White elephant gift exchanges are a fun and low-key way to add some cheer to a party and swap gifts with coworkers, friends, or loved ones.
If shopping for gifts usually stresses you out, you’re in luck. The whole point of a white elephant gift exchange is that it’s low budget and low stakes.
Here are some basic ground rules for a white elephant gift exchange. Feel free to add your own twist to make it your own.
- Budget. Some organizers like to set a budget, but in general, $25 and under is a good price point. You probably wouldn’t go any higher than $50.
- Anonymous. Part of the fun is creating a sense of mystery around the gift exchange and not knowing who the gift giver or recipient will be. So wrap your gift but don’t include a gift tag. If you want, you can wait until the very end to reveal your identity.
- Gift type. White elephant gifts can be funny and playful, but it’s also totally fine to bring a gift that’s tasteful or practical. In fact, if it’s a practical gift then you’ll know that the recipient will get a lot of use out of it.
- Swap. Participants can pick an unwrapped gift or choose one that’s already been opened. You’ll definitely know how good your gift is by the number of people fighting over it!
Want to be the life of the party and bring the gift everyone wants? Here are some ideas for white elephant gifts that everyone will fight over at your next holiday party!
White elephant gifts under $25
Below are practical and stylish white elephant gifts that won’t break the bank.
We all know that practicing gratitude is good for us, but how often do we actually do it? Luckily, this Spark Gratitude box makes a gratitude practice seem playful and accessible. Each box comes with 50 faux matchsticks with printed prompts to inspire and reflect on gratitude. Some of the prompts include:
- List 5 blessings and 5 challenges, and find gratitude for each one.
- Take note of the possessions that make your life easier.
- Call someone for no reason other than to thank them for being in your life
Growing up, you may have gotten in trouble for doodling in class. But did you know that doodling is actually good for you? Doodling helps us stay engaged and maintain our focus. It also helps us process new information and open up our creativity. There are tons of benefits to doodling and now there’s a notebook that’s solely devoted to it. Each page of the Doodle Theory Anywhere book has a starter shape or line to help inspire some doodles. This would make a great gift for coworkers, students, or travelers.
This stylish deskpad comes with 52 sheets to help with managing projects, tasks, goals, and clients. Perfect for project managers, freelancers, or entrepreneurs, this would be a coveted item at any gift exchange.
A beautiful candle is one of those gifts that look luxurious but don’t cost an arm and a leg. This sage scented candle would definitely add a soothing element to a meditation practice or self-care day.
This is an affordable gift that would be popular at any office gift exchange. Not only would your coworker appreciate having this tasty treat for themselves, but a coffee gift also gives them an excuse to take a break from work and savor a cup of joe.
This definitely fulfills the “fun” requirement of a white elephant gift. And you’d be surprised how excited a group of grown-ups get at the sight of colorful pens. If you want people fighting over your white elephant gift, this is the one to get. Feeling generous? Include a fun coloring book to go with it.
Self-care items are always a hit at white elephant gift exchanges and this soothing body wash would definitely be a popular item.
An organizer for your bag is so practical and one of those items that makes life so much easier. Your recipient could use this to keep their tote bag or purse organized—so no more fishing around for pens, hand sanitizer, and other items.
With everything being online and digitized these days, an actual picture frame would be a breath of fresh air and a thoughtful gift.
White elephant gifts $50 and under
If the budget for your white elephant gift exchange is $50 and under, here are some thoughtful gifts that anyone would love to receive.
This award-winning journal would make a gratitude routine feel that much more special. It has a beautiful cover, 60 entries to reflect on and express your gratitude, gratitude challenges, and inspirational quotes throughout. This is a gift that will leave your recipient feeling happier, calmer, and more grateful.
Mindfulness has been shown to help people relieve stress and anxiety and manage their focus and concentration. And thanks to the Mindfulness and Me bundle, your recipient will get to experience the range of benefits of a mindfulness practice. The bundle includes our Ink+Volt Gratitude Journal, Self-Care Pad, and the Spark Balance Activity Box that contains 50 prompts and exercises to practice balance. This gift is so nice that you just might want to keep it for yourself.
An hourglass is a gift that’s unique, stylish, and practical. It’s a great accessory to help with everything from time management, to doing exercise reps, and incorporating breaks into the day. It’s a beautiful gift that would look great in your recipient’s workspace or home.
A great gift feels like an indulgence. And the elegant Lamy safari pen is a gift that you would never think to buy for yourself but you’d be so grateful to receive. The pen comes in fun, bold colors and it’s lightweight and comfortable to use. It’s that rare gift that manages to feel special yet also incredibly practical.