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Updated Dec 5, 2022 5:00 PM

Holiday party season is in full swing. So, whether you’re back mixing and mingling with coworkers or stockpiling last-minute goodies for a family and friends get-together, we can help! And you don’t need to spike the punch to loosen things up some last-minute fun you’re attending or organizing. A Yankee swap, aka White Elephant, gift exchange is a great way to manufacture some mirth at an office party or relatives round-up. With that in mind, here are some of our favorite White Elephant gifts (which, conveniently, also make for great one-last-thing selections to put under the tree).

From the niche and novel to the impractical and inappropriate to the surprisingly sensible, a White Elephant gift exchange is the best party game where you might walk away with a party game. Or an oddly useful accessory. Or a kitschy knick-knack—something “As Seen On TV” (or “As Seen On TikTok,” more likely). The White Elephant rules are relatively simple. You pick from a pool of random wrapped gifts but then, once you’ve revealed your gift, have the opportunity to “steal” (aka, exchange for) someone else’s gift. And the next round you can just as easily have the gift you’re holding “stolen.” It’s chaos and strategy … and a lot more fun if everyone doesn’t just bring coffee gift cards (not that we couldn’t live on coffee gift cards). So—whether you’re looking for the best gifts under $50, the best gifts under $25, you’re exchanging with executives, or you want to be remembered for bringing the best funny present—we’ve put together these great White Elephant gifts so you can “win” the game where you always know that you never know what to expect.

Snoopy under the mistletoe ornament

Amazon

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If someone you know in your cube farm or friend circle has searched every thrift and antique store in a 60-mile radius for the infamous Lenox Spice Village Set from the ’80s, please give them a less-elusive Lenox treasure to add to their collection: Snoopy under the mistletoe. This adorable 2022 ornament is made of porcelain that can stand the test of time without the multi-hundred dollar price point that the Lenox spice set is going for nowadays—good grief!

Burritos Tortilla Blanket

mermaker

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When it’s cold outside, turn to the blanket that’s less brrrrrr and more burr-ito. The mermaker Burritos Tortilla Blanket 2.0 double-sided 71-inch blanket is non-fading, lint-free, ultra-soft 285 grams-per-square flannel with a delicious design on each side. It’s great for sofas, beds, traveling—anywhere you know someone gathering the ingredients for comfort. (There are also pepperoni pizza, waffle, and chocolate cookie options, if that’s more where your appetite for gifts is.) So, if you’re looking for a great gift, grab this and, well, wrap up your shopping.

3D Skull Ice Mold Trays

CHIYAN

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If you know someone having difficulty wrapping your head around the perfect way to spice up their bar, one simple solution is to wrap drinks around a skull. Grab one (or more) of these 100-percent BPA-free, non-toxic, food-grade, dishwasher-safe silicone molds, each of which makes six 6.5-inch by 5.4-inch by 2.3-inch skulls at one time. Know someone feeling crafty? The mold can also be used to make everything from chocolate to soap. These ice cubes will be a great party starter, no bones about it.

French vanilla cereal bowl candle

Amazon

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Childhood is full of smelly things, but not all of them are questionable or objectionable. Some, like this delicious-looking candle with a tasty vanilla scent, just take you back to happier times. The perfect decor for any office communal kitchen or the home of a notorious cereal lover, this candle comes in several options, including Lucky Charms, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and Fruity Pebbles. Not only will this candle look pretty on any surface, but it’s also a great conversation starter and will delight your nose with some cereal-ously great aromas. Just, please, don’t eat it.

Orange juice vase

Amazon

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If you’re on a morning meal-as-ornamentation kick, this adorable ceramic orange juice carton gives any room an extra dose of sweet decor. The bright hand-painted oranges give any cold kitchen a healthy hue of sunshine. Or, if flowers aren’t your thing, the vase can be a great office supplies holder and brighten up any dull desk with juicy joy. 

JBL Go 3 Bluetooth speaker

JBL

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If you’re looking to gift someone big sound from a little speaker, the JBL Go 3 is your go-to. An ultraportable, less than 8-ounce block with surprisingly potent bass, the battery-powered Go 3 packs 5 hours of playback so its owner can stay motivated in the gym, on the trail, on a bike, or wherever else they need a soundtrack to fuel success. In the pool? Sure! The desert, too. The Go 3’s IP67 rating means it’s waterproof and dustproof.

