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- Unlike almost every other gifting occasion, White Elephant, Yankee Swap, and/or Nasty Christmas exchanges reward originality, humor, and risk-taking above all else.
- Since you don't have hours to dive deep into the riches of the internet, I've collected 55 great White Elephant gifts under $50 for you.
- Looking for more gift ideas? Check out all Insider Reviews gift guides here.
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When it comes to gift-swapping games like White Elephant, Yankee Swap, or Nasty Christmas, the master gifters must first forget everything they know about gifting.
Gone are the gifts of cashmere scarves, Belgian chocolates, and those porcelain baby angel figurines Aunt Sharon collects. In their place, Ron Swanson's Pyramid of Greatness, cookbooks punctuated by expletives, life-size cardboard cut-outs of your face, T-shirts with record players engulfed in flame thanks to the devil's music, and door stoppers with "HODOR" emblazoned upon them.
Gift swaps reward the niche, novel, and irreverent, with bonus points going to those who can check the boxes of funny and useful. So, below, we rounded up 56 gifts that are perfectly primed for this occasion, and, admittedly, perhaps no other.
Check out all 56 White Elephant gifts below:
This list includes a Sponsored Product that has been suggested by Firstleaf. It also meets our editorial criteria in terms of quality and value.*
A funny meme-inspired card game for adults
What Do You Meme Game, available at Uncommon Goods, $30
What Do You Meme is the second wave of whatever Cards Against Humanity was — and it's really fun.
What's been called the world's strongest coffee
Death Wish Ground Coffee, available at Amazon, $19.96
Death Wish claims to be the world's strongest coffee, with about double the caffeine of your average cup. They attribute the added kick to a unique blend of Arabica and Robusta beans and a slow roasting process. It's Fair Trade, has no additives, and makes a pretty good cup of coffee.
A wine club subscription
Firstleaf Wine Subscription, available at Firstleaf, from $39.99
The best part of a white elephant gift exchange is when someone finds out one of the gifts is actually awesome and does everything they can to get their hands on it, which will definitely be the case if you wrap up a card with a Firstleaf subscription code.
Firstleaf sources its wine from some of the most acclaimed vineyards around the world, all while remaining incredibly affordable. An online quiz generates tailor-made results according to wine preferences, so you can be confident that they'll receive a bottle (or six) that they'll truly love.
*Sponsored by Firstleaf
A Danny Devito reversible sequin pillow cover
Jasen DIY Sequin Pillow Cover, available at Amazon, $9.99
The perfect gift doesn't exis-
For Jeff Goldblum fans, you're going to want to head here.
An adult coloring book full of swear words
Maybe Swearing Will Help: Adult Coloring Book, available at Amazon, $6.99
Adult coloring has had a resurgence in recent years as a great de-stressor (Kate Middleton was one notable fan). But before then, humans used swearing as the next best thing. Why not pair the two together for a truly balanced catharsis?
A funny cartoon shower curtain
MitoVilla Funny Dog Shower Curtain, available at Amazon, $19.99
A funny — yet totally usable — new shower curtain. Plus, the set comes with curtain hooks.
A PopSocket Pickle Rick from "Rick and Morty"
PopSockets Pickle Rick Phone Stand, available at PopSockets, $15.00
Know a fan of "Rick and Morty?" They'll love this Pickle Rick PopSocket from one of the show's most recognizable episodes.
A wine glass that fits an entire bottle of wine
BigMouth Inc Ultimate Wine Bottle Glass, available at Bed Bath & Beyond, $9.99
This "wine glass" fits an entire bottle of wine as a single-serving.
A gift for their other best friend (that's you)
Fun Face Cutout Paddles, available at Amazon, from $39.99
Michael Scott once said that gifts were great because you can point to them and say "Hey, man, I love you this many dollars worth." This gift also says "I love you this huge."
Porcelain dinner plates that double as canvases
DIY Doodle Plates, Set of 2, available at Uncommon Goods, $45
In a stroke of pure genius, "Doodle Plates" were born. Have a friend who's a budding artist, children to entertain, or someone who's never outgrown drawing on kids menus? Say no more.
