White Elephant Gifts Under $20

The holidays are coming up. Of course that means egg nog, cider and Christmas parties. My friends get together and give White Elephant gifts—usually items under $20.

These items are supposed to be quirky and many people treat them as gag gifts. I generally, like to try and find gifts that are hilarious, but can also be used or enjoyed after the party.

With y’alls input I’d like to create a list of gift ideas. If you could, please post items with a short explanation on why you think it makes a good gift. I’ll try and keep this post updated.


Extraordinary Chickens

A coffee table book containing detailed chicken photographs

This book contains more than 160 photographs, and detailed commentary of the wolds most exotic chickens. This book documents breeds, shapes, sizes and colors ranging from the Bearded Silkie to the crested Polish.

If you were to ask me the best White Elephant gift I’ve ever purchased, it would be Extraordinary Chickens by Stephen Green-Armytage. The book contains expertly photographed fowls. If you don’t believe me, take a look at it yourself. The photographs are excellent.

As a gift, this book is hilarious. The quality is good enough to make a solid coffee table book in the future. When people come over and see a photo book of chickens, they are almost certainly going to ask about it. You can tell them you discovered it on some internet forum.

The hardcover has is often available for $20 or less, but the price fluctuates. If it’s not, there is always a paperback copy or used books available.

Extraordinary Pigs

A coffee table book containing detailed photos of pigs

Extraordinary Pigs contains detailed photographs about 38 types of swine—including wild boars, and miniatures, which are highly prized as pets.

From the same author as Extraordinary Chickens, this book instead details the world’s most exotic pigs. I haven’t personally seen this book, but the previews make it look like another hilarious and entertaining gift. A solid alternative if your crowd has an affinity for pigs over chickens.

Die Hard: The Illustrated Holiday Classic

Everybody's favorite christmas tale, now as an illustrated story book

All John McClane wants for Christmas is to reunite with his estranged family. But when his wife’s office holiday party turns into a deadly hostage situation, he has to save her life before he can get home in time for Christmas!

Nothing says Christmas more than Bruce Willis in a tank top rescuing hostages from a high rise. Characters come to life in this illustrated account of everyone’s favorite Christmas tale.

Supervisor: [as McClane tries to call up police] Attention, whoever you are, this channel is reserved for emergency calls only.

John McClane: No fucking shit, lady! Does it sound like I’m ordering a pizza?

How to Swear: An Illustrated Guide

Features charts and strategies for improving your French

Even sailors sometimes ask, "Am I doing it right?" This book contains critical information to take your swearing skills to the next level. Includes history, etymology, guidance and example quips. Everything you need to add a bit of color to your conversations.

This gift is certainly the opposite of the swear jar. Use discretion based on your friend group.

Fifty Shades of Chicken: A Cookbook

A Fowl cookbook

Dripping Thighs, Sticky Fingers, Bacon-Bound Wings, Mustard-Spanked Chicken—This is as sexual as a cooking chicken gets.

I don’t know how intimate your friends are with their food, but this chicken book is sure to get them talking. Perfect gift for your favorite food porn aficionado.

Oh, The Meetings You'll Go To!

Ballad of a corporate drone

You’ll meet the world’s brightest, you’ll hang with the best! And now that you’ve met them, you’ll work with the rest!

A hilarious parody of Dr. Seuss’s Oh, the Places You’ll Go! This brutally honest take on the struggles of post-grad life that every 20-something will relate. Perhaps this keepsake will be something your fiends might read to their children on day.


Giant Googly Eyes

7-inch peepers

Googly eyes are a great way to add personality to inanimate objects. These eyes are 7-inches in diameter and have an ahesive backing.

When regular googly eyes just won’t do. These giant googly eyes are perfect for adding a bit of character to larger objects like your refrigerator, riding lawn mower or a nearby dumpster.


Dumpster Fire Socks

Fancy socks with dumpsters on fire

Seamless toe closure helps reduce chafing. Sock contains illustrations with a dumpster on fire.

Nothing says everything is okay like illustrations of burning dumpsters on your socks. Perhaps, a good white elephant gift for the fashion-minded?

Food & Snacks

Giant Snickers Bar

A giant, 1 pound candy bar

This giant Snickers is just like the original candy bar—made with delicious peanuts, nougat, caramel and milk chocolate.

You could get a 1 pound bag of fun-sized Snickers. That’s not really that fun though. You know what is fun? A giant 1 pound candy bar. That’s what you should get.


Toast Coasters

Contains 8 bread-shaped coasters

Why drink off of boring round coasters, when you can drink off slightly more interesting toast coasters? These coasters resemble a small loaf of bread when stacked together. Made of absorbent cork.

Were you just making a sandwich?

I’ve owned these for about 4 years. Every time guests come over, they always get a laugh. The coasters check the boxes for being being both funny and functional. They are also realistic, until you get close they do look like toast.

Poo-Pourri Holiday Mega Pack

Give your bathroom a bit of holiday cheer

This pack includes two scents Secret Santa and Merry Spritzmas. Secret Santa contains cinnamon and vanilla notes while Merry Spritzmas contains peppermint and vanilla. Pull-apart pack is a perfect for couples.

