Are you planning to go to a Christmas party and wondering what to bring for the white elephant gift exchange? The good news is that there are a lot of fun gift exchange ideas popping up every year and 2024 is no different, so let's explore some of the options.
It's worth noting, that traditionally, a gift of white elephant was a form of punishment by kings in asia. When one was gifted an actual white elephant, they had to accept and care for the animal while not being able to use it for labour as they feared upsetting the king. You had to accept such a present, even though it would bring nothing but unwanted and unjustifiable expenses.
The old tradition has evolved into something festive and fun, with a smidge of pranking and lots of laughter. While common white elephant gifts will be funny (GAG) and often impractical, there's nothing wrong with selecting something that people will in fact find useful.Let's break down the gift ideas into two groups: Ones you can buy online with ease and ones you can put together yourself, both being budget friendly.
Funny White Elephant gifts you can buy.
If the gift you bring to the party breaks out contagious laughter, you know you've picked a good one. Most gift exchange parties will expect you to not spend more than about twenty dollars on your present and of course the key to a well though out gift is not the price, but rather finding the most amusing one that will cheer up everyone. Here are a few you can pick up easily online:
Free/Cheap & Silly DIY White Elephant Gift Ideas
You don't have to spend any money to come up with a grat white elephant idea. You can use one of the DIY white elephant gift iedas below or come up with your version after you see how some of our readers been getting creative with their gift making. Don't forget to send us your idea on our contacts page as well!
* Magic Beans
Simply grab an empty envelope, preferably small square one and drop a few dry beans or peas in it. Write "Magic Beans" on the envelope or "Miracle Legumes" (as Jim from The Office would call it for Dwight) and wrap it in a gift wrap witb a nice ribbon. Expect a chuckle when this gift is open!
* Framed Picture Of The Boss
Here's an idea that will hopefully not get you fired. (Obviously this one applies to office parties.) Take a picture of your boss (preferably from your company webpage) and print it out at one of the instant photo kiosks. Frame it in a cheap dollar store picture frame and voala, you have a uniue gift that people will either hate or love but will definitely make them laugh.
Additionally, you can do this with the picture of the most annoying employee in the company. Toby comes to mind when it comes to Dunder Mifflin :)
* Framed And Signed Picture Of Yourself
If above option is not really an option for whatever reason, why not do the same with your own portrait? This can work for family gatherings as well. Someone who cares about you might fight extra hard to get her hands on that picture of yours.
* Old Software Disks
Do you have that old Windows 95 installation CD? You can even get some old software disks for a dollar on Ebay. AOL dialup internet trial CDs also come in mind. Go nits, the worse and older the disk, the better.
* Jar Of Someting Pickled
There's just something funny about getting a jar of pickles for Christmas. If you can find something more unusual, for example pig feet, then that makes it this gift so much worse, or should I say better?
* A Lottery Ticket
It's just a few bucks, and it's not exacly DIY, but a lottery ticket offers more than just a chance of winning. It's the excitement of finding out if you won. Just be clear that if the recepient wins, you expect your share of 50/50! Scratch tickets are most fun in this scenario because whoever gets away with it can scratch it on the spot.
* A Chocolate/Candy In A Gadget Box
Take a box of some interesting or expensive gadget, like a tablet, smartphone or something else that people are familiar with, and stuff it with candy or chocolate. Do not wrap the gift in gift paper, let the box be the wrapping. You may cover it with a ribbon though.
* One Of A Kind Rock
Print out a fake letter of authenticity that claims that a rock in the cardboard box is "One Of A Kind". (Which it is.) Place it in a carboard box and surround it with enough newspaper inside the box so that the rock does not easily move in the box when box is shaken.
* Prank CD
Record a few white noicse or nature sounds onto a CD, but label CD as "100 Farts" and wrap it in gift wrapping. Even if noone will want it, the curiocity will force the owner to listen to what's inside.