White Elephant Gift Exchange
InspirationGP/istockphoto

20 Things to Bring as a White Elephant Gift

View Slideshow
White Elephant Gift Exchange
InspirationGP/istockphoto

Tusk, Tusk

Good luck getting through the holiday season without being forced into a white elephant gift exchange. The rules may vary, but generally everyone is asked to bring an inexpensive mystery gift and pick a number to dictate the order in which they choose a gift to unwrap — or steal something that's already been opened. You can bring something lying around your house that you don't want but that might make a good gift for a co-worker, or just something weird you find on Amazon that will make people laugh. Here are some ideas that someone at the party might appreciate.

Ello bottle
Amazon

Water Bottles

Buy on  $9.51  $9.99

Fruit infusers, insulated containers, thermoses — who doesn't have half a dozen bottles taking up cupboard space? Now you'll have something to talk about around the water cooler.

Don't have any? Look for: Ello bottle with silicone sleeve
Price: $8 from Amazon
Buy It

JoyNote
Amazon

Stationery

Buy on  $11.99

These days we're glued to smartphones, tablets, and laptops in our spare time. A nice journal and pen is a beautiful gift that comes wrapped in guilt about that lifestyle — and it's better to have one collecting dust on someone else's bedside table than your own.

Don't have any? Look for: JoyNote classic notebook journal
Price: $12 from Amazon
Buy It

Ugly Sweater
Amazon

Ugly Christmas Sweaters

Buy on  $14.99

Ugly Christmas sweaters used to come from closets and thrift stores, but now you see so many on Amazon and Etsy that you might wonder whether irony has been smothered to death underneath them all.

Don't have any? Look for: Daisy's Boutique reindeer knitted pullover
Price: $15 from Amazon
Buy It

Department 56 National Lampoon Christmas Vacation Village Cousin Eddie in the Morning Accessory Figurine
Amazon
Photo Frame
Amazon

Photo Frames

Buy on  $15.99

You may live your life online, snapping photos on your phone and sharing them only to other people's phones — but there are plenty of people out there who would actually frame a photo of their spouse, parents, kids, or pet. One or two of those weirdos will be at your white elephant party.

Don't have any? Look for: Handicrafts Home chevron picture frame
Price: $16 from Amazon
Buy It

Kitchen Gadget
Amazon

Niche Kitchen Gadgets

Buy on  $6.95

Avocado slicers, egg timer, herb scissors ... these are novelty kitchen tools that take up space and may get used only once in a while, if at all. But there's only one way to find out.

Don't have any? Look for: Tovolo Yolk Out silicone egg separator
Price: $7 from Amazon
Buy It

Gruffalo Soft Toy
Amazon

Stuffed Animals

Buy on  $12.37  $19.99

It's a tough world. Everyone needs a friend to cuddle with. And if they don't, their dog probably knows what to do with it.

Don't have any? Look for: Gruffalo soft toy
Price: $14 from Amazon
Buy It

Coasters
Amazon

Coasters

Buy on  $9.99  $12.99

Coasters are what separate us from the animals, which set their glasses down anywhere and leave rings on the coffee table. We stand for civilization.

Don't have any? Look for: Lipper International acacia tree bark coasters
Price: $10 from Amazon
Buy It

Truth Or Dare for Couples
Amazon

Naughty Gifts

Buy on  $2.95  $8.95

There are a million ways giving a naughty gift can go wrong at a gift exchange — but it could also get the biggest laugh. Just be sure you have someone to blame if it doesn't go over well.

Don't have any? Look for: Chronicle Books' Truth or Dare for Couples
Price: $7 from Amazon
Buy It

Bath Bomb
Amazon

Bath Bombs

Buy on  $7.99

The waking world is a nightmare. Help someone return to the womb with some nice bath stuff.

Don't have any? Look for: Naturale organic bath bombs
Price: $8 from Amazon
Buy It

Bookend
Amazon

Bookends

Buy on  $18.15  $25

Since you don't know who'll wind up with your white elephant gift, you may as well put some effort into considering what it says about you. Giving this bookend implies that you're well-read and have a good sense of humor.

Don't have any? Look for: Artori Design bookend
Price: $18 from Amazon
Buy It

Wall Art
Amazon

Inspirational Wall Art

Buy on  $12.95  $14.95

This is the perfect white elephant gift, in that it'll be fun to watch the chaos that ensues from people not wanting to get stuck with it.

Don't have any? Look for: Barnyard Designs wall art sign
Price: $13 from Amazon
Buy It

Tote Bag
Amazon

Tote Bags

Buy on  $12.98

Everyone already has more reusable bags than they need. But no one told you that.

Don't have any? Look for: Dalix heavy-duty tote bag
Price: $13 from Amazon
Buy It

Coffee Mug
Amazon

Mugs

Buy on  $11.99

Putting a new coffee mug into the white elephant system — ideally a clever one — means that some lucky office drone out there can finally retire the mug they wound up with at last year's white elephant exchange. And for that, they will be grateful-ish for the next 364 days.

Don't have any? Look for: BigMouth Prescription Coffee Mug
Price: $12 from Amazon
Buy It

Selfie Sticks
Amazon

Selfie Sticks

Buy on  $13.99

Alternatively, you could give someone a drone.

Don't have one? Look for: Vproof selfie stick with Bluetooth
Price: $14 from Amazon
Buy It

Fidget Spinner
Amazon

Fidget Cubes and Spinners

Buy on  $14.99  $13.99

The fidget cube thankfully turned out to be a fad. Then again, not every fidget spinner looks like the Terminator and Neo would use it while hanging out in the Matrix.

Don't have any? Look for: Trianium Fidget Spinner Pro
Price: $15 from Amazon
Buy It

Charcuterie and Cheese Boards
Amazon

Charcuterie and Cheese Boards

Buy on  

Meat and cheese boards are great for entertaining. The more that are out there, the higher the chances people will invite you over to hang out. "I gave them that board," you can tell the other guests during an awkward lull in conversation.

Don't have any? Look for: Utopia Kitchen cheese board and knife set
Price: $15 from Amazon
Buy It

Candle
Amazon

Scented Candles

Buy on  $8.28

While some think of this as the ultimate in boring, generic gifts, the truth is that, well, everyone likes candles. They're lovely.

Don't have any? Look for: Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day scented soy candle
Price: $8 from Amazon
Buy It

Keychain
Amazon

Keychains

Buy on  $13.99

Everyone already has a keychain. How smug will you feel when you give one so clever that the recipient throws away the old one and opts to use yours instead?

Don't have any? Look for: Resqme keychain car escape tool
Price: $16 from Amazon
Buy It

Lotion
Amazon

Toiletries

Lotions, shampoos, body wash, and hand creams — we all have some in the cupboard that we'll never open. Someone else may actually enjoy that sweet cinnamon pumpkin scent.

Don't have any? Look for: J.R. Watkins natural moisturizing hand cream
Price: $5 from Amazon
Buy It