40+ White Elephant Gift Ideas to Win the Company's Title
White elephant is about guessing, swapping, and even stealing random gifts from your colleagues until you find the perfect one for you.
The game has become a trend in the corporate environment over the last few years as the concept is more practical than the conventional gift giving routine.
White elephant offers an excuse to easily get rid of unwanted gifts without hurting anyone’s feelings while having tons of laughter and fun.
A genuine white elephant game revolves around ‘gag’ gifts, items of a small value their owner has no use for, or even old gifts the recipient dislikes (but someone else may like them).
The tradition stems from one of the recorded history’s nastiest ‘gag’ gifts ever given. In Siam, white elephants were very rare and considered sacred animals. So, whenever one such creature was captured it was immediately sent to the king of Siam.
However, some witty kings gave white elephants as a gift to the noblemen they no longer favored in a passive aggressive bid of getting rid of them. Caring for a white elephant was so expensive that it meant the immediate financial ruin of the gift recipient. Talking about extremely bad gift-giving!
Nowadays, the tradition is no longer destructive. It has morphed into something silly and fun to both play and watch. The idea is to mix ‘gag’ or useless gifts with useful ones but of a relatively small value (usually no pricier than $20 per gift), so that everyone stays happy and enticed to play.
The White elephant gift exchange is very similar to the Yankee Swap. Both games involve a pile of wrapped, unmarked, and impractical gifts and their goal is to keep guests entertained rather than giving them something useful to take home.
But unlike its counterpart, White Elephant places an emphasis on stealing, rather than swapping.
So, do you work in a corporate setting and need someone to whisper in your ear some great white elephant gift ideas that are either completely useless, silly, or both?
Tote Bag Factory has rounded up a list just for that.
+40 White Elephant Gift Ideas
1. The Toilet Night Light
Just when you think you’ve seen it all... introducing the toilet night light. This item makes a fun and practical white elephant gift especially for people with a sense of humor or with small kids.
The toilet night light is literally a guiding light through the darkness when waking up in the dead of the night to pay a visit to the loo.
2. Game of Phones
This is the perfect game for smartphone addicts… cough…cough… we mean enthusiasts. The game encourages user interaction and getting to know one another outside the virtual world (sort of…).
It is a fun family game, but it is aimed at the younger generation. With this fun game, the recipient will no longer stare into their phone all by themselves. They'll have company.
3. Bearish Oven Mitts
With these bear paw-shaped oven mitts, you can pull out that hot stew out of the oven with your bear hands. Some family members may disagree with you on your unconventional cooking methods, but bear with them a bit longer until you move out of your momma's basement - don't worry, the time draws nigh.
Careful though, they barely fit large hands (in all seriousness.).
4. Pocket Pen Mouse
This one is an either-you-love-it-either-you-hate-it white elephant gift. We have added the pocket mouse pen to our list of the best white elephant ideas for corporate folks, because even though it is totally useless as it brings nothing new when compared to a regular optical mouse, some people will surely love it... like A LOT.
5. Unconventional Wine Bag
This customizable white elephant gift will hit close to home with the enthusiastic wine drinkers in your company. Pick a pack of heavyweight canvas wine bags (check out our full assortment of wine bags here) and personalize them to your little heart's content.
Guilt-inducing phrases, such as "He Sees You When You're Drinking," or well-meaning family holiday survival tips, like "Pairs Well with Relatives" look incredibly stylish on a wine bag (adding a bottle of wine is highly recommended).
6. Salsa Growing Kit
Salsa-lovers rejoice! This kit enables you to grow the main ingredients of your salsa from scratch. Each kit contains seeds, growing instructions, starter soil, plant stakes, pencil and a biodegradable egg cartoon planter.
7. Inspirational Drawstring Bag
A drawstring bag with an inspirational or funny message makes a cool but practical white elephant gift in nearly any context. Get a plain drawstring backpack and personalize it with the message of your choice.
We recommend using our best-selling Stylish Sweatshirt Cinch for this project.
8. Funny Book
Get to see the bright side of failure with this collection of totally wrong but addictively funny test answers by the nation's K-12 students. It is a pretty short read (around 15 minutes), so it makes an excellent book for the corporate busy bee.
9. Fun Custom Tote
Pick one of our woven cotton tote bags and personalize it with the message of your choice. By the way, did you know that Tote Bag Factory offers a customization service too? Find out all the spicy details here.
10. Rubber Chicken Mints
No, these mints don't taste like chicken. They taste like mint and the super fun tin makes them hilariously refreshing.
11. Narcissist Soap
This soap is for that special co-worker that is "so vain that [they] think this soap is about [them]." The narcissist soap will surely spark some giggles and maybe some soul searching (if narcissists had a soul...)
12. Avocado Huggers
These may look like a silly white elephant gift idea, but they sure are practical as they'll keep that piece of leftover avocado in your fridge fresh for longer.
13. Gym Bag
A gym bag makes a great employee appreciation gift but also a great white elephant gift everyone would want to take home. You can also personalize the bag with the company's logo or a witty or fun remark.
14. Cat Butts Magnetic Mini Kit
Great gift for the crazy cat ladies and gents in your office. The kit includes the cut out magnetic butts of five all-time favorite cat breeds, along with the Educational North American Cat Butts Field Guide, which will enable you to properly match each feline butt with its rightful furry owner while in the wild. No kitten!
15. Keyboard Vacuum
A tiny keyboard vacuum is what you need in your life but couldn't put your finger on it (no pun intended.) Get rid of crumbs, dust, and other unsightly particles from your laptop keyboard or your desk with the world's tinniest vac.
16. Christmas-Themed Tote
Because who doesn't need one in their life?
