Thank god for holiday gift exchanges or you’d be buying dozens of gifts for everyone you know. This holiday season, consider hosting a white elephant gift exchange to ramp up the entertainment factor while keeping things budget-friendly.

Here’s how it works: Each person buys and wraps a present. When the gift exchange starts, everyone draws a number that indicates the order in which they will be picking a wrapped present out of the bunch. After the first person picks their gift, the others can either steal previously opened gifts or take a new one from the pile. If you get your gift stolen, you can just grab another one to unwrap. This process continues until everyone has a gift. 

White elephant gift exchanges are meant to be silly and fun and include gag gifts. When shopping for a present to bring, keep in mind that you don’t know who the gift is for. This is also why a $20 budget is perfect; the gifts aren’t meant to be special or useful but rather spread smiles and elicit laughs throughout the night.

That being said, shopping for a white elephant party can be harder than it seems. Here are 28 family-friendly white elephant gift ideas that are under $20 so you can shop smarter – not harder!

The Gift of Humor 

The Pet Butler prank gift box is an empty vessel to trick your friends and family into thinking you got them something strange and useless. But, that’s the point! The box is just a decoy. Have fun trying to keep a straight face watching this get unwrapped!

Who it’s best for: This is a great gag for anyone who likes to give gift cards but doesn’t like to be a boring gift-giver. With this fun way of delivering it, no one will ever call your gift cards a snooze again.

Why it’s a great gift: Given that a white elephant exchange is supposed to be full of joy and laughter, this would be a great addition to get everyone talking and thinking. 

Buyers are saying: Thomas M. said, “I could not stop laughing and neither could everybody else. The best part is watching the recipient opening it and the ‘are you serious…?’ 10/10, would prank again.”

SEE IT: $8.99 at Amazon.com 

Coffee and Cocktails on Demand

This concierge-style bell has simple instructions written right on it. One ding for coffee and two dings for cocktails. Express yourself and your needs with the touch of a button – no words necessary. 

Who it’s best for: This adorable product is an ode to “nagging” and will appeal to friends and family with significant others.

Why it’s a great gift: It makes a great white elephant gift as it delivers humor with a purpose. While not a conventionally useful gift, some spouses may take this and run with it! 

Buyers are saying: Gloria W. agreed in her short but sweet review, saying, “My spouse loved this gift. She dings and dongs this bell.” 

SEE IT: $12.17 at Amazon.com 

Did Somebody Say Waffles?

There’s nothing quite like waffles on a Sunday morning. This mini waffle maker produces individual waffles to get you breakfast in a flash. 

Who it’s best for: This machine is great for those with little kitchen storage, or anyone living on their own. It comes in a plethora of cute colors to adhere to any aesthetic while still being functional.

Why it’s a great gift: Many of your friends and family would get excellent use out of this appliance without feeling like it’ll clutter up their living space. 

Buyers are saying: Andrea N. raved about this product, “Perfect waffle maker for one or two people. Great for making kids breakfast. Cute and easy to store.”

SEE IT: $12.99 at Amazon.com 

Infused with Love

Perfect for any tea drinker, this silicone elephant infuser is a tribute to the game of white elephant itself but also a very practical present. It’s easy to use, made of non-toxic materials, and the elephant design will surely bring a smile to anyone’s face. 

Who it’s best for: Your favorite loose-leaf tea aficionado. 

Why it’s a great gift: What makes this a good choice for white elephant is that it’s fairly neutral. Most people drink some form of caffeine, and it may encourage a coffee drinker to take on morning tea, especially if it means staring at a smiling elephant. 

Buyers are saying: Abby C. loved this product, “So cute and no tea leaves can get through!” 

SEE IT: $18.71 at Amazon.com 

Knowledge is Power

This 704-page book is full of interesting, weird and captivating knowledge. It includes lists, games, anecdotes, articles, and more that will pique your interest and nurture a curious mind. It features an array of topics ranging from the animal kingdom to politics and everything in between.

