public health guidelines requiring everyone to wear one.
Since face masks are essential for protection against bacteria and germs, gifting a durable mask that is made of 100% cotton is a really great idea. If you want to get a few laughs, consider a face mask with a totally fun and wacky print.
15. Dino Taco Holders
Dinosaurs + tacos = prehistoric awesomeness, duh! Thought to be extinct, the prehistoric taco holder is back and ready to carry two of your favorite tacos on its back. Box up these adorable dino taco holders with a jar of your favorite salsa and some taco shells for a delicious themed gift.
A Final Word
If this is your first white elephant exchange, hold onto your hat and get ready for one heck of a time! This holiday classic is a fun way to exchange gifts that comes with a lot of laughs and just a wee bit of drama. Not sure what to bring? Never fear! Any item on our list above is sure to be a hit.