It’s that time of year again, and while you’ve spent hours planning what to get your family and friends for the holidays, you’re still not sure what to get for that white elephant exchange you’re invited to. But that’s okay, because to help you out we’ve put together a list of useful and hilarious gifts that are sure to be the hottest commodity at your exchange.
The white elephant exchange is a time-honored tradition where you trade and swap presents that most of the time end up sitting in the back of your closet anyway. Everyone wants to bring funny gag gifts, but if you’ve been the person who ends up going home with a whoopee cushion, you’ll know that those funny gifts lose their appeal after the drive home.
To help you find the perfect gift that strikes that balance of funny and useful, we’ve rounded up our favorite white elephant gift ideas under $25 and under $50. Need more ideas? Check out our favorite practical gifts, gift ideas for men, gift ideas for women and Amazon gifts.
This surprisingly useful and efficient egg cooker can make soft-, medium- and hard-boiled eggs in minutes, saving you time and water when you need a snack.
Someone is bound to get a kick out of these memo pads, which are printed with all-too-real sentiments like “I have no idea what I’m doing.”
If we’re going all the way to the practical side, the recipient of this gift might not be super excited at first, but trust us, once they plop it into their tub they’ll be texting you how genius a present it really is. It's even an Underscored editor favorite
Your friend with the sweet tooth will love this electric ice cream maker, which churns up the perfect amount for one person in just a few minutes. See more of the best ice cream makers here
If you can’t help yourself and want to get a funny gift, at least get something the recipient can put on their desk as decoration, like this hilarious Bob Ross Chia Pet.
Another cute kitchen item, this waffle maker from Dash whips up tiny waffles in a jiffy. Plus, it comes in fun colors and even a heart-shaped version
The beauty lovers will be eyeing this beloved ice roller
, which helps depuff your face and is a fantastic migraine (and hangover) reliever.
Small but mighty, this little blade (and Underscored reader favorite
) is an easy way to quickly open all those packages you’ve been getting. Plus, its ceramic blade is harder and more durable than steel.
Whoever gets this will now and forever have the party desk, since this tube guy will be dancing and waving all day long.
The perfect centerpiece for their next get-together, this Nachosaurus snack set is the best way to enjoy chips and salsa.
This hectic game from the makers of Exploding Kittens is a pinball-esque competition that will have you catapulting balls at each other for hours.
This polyester satin pillowcase can help reduce irritation to your hair and skin thanks to its super-smooth surface, just like silk pillowcases — but at a fraction of the price. Check out our full guide on the best silk pillowcases here
This small cocktail kit features all the ingredients you need to make an Old Fashioned (minus the alcohol). If you’re not into whiskey, other options are available including a margarita
, Moscow mule
Everything you need to prep an avocado, from slicing to pitting, in one compact, dishwasher-safe tool. It's an Underscored reader favorite
If someone that’s old enough to remember floppy disks opens up these coasters, they’re sure to let out a chuckle. They’re the perfect way to protect your table and your fond memories of the ‘90’s.
Ensure your adventurer can always have a clean drink of water wherever they go with this personal filter. Read our review of it here
How cute is this light that’s shaped like a little dumpling? Do we need to say anything else?
Wine lovers are definitely going to grab for this wine holder, which sticks to your bathroom wall so you can enjoy that bubble bath with a glass of pinot.
The benefit of a white elephant gift exchange is you’re not giving someone these sneaker balls directly. If you handed it to your friend they might take offense, but if they get it through a game they might actually find them useful.
Of course, you can't go wrong with an old standard, like this classic Moleskine notebook that's available in 22 colors, including basic black.
CNN Underscored Best Tested
If you want to give out something really nice, try this insulated water bottle from Yeti. Winner of our top spot in the best water bottles
test, this sturdy bottle will soon become part of their daily essentials.
Is there a more perfect white elephant gift than this? This candle carries all the best scents of the holidays, with notes like candied orange, cardamom, gingerbread cookie, clove and Champagne. Basically, it'll smell like a holiday gift exchange every time they light it.
This gorgeous and simple light sculpture will add a pop of style to any room.
For the person always drinking coffee, they’ll love this insulated mug that keeps their drink hotter for longer.
The exchange will be fighting over this breakfast sandwich maker, which helps make the morning a little less stressful.
Coffee gifts are great choices for someone you may not know well. Blue Bottle Coffee products is a favorite among our staff
, and the brand offers a large selection of giftable items, like this cold brew set.
The person who needs some help relaxing this holiday season will love this calming diffuser set, which smells like a blend of pomegranate, orange, pine and cinnamon.
Any latté enthusiasts at your exchange will love this little milk foamer, which helps them quickly and easily add a little frothy luxury to their morning brew.