It’s that time of year again, and while you’ve spent hours planning what to prepare for your family and friends for the holidays, you’re still not sure what to expect from the White Elephant Exchange you’ve been invited to. But that’s okay, because to help you out, we’ve put together a list of helpful and fun gifts that are sure to be the hottest items in your deal.
White elephant swapping is a time-honored tradition in which you can exchange and exchange gifts that end up sitting in the back of the closet most of the time anyway. Everyone wants to bring fun prank gifts, but if you’re the one who ends up coming home with a fart pad, you know those fun gifts lose their appeal after the drive home.
To help you find the perfect gift that balances fun and practicality, we’ve rounded up our favorite white elephant gift ideas for $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 makes soft, medium and hard eggs in minutes, saving time and water when you need a snack.
Someone is sure to have fun with these notepads, which are stamped with very real emotions like “I don’t know what I’m doing”.
If we go all the way to the practical side, the recipient of this gift might not be very excited at first, but trust us, once they toss it in the tub, they’ll text you to tell you it really is What a genius gift. It’s even an Underscored editor’s favorite.
Your sweet tooth will love this electric ice cream maker that makes the perfect amount of ice cream for one person in minutes. Check out more of the best ice cream makers here.
If you can’t help yourself and want a fun gift, at least get something the recipient can put on their desk as a decoration, like this hilarious Bob Ross Chia Pet.
Another cute kitchen item, this waffle maker from Dash makes tiny waffles in no time. Plus, it comes in fun colors and even a heart-shaped version.
Beauty lovers will be on the lookout for this beloved ice roller, which helps remove puffiness from the face and is a fantastic migraine (and hangover) reliever.
Small but mighty, this little blade (and underlined reader favorite) is an easy way to quickly open all the packages you receive. Plus, its ceramic blade is harder and more durable than steel.
Whoever gets this will have the party table now and forever because this pipe will dance and wave all day.
This adjustable clip attaches directly to your tray table, allowing you to enjoy downloaded movies throughout the flight without holding your phone in hand. Check out more of our favorite products for comfortable flying.
This Nachosaurus Snack Set is the perfect centerpiece for their next get-together, the perfect way to enjoy chips and salsa.
This tense game from the makers of Exploding Kittens is a pinball-style game where you can bounce balls against each other for hours.
This polyester satin pillowcase has a very smooth finish, like a silk pillowcase, to help reduce hair and skin irritation—but at a fraction of the price. Check out our full guide to the best silk pillowcases here.
This little cocktail set contains all the ingredients (minus the alcohol) needed to make an old fashioned cocktail. If whisky isn’t your thing, there are other options, including margaritas, Moscow mules, and more.
Everything you need to prepare an avocado, from slicing to pitting, is in one compact dishwasher-safe tool. This is a favorite for underlined readers.
If someone old enough to remember floppy disks opens these coasters, they’re sure to let out a chuckle. They are the perfect way to protect your dining table and fond memories of the 90s.
Make sure your adventurer has clean water wherever he goes with this personal filter. Read our review here.
How cute is this lamp shaped like a small dumpling? Do we need to say anything more?
Wine lovers are sure to grab this wine rack attached to the bathroom wall so you can enjoy a soak and a glass of Pinot Noir.
The nice thing about the White Elephant gift exchange is that you don’t directly give someone these sneaker balls. If you give it to your friends, they might get mad, but if they get it through the game, they might find them actually useful.
Of course, you can’t go wrong with an old standard, like this classic Moleskine notebook, which is available in 22 colors, including basic black.
CNN emphasizes best testing
If you want to give away something really good, try this thermos from Yeti. We topped our best water bottle test, and this sturdy water bottle will soon become part of their everyday essentials.
Is there a more perfect white elephant gift than this? Packed with all the best scents of the holiday season, this candle comes in flavors like candied orange, cardamom, gingerbread cookies, cloves, and champagne. Basically, every time you light it, it smells like a holiday gift exchange.
This gorgeous and simple light sculpture will add a stylish touch to any room.
For people who are always coffee drinkers, they will love this mug to keep their drinks hot longer.
The Exchange will be vying for this breakfast sandwich maker, which helps reduce morning stress.
A coffee gift is a great option for someone you may not know very well. Blue Bottle coffee products are a favorite of our employees, and the brand offers a variety of gift options, such as this cold brew coffee set.
Anyone who needs a little help to unwind this holiday season will love this soothing diffuser set that smells like a concoction of pomegranate, orange, pine and cinnamon.
Any latte lover you swap will love this tiny milk frother that helps them quickly and easily add a little frothy luxury to their morning brew.