Most people have one of two reactions to the office holiday party: excitement or utter dread. Secret Santas are so much pressure. You have to find something the person might actually like, with a limited amount of money and without resorting to horrible dollar store knock-off lotions.
Thank god for White Elephant parties! You already know you’re gonna get something ridiculous, or tacky, or possibly offensive, and very likely all three -- it’s genius! And there’s no dread involved. White Elephant means you are actually allowed to dust off the light-up jingling antlers you got last year and re-gift them.
But in case you aren’t into re-gifting, here are a few awesome White Elephant gifts -- some of which your recipient might actually like. While laughing his or her ass off, of course.
Full disclosure: I’m double-biased here, because I already own their Mr. T duck and I’m a Duke fan. But they have other mascots, too, and the chances of you finding one that the giftee will like (or hate) are pretty good. Be sure to check out Larry the Cable Duck for extra tack appeal.
Got a coworker who’s always complaining about how cold the office is? (You know, she’s the one with the space heater under her desk while going bare-legged in winter.) Tell her to man up with these fingerless tighty-whities.
Fred Flare, $16
The Snuggie is already the perfect White Elephant gift. Go ahead and make it a set with an over-the-top addition like the Snuggie Sutra. Because you know he always wanted to get it on while wearing super hot (literally) fleece from head to toe. It's probably best to save this one for the White Elephant party your BFF is hosting, unless your office is, oh, the Playboy mansion.
Urban Outfitters, $10
Let's face it. Poop is funny, even to 30-year-olds. But anyone will get a kick out of this; old or young, it doesn't matter. Other things that fall into this category: pooping pigs, moose, reindeer, and snowmen. Last year my father spent most of Christmas day playing with his pooping reindeer. You heard me. If that doesn't speak to the power of poop, I don't know what does.
Perpetual Kid, $5
Surely you know someone in need of a new, super-cushy (and super-absorbant!) pair of slippers? Well! Problem solved! And should they experience stigmata or drunkenly smash a martini glass on their foot, they will be both protected and clean -- no bandages necessary!
Krafts by Donna, $4
Shhhh. Don't tell -- I got these for my brother-in-law this year. There is a long-standing tradition of toilet humor in my family, obviously. But this makes the perfect White Elephant! It comes shipped in a tube, so the lucky giftee will be left wondering if he's getting that awesome kitty poster he saw in the secretary's office ... or something even more awesome. (As if that were possible.)
Offensive Decals, $15
This is something I actually think is quite brilliant -- and would love to receive anytime, not just at a gift exchange. It's perfect for office parties, too, especially when everyone is stuck in a windowless cubicle all day! The pop-up card comes with a tray and little seeds for sprouting some greenery, even under artificial lighting.
Daily Grommet, $12.50 for 3
Time to Grate
If you want to really White Elephant it up, this may be the gift for you. You could make your own, or you could buy this woman's scratched, dented, rusted (and probably moldy) cheese grater clock. As a special bonus, print out a repeating pattern of the lovely model and use it to gift-wrap the clock.
IMO Time, $24
Want your gift to be a total surprise, even to you? Spring for Archie McPhee's surprise grab bag. (Or anything from Archie, really, it's all fun.) They literally stuff a paper grocery bag to the gills with pretty much anything they can lay their hands on. You won't get the awesome Albino Bowler painting, but you will get at least three times the merch you pay for. Give it all to your White Elephant partner or crack that baby open and divvy up the goods.
Archie McPhee, $25
Now, if you are a traditionalist and believe White Elephant gifts should be re-gifted or free, here are a couple of ideas:
- Cheap steak knives stuck into a potato. Instant rustic knife block!
- The famous Origami Boulder
- The ugliest, most glittery, jingle-jangly holiday sweater you can find in your closet
- Wrap an extension cord around a bathtowel. Instant electric hairdryer!
- A framed, autographed self portrait
- Just about anything you have lying around -- this is the perfect chance to unload that 3-year-old can of beans!