The time is nigh for the endless outpouring of holiday party invitations, which means you’re on the hook for finding the best white elephant gifts to offer in exchange for a bit of holly jolly socializing (and perhaps a few free drinks).
At first, one would think that the best white elephant gift ideas would be easy to come up with. That is until you’re searching high and low for a trinket generic enough that anyone would be delighted to take it home. Set your worries aside. To save you a little time and anxiety, we’ve pulled together a list of last-minute the best white elephant gift ideas for under $30. Whether you’re a firm believer in the practicality of holiday gifts or the type that prefers a gag, you’ll find inspiration that runs the gamut without breaking the bank.
All ye weary searching hither and yon for practical, budget, funny, or the best white elephant gift ideas, chill out and rest easy knowing we’ve got you covered.
Rechargeable and Cordless Wine Opener and Chiller
When your choices are either hunting down a corkscrew or cheapening out on a bottle of screwtop budget vino, the latter option typically comes out on top, and makes for the best white elephant gift they’ll always use. Help your coworker retain a little more dignity the next time they need to uncork with a wine opener that’s too large to get lost in the back of a drawer but sleek enough to keep out on the counter.
100 Essential Films Scratch Off
This gift is a cinephile’s dream with all the satisfaction of a scratchcard. Gifting this poster might be the only time it’s acceptable to give someone a single coin for Christmas, so take advantage of this best white elephant gift.
Burt’s Bees Gift Set
Cold, dry winter air does a number on the skin. This selection of Burt’s Bees hydrating balms gets a little help from nature’s own Type A insect to heal wind-chapped lips, soothe sandpapery hands, and quench even the most woefully dry elbows with the best white elephant gift for anyone on your list.
Shot Glass Roulette
This gift is anything but a gamble. Giftees are sure to love the clever yet functional design that adds a bit of flair to any get-together where the goal is to get absurdly hammered as quickly as possible. It’s sure to make Christmas dinner with the stodgy in-laws a bit more entertaining with this best white elephant gift.
Italian Culinary Herb Seed Collection
Give someone’s green thumb a stretch with sachets of basil, thyme, sage, parsley, and oregano. Home chefs looking to up the ante with fresh herbs will appreciate the included recipe for tomato basil spread, time to turn this best white elephant gift, green.
Maple + Bacon Candle
The unfortunate thing about brunch is that we’ve relegated it to the weekend. With a luxe scented candle, though, you can take them on an olfactory journey with this best white elephant gift that will tide them over until the next time they tuck into a maple-drenched rasher of everyone’s favorite breakfast meat.
Indoor S’mores Maker
Leave them begging for s’more. Evoke endless nostalgia with a fireless, indoor s’mores maker that can put a mean toast on a marshmallow. For bonus points, include all the makings of the quintessential summertime sugary sandwich, one of the best white elephant gifts to please them all.
Bamboo Cheese Board and Knife Set
Charcuterie is all the rage, and why not? A whole spread of cheeses, dried meats, mustards, and nuts is a meal fit for a king, so give it the throne it deserves. The bamboo construction is waterproof and features a pull-out drawer to house the four matching knives.
If funny white elephant gift ideas aren’t your style, stick with the practical, they still have the potential to be the best white elephant gift. There’s nothing wrong with providing the gift of organization. A sturdy desk organizer says, “I know you’re busy. How about a little something to keep things tidy.”
Outlinx Smart Stickers
You may want to make sure Gran doesn’t get her hands on this one. Of all the best white elephant gift ideas $20 or cheaper, Outlinx Smart Stickers are the only ones that might land you in the attic, reorganizing the family heirlooms.
Five Two Silicone Straws
A straw that does it all. The kit comes with ten super bendy, platinum-grade silicone straws, four cleaning squeegees, and four travel cases. Giftees will love that they’re being eco-conscious and don’t have to deal with embarrassing iced latte mustaches anymore.
Cat Paw Cups
If you’re vying for the title of “Best White Elephant Gift Giver,” these cups that look like chubby cat feet just might clinch the victory. This funny Christmas gift comes with a different stripe or spot pattern and paw pad designs on the bottom.
Fashion-forward tech is very in, and a stylish Bluetooth beanie ticks all the boxes. The built-in headset connects to any smartphone and keeps wearers from pulling their hands out of their coat pockets to have a chat with mom. The rechargeable battery provides up to 6 hours of active use or 60 hours of standby.
Succulent Chocolate Gift Set
The Succulent Chocolate Gift Set by confectioner Bob Williamson does double duty. In the box are six lovely paper succulents pretty enough to be repurposed as decor. Inside of each sits a luscious dark chocolate drop, just waiting for a moment of indulgence.
Graphics Drawing Tablet
It might seem like the type of gift only an artist would love, but drawing tablets can do way more than serve as a digital sketch pad. This entry-level option can handle endorsing documents, note-taking, editing photos in PhotoShop, or replacing a touchpad mouse.
