Party Planning: White Elephant Anyone?

If you’re hoping to plan a casual gathering for the holidays, a White Elephant party is the way to go.

White Elephant is very simple and very fun! Essentially it’s a gag gift swap. But there’s a competitive element to it.

Here’s how it goes…

Everyone brings one wrapped gift and places it in a pile. I usually like to set a price range requirement such as a $10 maximum. Next, each person draws a number from a bowl. The number drawn determines the order in which they will pick a gift from the pile. Whoever selects the number one starts by choosing whatever present they want from the pile and unwraps it. Then the person with number 2 has the option to either pick any wrapped gift from the pile or take person number one’s already unwrapped gift. Each person thereafter has the choice to either take an unwrapped present from the pile or take another’s gift that has already been opened. They also have the choice to swap gifts. If the subsequent player asks to swap, they must do so.

The fun part is that you never know what you will end up with!

If I am hosting the party, I usually include one special gift that everyone would want such as a bottle of wine or a gift certificate. It makes the competition even more exciting.

Anyway, here are a few gag gift ideas…

Unicorn Meat… Yes, it’s true. ($12.99)


Bacon Toothpaste… Oh yum! ($4.99)



White Elephant Creamer… Go literal? ($7.00)


Leopard Print Snuggie… Sassy and warm! ($15.00)


Spongebob Chia Pet… A must! ($14.99)


What’s the best gag gift you’ve ever received?

If you decide to throw a White Elephant party, let me know how it goes!

XO Lauren

P.S. Still holiday shopping? Click here to check out the blog I just posted about which gifts are off-limits for the holidays!

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Holiday Special: Deck the Halls
Holiday Special: My Revolve Gift Boutique
Style Guide: Holiday Parties
Tuesday Ten: Gifts for Him

Categories: Gift Ideas, Holiday Specials
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  • Sarah Heckle

    Love this! I’d actually be happy to recieve the literal white elephant. And the snuggie! :) The thing you have to remember about White Elephant is they take FOREVER if you have a big group of people! But it can be fun!


    Check out my Sunday brunch outfit!

  • Lauren Hoffman

    I’ve done this before as well, on Boxing day with some friends from the UK. I think I ended up with a pair of the ugliest socks one can imagine. This is a lot of fun but does take a long time like Sarah mentioned.

    Looking for a great gift for the make up lover in your life? Check out my review on Urban Decay’s new NAKED2 palette…

    <3 Lauren

  • Melissa Panici

    Oh Lauren thank you so much for these ideas! My office party did a white elephant gift but I had to cancel because something came up:( Bummer! Would have loved to show you pics. Oh well, maybe next year! lol

  • Megan Babin

    I actually wouldn’t mind getting the white elephant lol…ive never done one of these parties,but at my gpas house everyone brings a gift and we draw numbers and then choose our gifts..then we swap if we want to, but there usually not gag gifts, unless of course you get one of gpas gifts lol

  • Cherie LaFlamme

    That unicorn meat made me laugh! Nice ideas for a White Elephant or grab bag.

    – Cher

  • Stacie Grissom

    I think white elephant gift exchanges are so funny. :) Once I got this singing and hopping snowman. :)

    How to add glitter to a collared shirt < -- great DIY Christmas gift idea!

  • Meagan Grafton

    I definately have the leapord print snuggie! Its actually really warm/comfy:)

  • Tiffani Stuart

    My office usually does Secret Santa, but we’ve had so many complication this year that none of us are thinking about it. Our staff party is Friday, and I just suggested that we do this, as an alternative! I’ve done a few White elephants & they’ve always been fun… I think the coolest White Elephant gift I’ve ever gotten, was a deer whistle for my car; which was actually a GREAT gift, because I’m terrified of hitting a deer, lol.Thanks for the tip!! ;0)

  • jf

    Best gag gift i received was a hamburger wallet! But great ideas, thanks!

  • Lindsay Kunze

    I just went to my first White Elephent party last night! I had a blast! Thanks for all the helpful tips!

  • Shellz

    I want the leopard print

  • Kellie Norton

    One time I received a book called “”The Book of Farts”” it’s pretty disgusting but absolutely hilarious! It just goes through in detail what happens in your body when a fart comes out. Not the best gift, but the funniest!

  • Karie Seger

    I have the leopard print snuggie, lol. We do this every year on Christmas Eve.. this year our gift themes are “”As Seen on TV””. Will definitely be interesting to see what everyone gets!

