You have a work party coming up, and you don’t want your coworkers to think you take life too seriously. Or you must give your boss a Christmas present, but you want to make a good impression and not waste his or her time. Or your older brother has always given you Christmas presents that are jokes, and you want to get back at him finally. Whatever the occasion, it can often be hard to decide on an appropriate white elephant gift – one that will achieve the desired comedic effect, yet one that will not offend. Here is a list of the ten best white elephant gift ideas.
1. Potty Putter
I love this white elephant gift because in some weird way I actually want it. It’s simple place the green around your toilet, add a hole, use the provided club and ball, and better your swing while on the John.
This set can get a little bit expensive, but if you look at the various versions of it on Amazon you should be able to get it for under $20.
2. What’s Your Poo Telling You?
I’m not sure if it’s the guy in me that enjoys the occasional dirty joke or not but giving this book out last year as a white elephant gift was some of the most fun I’ve ever had. I think in some weird place in the dark crevices of my mind I’m curious enough that if I received this little book, then I just might have to read it. Who knows, maybe you’ll save someone’s life.
2. A tacky sweater
This is a priceless white elephant gift, particularly around Christmastime. For our white elephant party we actually give a prize to the person with the ugliest (best) Christmas sweater.
Even though you’re giving this gift as a joke, someone may actually end up appreciate you saving them the time to go through their mother’s closet, looking for something to wear to an ugly sweater party. Remember that the more flare the better! You can also go any number of directions with this gift, be it a sweater that won’t fit anyone (like a children’s or infant’s sweater), a sweater that will fit anyone (but is so hideously ugly that they would never make use of it), or an outdated sweater that could be taken seriously except for the fact that you purchased it secondhand.
4. Laundry detergent
Like a box of tissue, this is a rare type of white elephant gift that someone might actually appreciate beyond its comedic value. Particularly if you can find laundry detergent in an exotic, unusual scent or brand, this may be a highly appreciated white elephant gift. If you present this gift in a way that deceives the opener and makes him or her think that he or she is opening an expensive gift, you will increase the comedic effect.
5. Hand-carved soap
This is a great white elephant gift because of its innate quirky nature. If you look hard enough, you can find soap carved into almost anything – from a dog to a sculpture of a famous person. Hand-carved soap also comes in a number of different colors and scents, and its very presence under the Christmas tree or at your work party will be sure to get lots of laughs.
6. A “how-to” book
These make great white elephant gifts as long as you find a how-to book that no one will ever need to use. For instance, my parents have a survival guide book that gives you the how-to for taking care of snake bites, falling from great heights and surviving, or surviving attacks from any number of ferocious beasts.
Depending on the audience/recipient of your white elephant gift, you can either choose to purchase infant diapers or adult diapers. Regardless, this gift is sure to evoke plenty of laughter, either because of the recipient’s non-need for diapers, or else because of the very nature of these implements.
8. A number one pencil
Let’s face it, whenever anyone has ever asked you to use a pencil in your life, they’ve asked you to use a number two pencil. And if they don’t specify, you’ve still used a number two pencil, just because that’s the only kind of pencil you’ve ever needed. Giving the gift of a number one pencil will address this bizarre happening, and bring lots of laughs. Particularly if you choose to give one and only one number one pencil, the mere fact that you chose to give a single, sharpened or unsharpened (it doesn’t really matter, either way will be funny) pencil as a gift, people will laugh.
9. Colored printer paper
Honestly, giving printer paper could actually prove to be a utilitarian gift, just like the laundry detergent gift. However, if you give colored printer paper, almost no one will find any use for it, particularly if it comes in a stack of 500 sheets or more. The more exotic the color, the better. If you can find printer paper with an unusual border on it, that could be a hit as well. Just as long as your gift evokes laughter, you will have successfully given a white elephant gift.
10. A coffee mug
Obviously you can’t give just any coffee mug as a white elephant gift, because plenty of people would appreciate this sort of gift. But if the mug has some bizarre saying or design on it, then people won’t actually want to make use of the mug for its original purpose. The more hideous the mug, the better the white elephant gift it will make.
11. A beanie baby
Or for that matter, any other bygone trend such as pogs, Pokémon, or the like. This white elephant gift will be funny for nostalgia’s sake, as everyone will enjoy a laugh remembering how popular such a nondescript item used to be. If you can obtain one of these archaic novelties in a well-preserved glorified form – for instance a “mint” beanie baby with all of the tags still on and everything – you will get even more laughs out of your gift.
A white elephant gift is great either because of its very nature, or else because of its ill-fitting presentation. So as long as your gift is funny because of either one of these two things, it will achieve the desired comedic effect and be a success. If you didn’t find what you were looking for here, then check out this other post on the best white elephant gift ideas.