If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, SPY.com may receive an affiliate commission.
White elephant gatherings can be tricky. It’s not like you’re buying just any gift off the Christmas wish list or finding something on your go-to Christmas Gift Guide. You have to be prepared for your gift to go to various people with different interests. To help find something that anyone could enjoy, we’ve crafted this extensive white elephant gift guide.
Who doesn’t love some gourmet hot sauce? Or a cozy fleece throw blanket? Some items on this list are slightly tailored to a certain kind of person, but luckily there are opportunities to swap. For the most part, these are all items that most white elephant participants will appreciate or be able to put to use. You might as well grab some now, so you’re ready when you get invited by all of your family and friends to join their gift exchanges.
Since most white elephants have price limits, we conveniently organized this white elephant gift guide into gifts under $25 and gifts under $50. Scroll to find the perfect option for any gift exchange this holiday season.
1. FLY BY JING Sichuan Chili Crisp Hot Sauce
Everyone can use some hot sauce, right? This gift is a pretty universally safe option to contribute to any white elephant gift exchange. Even if everyone in the group isn’t a spice fanatic, there’s sure to be a few who crave the heat. It’s a unique, crunchy hot sauce made with 100% real ingredients, full of deep umami flavor.
2. Adult Coloring Book
Everyone could use a little de-stressing, at any time of year, but especially around the holidays. This coloring book comes with 60 different designs for hours of calming fun, ranging in complexity from beginner to expert level. The pictures include a wide range of animals from birds to cats, dogs and sea creatures. All of the pages are one-sided, so there’s no need to worry about bleed through, and the crisp printing gives you clear definition to reference.
3. Anker PowerCore Slim Portable Charger
Nobody likes a dead phone. Gift the ability to charge your phone from anywhere and you’ll be the hit of white elephant. This portable power bank from Anker has a super slim, lightweight design and has PowerIQ and VoltageBoost technology for delivering a tailored charge up to 12 watts. It’s built with overcharge protection and works with a wide variety of smartphones.
4. Exploding Kittens
A hit game like Exploding Kittens is a widely applicable gift. The only people who won’t like it also don’t like fun, so you’re out of luck there. This kitty-powered russian roulette card game is perfect for people who love card games, cute graphics, explosions and more. It’s simple yet addicting, perfect for children and adults alike, and takes just minutes to learn. You can play with 2-5 players making it perfect for families, and games take just 15 minutes to play so you can cycle through a few rounds quickly.
5. Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet
Most people who get into cooking don’t realize what a colossal difference quality cookware can make. This highly rated Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet is affordable enough to throw into most white elephants, and anyone who’s even remotely into cooking will seriously appreciate it.
6. Host Freeze Beer Glasses
If your gift exchange consists primarily of adults, these chilled beer glasses are a great option. You can keep them in the freezer at all times so that you’re always prepared for a cold one since everyone knows that warm beer is not the move. They come in various colors in a set of two and are likely to be fought over in any white elephant.
7. Foot Peel Mask
There was a moment in quarantine when everyone was doing foot masks that led to their feet shedding what felt like pounds of skin for days. It was a strange yet satisfying trend, but it actually works wonders to soften your feet. Especially in the dead of winter, everyone could use a nice, exfoliating foot peel, and many are still likely intrigued by what they saw about this on Instagram or TikTok.
8. Harry’s Truman Shaving Set
At only $15, this Harry’s shaving set featuring the weighted, textured Truman handle, three-blade cartridges, foaming shave gel and a travel cover is a serious steal. While male white elephant participants may appreciate this one, women won’t have any problems making use of this for an ultra-smooth shave.
9. Bob Ross by the Numbers
If your white elephant maximum is even lower, this mini Bob Ross paint by numbers set is a fun and silly idea that people can actually use. You don’t even have to be artistically inclined to enjoy it — it’s just a relaxing activity to do solo or in groups. The fact that it’s mini makes it cuter and more portable.
10. Secura Electric Wine Opener
I know we all like to be classy and attempt to open our bottles of wine the old-fashioned way, but who are we kidding? It’d be much easier to streamline the process with an electric wine opener. It removes corks in seconds with one button, and it’s rechargeable. It also comes in a variety of colors and makes a truly excellent, affordable gift.
11. Bedsure Fleece Throw Blanket
It feels like you can never have enough throw blankets on the couch or bed to keep you extra warm and cozy in the winter. They’re something that everyone can use, which is why they’re ideal for this white elephant gift guide. This one, in particular, comes in so many colors, multiple sizes, and gets thousands of 5-star reviews. Whoever ends up with it will surely be pleased.
