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.
This is perfect for a white elephant party, whether it be at work, with family, or with friends. A literal elegant solution for focus and productivity, this sleek and sophisticated hourglass is the perfect way to inspire someone to elevate their desk and do their best work ever.
Inspire creativity, calm, and fun with this beautiful workbook. Not only is it lovely to look at, it is highly effective in teaching someone to write gorgeous hand lettering through basics, exercises, and examples. It even comes with ideas for projects where they can apply their newfound skills.
In the digital world, there is something so soothing about writing by hand. With hand lettering, both the process and the product are satisfying - perfect for a gift.
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.
Tree-free, waterproof, and sustainable, this notebook is sure to be a hit at any party. Not only does it look and feel like a beautiful notebook, but it's also completely unique! The special calcium carbonate paper material that composes this notebook makes it perfect for travelers and environmentally minded folks. This notebook is completely recyclable and stands up to life on-the-go.
The cover is velvety soft and the pages are premium, bright white, and thick, just like your favorite notebook.
Self-care items are always a hit at white elephant gift exchanges and this soothing body wash would definitely be a popular item. The sleek packaging makes it look expensive, while only costing you $8, if you're on a budget for this gift.
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 and gratitude have been shown to help people relieve stress and anxiety, and manage their focus and concentration. And thanks to The Gratitude Bundle bundle, your recipient will get to experience the range of benefits of a mindful self-care 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.
A great gift feels like an indulgence. And the elegant Pilot Explorer fountain 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.