Need a fun gift idea for an upcoming white elephant gift exchange, but don’t want to spend a lot of money? We’ve got you covered. Keep reading for a list of 20 of the best white elephant gifts under $20.
If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Popular 20-dollar white elephant gift ideas include funny coffee mugs, scented candles, fuzzy socks, gift cards, board games, and more.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll provide 20 creative and affordable white elephant gift ideas under $20. We’ll also offer tips on how to choose the perfect gift based on your recipient, event theme, and more.
What Is a White Elephant Gift Exchange?
A White Elephant gift exchange is a popular holiday party game where participants bring humorous, unusual, or inexpensive gifts to be exchanged among the group. It is a light-hearted and fun-filled activity that adds a touch of excitement to any gathering.
The origins of this tradition can be traced back to ancient Southeast Asia, where white elephants were considered sacred and highly valuable animals.
Definition and Origins of White Elephant Parties
The term “White Elephant” refers to an item that is valuable but burdensome to maintain or own. In the context of a gift exchange, it typically refers to a gift that is quirky, funny, or impractical. The concept of white elephant parties has been adapted from the legend of the King of Siam, who would gift rare albino elephants to those who displeased him.
These magnificent creatures were expensive to care for and became a source of financial strain for the recipients.
Over time, the term “white elephant” has come to symbolize any unwanted or useless possession. White elephant parties have gained popularity in modern times as a way to bring laughter and entertainment to holiday gatherings.
How a White Elephant Gift Exchange Works
A white elephant gift exchange typically follows a set of rules to ensure fairness and enjoyment for all participants. The rules may vary depending on the host’s preferences, but the basic concept remains the same.
Here’s how it usually works:
- Each participant brings a wrapped gift within a pre-determined budget (such as $20).
- Participants draw numbers to determine the order in which they will select a gift.
- The first participant selects a gift from the pool and unwraps it.
- The subsequent participants have the option to either steal a previously opened gift or choose an unopened one from the pool.
- If a gift is stolen, the participant whose gift was taken gets to either steal another gift or choose a new one.
- This process continues until all participants have had a turn and every gift has been opened.
White Elephant Rules and Etiquette
While the rules may vary, there are a few common guidelines to ensure a smooth and enjoyable white elephant gift exchange:
- Set a budget: Establishing a spending limit ensures that all gifts are on the same level. This makes the game fair and prevents any potential discomfort.
- Encourage creativity: Encourage participants to think outside the box and bring unique or funny gifts. The more laughter and amusement, the better!
- No hurt feelings: Remind participants that the game is all in good fun and not to take any gift exchanges personally. It’s important to keep a lighthearted attitude throughout the game.
- Stealing limits: Depending on the size of the group, it’s a good idea to set a limit on how many times a gift can be stolen. This prevents one gift from being continuously swapped and gives everyone a fair chance.
White elephant gift exchanges are a fantastic way to create lasting memories, share a good laugh, and enjoy the holiday season with friends, family, or coworkers. So gather your favorite people, wrap up some hilarious gifts, and get ready for a white elephant party you won’t soon forget!
Choosing the Perfect 20 Dollar White Elephant Gift
When participating in a White Elephant gift exchange, it’s important to choose a gift that will bring joy and laughter to the party. Here are some tips for selecting the perfect 20-dollar White Elephant gift:
Consider Your Recipient’s Interests and Personality
One of the keys to a successful White Elephant gift is choosing something that the recipient will appreciate. Take some time to think about their hobbies, interests, and personality traits. If they are a fan of cooking, a unique kitchen gadget or a funny apron could be a great choice.
For the music lover, consider a quirky instrument or a funny album. By tailoring the gift to their preferences, you can ensure that it will be a hit at the party.
Choose Gifts That Align with the Party Theme or Season
Another way to make your White Elephant gift stand out is by selecting something that aligns with the party theme or season. If it’s a holiday-themed gathering, consider festive decorations or a funny ornament. For a summer party, a quirky pool float or a beach-themed accessory could be a hit.
By incorporating the theme or season into your gift, you’ll add an extra layer of fun and excitement to the exchange.
Focus on Funny, Unique, or Quirky Gifts
White Elephant gift exchanges are all about the element of surprise and laughter. Look for gifts that are funny, unique, or quirky to ensure a memorable experience. Consider items like a hilarious mug, a silly t-shirt, or a bizarre gadget.
These types of gifts are sure to bring a smile to everyone’s face and create a fun atmosphere at the party.
Look for Items with Broad Appeal
While it’s important to consider the recipient’s interests, it’s also a good idea to choose a gift that will have broad appeal. Look for items that can be enjoyed by a wide range of people, regardless of their specific preferences.
