The Best White Elephant Gifts for 2021

Going to a white elephant gift exchange? Here are the best gift ideas to bring this year!

This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you purchase through our links. Please read our full disclosure here.

This post lists the best white elephant gift ideas everyone will fight over.

Waffle maker from urban outfitters
Photo: Urban Outfitters

It’s that time of year again! The holidays are right around the corner, so it’s time to start planning all the fun things you will be doing this year.

If you are going to host any holiday parties or if you are going to attend some fun holiday parties, you should suggest doing a White Elephant gift exchange this year. This is one of the most popular party games for the holiday season!

Below, I’ll explain what a white elephant gift exchange is, how to play white elephant, and then I’ll share the best white elephant gift ideas I love for this year.

First, What is White Elephant Gift Exchange?

Now, if you have never heard of the White Elephant gift exchange (it’s also called Yankee Swap in some parts of the country), you might be wondering what it actually is. This is one of my favorite things to do for parties because you can include as many of your friends as you want.

Basically, to play the game, you and all your friends will buy gifts for each other.

What kind of gifts should you buy? This all depends on what kind of gift exchange you want to do:

  • One of the most popular ideas for white elephant gift exchanges is funny gifts. This means that you and your friends will go out and find some gag gifts or anything random that you wouldn’t expect to unwrap.
  • Alternatively, you could go out and find gifts that your friends would die to have (This will make the White Elephant game much more fun because everyone will fight over the gifts!)
  • Or, if you feel like it, you and your friends could also have no rules and buy funny gifts, unique gifts, etc. for the White Elephant game. A mix of themes can also be fun.

Not only can you decide the kind of gifts you want to include in your White Elephant gift exchange, but also you can decide if you want to put a price limit on the gifts to make it a little easier for everyone to decide what to buy. (Suggested limits are $20, $30, or $50.)

Once you have your group of friends and your gifts picked out, you can do your White Elephant gift exchange!

How Do You Play White Elephant?

Basically, to play the game, everyone wraps their gifts, so no one knows what they are, then you will put the all the gifts together to start! (Sometimes people wrap small gifts in extra big boxes, or weirdly shaped boxes, etc.)

Whoever goes first will pick a gift to unwrap, however, whoever goes next can take the gift from them if they want it or pick out a new gift from the pile to unwrap. Anyone who gets their gift stolen can do the same – choose a new gift or steal from someone else. This proceeds until someone declines to steal a gift, which ends the game.

For more information on playing white elephant, see this website which lists official rules and fun variations you can try.

Now for the gift ideas! If this has made you excited about your next White Elephant gift exchange or interested in doing one this year with your friends, this post will show you different kinds of gifts that will be perfect for a White Elephant gift exchange in 2021.

Funny White Elephant Gifts:

For those of us who have decided to do all funny/gag gifts for your White Elephant gift exchange, you may be wondering what kind of gifts you should purchase, especially if you have never purchased gag gifts before.

This list will show you a couple of different funny gift options that you can choose from.

1. Card Game

Buy from Amazon.com

If you and your friends love playing card games together, I highly suggest getting the For The Girls card game as a gift for your White Elephant gift exchange!

This is one of the most popular card games for girls’ nights and it will definitely make you and your friends laugh until you cry.

You will for sure have a really fun time with your girlfriends if you play this game at your next hang out, which makes it a perfect gift idea for your White Elephant gift exchange.

2. Food AirPods Case

Buy from Amazon.com

If you and your friends have AirPods, I would consider getting a funny AirPods case like this Cheetos AirPods case for the White Elephant gift exchange.

What’s great about these AirPods cases is you can find them in a ton of different designs, such as food, cartoons, etc.

Therefore, if you find one that you know you and your friends will think is funny, then you can use it as a gift for your White Elephant gift exchange!

Not only are these AirPods cases funny, but they are also super cute. Your friends will actually use these, so they aren’t a waste of a gift.

3. Karaoke Microphone

Buy from Amazon.com

One popular gift idea that you and your friends will really love is a portable karaoke microphone! This is especially true for those of us who love to sing or host karaoke nights.

