When it comes to white elephant gifts, there are a few distinct schools of thought. Some see it as an opportunity to de-clutter the house, while others will head to the thrift store for the cheapest and tackiest piece of junk they can find. In most cases these undesirable gift types barely make it out the door before they go in the dumpster. Clearly there's a reason no one else wanted them in the first place.
If you're looking for a white elephant present everyone will want to get their hands on, try any of these cheap and easy ideas that range from practical to unusual.
The Ove Glove
There’s nothing like a good As Seen on TV product to get things going. In this case, it’s also practical. Seriously, how is this thing not more popular than the oven mitt?
Do you know anyone who sweats profusely? How about someone who is unfamiliar with napkins? If so, MySleev will be a game-changer. The uses for this sweatband on steroids are only limited by your imagination.
Humorous Coffee Mugs
If coffee is the only thing that keeps your co-workers coming back to the office, a hilarious mug will be a coveted white elephant gift. You can even personalize your own through sites like Cafe Press to capture those inside jokes.
Shark Tea Infuser
Not everyone drinks coffee, but who doesn’t love Shark Week? This shark fin tea infuser will be in high demand with any tea-drinking shark lover.
Zombies are so hot right now. Why we have an infatuation with the undead is another topic unto itself. If you don’t want to go store-bought, load up an old backpack with inexpensive survival supplies and surgeons mask or two, labeling it a Zombie Apocalypse Survival Kit. Should you prefer the gross factor, there’s always Zombie Jerky.
If you were lucky enough to catch a hilariously embarrassing moment on camera, don’t just let those memories die out. Get them framed up to be displayed prominently for all to see. Another popular alternative is an autographed headshot of yourself. Hold on to that, it might be worth something one day…
These days they’ll put just about anything on a T-shirt. With so many places to create custom shirts online, you can really get creative for your specific audience.
Beards for the Beardless
Sometimes life isn’t fair, as evidenced by those who can’t grow big, burly beards. Help keep faces warm this winter with a knitted beard beanie. While there are many commercial products available, skilled knitters can use this pattern to make their own.
Many of us are still mourning the end of Breaking Bad. Don’t worry if you’re still catching up, there are no spoilers here. However, you can easily recreate Walter White’s signature style with a pork pie hat and over-the-glasses sunglasses. New Mexico’s #1 meth dealer is a great look for the weekend.
We can’t take credit for this creative idea, it was found buried deep in the annals of online comments. All you need is a bag of sawdust and bottle of wood glue to create the do-it-yourself 2x4 kit.
Assorted Chia Pets
One of the most common white elephant gift recommendations is a succulent plant. While a little greenery can help spruce up a cubicle, cacti just aren’t very interesting. Especially when you have the option of a George Washington head. America!
Feeling bad for the single people around the office alone for the holidays? Give them the gift of companionship with a brand new pet. Definitely do not go out and get a puppy or kitten. Instead, go with a classic non-living option such as the pet rock. If that’s too boring, there’s always the slightly-creepy Boyfriend Pillow.
Bottle of Wine Glass
The recipient of the bottle of wine glass will never have to worry about looking like a lush again. It will hold an entire 750 ml bottle, so you can stick to the plan of just having one drink at the party. While we’re talking glassware, this hilarious pint glass is too good to pass up.
Save that box of chocolates for Valentine’s Day; a white elephant exchange is all about creativity. There’s no shortage of disgusting candies to choose from, including these pickle-flavored candy canes. For more exotic flavors, consider durian fruit candy -- the fruit so stinky it’s banned from public transport and hotels in areas of southeast Asia.
Oprah is known for giving a good gift, so why not take a cue from the best? Watch this video to see just how thrilled a big box of bees makes people.