This could be a board game that everyone can play, a funny book that anyone can enjoy, or a unique kitchen gadget that will be useful to many. By selecting a gift with broad appeal, you increase the chances of it being stolen and traded multiple times during the exchange, adding to the excitement of the game.
Remember, the goal of a White Elephant gift exchange is to have fun and create lasting memories. By following these tips and putting some thought into your gift selection, you’re sure to choose the perfect 20-dollar White Elephant gift that will be the talk of the party.
20 Best White Elephant Gifts Under $20
Funny Coffee Mugs
Give the gift of laughter with a funny coffee mug. Whether it’s a clever pun or a hilarious quote, a funny coffee mug is sure to bring a smile to anyone’s face during their morning cup of joe. Check out websites like Amazon or Etsy for a wide variety of options.
Add a touch of relaxation to someone’s life with a scented candle. From soothing lavender to refreshing citrus, scented candles can create a cozy atmosphere in any home. Look for affordable options at stores like Target or Walmart.
Cozy Socks and Slippers
Keep their feet warm and cozy with a pair of fluffy socks or comfy slippers. Perfect for lounging around the house, these gifts are both practical and comfortable. Check out stores like Kohl’s or Macy’s for a wide selection.
Adult Coloring Books and Pencils
Help them relax and unwind with an adult coloring book and a set of colored pencils. Coloring has been shown to reduce stress and promote mindfulness. Look for affordable options at bookstores or online retailers like Barnes & Noble.
Useful Tech Gadgets
Make life a little easier with a useful tech gadget. From phone accessories to smart home devices, there are plenty of affordable options available. Check out websites like Best Buy or Gearbest for a wide selection.
Unique Kitchen Gadgets
Add some fun to their kitchen with a unique kitchen gadget. From avocado slicers to pancake molds, there are plenty of affordable and quirky options to choose from. Check out stores like Bed Bath & Beyond or World Market.
Encourage self-care with a gift set of bath bombs, face masks, or soothing lotions. These items can provide a little pampering and relaxation after a long day. Look for affordable options at stores like Ulta or Sephora.
Make them laugh out loud with a funny book. From comedic memoirs to satirical novels, there’s a wide range of options available. Check out bookstores or online retailers like Amazon for a great selection.
Bring the laughter with a gag gift. From silly pranks to outrageous accessories, gag gifts are sure to be a hit at any white elephant gift exchange. Look for options at party supply stores or websites like Party City.
Delicious Snack Baskets
Indulge their taste buds with a delicious snack basket. From gourmet popcorn to chocolate-covered treats, there are plenty of affordable options to choose from. Look for options at stores like Harry & David or Godiva.
Quirky Home Décor
Add a touch of personality to their home with quirky home décor. From funny wall art to unique planters, there are plenty of affordable options available. Check out websites like Wayfair or Urban Outfitters.
Make their drink time more fun with amusing drinkware. From novelty wine glasses to humorous shot glasses, there are plenty of options to choose from. Check out stores like Bed Bath & Beyond or World Market.
Spruce up their workspace with some fun desk accessories. From quirky pen holders to colorful sticky notes, these items can add a touch of personality to any office. Look for options at stores like Office Depot or Staples.
Stationery and Cards
Encourage their creativity with stationery and cards. From funny notepads to unique greeting cards, these items can bring a smile to their face. Check out websites like Paper Source or Rifle Paper Co..
Bath and Body Sets
Pamper them with a bath and body set. From luxurious bath bombs to scented lotions, these sets can turn any bathroom into a spa-like retreat. Look for options at stores like Bath & Body Works or Lush.
Add some greenery to the space with a small houseplant. From succulents to air plants, these low-maintenance plants can brighten up any room. Check out local nurseries or online retailers like The Sill.
Don’t forget about their furry friends! Give the gift of entertainment with some fun pet toys. From squeaky toys to interactive puzzles, there are plenty of options available. Check out pet stores or websites like Chewy.
Keep them entertained all year long with a subscription service. From streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu to music services like Spotify and Apple Music, there’s a subscription for every interest. Check out the websites of these services for more information.
The 20 Best 20-Dollar White Elephant Gift Ideas – Summary
With this list of 20 fun, creative, and budget-friendly white elephant gift ideas under $20, you’re sure to find the perfect gift. Consider the recipient, theme, and interest when making your selection.
Most importantly, choose a gift that will make people laugh and spark joy at your white elephant exchange!
Remember, white elephant parties are all about having fun. Don’t stress too much about your gift— just pick something unique, quirky, or entertaining. A white elephant exchange is guaranteed to be a memorable event with these delightful 20-dollar gift ideas.