LifeStraw

Amazon

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For the coworker/weekend warrior who could be the next winner of Naked and Afraid, help them practice their prepper skills by gifting a LifeStraw. Always handy in an emergency, or just a weekend camping trip, the LifeStraw protects against 99.999999% of waterborne bacteria like E. coli with a membrane microfilter. Stick the straw right in a river, and you’re headed for hydration. Because we all deserve a break without worrying something will break us.

Sunset Projection Lamp

Your cubicle neighbor is talking about it constantly: the tropical vacation, the palm trees, the sugar-infused rum drinks served in coconuts with little umbrellas in them. Next-door Nick/Nicole wants the sand in their toes and the sun on their skin. Nobody is suggesting you gift airfare to Hawaii but if you can’t send your coworker to paradise, bring paradise to them. This sunset lamp, which can rotate 180 degrees, is the perfect ambiance for a living room or bedroom. As a bonus, if your coworker is constantly posting selfies on Instagram, the RGB LED lamp—with its 16 colors, IR remote control, and flash/strobe/fade/smooth effects—adds a bit of variety and flavor to their Friday-night-at-home-with-the-cat fashion shoots. Don’t let the sun go down on your officemate unless it’s by choice. 

Anker PowerCore Slim 10K Battery Pack

Devices are our vices. We love how they can accompany us on the go, but they occasionally make us pause for a plug. Our phones, tablets, headphones, pocket Wi-Fi transmitters, and Nintendo Switches demand voltage and we want to provide them with what they need. Portable power blocks make changing the sheen on that battery icon from red to green a snap without slowing you down. One of the slimmest 10,000mAh packs on the market—perfect for gamers, tech-heads, joggers, travelers, or honestly any variety of coworker—This power block is a necessity you never knew you needed and is even useful in multiples. Using PowerIQ and VoltageBoost technology to maintain the health of your devices’ batteries, it can provide almost 2 charges for an iPhone 14 or Galaxy S22, for example. Nobody is excited to get a power block, but nobody is disappointed to have this simple black brick when they need it. Whether I’m shopping for friends, coworkers, or loved ones, a power brick is always one of the first White Elephant gifts on my list.

Victorinox SwissCard Lite

Amazon

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Everyone with a smartphone loves the convenience of having the world at their fingertips, but there’s a limit to what data can do. A phone flashlight can be handy, but let’s face it: iTweezer isn’t really a practical option for removing a splinter on the go. With the SwissCard, however, practical, tangible tools come in an ultra-thin container that can slip seamlessly into a wallet. This card includes scissors, a magnifying glass, a ruler, an LED light, various sizes of screwdrivers, a blade, and tweezers, to name a few. This mini-tool set can turn any coworker or cousin into a handyperson, and everyone can benefit from having it in their back pocket for everyday emergencies.

Nodpod Sleep Mask

You spend all day under pressure, so when you get home at night you’d think the last thing you’d want is more pressure. Well, if you’re Queen featuring David Bowie or looking for an amazing night’s sleep, you’d be wrong. The nodpod sells itself as a “weighted blanket for your eyes” and the gentle pressure it applies, plus the 100-percent blackout design, really does lead to better sleep—something I know from experience. You can even throw it in the freezer if you need to cool down after exercise, or to soothe a migraine, or to try and take your mind off of all the TPS reports you have due. And when you give a coworker this “hug for your head” they won’t even get HR involved.

Stylophone Retro Pocket Synth

If “oddly endearing” is how you’re described around the office, you won’t find a more apropos white elephant gift to give than this pocket-sized synthesizer. First released in 1967 and perhaps most famously featured on David Bowie’s “Space Oddity,” Dubreq’s Stylophone sounds like an 8-bit video game blaring out of the punctured speaker of an old ice cream van—and I say these things with love. It’s a lot of fun to listen to the oscillating tones as you slide the stylus up and down the metal keyboard, and a headphone jack means someone can even indulge some lo-fi love at work without disturbing a cubicle mate. Just remember to wrap three AAA batteries with this retro-futuristic icon to ensure the analog anarchy can begin immediately. 

Stealing piggy bank

Amazon

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Every office has an extreme cat lover (it’s me). Distract them with this charming cat-thief piggy bank. Just place a coin on the dish, and the cat will pop out of the box and steal the money. It’s like giving yourself the gift of sanity by eliminating their incessant desire to show you pictures every 20 minutes of their cat looking the same (“No, I swear, look at how his paw is moving in this one!”). You’ve still got options if a cat lover isn’t on your list: This piggy bank also comes in an adorable panda edition.