Who it’s best for: This gift is for passionate learners and fun-fact lovers. It’s also a sarcastic gift for the know-it-alls in your life. 

Why it’s a great gift: Perfect for a white elephant gift exchange, this book contains actual knowledge but harbors a hilarious aspect of uselessness. It’s a conversation-starter that holds some secretly fascinating stuff within its pages. 

Buyers are saying: Rhonda W. loved it for all these reasons, “Know-it-all boyfriend needed more useless info. Was a joke but it was actually a really decent book. A lot thicker than I expected and some really interesting info.” 

SEE IT: $11.88 at Amazon.com 

Such a Mood 

Whether you work from home or not, you need this daily mood desk flipchart on your desk. This desktop accessory includes 47 moods to choose from, each equipped with a smiley and sarcastic definition. It includes facts about the mood as well as sample sentences to describe it to your coworkers. 

Who it’s best for: Perfect for social coworkers who like to start a conversation, or for the team that likes to have a little more fun than most other departments. 

Why it’s a great gift: If your office is participating in a white elephant exchange, this needs to be part of the gift roster. It’s a great way of encouraging moments of connection throughout the day. 

Buyers are saying: Kat W. bought this for her boss at work, saying “It is always a hoot to change the moods in the office and it has a wide range of interesting choices.” 

SEE IT: $16.49 at Amazon.com

Between a Rock and a Soft Place

This cozy, velvet throw pillowcase has more to offer than comfort. The design is actually an extremely close-up print of Dwyane “The Rock” Johnson’s face. 

Who it’s best for: This gift isn’t just for fans of The Rock, but it’s perfect for meme lovers and jokesters who get a kick out of random humor. 

Why it’s a great gift: This might seem like a stretch for a white elephant gift, but it’s a great way to insert some laughs throughout the exchange. It’ll provide the receiver with a truly comfortable pillow (and a famous cuddle buddy). 

SEE IT: $15.96 at Amazon.com 

Sushi, Anyone?

These aren’t just chopsticks; these are epic lightsaber chopsticks. They light up with red and blue LEDs, making your sushi experience out of this world – literally. 

Who it’s best for: These are great for Star Wars fans who also like a good California roll, but they could also be part of a parent’s toolkit for picky eaters. 

Why it’s a great gift: In true white elephant fashion, this gift is functional without sacrificing the element of entertainment. It’ll attract attention and may even inspire a group sushi outing. It also works for multiple age groups if your game includes a younger audience. 

Buyers are saying: Chelsea R. summed it up well, “Make eating fun.”

SEE IT: $9.97 at Amazon.com 

The Gift of Self-Help

This New York Times bestseller has sold over two million copies. “Unfu*k Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and Into Your Life” by Gary John Bishop is a refreshing take on self-help with an honest, BS-free approach to self-empowerment. 

Who it’s best for: This gift will resonate with many, making it a neutral yet thoughtful choice. 

Why it’s a great gift: It’s well-reviewed and gives the gift of self-help yet still has an entertaining title. 

Buyers are saying: Randy L says it’s “A book that helps focus on how to better your life and refocus yourself.”

$12.79 at Amazon.com 

NAffirmators Original: 50 Affirmation Cards negative Nancyo One Likes a Negative Nancy 

Comedian Suzi Barrett created a deck of 50 affirmation cards to inspire you with non-cheesy daily positive affirmations. Illustrated by Naomi Sloman, each card will lift your mood.  

Who it’s best for: This set of affirmation cards is great for both positive minds and pessimists. Perfect for those who like to journal daily – or even those who are going through a rough patch. 

Why it’s a great gift: These make an awesome white elephant gift as anyone can use them no matter their age or gender. They’re lighthearted yet insightful. 

Buyers are saying: Kaila S. loved them because “they’re beautifully designed, well made, and really help set a positive tone every morning for the day.” 


