18 White Elephant Gift Ideas That'll Entertain Guests — All For $50 or Less
White elephant gifts are in a league of their own. The holiday tradition allows players to unwrap a present and either keep what they got or "steal" an item from someone else. Most participants secretly hope to contribute a steal-worthy item, but coming up with a good white elephant gift on a budget is easier said than done.
The ideal pick is the perfect combination of fun and useful, something your gift's recipient would genuinely be excited to receive and unwrap in front of everyone. Since you don't know who will choose your item in the end, it also needs to be suitable for anyone in your circle, playing to a wide range of personalities and ages. A goofy gift is sure to get a reaction, but you also want it to be something people will actually want to take home. (Does anyone really need more unusable trinkets to stuff away in the corner of their closet?)
To help you find the perfect, budget-friendly white elephant gift, we rounded up 18 items that'll entertain your family or friend group for $50 or less. Our ideas span the gamut, from delightfully random gifts like a puzzle covered in pooping dogs, to more practical selections like handy wine gadgets and a comfy-cozy blanket they'll use all season long. Which will you decide to buy: a fun gag gift, or a present that everyone will want to steal? Check out our picks ahead.
Best White Elephant Gift For the Bar
These cowboy boot shot glasses are too cute and make for a celebratory white elephant gift idea. Depending on your group's set price point, you can buy a couple of them or add on a small bottle of your favorite spirit — just so you know they'll be put to good use.
Best White Elephant Gift For Brainiacs
This "New York Times" crossword book contains a whopping 500 puzzles that will keep puzzle-lovers occupied throughout the holidays (read: at least until next year). Family members and tote-bag girlies alike will definitely have their eye on this one.
Best Gift For (Ahem) Plant-Lovers
Snoop Dogg's cookbook is a bestseller on Amazon and sure to make a great white elephant gift. It'll delight the group when it's unwrapped, with recipes like fried bologna sandwiches, easy orange chicken, and shrimp po'boys.
Best Retro White Elephant Gift
A slinky is a wonderfully random white elephant gift idea. This one is from the original Slinky brand, which has been making slinkies for 70 years in the US.
Best White Elephant Gift For Bakers
Brentwood Cake Pop Maker ($19, originally $40)
Bite-size desserts can be made in minutes with this cake-pop maker. It's not limited to cake pops, either: recipients can use it to whip up doughnut holes, cinnamon buns, and other tasty treats.
For the Friend With a Grade-School Sense of Humor
As far as white elephants go, it's hard to beat the randomness that is this puzzle of pooping puppies. The funniest part of this gift is that it's bound to take them hours to put together.
Best White Elephant Gift For Aspiring Soms
Surely there's a wine-lover in your friend group or family. This snazzy wine opener takes the grunt work out of popping bottles. One of many shoppers said it "made the perfect gift" and "works great on synthetic or real corks."
Best Home White Elephant Gift
Thausdas Dimmable Touch Lamp ($22, originally $32)
This portable little touch lamp has five brightness settings and 13 different colors. Having a party? Turn on the strobe mode. If anyone at your white elephant is a fan of mood lighting, this will be right up their alley.
Best Card Game For Gifting
We're Not Really Strangers Card Game ($22, originally $25)
This game — a deck of questions to help people really get to know each other — is the fast track to deeper conversations, and it's a great tool for anyone to have in their party arsenal. Guaranteed, someone in your white elephant has been wanting to buy it and will do whatever it takes to bring this gift home.
Best Party Gift
The singer of the group needs this karaoke mic. It has a long battery life and features a voice changer that'll send listeners into hysterics. We'll place our bets on this being put to use at your party immediately after white elephant is over.
Best White Elephant Gift For Cooks
We're calling it now: your friends are bound to get in a fight over this breakfast sandwich cooker. They'll be able to customize their sandwich with their choice of bread, cheese, eggs, meats, and more.
A White Elephant Gift Guests Will Swear Breaks the Budget
Victrola Bluetooth Portable Suitcase Record Player ($50, originally $90)
When it's time to steal another player's gift, this sleek record player will be a hot commodity. It's the perfect fusion of vintage and modern, featuring a three-speed turntable with built-in Bluetooth technology to wirelessly stream music.