Himalayan Grey Salt Lamp
A trip to Everest’s summit might be out of the question, but you can give the next best thing: a hand-sculpted hunk of salt straight from the Himalayas. The dimmer knob and soft glow make it ideal for a bedside table and ideal for the best white elephant gift.
Bourbon Barrel-Aged Old Fashioned Cocktail Mixer
We’re not quite sure who Pappy is, but he seems to make a mean mixer. It just takes a couple of tablespoons of the pre-blended bitters, sugar, and orange peel to turn a shot of whiskey into an old-fashioned, preferably on the rocks, maybe you can even convince the lucky recipient of this best white elephant gift to make you a nice drink.
Gourmet Hot Chocolate Gift Set
Cocoa by the fire is a wintertime tradition and one that’s hard to improve upon. At least, until this posh gourmet hot chocolate set makes its way onto the scene. The lucky duck who ends up with your genius pick of last-minute, but best white elephant gift ideas, gets to cozy up with flavors like snickerdoodle, chocolate cherry, and toasted marshmallow.
Universal Socket Tool
It’s nearly impossible to find a quality tool for less than $30, much less one that would be the envy of every gift exchange participant. That is until the Universal Socket Tool came along. This nifty gadget has 54 chrome steel pins that adjust on the fly for the right fit on most adapters, bits, nuts, and bolts.
Exceptionally Bad Dad Jokes
Even those who have not traversed the joys and plights of fatherhood can start working on their dad joke game. Leave the party to a chorus of groans as pun after pun spills forth from the proud owner of a book that aims to be, “So frightfully awful.. yet wonderfully spiffing.”
Bonsai Starter Kit
Bring some big Bob Ross vibes to your get-together with a happy little tree. This kit comes with four different species– Japanese Black Pine, Silver Wattle, Jacaranda Mimosifolia, and Black Spruce– and everything an amateur arborist needs to get started. Just add water!
Smart Light Dimmer
For the home automation hero who has it all, a smart dimmer gives them yet another excuse to never leave their chair for anything less than the arrival of the Chinese food delivery driver. The switch mounts anywhere, with no hardware needed, and includes a handy remote that pairs effortlessly.
Haku Japanese Shoyu
Who knew soy sauce came in varieties other than “little packets with Chinese takeaway?” Shoyu is a Japanese-style soy sauce that is often used in ramen to lend a delicate sweetness. It’s tasty on pretty much anything. Choose from black garlic, matsutake, cherry blossom, whiskey-barrel aged, and cold-smoked.
Ice Ball Maker
Whiskey is a complex drink that deserves something a bit classier than a cube to cool it down. Spheres boast the least surface area of any shape, so a ball mode ensures that connoisseurs of the gentlemen’s drink can enjoy their bourbon ice cold and undiluted.
Wireless Key Finder
Put an end to the neverending hunt for keys, wallets, or the family pet. For Tile fans, this option is more ‘best white elephant gift’ budget-friendly and comes with four receivers that beep from up to 131 feet away.
Giant Pepperoni Pizza Blanket
The ultimate comfort food upgraded to the ultimate cozy blanket. Pizza night will never be the same for the lucky recipient of this pepperoni-studded plush wonder. The reversible design is soft fleece, making it ideal for turning oneself into a cozy little calzone.
The Orijin Sponge
We’ve all been in a bit of a bind, desperately searching for the best white elephant gift ideas for $20 or less. Unfortunately, there’s something a bit desperate about tossing a pouf and some scented shower gel in a box and calling it done. Unless, of course, you swap out a standard pouf for the glorious Orijin Sponge. It’s infused with bamboo and charcoal for squeaky clean pores.
Luxury Herbal Tea Set
Next time your friend invites you ’round for a cuppa, ensure you’re sipping on something worth the fancy cake you brought to tea. It’s no Twinings, but the set does come with a selection of five organic herbal blends in comforting flavors like licorice and peppermint.
The Book of Unusual Knowledge
With more than 700 pages packed with weird, obscure, and strange information, The Book of Unusual Knowledge might evoke a few groans during the gift exchange. Still, we’d wager the recipient will find themselves thumbing through the next time they’ve grown bored of scrolling on their smartphone.
Brooklyn Beans Sampler
It’s hard to go wrong with coffee, especially when it’s something a bit different from the norm. Brooklyn Beans are locally roasted in small batches for a bold cup of joe in intoxicating flavors like Maple Sleigh and Vanilla Skyline.
Bee’s Wrap Reusable Food Wraps
Fans of sustainability or just keeping their food fresh will love these reusable wraps. Just use your hands to warm up the cloth soaked in jojoba oil and beeswax, mold it around the shape of your food, and voila!
Moleskine Classic Notebook
Designed after the 19th-century Parisian oilskin notebooks, Moleskines are less a desk supply and more of a lifestyle, plus they make the perfect last minute gift for him. Listmakers, doodlers, and amateur poets will adore cracking the spine on an iconic classic. Fret not; no moles were harmed in the making.