Felt Letter Board

Ever look at a church or fast-food signboard and feel so jealous? Why do they get to share their witticisms about deadly sins or daily combos and you have no such platform!? Well, now you’re in luck. From famous quotes to limericks that might require a visit from HR, you can broadcast it all the old-fashioned way, right from the comfort of your cubicle. With a 10×10 inch space, this felt board has room for opinions cliché to controversial. The 374 pre-cut letters feature a rustic style and bold font, and you even get nine bonus cursive words for extra flair, plus extra clips to hold photos or notes. With this set, your coworker can make every day a red letter—er, white letter—day.

Rocketbook smart reusable notebook

Amazon

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If your coworker constantly reminisces about the days when all their work could be done on paper, the Rocketbook smart reusable notebook might ease their woes. This isn’t your typical notebook, but the learning curve is small. Write notes like normal with the included erasable pen, take a picture with your phone using the Rocketbook app, and the notes are automatically uploaded to the cloud as scans so you can organize and access them anywhere you have service. Then, wipe away the page with the included cloth, and the page is ready to be used again. With the Rocketbook, you’re basically giving the gift of never having to buy another notebook again.

Skullcandy Dime 2

We like the Skullcandy Dime. We think that if you spend less than $30 and don’t want to sacrifice convenient features (like 12 hours of total battery life, IPX4 sweat/water resistance, and an isolating fit), it’s one of the best cheap earbuds out there. If we opened a pair of true wireless earbuds at an office party, we’d be excited. We think we’d be a little kinder this Christmas season if we could go to the office on Monday with a new way to drown out all the distractions (or to take calls, even during solo ’bud use). I mean, seriously, we can’t sit through Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” one. more. time. Now “Christmas Time (Don’t Let the Bells End)” by the Darkness, that’s our kind of carol. 

MILKBOSS Electric Handheld Milk Frother

Coffee is serious business, no beans about it. The perfect cup needs the perfect blend, the perfect roast, the perfect pour, and the perfect spot of frothed, creamy milk. With a little love and care, the communal coffee pot at the office can become a cool Euro café just by upping the froth game. Your gift recipient will become your corporate barista, complete with mishearing and misspelling your name on inter-office memos. This frother can whip milk to a perfect consistency in seconds and always mix powders—coffee, cocoa, or matcha tea—with far better results than hand whisks or cutlery. Easy to use, clean, and store, it’s good to be the Milk Boss (even if you’re not the office boss).

Mr. Coffee mug warmer

Amazon

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From the makers of the classic office coffee pot, Mr. Coffee, comes a practical invention for caffeine lovers everywhere: the mug warmer. Set your coffee mug on top, plug it in, and let Mr. Coffee do the rest. He’ll warm up your beverage in less than two minutes, saving you a trip to the communal microwave and an awkward conversation with Brian. Seriously, why is that guy never at his desk? And this warmer has an indicator light, so you know exactly when your coffee is warm and ready, plus it’s small enough to fit in your bag, so you can get cozy anywhere with an outlet.

Sushi Go Party! Deluxe Pick & Pack Card Game

Take your game nights from in a rut to on a roll with Sushi Go! Fun, colorful, and extremely easy to learn to play, the expanded version will have you noshin’ on nigiri and makin’ maki. While the borders to Japan are still closed to tourists, you can live out all your dreams of slammin’ salmon and tubular tuna. Draft your ingredients, score points, and enjoy. 8 players can enjoy the game, so even if your least-social colleague ends up with it, there’s no excuse not to invite over the whole division. This deluxe edition has the whole su-shebang: 181 cards, 21 menu tiles, 8 wooden player pawns, and a game board, decked out in adorable art. Why “go fish” when you can make it?