SEE IT: $13.99 at Amazon.com 

A Mug for Your Boss 

This 11-ounce mug provides both humor and a vessel to hold your sacred cup of morning coffee. The high-quality ceramic and high-definition printing make it feel special. It’s also dishwasher- and microwave-safe.

Who it’s best for: This is a hilarious and good-natured way of bonding with your boss. It’s also a great buy for anyone in your life who manages a team. 

Why it’s a great gift: Without a doubt, this will be a hit at your office white elephant party. All in the name of fun, this gift is snarky without being mean. It truly captures the spirit of white elephant.

Buyers are saying: Nowshin E. confirms that it’s a “great gift for your boss” and says that her “boss loved the mug.” 

SEE IT: $14.95 at Amazon.com 

Happy Feet

Socks for Christmas can be boring, but not these Donut Box Socks. They are extra-soft and feature a funky design in a unique packaging. 

Who it’s best for: These women’s socks are fun for mothers, nieces, or girlfriends – especially if they have a sweet tooth. 

Why it’s a great gift: Anyone will find these socks sweet and joyful, making them the perfect white elephant contribution. 

Buyers are saying: Anna B. sums it up nicely saying that these are “excellent quality in a nice box.” 

SEE IT: $19.99 at Amazon.com 

PremiBursera Palo Santo Sticksum Palo Santo Sticks 

This pack of five premium SEFOR-certified 100% sustainable Palo Santo incense is perfect for smudging, aromatherapy, or relaxation. The sticks come in resealable, biodegradable packaging that keeps them fragrant. Each stick can be relit several dozen times. 

Who it’s best for: This Palo Santo incense is perfect for your spiritual friends. It also makes a great housewarming gift for new homeowners, as Palo Santo incense wood helps cleanse spaces from negative energy. 

Why it’s a great gift: This is an interesting and unique white elephant present that can start a conversation or pique someone’s interest. 

Buyers are saying: Lana C. says that “each stick lasts for a very long time. And they are very pleasant and effective.”

SEE IT: $19.99 at Amazon.com 

Hot Sauce in a Pinch 

Hot sauce fans are true spice lovers to the bone. This mini Sriracha keychain offers a portable, squeezable version of your favorite chili sauce. Just refill it and enjoy your favorite hot sauce on the go. The bottles are BPA-free and TSA-approved as well as leak-proof (and bland food-proof). 

Who it’s best for: If you have a spicy food-loving friend, this gift is going to be a game-changer! 

Why it’s a great gift: These keychain squeeze bottles are perfect for a white elephant exchange because they can be refilled with anything. Even if the receiver doesn’t love hot sauce, they can fill the bottles with hand sanitizer, lotion or any other type of liquid. 

Buyers are saying: Reviewer MB says these bottles are “excellent quality” and even goes as far as to say that they’ve been “hanging on purse for three days now, no leaks.”

SEE IT: $19.99 at Amazon.com 

A True Conversation Starter

These cards are meant to help you skip the superficial and shallow small talk and get right down to the good stuff. The deck has 50 questions and prompts to help you get to know someone on a deeper level. 

Who it’s best for: Gift these to your significant other for a thoughtful date night, or to a coworker you want to get to know just a little bit better. 

Why it’s a great gift: As far as white elephant gifts go, this is on the more thought-provoking side. It might not get the loudest laugh, but it’ll start a conversation from the moment it’s unwrapped. 

Buyers are saying: Sarah M. says she “took this deck on a road trip with a new bf. It was a fantastic use of time.” 

SEE IT: $15.49 at Amazon.com 

Bath Wine Holder 

If you’ve ever wondered how you can keep your wine glass dry while taking a bath, this product is the answer. The silicone attachment adheres to the wall without leaving residue behind. Simply hang up your glass and sip when needed. 

Who it’s best for: This gift is ideal for the stressed-out moms out there, but any wine-loving friend or relative would find this particularly appealing. 

Why it’s a great gift: White elephant presents are all about being a little bit snarky and a little bit funny with a hint of truth behind it. Wine lovers will get a kick out of this. 