Socks that mimic some of the most famous paintings in history
Chalier Famous Painting Socks, 4-Pack, available at Amazon, from $8.99
Klimt, Van Gogh, Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Munch — the gangs all here. Whether they're an art buff or just love socks that are fun but still functional, these are a great $10 gift to tack on.
A plug-in that lets them control the TV and lights from the couch without getting up
Amazon Alexa-Enabled Smart Plug, available at Amazon, $24.99
Give the couch potato people what they want: the ability to control the lights, TV, stereo, and other appliances without needing to get up from the comfortable spot they fell into.
A 2020 calendar celebrating only the cringe-worthy awkwardness of timeless family photos
Awkward Family Photos 2020 Day-to-Day Calendar, available at Amazon, $15.50
Matching outfits, terrible stage direction, and a collection of 365 photos that will make you recoil in either recognition or secondhand embarrassment.
A punny breakfast spoon that works especially well for horror fans
Personalized Cereal Killer Spoon, available at Etsy, from $16
This spoon can be personalized with their name so it's well-suited for the true-crime or horror movie lovers in your life or anyone who just respects a good pun.
A Nicolas Cage activity book
"The Unofficial Nicolas Cage Coloring Book," available at Amazon, $7.99
Join Nicolas Cage on coloring pages that chronicle his iconic career — from "National Treasure" to "Raising Arizona."
A calendar of dog-shaming photos
Dog-Shaming 2021 Day-to-Day Calendar, available at Barnes & Noble, $15.99
Whether they also have a dog whose diet consists of chair legs, car keys, and their favorite pair of slippers, they'll get a kick out of this dog-shaming calendar.
A saint candle with your friend's face on it — or their pet's
Custom Prayer Candle, available at Etsy, from $20
You tell your friends you love and respect them, but what have you done to prove it lately?
A gimmicky present they'll actually wind up using
Tweexy Wearable Nail Polish Bottle Holder, available at Amazon, $9.99
If you've ever painted your nails, you can sympathize with the hassle of finding a safe spot for an open bottle of gooey, brightly colored polish to hang out while you work. This $10 nail polish holder looks gimmicky, but it's actually useful.
A kitchen towel that has a chart of beer and food pairings on it
Beer and Food Pairing Guide Towel, available at Uncommon Goods, $14
If they're the friend who will be brewing beer in their garage in a few months, urge along the process with this beer and food pairing towel. It'll give them great ideas for foods they may want to cook to complement beers they already have, or vice versa.
A Game of Thrones cookbook with a foreword from George R.R. Martin
A Feast of Ice and Fire: The Official Game of Thrones Cookbook, available at Amazon, $23.49
For the Game of Thrones fan, nothing tops a cookbook with a foreword from George R.R. Martin and a bunch of recipes that bring feasts at Winterfell and lemon cake with Sansa Stark closer to reality.
The Swanson Pyramid of Greatness
Culturenik Parks and Recreation Ron Swanson Pyramid Workplace Poster Print, available at Amazon, $19.95
For those that already live by Swanson rules or would put "masonry" and "cabins" as fundamental building blocks in their life.
A baking pan that makes edible cookie spoons
Cookie Spoon Pan, available at Uncommon Goods, $18
What's more fun than dipping cookies in milk? Replacing all the silverware in your home with cutlery made out of cookies like a second grader who became president for a day.
A funny choose-your-own-adventure cookbook
What the F*@# Should I Make for Dinner?: The Answers to Lifes Everyday Question, available at Amazon, $13.38
This popular cookbook was derived from the website of the same name, and it's a choose-your-own-adventure book of 50 solid meal ideas for the nights when they have no clue what to make.
A binge-watching survival kit for the deep Netflix rabbit holes
Pinch Provisions Binge-Watching Survival Kit, available at Pinch Provisions, $20
This binge-watching survival kit is especially perfect for the friend who's always complaining about the thinly-veiled disapproval in Netflix's "Are you still watching?" notification.