If this sounds like your friend group, you should totally consider getting this portable microphone. It will definitely give you and your friends a lot of laughs when you do karaoke nights together.

Also, don’t worry about having to buy an entire karoake kit because this microphone is portable and uses Bluetooth, which makes it super easy to use!

It also comes in this super cute rose gold color to make it even more fun.

4. Tiny Vacuum

This is a funny White Elephant gift idea that you have probably never thought of or seen before. It’s the world’s smallest vacuum!

You will definitely shock your friends with this gifts and get some laughs out of it! Now, your friends may think this is just a joke, but you can actually use this tiny vaccum. This will get your friends interested in fighting for this funny gift.

Best White Elephant Gifts Under $30:

If you have decided to put a price cap on your White Elephant gift exchange, you may be stuck on finding gift ideas that fit. But, don’t worry because there are plenty of fun gifts that you can purchase that are not crazy expensive.

To get you started, I’ll show you a few White Elephant gift ideas for under $30!

5. Facial Cooling Globes

You have probably seen these facial globes all over TikTok by now! They are the new go-to self care item that everyone needs for their skin. They are so soothing and they help to de-puff your face.

Not only are these globes really popular right now, but also you can get them in fun colors and designs such as these UO Facial Cooling Globe Duo that come with glitter inside.

These are so popular that your friends will definitely be fighting over this gift if you purchase these for your White Elephant gift exchange!

6. Sound-Reactive Strip Lights

If you and your friends love home decor, this may be the perfect gift for your White Elephant gift exchange! This is another item that has been all over TikTok and is probably the trendiest thing you can put in your room this year.

If you have never seen these lights before or you are wondering what they are, basically they are strip lights that you can hang anywhere in your room. They come with a remote control that allows you to change the color of your the lights and your room to whatever you like.

Not only that, these colored lights have different modes for you to choose from — you can make them blink, cycle through colors, and more.

If you are interested in getting lights like this, I would suggest purchasing this Brilliant Ideas 6 ft sound-reactive strip light set!

Your friends will definitely be obsessed with this gift in your White Elephant gift exchange.

7. Bubble Candles

Buy from Amazon.com

Another item you may have seen on social media that will also be perfect as a White Elephant gift exchange idea is bubble candles!

If you have never heard of bubble candles before, these are basically candles that are formed in the shape of bubbles, making them even more fun. Not only are they a great gift idea for your White Elephant gift exchange (especially if you and your friends love candles), but also they can be used as super cute decor around your home.

For an affordable white elephant gift idea, I suggest getting this set of 2 bubble candles! They’re super affordable and will go with any decor.

8. Fluffy Socks

Buy from Amazon.com

This is a super cute gift that I don’t think anyone could turn down! It is a set of fluffy socks in assorted colors.

I absolutely love wearing fluffy socks when I am lounging around my house because they make you feel super comfy and cozy. They are a perfect item to have during the winter time and around the holidays when the weather is chillier out.

This set of socks comes in a few colors, so your friend is sure to find their favorite.

This is sure to be a great gift to include in your next White Elephant gift exchange!

Gifts Everyone Wants:

When shopping for your White Elephant gifts, you may also be wondering how to make the game even more fun! The way to do that is buying gifts that all your friends will want to fight over. This will make the game even more fun and intense.

If you are looking for gift ideas like this for your White Elephant gift exchange, I would suggest going for items that are trendy or popular right now. This will get your friends excited about participating in the game.

This list will show you some items that will definitely have your friends stealing each other’s gifts left and right.

9. Mini Faux Fur Tote Bag

If you don’t already have one of these, I bet you want one. A super cute faux fur bag is such a hot fall/winter fashion trend that you’ve undoubtedly seen on your favorite fashion influencers.

These are a super trendy item in fashion right now and unlike clothing or shoes, there’s no size requirement for this, so it will work for everyone in your friend group.

If you buy a purse like this such as this adorable mini faux fur tote bag, you will definitely have a gift that everyone will be wanting at your next White Elephant gift exchange!