Buyers are saying: “Super cute, easy to use and easy to remove from your shower walls. I got my bestie this because she loves sipping wine either in the shower or in her bath! It was the perfect gift!” wrote Kailey. 


SEE IT: $14.99 at Amazon.com 

Doritos on the Run

This Airpods case is shaped like a Doritos bag and it’s everything we never knew we needed. It makes a statement and will garner non-stop compliments. 

Who it’s best for: Any salty snack lovers in your life will appreciate this product, but it’s also great for teens. 

Why it’s a great gift: A great addition to a game of white elephant, this Doritos case will protect their technology and put a smile on their face. 

Buyers are saying: Ryan P was a big fan of these. “Came out exactly how it looked in the photos, was easy to put on, sturdy, there’s nothing I don’t like about this case.”

SEE IT: $8.69 at Amazon.com 

Cool Coasters 

Making coasters cool can be hard, but it’s a little easier with these vinyl record ones. They come in a pack of six and feature an anti-slip design to make sure your table stays dry and your drinks stay in place. 

Who it’s best for: Music lovers will adore these and your water-ring-hating roommates will love them even more.

Why it’s a great gift: The unique design of these coasters makes them a great white elephant gift. Everyone needs a stack of coasters near their coffee table, but these offer a cool take on a necessity. 

Buyers are saying: Ian L. has bought these three times, saying “they have been perfect. Quality is great, price is fantastic, well worth getting people!”  

SEE IT: $6.99 at Amazon.com 

Mindful Journaling

The “Self-Care: A Day and Night Reflection Journal” offers a space to practice mindfulness and develop healthy habits. Cultivate a positive perspective and reflect on personal challenges through guided practices. 

Who it’s best for: This journal is the perfect companion for an intentional morning or evening ritual. 

Why it’s a great gift: Both teens and adults can enjoy this journal, which makes it a superior white elephant gift. It’s introspective and engaging. 

Buyers are saying: Charley T. says it’s “just as described and exactly what I wanted. Lovely reflection journal and great quality for the price.” 

SEE IT: $12.49 at Amazon.com 

Hit the Lights 

Color-changing LED lights went viral on Tik Tok at the beginning of the pandemic. These ones have a dimmer and a 44-key remote control that supports 20 colors and 8 light modes. 

Who it’s best for: Your children will thank you for this modern and funky way of spicing up their room. 

Why it’s a great gift: As a white elephant gift, these LED strip lights are awesome because they can be used all holiday long on certain color settings to set the mood, or all year round to keep a mellow vibe in the house. 

Buyers are saying: Julia F. says that “these are GREAT for the price. Really easy to install.” 

SEE IT: $16.99 at Amazon.com 

Giving Taco Tuesday a Whole New Meaning 

As far as blankets go, this tortilla wrap blanket is as hilarious as they come. It features a realistic tortilla print on a high-quality flannel fabric. 

Who it’s best for: This gift is irresistibly cute and also a great source of fun as you can wrap your friends and family up like burritos! Kid and adult approved. 

Why it’s a great gift: It’ll keep you warm all winter long and will definitely be the highlight of the party. Unwrapping it may feel confusing at first, which adds to the suspense. 

Buyers are saying: Amber D. agrees with us saying that her family likes to “roll up like burritos. Perfect blanket for this.” 

$16.99 at Amazon.com 

What the Neck? 

Most people who work a desk job know what back and neck pain feels like. It’s hard not to hunch and develop a shrimp-like posture. This neck and shoulder relaxer can help relieve neck pain in just 10 minutes a day. 

Who it’s best for: Any office worker or individual who suffers from stiffness in their upper body would be lucky to find this under their tree. 

Why it’s a great gift: This product can literally be life-changing. Don’t be surprised if people steal it more than once during the gift exchange. 

Buyers are saying: Jenn B. says that “this one item has done more for me in 10 minutes than any amount of yoga, exercise, weight loss, physiotherapy, massage, medication… you name it, ever could.” 