A card game that has you anonymously answer the question "who's the most likely to…" out of your friends
The Voting Game Adult Card Game, available at Amazon, $24.95
This card game basically asks you to answer "who's the most likely to…" out of your friends, anonymously — perfect for the next low-key night or pregame. You may also want to check out "Who in the Room" or "Never Have I Ever" in card version.
The best Game of Thrones fandom gift you're likely to find
Hodor Doorstop, available at Etsy, $5.52
No spoilers here, but your "Game of Thrones"-obsessed friends will probably consider this wooden block with a nonsensical word embossed upon it as one of the best gifts they get this year.
A punny and entirely functional umbrella
Raining Men Clear Bubble Dome Umbrella, available at Amazon, $19.95
The perfect accessory for days when it's "raining men."
A mug with a built-in basketball hoop
Giveback Mug with a Hoop, available at Uncommon Goods, $25
Turn hot chocolate with marshmallows or cereal into a game with this mug made by an eight-year-old kid-preneur. Plus, $5 of every purchase supports an online resource for parents of kids with learning disabilities.
A Dr. Seuss parody reimagined for the working world
Oh, The Meetings You'll Go To!: A Parody, available at Amazon, $12.79
Laugh. Otherwise, you'll cry.
A pie dish with a geeky pun baked right in
I eight sum pi dish, available at Etsy, $23.95
Do they love puns, math equations, and/or pie? This popular "I eight sum pi" dish is a great intersection of them all.
A to-go sriracha sauce keychain for the hot sauce fiend
Sriracha Sauce Keychain, available at Amazon, from $13.99
Perfect for the friend who asks for hot sauce before the food has even come out of the restaurant kitchen.
An eerily accurate poster
Coffee Talk Art Print, available at Society6, from $14.99
If they're never further than 45 feet from a coffee pot, they'll probably appreciate the gallows humor of this spot-on poster.
A funny t-shirt that's perfect for fans of rock and roll
Devil's Music Sing-Along Classic T-Shirt, available at Redbubble, from $20.73
Celebrate their love of rock and roll with a T-shirt dedicated to love of the devil's music, complete with a record player engulfed in flames.
Ceramic takeout-inspired dishes
Fortessa Fortaluxe Food Truck Chic Small Take Out Box, set of 4, available at Amazon, $41.22
Perfect for the friend whose ideal night is staying in. Or the one who says they're five minutes away when they're really a mile deep inside a carton of lo mein.
A tiny fan for the friend who logs 15 minutes per week complaining about the office's temperature
Fred & Friends Little Big Fan USB, available at Amazon, from $20
For the perpetually overheated, grab a small fan they can plug into your computer or laptop for power.
A Bob Ross Chia Pet
Chia Pet Bob Ross with Seed Pack, available at Bed Bath & Beyond, $16.99
Just because they've never asked for a live plant in the shape of an angelic cultural giant doesn't mean they won't love growing one.
Hilarious, NSFW stories from American history you didn't learn in school
The United States of Absurdity: Untold Stories from American History, available at Amazon, $13.42
From the creators of the podcast "The Dollop" comes the weird, hilarious, and true untold stories of American history — accompanied by full-page illustrations that bring each historical "milestone" to life.
All the moods of Nicolas Cage on a t-shirt
Nicholas Cage Mood T-Shirt, available at Headline Shirts, from $28
A national treasure in its own right.
A hilarious NSFW card game you can play together
Cards Against Humanity: Red Box, available at Amazon, $20
Most people already have Cards Against Humanity, and this extended "Red Box" version comes with 300 fresh cards to add into the mix (230 white and 70 black). The company also notes that it "transforms your deck of Cards Against Humanity into a better bludgeoning weapon against home invaders."
A cocktail recipe book that pairs good music with good drinks
Booze & Vinyl: A Spirited Guide to Great Music and Mixed Drinks, available at Amazon, $19.32
Combine two great pastimes into one with a guide of 70 albums from the '50s through the '00s, paired with an A-side and B-side cocktail for each one. They're organized by mood, so they'll know just what pairing to use.
