14 White Elephant Gifts Everyone Will Fight For
Sure, White Elephant gift exchanges are sort of about swapping presents, but really, they’re about being the person who comes with the most-wanted, hottest item.
Also known as Yankee Swap, Dirty Santa, and Pollyanna, White Elephant gift rules are pretty simple. The game begins with everyone bringing a small, wrapped gift to the exchange. The first player starts by picking a gift from the pile, and then follow-up players either steal the opened present or choose an unopened one until everyone has a gift.
People can be hard to buy gifts for, and a whole crowd can be even tougher. We’ve rounded up the best White Elephant gifts in 2018 with plenty of options under $25, from retailers like Amazon, Nordstrom, Kate Spade, Walmart, and more.
Some of these White Elephant gifts are useful (it shows you care), others are funny (let’s bring levity back to the holidays!). What they all have in common, though, is that everyone in your group is guaranteed to fight over them. Trust us, they’re definitely worth stealing.
VIDEO: Watching These Kids Open Holiday Gifts Will Make You Smile
Becoming by Michelle Obama
The book of the season by former First Lady, Michelle Obama, is not only a guaranteed page turner, it’s also a welcome respite during these tumultuous times. Odds are, just about everyone in your White Elephant group will want to get their hands on a copy — if they haven’t two day-shipped it to themselves already.
Custom Digital Photo Printed Pillow
Le Labo Discovery Set
We already lust after Le Labo’s iconic Santal 33, and feel strongly some of its lesser-known scents — Rose 31 and Thé Noir 29 come to mind — but it’s the perfumer’s Discovery Set that’s the real White Elephant exchange-winning gift here.
Friends, coworkers, or family members can play tug-of-war over the artfully unpolished packaging of this 5-piece sampler, and vie for the chance to determine which Le Labo camp they’ll undoubtedly belong to for years (or decades) to come.
Topshop Chevron Knit Beanie Hat
Instant Pot LUX Mini
If you ever doubt we’re living in the future, just consider the Instant Pot. In an hour and 20 minutes cooking time, you can make Indian Butter Chicken in your own kitchen, or dedicate just 30 minutes and you can cuddle up with this delicious banana pudding pie.
This incredible kitchen device sold 300,000 units on Amazon Prime Day, and none of us can shut up about how great it is. This season, drop some knowledge on your fellow White Elephant-ers with the mini version of the bestseller, perfect for serving 1-3 people.
MAC Shiny Pretty Things Nude Mini Lip Gloss Kit
Secret Treasures Women's and Women's Plus Superminky Robe
Kate Spade Silver Glitter Tumbler
OstrichPillow Light Travel Pillow
If you’ve ever wished flying sucked less, you’re not alone. Luckily, there are some great tools available these days to help get you through those cross-country hauls, so often peppered with noisy children and fidgety seatmates.
This funny-looking (though not quite as startling as the OstrichPillow Original) travel pillow will let whoever gets the final steal cancel out the discomfort around them entirely with light- and sound-blocking features.
Godiva Assorted Chocolate Gold Gift Box
Whether you’re going to a last minute gift swap or a holiday exchange where you’re aiming to impress, chocolate is always a good idea. An 8-piece set of Godiva sweets is a great, low-investment way to show your appreciation, and the 140-piece option is truly an exercise in luxury.
Kate Spade New York Lunch Tote
It’s the year of the chic lunchbox, and if your group isn’t carrying them, it’s time to catch up. This deco dot version by Kate Spade is almost cute enough to use as a purse, but the insulated lining makes it the perfect place for your leftovers.
AdirChef Grab N' Go Personal Coffee Maker
PopSocket Sparkle Snow White
Your White Elephant crew knows perfectly well that feeling — like you can barely hang on to your own phone (seriously, how many times have you dropped your iPhone on your face mid-scroll?) Far from just the utilitarian yet cute Popsockets you’re familiar with, spring for this glitter-encrusted edition that looks as good as a diamond ring perched between your fingers as you text.