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How to Find Creative White Elephant Gifts for Secret Santa Gift Exchanges

The holidays are a time for celebration, so you are likely going to attend office parties and gatherings during the season, which are ideal situations for you or others to host present exchanges: enter creative white elephant gifts. During this traditional exchange, each person brings one wrapped white elephant gift to the party, which goes into a pile (others should not be watching who brings what). The game begins with the first person, which could be you, choosing a present to unwrap. You open the item and hang on to it. The next partygoer takes a turn and either unwraps a package or takes the first opened one. With each turn after the first, you have the choice of opening or "stealing" a present. After all of the gifts are open and everyone has one, the game is over. You can change the rules a bit to make the game more enjoyable and unique.

This game is like Secret Santa, except that Secret Santa doesn’t involve switching packages. However, there are many White Elephant party ideas to change up gameplay. When you bring a gift to this type of event, you need something universal, fun, and creative, if you want to be the giver of the most coveted “prize.” Consider the ambiance of the group, and use a few tips to learn how to choose a white elephant gift for the party

Find a Gag Gift

When you look for a white elephant gift to buy, a gag present is always amusing. Make sure the group enjoys a good sense of humor before the exchange, and go wild. Pick a unique white elephant gift that makes people laugh at its ridiculousness, like nonsense toys or weird gadgets. If you want to create a bigger challenge for attendees, then take the time to wrap the item in a small box, which goes inside another box and another box. Add as many as you want for a little fun during the exchange.

Contribute a Gift Basket

When you try to come up with different white elephant gift options, it’s overwhelming to see everything available to give. If in doubt, build or buy a gift set. This type of creative white elephant gift gives impressive value for the amount spent on it, but you need to choose a theme to take the basket to the next level.

Basket sets usually include something edible, like fruit, cheese, and gourmet snacks. However, creating a theme gives you more options to choose from. For a practical arrangement, fill it with wine and tissues to help "survive" the holidays, or use fun and unique office essentials for a workplace exchange. Put together something a little more entertaining, and choose all trinkets in a single color, or only fill it with products that show a specific type of animal. When you put all this thought into making a unique white elephant gift, it shows everyone that you have a good sense of gift giving.

Look for the Best Gift Under $20

It’s hard to buy something when you don’t have an intended recipient in mind. Instead of breaking the bank, look for a good deal with under $20 white elephant gifts. Having a price limit challenges you to keep your shopping trip frugal, and is often a requirement of the game, but it also gives you a new perspective as you browse through different options. Choose a kitchen gadget with a unique twist, like a taco cup that features bright colors. Buy $20 worth of lottery tickets; your recipient could end up with a much more substantial prize. Even with the intention of finding something that most people won’t buy themselves, you still have a lot of white elephant gift options.

Surprise Everyone with an Expensive-Looking Gift

Even if you have a budget, challenge everyone’s idea of what you bring as your white elephant gift by finding something that looks expensive. You don’t need to spend a lot on the gift, if you hunt down clearance deals for marked-down products. However, prepare yourself for these white elephant gift options to be the sought-after items with each new pick. Choose plush blankets and pillows that keep someone warm on a chilly night or remote-controlled cars and helicopters. Your choice depends on what you know about the partygoers, but anything that conveys indulgence and luxury makes a very entertaining selection.

The whole point of bringing a white elephant gift is to enjoy the game. There’s no pressure with an anonymous exchange, since you don’t need to find a perfect present for someone specific. Instead, you have an opportunity to go wild with an entertaining and unique white elephant gift, instead of trying to budget in everyone you know. Decide what you want to give, wrap it up, and get ready for some entertainment.