Loop Experience Pro

Loop

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Now ’ear this: You only get one shot at protecting your hearing. For some, it might be too late (I’m looking at you, young me). But for everyone else, don’t pass up this opportunity to be proactive and do it with panache. Not many earplugs double as fashion accessories. Loop Experience Pro breaks the mold, so to speak, providing robust, high-fidelity hearing protection in sleek, jewelry-inspired enclosures that look way more stylish than sticking orange wads of foam in your ears. Obviously, looks have nothing to do with hearing protection, but we’re fans of anything that ups earplugs’ cool factor if it inspires you (or your kids) to wear them. Loop Experience Pro earplugs attenuate sound somewhat evenly across the frequency spectrum; two removable Loop Mute silicon filters let you tailor attenuation (-18 dB or -23 dB) to your surroundings and preferences, and resonant acoustic chambers inside their eponymous “loops” help optimize sound quality. The Loop Experience Pro package includes four silicone ear tips, three foam ear tips, two sets of Loop Mute filters, and a plastic carry case. Models are available in various colors and metallic finishes (such as silver, shown above) and can be washed with soap and water. Need to keep the budget under $30? The simpler Experience package is only $29.99, and a Quiet version, without adjustable filters and set at -27 dB (shown in red above), is just $20. Jeff from accounting will thank you when there’s no ringing in the ears taking away from the Monday metrics meeting. The best White Elephant gifts can serve a greater purpose.

Wooly heroes dryer balls 

Amazon

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How can laundry seem like a chore when you get to look at these adorable dryer balls? These wool dryer balls absorb excess water from clothes, reducing dryer time by 20 to 40 percent. They are reusable and biodegradable, but they also look insanely cute. Laundry has never been more joy than pulling this dryer ball menagerie out of fresh, warm clothes.

Hamilton Beach Dual Breakfast Sandwich Maker

Wake up and greet the day. Open those blinds and soak in that sun. Brush those teeth and fix that hair. And now time for a nutritious hot breakfast—except all that prep means you’re already behind schedule for your commute. It happens to us all, right? We plan to eat something nourishing and hearty to kickstart the day but settle for a passion fruit Greek yogurt and a protein bar, or maybe even a grease-bomb from the drive-through. Free your friend from such morning tyranny with this quick sandwich maker. Just load up a bagel or muffin, precooked meat and cheese, and—in another compartment—a raw egg and the other half of the bread, and wait a scant five minutes. Your hot sandwich is ready and waiting to power you through the morning, and you can even make two at a time in case you want one for the road. It even comes with a recipe book. No more excuses, only flavor.

Bamboo cheese board and knife set

Amazon

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The only thing cheesy about gifting a charcuterie board is, well, the dairy delicacies topping it. This water-resistant bamboo charcuterie board provides the perfect place to lay out all those charcuterie designs you’ve been practicing or thought about practicing since the start of the pandemic. The vertical knife holder fits four different-sized knives in the set, freeing up valuable board space for more delicious cheeses, nuts, and fruits. And once all the food is gone, the board can be easily cleaned with a little soap and water.

PhoneSoap Basic UV Smartphone Sanitizer

Look at yourself. Look at your hands. Your nails. Your cuticles. Admit it: you’re filthy. But so am I. The day accumulates on us all as we work. A bit of dirt here, a bit of grease there. Before you know it, we’re feeling grody and need some hand sanitizer. But how to sanitize what your dirty hands have already dirtied? How to get the gross off your constant companion, the thing you touch more than anything else: your phone? The answer is UV light. Featuring two UV bulbs, this sanitizer promises to kill 99.9 percent of germs and bacteria by zapping them with the power of ultraviolence—er, ultraviolet light. The process takes about 10 minutes and the PhoneSoap pod fits all major phone brands and sizes. It even has a method of letting sound pass through so that you don’t miss any important calls or texts. And while designed for phones, it can sanitize anything that can be put inside it, including pacifiers, watches, headphones, or keys. Anything your grubby little hands can get grubby, ungrubbify.

Yogasleep Rohm Portable White Noise Machine

Sometimes it’s quiet … too quiet. For many of us, myself included, nothing puts us on edge more than nothing putting us on edge. The gentle hum of a fan, air conditioner, or refrigerator is the best lullaby. But why try to cuddle up near a major appliance when there’s carefully designed, calibrated, and convenient white noise ready to gently send your most sleep-deprived comrade off into the arms of Morpheus? With three soothing sounds—bright white noise, deep white noise, and gentle surf—packed inside a tiny 3.5-inch, 3.8-ounce package, this white noise machine is powerful enough for weekend wind-downs and portable enough for corporate retreats. Thanks to an internal USB-chargeable battery, the Yogasleep is perfect for whichever officemate has the most bloodshot eyes and most pronounced sunken cheeks. Give the gift we all wish we could give ourselves: rest.