17. Anti-Social Media Notebook
For that co-worker that keeps bragging about quitting Facebook because life happens outside social media too whether we like it or not.
18. iPhone Bear Case
This fuzzy bear case is best paired with an iPhone 7 Plus/ 8 Plus and a person who's very young at heart. Just make sure that the person doesn't work in front office for your company's sake.
19. Taco Holder
Let TACOsaurus Rex or TriceraTACO take care of your table setting needs on Taco Night. There's even a nacho holder, the NACHOsaurus. Who would've thought?
20. Dog Lover's Tote
Personalize a tote bag with a message that will melt a dog person's heart. We recommend using our 100% Cotton Tote Bags with Contrast Handles in this project.
21. Cat Lover's Tote
Because we need to maintain healthy competition during a white elephant gift exchange. Don't overlook the cat persons in your company.
22. Shrimp Hat
The shrimp hat will surely get plenty of laughs and attention so, it makes the perfect impractical white elephant gift of the night.
23. Funny Coffee Mug
Because one cannot have too many funny coffee mugs.
24. Scalp Massager
The scalp massager may seem a bit useless, but it is really working wonders for people “losing hair faster than their dogs” do. Impress your co-workers or employees with several hair massagers tossed in that huge pile of white elephant gifts.
25. Fun Jute Tote
A jute tote bag is very versatile. It can be used as a grocery bag, can double as a book bag, and triple as a beach bag. Add a hilarious message to it for a practical white elephant gift participants will fight over.
For this project we recommend using our natural jute tote bags (see full selection here.)
26. Christmas Dog Bandana
The Christmas dog bandana makes the perfect accessory for a dog at this time of year, which means dog persons in your company will love it and love you for adding it to the mix, too.
27. Funny Coasters
These coasters are a constant reminder to guests not to ruin your table. Plus, your gift recipient will be eternally grateful for giving him or her such a durable set of eco-friendly bamboo coasters.
For an extra thoughtful touch, toss this set into one of our eco-friendly gift bags, because gift wrap can be a disaster for the environment.
See why wrapping paper is so bad in our recent blog post here: Can You Recycle Wrapping Paper?
28. Liquid Fart Spray
This extra strong liquid fart spray is marketed as a "nose torture" and as guaranteed to "rip your soul." It makes the perfect gift for a white elephant event as it comes packed in a cool gift box. Pranksters will love it.
29. Ice Roller for Face & Eyes
Puffy, hungover skin be gone! In just 45 seconds, you'll look like brand new even after a night of wild partying. The ice roller for face and eyes is either the perfect hangover cure or vanity tool. It is great for nixing migraines too.
30. Personalized Toiletry Bag
With a great price, and plenty of bonus points in the organizing department, the toiletry bag is a big win when it comes to gift giving. It also helps its users keep toiletries in one place and stay focused when it comes to personal care products that need to be tossed away.
The polyester travel bag pictured here also comes with a generous 6 by 2 inch imprint area so that you can personalize it as you wish for the white elephant gift exchange.
31. Librarian Glasses
These vintage eye glasses come with clear lens so they're purely decorative. It is a great accessory for everyone who would like to look like a snobbish librarian from the '70s and the '80s or a retro cat lady wannabe.
32. Bucket of Fried Chicken Erasers
Here's a bucket of fried-chicken-shaped erasers for those creative foodies in your team. Each bucket contains 6 erasers and absolutely no calories.
33. Sillicone Tea Infuser
This cute animal-shaped tea difusser for loose tea leaves will spark joy in tea lovers and non-tea lovers alike. It is a practical white elephant gift that comes in various shapes, including a pug, an owl, a lollipop, and a treasure chest.
34. Pet Feeding Reminder
This is a practical gift for dog and cat owners that struggle with keeping track of their pet schedule. The only downside of the gizmo is that some pets might dislike that you can now track their eating, especially compulsive eaters. With it, no cat will be able to fool you or your room mate into double feeding it.
35. Funny Tank Top
This one's for gym buffs or couch potatoes with a special sense of humor. The fortunate soul that gets to wear this tank top will be able to show off his gym gains while seeming blatantly intentional.
36. Christmas Stocking with Cute Prints
Another white elephant gift idea is a cute Christmas stocking, like our jute Christmas stocking with paw design, stuffed with something extra special.
Check out or list of 40+ Christmas Stocking Stuffer Ideas for further inspiration.
37. Demotivational Ballpoint Pen Set
These cute but sassy pens make a great white elephant gift as they are sure to spark some reactions and giggles. There's also a motivational pen set, but the best-selling is this one and no one knows exactly why. It is maybe because no one in their right mind is going to steal these.
38. Cleaning Mop Slippers
These slippers will keep your feet warm and home clean. They are especially useful in homes with hard wood floors or other types of hard surfaces as they'll dust as you walk. Also, if the floor is wet, they come perfectly in handy. They're ideal for lazy folks.
39. Reality Bath Soak
This 'deliciously weird' bath salt is dubbed as a "new way to enjoy a French dip" and comes with a shockingly rich roast beef flavor. Wait and see the lucky recipient's face when he or she smells it. Mmmm, childhood memories...
40. Beer Belly Fanny Pack
If you don't have a beer belly yet, you can buy one. This repulsive beer belly fanny pack for men makes a perfect white elephant gift because people will either love it or hate it. There's no in between.
Also, there's a six-pack variant for the couch potatoes in your office, along with an extra-hairy dad bod fanny pack. And if the commercial options available are not disgusting enough, you can ask our team to difital print one for you.
41. World's Strongest Coffee
With around 600 mg of caffeine per cup, this coffee is surely made to wake up the dead (or push you into a sudden coma). Marketed as the "world's strongest coffee," Death Wish comes with a warning label: 'Highly Addictive.'
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