A white elephant gift exchange, also called a Yankee Swap, can be hard to prepare for. Unlike Secret Santa, you don’t know who will end up with your gift, so it should be pretty universal while staying within your group’s price limit and any other rules for the gifting game. It’s not always easy finding the right gift that anyone can appreciate, but these gifts are sure to do the trick.

1. Bob Ross Mug

Most people feel nostalgic when thinking of Bob Ross and his “happy little trees.” With this color changing mug, Bob Ross goes from having a blank black background to a “happy little scene” that he created when a warm beverage is poured in. This gift is practical and also entertaining. Reminisce about the painter from your childhood with this mug that’s sure to make anyone smile.

Bob Ross mug

2. Mushroom Log

A mushroom log is a fun way to grow your own protein! This gift that will work for both the meat-eaters and vegetarians at your white elephant gift exchange. Choose between a shiitake log and an oyster mushroom log kit for a variety of tasty results down the road. This fun, interactive gift may be the confusing excitement that fuels white elephant swaps.

3. Smell My Nuts Candle

Candles are popular gift choices at a white elephant gift exchange. There may be others floating around, but if the one you bring is called Smell My Nuts, it’s sure to breathe some life into the party. The banana nut bread scented candle is sure to give everyone a giggle.

Scented candle

4. Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails With A Literary Twist

It can be tough to gift a book to an unknown recipient, but Tequila Mockingbird is no ordinary book. There’s literary commentary within this book that will teach the reader how to make 65 delicious cocktails. Whether or not the recipient enjoys classic literature, they’re sure to love trying all of the cocktail recipes in this book.

Cocktail book

5. Bears vs. Babies Card Game

Bears vs. Babies is a card game created by the popular webcomic artists known as The Oatmeal. The game uses new art along with art from some of their famous webcomics such as a mantis shrimp. The silly card game is sure to create fun for people whether or not they’re familiar with the comics, and the fluffy box will be enough for everyone to fight over even if they’re unsure what’s inside.

6. Dinosaur Taco Holders

Everyone loves tacos and dinosaurs. That’s why dinosaur taco holders are the white elephant gift everyone’s going to be fighting over. Choose between a TACOsaurus Rex and TriceraTACO. There’s also a NACHOsaurus with a dipping cup for some cheese if nachos are more your style. Whoever gets this gift is going to be eating their Mexican cuisine in style.

Dinosaur taco holder

7. Light Saber Chopsticks

Nerdy kitchen accessories are a great choice to keep everyone excited at a white elephant gift exchange, which is why light saber chopsticks are sure to be a hit. These will make a fun addition to anyone’s utensil drawer, but especially Star Wars fans at your exchange. These are available in 6 different colors, too!

Light Saber Chopsticks

8. Cable Yo-yo

Wires are always getting tangled. Fix the problem for the winner of your white elephant gift with a cable yo-yo. The mechanism is similar to toy yo-yos but it will keep wires wound up and tangle-free. It’s available in 2 shades of grey for lovers of neutral colors or neon green for those who like a pop of color.

Cable yo-yo

9. Animal-Shaped Tabletop Vaccuum

A battery-powered mini tabletop vacuum might just be the cute gift that takes the group by surprise. This is great for keeping desks clean, getting rid of eraser rubbings, or clear crumbs from a table. It doubles as a cute desk decoration. Choose between a cat, cow, or pig. For the size, these little vacuums are amazingly powerful and are great at keeping personal spaces mess-free.

You do not have to resort to impersonal or generic items for a group gift-giving game. Even though you cannot be sure who will end up with your gift, these are sure to inject some fun into your white elephant exchange!

Like it? Share with your friends!


Cado is a community dedicated to the art of gift-giving. Our goals is to make life better through gifts of all kinds. We empower our audience to learn about the history of gifts, give them knowledge around gift-giving etiquette, and inspire them with ideas on how to give.