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Whether you’re celebrating the holidays with friends or with family, White Elephant parties are always festive idea. If you’re unfamiliar with the idea, it’s basically Secret Santa but you don’t know who you’re gifting for.


A budget is set, and everyone shops within that budget for a gift that could be opened by anyone in the room. Everyone places their gifts in the center and take turns picking one that catches their eye. If someone else picks the one you were eyeing, you have the opportunity to ‘steal’ the gift from them when your turn comes around.

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Though since you don’t know who will be unwrapping your gift, the best White Elephant gifts can be tough to shop for. It’s tough enough to find a present one person will like let along a crowd-pleasing gift that will suit a wide audience.

Keep in mind: the spirit of White Elephant is to have fun and entertain. If the person doesn’t love their gift, you don’t have to fret too much. At the end of the day, it’s more about watching your friends and family crack a few smiles and have a good laugh.

We’re here to recommend a few safe bets, whether it’s a book that everyone will love, a self-care candle, or a few handy wellness items. For safe measure, we’ve also shopped around for a few good gag gifts to guarantee a smile (have you heard of pizza cologne?). So here, the best White Elephant gifts (under $20) we’re hoping to unbox this holiday season.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

No matter the Secret Santa or White Elephant recipient, anyone in any stage of their life can benefit from positive encouragement. A now-classic, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck’s Mark Manson inspires you to understand that not everyone can be extraordinary: you should embrace all your faults and fears and use your downfalls as means to empower yourself. In short, learn how not to give a f*ck.
>> See it on Amazon.com

Books Candle


Picture you’re walking through a collegiate landscape in the fall, surrounded by ivy-covered buildings while the smell of new book wafts through the air. That’s exactly what Homesick Candles tried to capture in their Book candle. Each hand-poured, USA-made candle offers 40-60 hours of burn time (which will get you through approximately ten books).
>> See it on Amazon.com

Scalp Massager

You’ll be hard pressed to find something who isn’t over the moon at this present. The wire head massager provides ultra-soothing massages with almost no effort – just raise and lower the wire massager onto your scalp. It’s euphoric, it’ll relieve your stress, and it won’t tangle your hair. Who could say no?
>> See it on Amazon.com

Palo Santo Sticks


South America’s answer to white sage bundles is used to combat negative energies and fight evil away from your home. With the name that translates literally into wood of the saints, lighting the small sticks of wood in your home, spreading purifying streams of smoke into your home. Use it as an alternative to incense of candles.
>> See it on Amazon.com

Red Herrings and White Elephants

Speaking of White Elephants, “Red Herrings and White Elephants” is a sweet little book that uncovers where all the idioms in the English language came from. Short and sweet, it’s a light, informative read that will fill you with fun facts. For example, while hair of the dog refers to a morning mimosa now, it stems from a medieval cure of rubbing dog hair into an open wound left from an animal bite.
>> See it on Amazon.com

Namast’ay In Bed Mug

No matter if they are a tea drinker or a coffee fiend, a new mug is always appreciated, and even if they’re not a yoga lover, the mug’s “Nama-stay in bed” mantra will crack a smile. It’s made with thick stoneware that won’t crack in the dishwasher, and a high-quality decal that won’t fade away over time.
>> See it on Amazon.com

Tequila Mockingbird


In a dream collaboration of books and beverages, Tim Federele devises cheeky cocktail recipes named after some of the literary greats. Think updated classic cocktail recipes like a Margarita riff named, “Are You There God? It’s Me Margarita” and a Daiquiri dubbed “Bridget Jones’ Daiquiri”. Large format recipes (A Pitcher of Dorian Gray), and snack recipes (The Deviled Egg Wears Prada) also appear beside quirky illustrations by Lauren Mortimer.
>> See it on Amazon.com

Hyperchiller Iced Coffee Maker


Hyperchiller is the hack for getting delicious iced coffee in your home without splurging on Starbucks. Brew your coffee at home as you would, and when it’s ready, pour it into the Hyperchiller. Shake, and in under thirty seconds, you have cafe-quality iced coffee. The Hyperchiller is also ideal for chilling down beer or wine that hasn’t hit the right temperature yet.
>> See it on Amazon.com

Succulent Planter


No matter the level of green thumb, a little succulent is something everyone can enjoy. Choose from a rabbit, a cat, a dog or a dinosaur planter, or opt for a less figurative planter. Each planter is designed to hold a small succulent and includes drainage and a small coaster to keep your plant healthy. If you have a bit more budget to play with, fill the planters with cute cacti before you gift.
>> See it on Amazon.com

Mini Crock Pot

No matter your White Elephant or Secret Santa, a trusty thermos will always be of use. But Crock Pot’s food warmer isn’t just your run-of-the-mill thermos: not only does it keep food to a trusty temperature, but when it hits lunchtime, no matter where you are, a transportable heat plate will heat your food to the desired temperature. After you’re full, the cord wraps around the plate to store aware simply.
>> See it on Amazon.com

Sriracha To-Go


There’s always that friend who can’t eat without a good dose of spice. The gift that will truly win them over? Hot sauce that will pack with them wherever they go. This Sriracha gift pack includes a purse-sized bottle, a keychain bottle of Sriracha, and a bigger bottle of keychain Sriracha. No meal will ever fall below the desired spice level again.
>> See it on Amazon.com

Demeter Pizza Cologne


Yes, pizza cologne exists. With wafting notes of tomato, oregano, and mozzarella, this 1 oz cologne smells just like a deliciously greasy slice. Considering that you have to be crazy not to like pizza, this is the best gag gift for whoever opens it up.
>> See it on Amazon.com

Breakfast Sandwich Maker


Though the concept of a breakfast sandwich is so simple (put breakfast items on bread, enjoy) but creating a breakfast can turn into a messy affair. Hamilton Beach’s breakfast sandwich maker makes the perfect BEC an easy affair. Crack an egg right on the egg plate, add the buns under the plate and above, add whatever cheese or ham you desire, and when the egg is done to your liking, slip the egg plate out and it will land perfectly on your sandwich, in a perfect circle.
>> See it on Amazon.com

Bluetooth Speaker


While mainly a Bluetooth speaker. Barisc’s wireless speaker is basically a do-all. Via an aux cord, the speaker will stream music directly off your smartphone or connect you with your incoming calls. Tap the top and the entire speaker will turn a variety of seven different shades. Via a USB charging cable, the speaker can be transported to the beach, camping, to a party, or wherever else you need. Adjustable brightness levels can turn it from party time to nighttime reading.
>> See it on Amazon.com

Bacon Chocolate


The holidays are time for indulging, and what is more indulgent than chocolate? The answer is bacon chocolate. This gratuitous gift set includes three sweet-meets-salty snacks, including a maple bacon chocolate bar by ethical chocolatiers Chuao Chocolate, maple bacon lollipops, and maple bacon salt water taffy bites. While delicious, avoid this gift if there are a lot of vegetarians in your white elephant pool!
>> See it on Amazon.com

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