$20.99 at Amazon.com 

Bathroom Golf Set

This bathroom golf set includes one putter, two golf balls, a golf hole with a flag, and a putting green. It’s a gag gift that allows anyone to enjoy their favorite game of golf while spending time in the bathroom. 

Who it’s best for: Golf lovers obsessed with improving their game. 

Why it’s a great gift: The bathroom golf set is a perfect white elephant gift as it’s small enough to fit in an office, bathroom, or bedroom. It’s portable, easy to play, and tons of fun. 

Buyers are saying: Catherine Mary F. says that it’s a “fun gift for dad while he’s sitting there anyway.”

SEE IT: $16.95 at Amazon.com 

Elephant Desk Accessory 

This elephant desk accessory can hold your phone and office supplies. The crook of the nose coddles your device while the pencil holder in the back can store pens, pencils, scissors, and more. It’s made from a high-quality resin that’s non-toxic and eco-friendly. 

Who it’s best for: This is a great addition to anyone’s workspace. 

Why it’s a great gift: Very on-brand, this elephant accessory is a solid white elephant gift. It can be a fun addition to a kid’s desk at home or a multipurpose storage option for a professional. 

Buyers are saying: Whitney P. says it’s “large/heavy enough to support my Galaxy S8+ case.”

SEE IT: $16.99 at Amazon.com 

You Can Delete Tinder Now

“Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find – and Keep – Love” by Amir Levine and Rachel S.F. Heller is a book that may just revolutionize someone’s love life. 

Who it’s best for: A relevant and smart take on dating, this book is perfect for your single friends or family members. 

Why it’s a great gift: This makes for an insightful white elephant gift as it can help both singles and those in committed relationships. 

Buyers are saying: Sieran L. goes as far as to say that “this is far more insightful than what I learned in my psych courses on attachment theory. I loved this book very much, thus the five stars.”

SEE IT: $13.58 at Amazon.com 

Grapefruit Scented Candle 

Candle lovers unite. Mia’s Co. candles are made of 100% soy wax and hand-crafted in California. With long-lasting burning and cotton wicks, these candles will provide stress relief and cozy vibes. 

Who it’s best for: These candles will please any Target addicts or bath lovers and their scent is on point. 

Why it’s a great gift: Candles are always a good white elephant gift because, well, who doesn’t love to burn a candle after cleaning their house on a rainy Sunday?

Buyers are saying: If you don’t believe the claims of long-lasting burning, just listen to Michael L. who says that they “burn for so long you’re saving money, they smell great and it’s very aesthetic.”

SEE IT: $18.95 at Amazon.com 

Listen on the Run

This Bluetooth beanie with built-in headphones is a game changer. It’s a little over budget, but the double-knit material will keep its wearer warm while providing them with powerful HD speakers with crisp sound. 

Who it’s best for: Perfect for avid runners who like to complete their daily miles outside even in the colder months. 

Why it’s a great gift: This double-duty gift is not the type of thing people would think to get for themselves – but they’ll wonder how they lived without it once they try it. 

Buyers are saying: Rosa R. says it’s a “decent product at a good price. It is definitely something I will use a lot in the coming cold months.” 

SEE IT: $27.91 at Amazon.com 

“Let me Check my Schedule” 

The Simple Elephant planner helps you organize your life. It features a mind map and vision board as well as a great layout to help you achieve your daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly goals. Inspire anyone around you to increase their productivity, improve their organization skills and track important events. 

Who it’s best for: Gift this to your slightly scattered friends to send a cheeky message that it’s time to stay on track! 

Why it’s a great gift: A great on-theme white elephant gift, this planner is uber useful, too. It’s an all-in-one place to write down important notes as well as practice gratitude, future planning, budgeting and much more. 

Buyers are saying: Becky B. confirms that “it has space for personal goals and a good old vision board. Really easy to use and wonderful to get organized.”

SEE IT: $9.83 at Amazon.com 


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