Pooping Pooches Calendar

Pooping Pooches

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This white elephant gift is not crappy, this gift is the $#!+. Your office assuredly has a dog lover. Maybe gently remind that proud pooch parent what dogs really are: cute, loveable poop machines. Feature 12 months of beautiful vistas with a different cuddly canine popping a squat mid-frame, this calendar will not only get a couple of chuckles, but it’ll help those same dung-developing doggies with $1 from every sale going to charities that help dogs in need. Measuring 17 inches by 11 inches, it’s perfect for placing on a cubicle wall or even in the office bathroom. And don’t worry, only our image is censored, not the actual product. Answer nature’s call, 365 days in a row.

Kasa Wi-Fi LED Strip

The future is now. We live in a world where we can talk to devices to turn on other devices, track our steps with a watch, and adjust the color of our lights with an app on our phone. That last one is easier than ever with this 16-plus-foot strip of lights perfect for adding customizable accents of color around the home or office. Compatible with Alexa, Google Nest, or SmartThings, this LED strip can liven up a living room, cool down a computer hutch, or bedazzle a bedroom. If your coworker needs a bit of pizzazz in their workspace, the LED strip is easy to set up, dimmable, and programmable, with animated lighting effects built-in. Add a bit of cyberpunk color to someone’s life.

Dash Mini Maker Griddle

Being single can be a drag when the world is built for twos and fours. Most home cooking appliances use a ton of power and have way more surface or cooking space than you need. But there’s nothing wrong with flying solo, so low-stress cooking solutions that fit the needs of the just-one crowd are a must. This mini-griddle is perfect for the one who needs only one for pancakes, cookies, grilled cheese sandwiches, or eggs. Weighing less than a pound and featuring a 31-inch cord, and coupled with a recipe book, it fits on any counter and heats up in minutes. The Dash Mini Maker is a hot gift for the foodie who’s not cooking for two-die. It’s also been famous on TikTok.

Christmas Light USB Charging Cable

Imagine you’re at a Christmas party and you’ve been making eyes with someone. They strut over to you, make meaningful eye contact, and slowly and intentionally … ask if you have an iPhone charger. Well, it never hurts to hold onto one, and a festive one to boot! Add a little Christmas cheer to your Christmas charge with the Christmas Light USB Charging Cable. Lightning cable-compatible with a USB 2.0 connector, the Christmas Light USB Charging Cable takes about 3 hours to fully charge an iPhone. The 10 festive holiday lights twinkle as power courses from source to device. Silly and holiday-specific, it’s the perfect White Elephant gift: just useful enough and weird enough to be utterly memorable.

Ecolution Original Microwave Micro-Pop Popcorn Popper

Movie maestros, snack savants, and carnival connoisseurs all know: popcorn is the perfect pick-me-up. Once you pop, you can’t stop. If you want your white elephant recipient not to be able to stop thanking you, get them this microwave popper. Your corn gets nestled into a little pot and pops without oil so that you won’t be giving the gift of greasy fingers, just in case the gift-getter is on a health kick. The lid features a measurement bowl for your raw kernels, producing 1.5 quarts of perfectly popped pieces in less than 3 minutes. After popping, you can even melt some butter over the top using the same lid and the heat produced from the popping process. Ideal for solo Netflix viewing or snuggling up during cuffing season, this is the one corny holiday gift anyone would love to get.

Pinch Provisions Hangover Kit

The life of the party is often the picture of regret the next morning, paying the price for the fun they’ve provided. But they have a friend who understands, and they’ll praise your name as party pro extraordinaire when you produce the Punch Provisions Hangover Kit: conveniently sized to reside in a desk drawer, glove compartment, purse, or pocket. Six simple items—an eye mask, facial wipe, breath strip, earplugs, pain reliever, and electrolyte tablet—packed in a portable pouch soothe the morning-after beast, dulling those brutal beats, wrathful rays, and pounding pulses. There are eight colors to choose from for packaging, so why not give a pair?

Fujifilm disposable 35 mm camera (pack of 2)

Amazon

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Social media has its place, but so does nostalgia. Picture this: The office white elephant party is nearing its end, with everyone’s arms and Instagrams full of reminders of a silly good time. One lucky person, however, was given the gift of delayed gratification, a gift that keeps on giving. While everyone else’s feed will quickly move on to the next day, someone with these cameras will eventually drop them off to be developed, (hopefully) remember to pick the prints up, and then circulate with a stack of rectangular remembrances allowing everyone to relieve what we hope are fond, possible fuzzy memories.   

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