12. FinalStraw Collapsible Metal Straw
Let’s face it — we all know plastic straws are harmful to the environment, but most of us also hate the paper alternatives offered with beverages these days. To help someone avoid a soggy, wilting straw with their next iced coffee or cocktail, throw this reusable metal straw into the mix at your next white elephant. It’s stainless steel with silicone tips and comes in a bunch of cool colors, all of which collapse into the carrying case with the collapsible cleaning tool. This straw would also make the perfect stocking stuffer.
13. Mr. Coffee Mug Warmer
There’s no bigger buzzkill than a cold cup of coffee, and since almost everyone lives off of caffeine these days this is a perfect white elephant gift. It’s a 17 watt mug warmer that can be used with hot beverages of all kinds from coffee to tea, hot cocoa and more. It’s got a slim design that can be taken anywhere and an easy-to-clean surface that can be wiped. The on/off switch comes with an indicator light so you know when it’s activated, and it’s got a long power cord for flexible use.
14. Some Like It Hot Piecework Puzzle
You really can’t go wrong with a puzzle when it comes to white elephant gifts. Piecework makes exceptionally bright, vivid puzzles that are just the right amount of challenging. This one, in particular, is colorful and sure to spice up any surface on which it sits.
15. Foldable Bluetooth Keyboard
Don’t sleep on functional gifts just because they may be a bit less flashy. With many people working these days remotely, a portable Bluetooth keyboard is a gift that they’ll likely be able to use all the time and genuinely appreciate. It’ll allow them to efficiently work from anywhere, even if they only have a tablet on them or hate their old desktop keyboard.
16. Mini Money Tree
There may be no better universal gift than a plant that’s intended to bring positive energy and good luck to its owner. This Mini Money Tree from Bloomscape is not only said to reduce stress, anxiety and lessen sleeping disorders, but it’s also pet-friendly and a relatively easy indoor plant to keep alive. Anyone can find a place for it in their home and hopefully reap the benefits.
17. adidas Originals Men’s Adilette Slide Sandal
Slides are not just for summer. They’re perfect sandals to wear around the house or even throw on with socks in any season to walk the dog or grab the newspaper. If you know there’s a shoe size that could work for multiple people in your white elephant gift exchange, they’ll probably be fighting over these.
18. Boy Smells Candle
Candles are another gifting category that pretty much anyone will love. You can never have enough to keep your home smelling fresh, floral or even Feu de Bois. We particularly love Boy Smells candles, like this rich, woody scent developed with Kacey Musgraves. It’ll be a hit with everyone trading in the white elephant.
19. Resistance Bands Set
Even though gyms are back open, many of us got used to working out at home, at least some of the time. Resistance bands are an underrated game-changer when it comes to exercising anywhere. With these easily stored and portable bands, you can do tons of exercises targeting any part of your body. Fitness fanatics will be itching to steal these.
20. Mixology Bartender Kit
Mixologists and mere drinkers alike will want to get their hands on this 10-piece bartending kit at your adult white elephant. It has everything you need to mix all kinds of fancy cocktails right at home. It also happens to look great displayed on a bar cart or right out on the kitchen counter.
21. Baggu Duck Bag
Tote bags come in handy for everyone in everyday life, especially now that you often have to pay for bags at the grocery store or pharmacy. This stylish canvas option from Baggu is a reusable tote that you’ll want to keep on you all the time, just in case you have to pick up some groceries or decide to do some spontaneous clothes shopping. It also works for a laptop or gym clothes.
22. Pickleball Paddle and Ball Set
Pickleball is the latest leisure game du jour, and this set of four paddles and balls costs less than $50. The paddles are built durable with a plywood and maple construction and safety wrist straps. They also come with a specially-designed grip that minimizes slipping and maximizes balance. The pickleballs themselves are high-performance, and the set comes with a convenient carrying sack as well.
23. Baxter of California Beard Grooming Oil
Just because beards are in right now does not mean that all bearded men know how to do proper upkeep. Help the men in your white elephant maintain healthy, glistening beards with this grooming oil. It absorbs quickly to leave facial hair feeling soft and hydrated with a natural shine.
24. Anker Soundcore Wireless Earbuds
Earbuds for less than $50? You betcha. And these would make a great addition to a white elephant gift exchange, as a cheaper alternative to more expensive earbuds folks have on their Christmas lists. They’re built with noise-reducing technology as well as a BassUp design that enhances sound further. They’ve got 40 hours of playtime on each charge and are IPX7 waterproof for defence against rogue liquids and unexpected weather.
25. Echo Dot (3rd Generation)
An Amazon Echo Dot is one of their most affordable and most popular smart speakers. It’s built with a compact, fabric design and comes with full Alexa capabilities in a tiny package. You can sync it with all your smart home devices for full control over your lights, thermostats, door locks and more. You can also ask Alexa to play music, check the news, set alarms and more. This affordable smart speaker is widely applicable, and a perfect white elephant gift.