31 Ideas for White Elephant Gift Parties

There are basically three different types of White Elephant Gift Parties, so I’ll take each type (and recommended gifts) one at a time. The best part about this is that you can obtain almost all of these gift ideas at Amazon.com (if you want to plan ahead that far) or from local convenience or grocery stores. Remember, don’t get stressed over these. White Elephant Gift parties are meant to be fun!

A. The “gag-gift” exchange where people find the tackiest things that they can to give as gifts. But as with all White Elephant Gift parties, you’ll want to give something worth fighting for to make the party more fun. (The game involves each person getting to choose either a gift from the unselected pile, or take the gift of one of the previous recipients – so you want to give something steal-worthy if possible.)

For “the gag gift” inexpensive white elephant gift exchange:

1. Toilet Paper or alternately, a toilet seat.
2. Fruitcake – no really it’s hilarious, especially with a half a bottle of rum (vodka, scotch, etc).
3. Instant (Recovery) Breakfast – Pop Tarts, packet or two of instant coffee, and a packet of hangover cure (that you can get at convenience stores), or, failing that, “NoDoz” caffeine supplements.
4. Red stapler (ala the movie, Office Space) Yes, it needs to be red.
5. Can of beans (barbecue, bakes or the like), gas-x, and air freshener.
6. Copier paper and one of those fake 1000 dollar bills.
7. Stress ball and voodoo doll or foam bat
8. Glow in the dark silly putty.
9. Brown lunch bag or sock puppet (preferably that you make yourself)
10. The famous Origami Boulder from http://www.origamiboulder.com/

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Or, my personal favorite: a rubber chicken, hand sanitizer and an article on Avian Flu. Actually, just the rubber chicken works too – who doesn’t have a use for a rubber chicken?)

B. Next is the White Elephant gift “must come from your house – no purchase allowed” party. Same rules as above but you have to rummage through your house to find something to give as a gift. Either use this as a chance to re-gift something from a previous holiday or look for something useful (remember you can always print off something from the internet as well!)

You want these gifts to be a least somewhat useful, because ugly trinkets and knick knacks are only good for the gag gifts and up just getting recirculated next year.

1. Copier paper/note pads/other paper – with the tackiest or loudest pen or pencil you can find.
2. Mismatched or random salt and pepper shakers.
3. Print off instruction on origami or paper airplanes – http://underground.zork.net/ (dirty origami)and airplanes here: http://www.paperairplanes.co.uk/
4. Partial roll of Duck (Duct) Tape. Everyone can use that!
5. Rubber mallet. No one has one, but just about everyone can find a use for one.
6. Batteries.
7. Blank CDs
8. Bottles of wine (unopened – usually a good re-gifting idea) or half empty bottles of vodka, rum, scotch or the like. Those usually get fought over the most!
9. Rolls of Velcro, masking tape, glue, or other adhesives like picture hanging putty.
10. Any no longer used children’s toy that would be fun to play with in a cubicle setting. So, pretty much any toy with “Nerf” in the name.

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C. For the White Elephant Party that has no rules about purchasing gifts, but you don’t want to go the “gag gift” route, here are some of the most popular, inexpensive gifts (these also make wonderful stocking stuffers):

1. disposable cameras,
2. LifeSavers candy books,
3. markers and coloring books,
4. fake tattoos,
5. Burt’s Bees sets – these are very inexpensive and usually good for men and women,
6. Key chain flash drives,
7. Tool belt,
8. travel games,
9. lottery tickets,
10. coupons books to fast food restaurants or books of movie tickets.

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