White elephant ideas – nice, giggle, homemade, creative cash, or recycled??
Do you need a white elephant gift exchange idea?
Every year it seems we all get invited to at least one White elephant gift exchange, and we all need ideas worth stealing for. I always like it when I bring the gift that everyone is fighting over. Sometimes if it works out right, I like to steal it back at the end. It makes me feel like I won a really great prize!
Nice Gifts: This year of course, I suspect the best gift I can bring to all of the white elephant parties would of course be our book, “Santa’s (Zany, Wacky, Just Not Right!) Night Before Christmas”. Maybe even an autographed version. Regardless I think anyone who brings this book will see that people will be fighting over it. You could order a few, and keep them on hand. They will make great last minute party gifts that you can just have around ready to go (even for those kids you forgot you might see over the holiday!) There are lots of other nice gifts like this that are popular. Other kids Christmas book classics like Polar Express, or Snowmen at Night. People always seem to be fighting over holiday decorative items, like cute little Santas or snowmen, wreaths or candles. Candles….yes everyone seems to love the candles, especially the big jar ones with delicious holiday scents. My favorite is anything that smells like candycane. Someone always seems to bring some little dancing character, like a snowman or a singing reindeer or something. It is always a hit. Anything with a holiday theme seems to be nice and very popular.
Homemade Gifts: I’ve been known to fight over some homemade goodies before. I love cookies, bananna bread, brownies anything. It is especially nice when people include the recipe. There are lots of ideas out there about things to make in a jar. Things like cake mixes where one only has to add in the wet ingreedients. You could make up a batch of these and use them at all of your white elephant parties or even as host gifts for regular parties. I’ve had friends that have made homemade batches of wine, beer, kaluha, vinegars, oils. and more! There is lots of information too about how to make nice gift baskets. I’ve seen Italian food baskets with wine and cheese, pasta, and olive oil. I’ve seen movie baskets with a Christmas movie, popcorn, and cool popcorn bowls etc. I’m thinking that one could make a really cool gift basket filled with holiday classic books or even a “Santa’s (Zany, Wacky, Just Not Right!) Night Before Christmas basket that could include some hot cocoa cups, marshmallows, hot cocoa mix (homemade or not), of course the book, and even a blanket throw or some kind of sleep shirt. People love to get something that people make or assemble themselves.
Creative Cold Hard Cash and Gift Cards: There is nothing wrong with stopping on your way to the party and getting a gift card or even just putting some cash in an envelope. We’ve all been that person. And nobody will complain if that is the gift they receive in the end. But one could be a little creative with it. My Dad once gave me money for Christmas and it was all in $2 bills. It would take a little planning and maybe a phone call to the bank, but it could be done. Of course hiding a gift card or cash inside of a really big wrapped box taped inside the bottom throws people off. To get a little more creative with that you could include a brick or a big lump of coal and tape the card to the bottom of it in the box. There are lots of jar ideas that you could hide it inside of too. Maybe a jar of holiday candy like candy canes or holiday M&Ms, gumballs, or holiday Hershey kisses. Just load up the jar, put the money or card inside of a plastic baggie or something and then wedge it in. It might be fun to not say a word…..and see how long it takes before the lucky present winner finds their bonus! Gift cards are really fun. It is fun to see what people will fight for. I’ve seen of course Starbucks cards, those are very popular. I’ve seen gas cards, ice cream cards, and even Home Depot cards be fought over. So next time you are at one of those stores, buy a few to keep around for your holiday parties, and you will be set.
Gifts that will cause a Giggle: These are always fun at a White Elephant Exchange party. Sometimes they get a big groan. Sometimes they are worth stealing! I’ve seen all kinds of things from bacon flavored toothpaste, soap and bubblegum, to hairy pantyhose, and clown glasses. I’ve seen silly putty to “Flarp” noise putty and whoopie cushions. Even photo props like Santa hats and mustasches on sticks can be fun. Boxes of kids bandaids, big mama underwear, wasabi lip balm, and giant, and I mean giant candycanes are fun. I’ve seen rubber duckies, even decorate your own rubber duckie kits, reindeer antlers, halloween wigs, and I even once saw one of those beta fish that come in a cup! Just wander around, there are so many things that might cause a laugh, even a purple santa hat might do it! 😉 There are lots of places to look for ideas, one I still like is Spencers at the mall or online.
Recycled Items: This can be interpreted in two ways. It could mean something like “regifting” something you got last year at another gift exchange or from your Mother-in-law. Or it could mean giving some item that might be destined for the trash a “recycled” life. I’ve been known to bring the dud gift when I’ve forgotten to prepare ahead of time. That could mean that I run around my house finding anything……..could be something sitting on the shelf that who knows how I’ve obtained. I once had what I thought was a hideous figurine that someone at the party thought was marvelous and was a collector of. I’ve brought a six pack of beer that was sitting in the fridge that I would never get around to drinking. I’ve seen big 3 wick candles that were already burnt. There is always the fun of bringing the “dud” gift from last year to the same party and listen to the giggles when it is pulled out once again. It is fun to see those show up again and again year after year. It could be that you fill up an empty cereal box with lemons or a small mint box with old nuts and bolts that don’t go to anything. There are endless possiblities.
Lots of ideas….I can hardly wait for White Elephant Party season to start this year. So which white elephant gift exchange idea worth stealing for are you going to bring?! If you have some good ideas we’d love to hear them!