  • erin

    i hosted our white elephant (but in lieu of re-gift, we were to buy a nice $20 gift). i bought the help dvd ( on sale for $20) and my boyfriend bought Steve Jobs book using member price for $21. there were some nice gifts such as candle from crate&barrel, appetizer plates, star dipper, camcorder from insigna, etc. there were 32 of us and we all had a blast! i eneded up with the Steve Jobs book and my boyfriend ended up getting the beer glasses :)

  • Georgina Hopkin

    I was given a gag gift by a girl who probably didn’t like me that much. While everyone else was recieving choclates and christmas sweets, I got a dead fly in a matchbox :(

    My friends and I are doing a secret santa this year, but it’s so hard to keep it all a secret! 😛

  • Emily Edwards

    I love these gag gift ideas, too funny!!!

  • Leila Abuelhawa

    Im not a vegetarian but I would be disturbed by eating unicorn meat :p

  • Kimmy S

    i love love love this idea! i think i’m going to throw one this friday for my friends!

    the best gag gift i got was a betty white calendar… hah!

  • Melissa Panici

    @Kellie Norton- You had me rolling! lol Such a good one!!!

  • Tiffani Stuart

    I wish Lauren would’ve posted this right after Thanksgiving, so that I had enough time to order some Unicorn meat! lol . I might try to make a can, if at all possible! That’s hilarious!

  • Brynn McKenry

    Last year I played this game and my friend got a toaster from Goodwill as her gag gift. When the toasted spilled on it’s side, stuff spilled out because it was never cleaned. I was going to go to one this year but plans changed. The idea I was going to do was use gear for my friends band (a CD with 3 of their songs and rayban style sunglasses with their name on them) and a can of spam. When the person opened the gift their would be a notes saying “”sorry to ‘spam’ you with our merch and music”” from the band. I thought that would be pretty clever…too bad I couldn’t participate this year.

  • Maria Abbruscato

    These are so funny :) one time my friend lauren’s aunt told her that her Christmas gift was out front… All that was out front was the car so When she opened it to drive it she found a pile of snuggies in the front seat. Merry Christmas!!!! Hahaha I couldn’t help but laugh 😉

  • Beatrice

    haha my friend once got a mosiac ceramic banana and a megaphone, I got a snuggie and a playboy dart board!

  • Amber Welles

    ewww. bacon toothpaste sounds awful. lol

  • Erin Allard

    At an office holiday party we did the white elephant game, and I got an “”I LOVE Justin Beiber”” license plate frame and matching diary! And those are white elephant gift because no one at my work is a Justin Bieber fan, so….sorry Justin!

  • julian blight

    I rememeber also our elephant party last year and I received a tin book having old jokes inside… I just laugh at the end..

    My friends and I will have another elephant party and I found some cool gift ideas here.

  • Krista Flock

    Hi Lauren –

    I am absolutly addicted to your blog, but up until now I have just been a browser. I figured this would be the perfect post to leave my first comment… because it has to do with Bacon :) Don’t get me wrong, I need some major fashion advice, but when you decided to post bacon toothpaste – you had me at hello. (To further show my appreciation for bacon, I even have a blog about it: and I featured this product)

    Thanks for always being fabulous and I look forward to your future posts!


  • Bruce Christensen

    Hey Lauren,

    Love the white elephant gift ideas. Our recreation specialists have been measuring the level of fun in these gift parties for years. Some gifts on your list meet the critieria of creative conversation starters. We have found that gifts that have movement or make noise are also very engaging in the white elephant gift exchange. One gift that has tested very well is the“”>Slingshot duck. Once it is opened and then shot across the room, everyone is wanting that gift!

    I hope that this is helpful to your readers.

  • drcarlisecullensdreamdaughter98

    One Time, I got Paper made out of Elephant poo.The catch phase for the product was we’re #1 @ #2. 😛

  • Elizabeth Moore

    The Mr. Manly mug is awesome for White Elephant parties!

    Fun and cute :) It comes in pink too as the Miss Manly mug!

  • Hark

    Christmas is coming, we must also preparing to Christmas, the best gift to yourself, do not hesitate to introduce price very hot shop, friends, oh, like sports friendsand like different clothing styles to choose from this shop, you have the winter would most like to have UGG will give you not like Christmas preparations do not like surprises!



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