White Marble Coasters
Statement coasters are always in style, and the attractive hexagonal shape of these marble beauties offers a touch of sophistication that also protects the furniture.
Fidgeters and busybodies will appreciate having something to keep their hands occupied, and puzzle-enthusiasts will dive right into discovering all 70 shapes that emerge from the magical 3D cube.
11-in-1 Survival Kit
One lucky guest will be eager to take home an all-in-one tactical kit that will certainly come in handy next time they find themselves stranded without a flashlight or knife. All the bits and bobbles fit handily into a black, waterproof case.
Vintage Inspired Handmade Mug
Participants will be eyeing this gorgeous peacock feather mug, just waiting for their moment to strike. Made from volcanic ash, it’s a much better option than yet another cup with some overdone “Don’t talk to me until I’ve had my coffee” sentiment printed on it, that will definetyl
Handmade Organic Bath Bombs
Toiletries at a gift exchange can be hit or miss, but you really can’t go wrong with a set of artisan bath bombs to win the heart of any ‘best white elephant gift’ receiver. Encourage a little self-care with skin-loving Epsom salts in six different aromatherapeutic scents. Bonus: They come in a protective box, so you don’t have to worry about repackaging before you wrap it.
Stainless Steel Grilling Tools
The dead of winter might seem like an odd time to hand off a set of grilling tools, but the lucky winner won’t mind waiting to use this best white elephant gift. While they’re waiting to fire up the grill, they can fantasize about all the flipping, basting, and skewering they’ll do when the weather gets a bit warmer.
Self-Watering Dinosaur Planters
Whimsical, practical, and dinosaur-themed? Much like Beyonce, these prehistoric charmers are a triple threat, at least in the category of ‘best white elephant gift’ ideas. Each comes with a seed packet, peat block, and wicking tongues for some easy-peasy desktop greenery.
Snail Soap Dispenser
Proper hygiene has taken on a new level of importance as of late, so why not spice it up with a charming soap dispenser? This practical garden pest is always ready with a bit of soapy slime. Simply give his shell a push to dispense this best white elephant gift.
Proper hydration is a game-changer. Help someone keep their H20 levels on par with an infuser bottle. With a bit of mint and cucumber, basil and lemon, or a variety of mixed berries, they’ll enjoy getting their 2 liters a day with this refreshing best white elephant gift.
2-Layer Sandwich Box
Give someone’s lunch a vintage touch with a 2-layer sandwich box. There’s just enough space for a turkey and cheese or PB&J in the top compartment, and the metal shelf lifts out to reveal a second compartment for veggies, chips, or fruit, talk about the best white elephant gift that keeps on giving.
Provide a sense of security in one sleek, modern wallet that also blocks RFID. It holds a sizable amount – up to 10 cards – and has a horizontal spring bar on the inner crease to clip in bills, perfect for the messy .
“Woodless pencil” might sound like a cheeky name for an ink pen, but that’s not quite the case with this artist-friendly back of five graphite sticks. They’re the size of a typical #2, but nix the wooden barrel for more graphite, a sneaky way to get the best elephant gift into the hands of your artist friends. That means more pigment per pencil.
CraveBox Care Package
The CraveBox is marketed as a care package for university students, but there’s no upper age limit on loving Goldfish crackers and Rice Krispies. If you’re aiming to spark a trade war, rock up with a box of 45 different snacks as your best white elephant gift offering.
For the outdoorsy types who often find themselves in need of mopping up, the handwoven, long-staple cotton Turkish Towel will quickly become the first cloth they reach for. It absorbs as much as a bath towel but can be burrito-rolled away for easy travel. Turkish quick-dry cotton means no need to worry about mildew or mold for this best white elephant gift.
Elephant Key Holder
What better gift for the best white elephant gift exchange than a practical pachyderm? This little fellow holds onto all of your keys, keeping them secure in its wall-mounted home until the next time you need them. Bonus, the trunk doubles as a safety whistle for extra peace of mind.
Drawing Without Dignity
The joy of the holidays is far better when someone embarrasses themselves. Drawing without Dignity is dubbed a Pictionary and Cards Against Humanity hybrid, with prompts that will leave the players blushing.
Whiskey Lovers Playing Cards
Gift a card shark with a brand new deck. A round of poker becomes a lesson on tending bar with cards featuring 39 global malts and 13 whiskey cocktails. Also included are recipes and information on famous distilleries, a new twist on a classic best white elephant gifts.
Waxed Canvas Crossbody Bag
While the vegans won’t be a fan, this rugged bag features sturdy, waxed cotton canvas and a cow leather strap. It’s small enough to sling on for a quick jaunt up the street but can take a licking due to its waterproof, wear-resistant design, a very practical take on the best white elephant gift.
We Know You Found What You Were Looking For
Well, at least that’s what we’re hoping…Fear not last-minute shoppers, budget buyers, and holiday swap extraordinaires, we truly hope our list of the 50 best white elephant gift ideas has eased your Christmastime burden. If not we have a swarth of other gift buying ideas for Him, for Her and more. Go forth and swap!