Already have an account?
Get back to the

15 Clever White Elephant Gifts People Will Actually Want to Take Home


Woman's World has affiliate partnerships. We receive compensation when you click on a link and make a purchase. Learn more!

Choosing the best white elephant gift for your inner circle can be a tricky task. Although the premise of the gift exchange game revolves around presenting impractical items that no one will want, it’s becoming increasingly popular to purchase original, quirky, useful gifts that people will vie for instead. Rather than having everyone try to unload your gift in a hurry, you can have loads of fun watching as everyone competes to take your present home. 

If you’ve been invited to a white elephant gift exchange this year, you’ll want to make sure that your gift stands out from the crowd. We’ve scouted 15 unique, clever, and hankered-after white elephant gifts that will have participants fighting to take them home, leaving you reigning supreme as the ultimate present-giver. Who knows? Maybe you’ll even come away with something that you really like, too.

What is a white elephant gift? 

In case you’ve never heard of this fun party game, you might know it by one of its other names, i.e. Dirty Santa. It originates from a historic King of Siam, who gifted courtiers he was mad at with rare albino elephants that they couldn’t unload and struggled to care for. 

Similarly, the basis of the modern game is to give out gifts that you yourself don’t want, and to offload any unwanted gifts you receive by “stealing” a slightly better item from other players, instead.

How to Play White Elephant

Over the years, many different twists have been introduced to this game. Though you can play it however you wish, the official rules of the game are as follows: The game organizer selects a gift theme and a budget for attendees to adhere to, and everyone comes to the party with a wrapped gift. 

Upon arrival, players contribute to a pile of gifts, which are placed in the middle of the room with players all around. Numbers are drawn from a hat to set the gift-opening order. The player who goes first can select any gift from the pile to open for all to see. Subsequent players can choose to either steal a previous player’s gift or open another from the pile. Player one, who didn’t get a chance to steal a gift, since they were the first to open one, will close out the round. 

If a player has a gift stolen, they can steal from someone else who hasn’t yet been stolen from. If a player chooses not to steal and keeps their gift instead, the game ends for them, and they tap out. The game is finished when there are no more eligible people to steal from, with everyone keeping the gifts they’ve received up to that point.

Best White Elephant Gifts of 2019 

Many laughs are in store for you and your friends as you quibble over the picks we’ve chosen— all of which are priced between $5 and $50 — to keep everyone in the circle happy, regardless what they end up with. Keep scrolling for Woman’s World’s picks for the best White Elephant gifts of 2019.

We write about products we think our readers will like. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the supplier.

Use left and right arrow keys to navigate between menu items. Use right arrow key to move into submenus. Use escape to exit the menu. Use up and down arrow keys to explore. Use left arrow key to move back to the parent list.