A satire picture book on bringing kids to an art gallery
We Go to the Gallery, available at Amazon, $11.79
This parody of a 1960s children's book satirizes what it's like to bring kids to an art gallery — explaining contemporary art and existential dread with keywords displayed at the bottom.
A mini waffle maker for tiny waffles
Dash Mini Waffle Maker, available at Bed Bath & Beyond, $9.99
This mini waffle maker is perfect for when they want to make a waffle just for them rather than a whole spread.
A Tile Mate to ring their keys or phone wherever they lost them
Tile Mate with Replaceable Battery, available at Amazon, $24.99
For the friend that has invested far too much money in key duplicates.
Abbi Jacobson's book
I Might Regret This: Essays, Drawings, Vulnerabilities, and Other Stuff, available at Amazon, from $8.99
This New York Times Bestseller comes from the co-creator and co-star of the hit series "Broad City" — and you can rest assured that if your friends have ever mentioned the show, they'll love this.
A punny soap opera kitchen sponge holder
Peleg Design Scrubber Holder Soap Opera, available at Amazon, $14.99
Who doesn't love a good pun? Or cleaner sponges?
A mini flip cup game
Mini Flip Cup Game, available at Uncommon Goods, $40
A good-natured drinking game with friends, but make it tiny. If you'd rather try your pointer finger at Mini Beer Pong, there's that too for $60.
*This item is backordered until 12/28/20
A funny cookbook made especially for hungover, demoralizing mornings
The Hungover Cookbook, available at Amazon, $7.99
This cookbook was built to handle hangovers — six types of them to be exact. Recipes are tailored to the specific hangover and are bookended by insights into hangover science, quizzes to see if you're maybe just still drunk, and witty jokes.
A mind-blowing fusion of two beloved standbys: cookies and lip balm
Taste Beauty Oreo Molded Lip Balm, available at Amazon, $5.49
Oreo flavored lip balm — because once humans figured out how to make fire and penicillin, they just decided to have fun with it.
A device that stirs ingredients for you
Automatic Pan Stirrer with Timer, available at Uncommon Goods, $25
Like the wearable nail polish holder, this is another product that arguably shouldn't exist. And yet … it's a great way to make sure everything is perfectly cooked, without hovering over the pan and stirring continually. Funny, weird, and — according to its 43 reviews and 4.8-stars — actually very useful.
Cute loose tea infusers shaped like Nessie
Ototo Baby Nessie Silicone Tea Infuser, available at World Market, $11.99
Buy a cute Loch Ness Monster tea infuser and some delicious loose leaf tea blends to fill it.
A Slothmas sweatshirt
RAISEVERN Unisex Funny Print Ugly Christmas Sweater, available at Amazon, from $15.99
Merry Slothmas to all and to all a 20-hour sleep cycle, goodnight.
An extremely fun board game that made Kickstarter history
Exploding Kittens Card Game: NSFW, available at Amazon, $19.99
Exploding Kittens is basically a highly strategic version of Russian roulette with a cat theme. It was the most-backed project in Kickstarter history, and this version is NSFW.
A crowd-pleasing gag gift mug
BigMouth Inc Toilet Mug, available at Amazon, $14.99
This ceramic gag gift mug has become a bit of a mainstay in the genre, and it holds up to 12 ounces of their favorite drink.
A set of tumblers with the best advice from bad dogs
Bad Dog Wisdom Tumblers, available at Uncommon Goods, $35
A bad dog learns a few good tricks — like when to bluff, and when it's ok to ask for forgiveness instead of permission.
A punny mug made by an independent artist
For Fox Sake Mug, available at Society6, from $10.19
For the friend who loves puns, has a penchant for swearing, or appreciates a nice ceramic mug that pretty much works like every other.
A microwavable popcorn popper
Microwave Popcorn Popper, available at Walmart, $8.88
Load this microwavable popcorn maker up with kernels and pop it in the microwave for delicious popcorn without the hassle of actually doing the stovetop thing.
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