The perfect White Elephant gift for the most propper couple you know. This holiday themed Poo-Purrii pack is sure to be a hit. If you’re willing to spend a few more bucks, there’s the Holiday Potty Box set. I know that might be breaking the $20 rule limit. Don’t worry. We won’t tell.


Swear Jar

64oz of language improvements

Maybe you just had kids. Maybe you’re trying to give up the four-letter words for Lent. Maybe you just want to refine your vocabulary. Whatever the reason, a Swear Jar has long been a means to help cut out your questionable French.

Does your friend group use a lot of colorful language? If you’ve struggling with White Elephant gift ideas, this could be the perfect thing.

Big Betty Wine Glass

Finally, a wine glass that fits a proper serving

The Big Betty can hold an an entire 750 ml bottle of wine comfortably. That’s right, an entire bottle of wine. A creative gift for your wine-loving friends and co-workers.

The Wirecutter gets credit for this gift idea. I generally write my own comments, but their comment is to perfect not to post.

Finally, a glass fit for a proper serving. I’m sure there will be people at your white elephant gift exchange who think this is a joke, and you can laugh along as if it were. But it’s not. We all know this is how much wine we want in one sitting.


Cuz I Love You (Vinyl)

Lizzo, Vinyl

Lizzo’s widely acclaimed album, Cuz I Love you, now available on Vinyl. Featuring Truth Hurts, Juice and Tempo (ft. Missy Elliott).

You’re a person of culture aren’t you? Of course you are. That’s why you have the latest Lizzo release on Vinyl.

Toys & Games


The booty shakin' llama

This robotic, head spinning, booty shaking llama will have the whole family dancing for hours. Contains 3 dance songs.

Most of the items on this list will have some lasting value beyond being a White Elephant gag gift. This toy llama on the other hand is probably only good for a laugh at the party, but it is pretty funny. I saw this video posted on Twitter and felt compelled to find this toy and add it. Twerk, twerk, twerk, twerk…

Miniature Cinderblocks

Tiny cinderblocks and a forklift pallet

Based on the Kickstarter project that started it all, Mini Materials cinderblocks are 1/12 the size of building cinderblocks and are made out real concrete.

I’m not entirely sure what one does with a bunch of tiny cinderblocks, but it seems like it could be a good gift. After the party maybe it’s a desk toy? At least if you like desk toys.

Nerf N Strike Elite Strongarm

A Nerf handgun

The Strongarm fires 6 darts up to 90 feet. Uses Nerf Elite darts constructed of foam and designed for distance.

Everyone loves Nerf guns. It may not be the funniest White Elephant gift on this list, but it’s a fun one.


  • White elephant gift exchange, Wikipedia, Retrieved 11/23/2019

  • Die Hard (1998), IMDB, Retrieved 11/23/2019

  • The Ultimate List of the Best White Elephant Gift Ideas, gift lab, Last Updated 11/23/2019

  • The Absolute Best, Wirecutter-Approved White Elephant Gifts Under $25, The Wirecutter, Published 11/23/2019

  • 35 Secret Santa Gifts for Under $25 That’ll Work for Everyone in the Office, Esquire, Published 11/15/2019

  • 55 hilarious White Elephant gifts under $50 that are guaranteed to get a good laugh, Business Insider, Published 11/20/2019

  • 51 clever gifts under $25 that won’t end up getting regifted, Business Insider, Published 11/7/2019

  • 19 Wirecutter-Approved Secret Santa Gifts, The Wirecutter, Published 11/4/2019


What is white elephant? Is that the same thing as secret Santa?

Ah, I should have explained. White Elephant is a game where friends exchange wrapped gifts and can steal a gifts from another. The game is also known as Secret Santa. Here’s how it works:

  • Each participant brings one wrapped gift with a maximum dollar amount—usually about $20.
  • Participants determine in which order they will take turns selecting them. This is often handled by drawing a numbers out of a hat.
  • Once the first gift is opened, participants have the option either to open a new gift or steal gift from someone else. If a person has a gift stolen. That person can choose another wrapped gift or can steal from someone else.
  • A gift can only be stolen once per turn. If someone steals a gift from you, then you cannot steal it back. Additionally, we generally limit the number of times a gift can be stolen. That’s not a requirement though.

I always go with some sort of Star Wars mug. It almost always draws some sort of reaction—people either love or hate Star Wars or are think it is inferior to Star Track. Those people are wrong and my Secret Santa gift is just a reminder of that.

The two I regularly go back and fourth between are the Darth Vader and Storm Trooper mugs.



The BB8 coffee mugs are way overpriced, but who doesn’t want to drink out of Darth Vader’s helmet?


I like it! Post updated.

Yep. I’ve always generally called this game Secret Santa, not White Elephant though.

A post was split to a new topic: Rubber Band Machine Gun

Since people are going to start having their White Elephant and secret Santa Parties soon, I’ve updated this list. I’ve followed a similar formatting that we used in our Best Minecraft Toys and Gifts list.

I’ve also added a few new items. Do you have any good gift ideas? Let me know and maybe we’ll add it to the list.

OMG. That Lizzo album is a great idea.