10. Fujifilm Disposable Camera

An old school disposable camera is a perfect gift idea for White Elephant gift exchanges because it is not only a super popular item right now, but also it will give you and your friends a way to make a ton of memories!

The disposable camera used to be the go-to way of taking pictures and it has now come back as a popular item to give your Instagram a retro vibe.

If you are looking for a great disposable camera that you can purchase for your White Elephant gift exchange, I would suggest getting this Fujifilm Fujicolor QuickSnap Flash 400 35mm disposable camera! It’s affordable and has great reviews.

11. Lighted Mirror

If you and your friends are into makeup, you should consider purchasing a lighted mirror for your White Elephant gift exchange!

Light mirrors like this tri-folded lighted mirror are super popular and are definitely perfect for all the makeup lovers out there. They make it so much easier to get a perfect makeup application even in the dimmest dorm room.

If you’re friends with some makeup lovers, get this. You will definitely have a gift that your friends will be fighting for at your next White Elephant gift exchange!

12. Beaded Necklace

This is another very trendy item that will be a great item to purchase for your White Elephant gift exchange this year!

You’ve probably seen beaded necklaces like this beaded heart necklace on your favorite influencers; they’re so 2000s and they go great with the Y2K fashion trend that’s making a comeback.

If you are looking for a cute beaded necklace to purchase, I definitely suggest getting this beaded heart necklace because it is adorable and will go with all your friends’ outfits.

13. Colorful Chunky Rings

Buy from Amazon.com

One other trendy accessory item that will work perfectly for your White Elephant gift exchange this year is a set of colorful rings. In particular, I’m loving this color chunky rings set!

I am sure you have seen this trend everywhere on social media recently — it’s a favorite of everyone’s favorite fashion girl, Emma Chamberlain!

This has made these rings super popular right now and will also make them a really cute gift to give for your White Elephant gift exchange that all your friends will want.

Unique White Elephant Gifts:

Another way to spice up your White Elephant gift exchange is to get gifts that are unique or different from what your friends might expect. This will also make the game more fun because you never know who will want each gift.

If you are looking for unique and rare gift ideas like these, read on for a list of unique gifts that your friends will love for your White Elephant gift exchange.

14. Retro Electronic Skeeball Game

You have probably never seen this gift idea before, which makes it a great gift to give for your White Elephant gift exchange if you need something unique! It is a retro electronic skeeball game.

This mini retro game is super cute and such a fun thing to have at your desk when you want to take a break. I can definitely see people fighting over this one, particularly any guys in the group.

15. Sloth Planter

An adorable and unique gift that you can get for your next White Elephant gift exchange is this sloth 4″ planter!

This is perfect for your friends if they like having plants in their homes or if they are into having cute decor because, well, who wouldn’t want use this adorable planter?

Your friends will totally be obsessed with this unique gift!

16. Travel Jewelry Box

This is another gift that you probably haven’t seen before, but you and your friends will definitely love because it is so useful and super cute! It is the Mele & Co. Lucy travel jewelry box!

I have never seen a travel jewelry box before, but I would totally fight over this at a White Elephant gift exchange because I definitely need one. This would make traveling with all your cute jewelry pieces so much easier and you wouldn’t have to worry about losing any of them or having them get tangled up.

I highly suggest buying this unique gift for your White Elephant gift exchange this year because your friends will for sure being dying to get their hands on this gift.

17. Mini Waffle Maker

This is a unique White Elephant exchange gift idea that your friends will totally be obsessed with! It is a heart-shaped mini waffle maker!

Not only will your friends actually be able to use this adorable mini waffle maker, but it might just be the cutest thing I’ve ever seen to keep on a kitchen counter.

You will definitely have a popular gift if you purchase this item for your White Elephant gift exchange!

Which of these white elephant gift ideas is your favorite?

Which gift are you going to get for your next White Elephant gift exchange? Which gift idea do you think people will like the most? Tell me in the comments down below.

Leave a Comment