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Stuck on what to bring to your white elephant gift exchange? Check out this white elephant gift guide for last minute ideas!
I don’t know about your family, but mine is BIG. Big families are fun for so many things, but gift giving holidays don’t always fall into that category. Between my family and my husband’s family, we may participate in five different Christmases by December 26th. When you’re tasked with buying a gift for everyone, that can come out to quite a bit of money. A few years ago, we decided to take a step back and have mercy on our checking accounts by instituting a white elephant gift exchange instead of going the traditional route. It’s different, but it’s fun!
The rules of the white elephant game are fairly simple. Each participant brings a gift of a certain value and everyone draws a number to determine the order in which the gifts will be opened. When your number is up, you have the option to select an unopened gift from the pile or “steal” an opened gift from someone else. Once a gift is “stolen” twice it becomes frozen with the third person. If a gift is stolen from you, you have the opportunity to steal from someone else or open a new gift. At the end of the game, the person who opened the very first gift has the opportunity to steal from anyone in the group or stay with the gift he or she has.
2017 White Elephant Gift Guide
Because it’s impossible to know who will end up with the gift I bring, I always try to contribute something any participant will like, use, or at least appreciate. Many people go the gag-gift route, but that’s not my style. I want anyone and everyone to walk away with something they’ll like! Below, you’ll find some options for your White Elephant gift exchange that are right for just about anyone.
ONE // Family Games
Everyone loves a game! In the summers, we usually take a trip with my husband’s family and all stay in a house together. We always pull out the board games and cards! One of my favorites is Apples to Apples. I laugh every time I play it! Another favorite is The Game of Things. Sometimes the game of things can be a little “adult”, but in a totally funny way!
Related: Holiday Gift Guide for Teachers
TWO // ButcherBox
This gift may seem a little unorthodox, but it’s one I would absolutely love to receive! ButcherBox is a neat service that curates a box full of responsibly harvested meats and ships them straight to your door. Think grass fed and finished beef, free range chicken, and heritage breed pork. If there’s a foodie in your group, he or she will love getting a box full of beef! You can visit butcherbox.com/iamteacherfit and get $10 off your first box PLUS a free pack of bacon!
THREE // mophie Portable Charger
Most of us are constantly glued to our phones and there’s never enough battery life! When you need a charge, but an outlet isn’t near, a portable charger is a great option. I’m a fan of the mophie brand. They’re great to bring along on trips or just carry with you throughout the day. mophie has a variety of products to fit within any budget!
FOUR // Yeti Rambler
This was actually the first gift I ever brought to a White Elephant gift exchange and it was a huge hit. My family (both my side and my husband’s!) are big Yeti fans. From coolers, both large and small, to drinkware in every size, our cabinets are full of Yeti! My husband uses a Yeti Rambler to take his coffee to work and I cart one with me every now and then too. As I’ve said before, you can never have too many mugs — this one just takes it up a notch.
FIVE // Cutting Board
Another gift with foodies in mind! Preparing food on a nice cutting board is such a treat and I think anyone would be glad to add this pretty Rachael Ray version to their arsenal.
SIX // White Barn Candle Co. Candle
I mentioned in my Holiday Gift Guide for Teachers that candles are a great teacher option. They’re also a great White Elephant option! My favorites are the White Barn Candle Co. candles at Bath & Body Works. Imagine my surprise when I discovered you can get them on Amazon! That makes it way too easy to simply add one to your cart with any of your regular Amazon purchases.
SEVEN // Gift Card
If all else fails, take the easy way out and throw in a gift card! Most people in a White Elephant exchange will gladly take a gift card of any value — especially if there’s a gag gift in the pile!
EIGHT // Chukkar Cherries
My husband turned me on to Chukkar Cherries! They are so good and really make a great gift. These cherries are made and shipped from Washington. They also offer nuts, popcorn, and other gifts.
NINE // Novelty Christmas Ornament
Growing up, my brother and I received a Christmas ornament every year… For Christmas. The thought behind it was so that we would have plenty of ornaments to put on our own trees as adults. This is a neat gesture and would be fun to mix up. I love this Star Wars Chewbacca ornament from Target!