White Elephant Gifts

KyouguKyougu Registered User regular
edited December 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
Doing a white elephant gift for the first time this weekend, and I'm lost as what to get. I was just going to pick a tv season from BB (Limit is 20) but now I'm hearing that gifts have to be funny or "wacky". Anyone have any suggestions?

Kyougu on

Posts

  • E.CoyoteE.Coyote Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Go to spencer gifts and buy the biggest most tacky thing you can find for $20. The pole dancer alarm clock for instance.

    E.Coyote on
  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    God, I hate useless garbage. Get a funny TV series, or a wacky graphic novel. Just don't get total garbage.

    Improvolone on
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  • DeadfallDeadfall Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Useless is kind of the point of white elephant, though. Granted I'm not a huge fan either, but that's generally what's expected.

    My go-to white elephant is either one of those monster ballad hair-metal greatest hits or 80's rap compilation CD's.

    Hell, sometimes the wife and I will still put in the 80's rap in her car player. It's surprisingly fun to listen to.

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  • BoomShakeBoomShake Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Gifts are typically inexpensive, humorous items, or used items from home; the term white elephant refers to a gift whose maintenance cost exceeds its usefulness.

    Classic?

    BoomShake on
  • SammyFSammyF Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    I hate useless crap, too, but generally half the fun of a white elephant party is the part where you get to swap the useless crap you just pulled out of the sack with someone else's useless crap. If you happen to get a useful or entertaining gift -- like a season of a good television program on DVD -- it can be infuriating when the next guy up draws a Salvation Army paper bag full of used shoe horns and then forces you to trade. One useful gift and fourteen trashy gifts can ruin the fun of the exchange like that.

    Personally I tend to go to Toys R Us and look for something I probably would have thought was fun when I was a kid. A wiffle-ball bat, for instance. Or two cheap nerf guns so people can shoot at each other during the rest of the party. Or something that makes a loud, annoying noise someone can torture his wife with.

    ...I'm so lucky I'm still loved.

    SammyF on
  • GodfatherGodfather Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    I thought a white elephant gift is a gift that is rather expensive to maintain in the long run, and is usually more trouble than it's worth.

    It's also usually something that keeps a person interested in shelling out cash over hand and foot, not something completely useless.

    Godfather on
  • KyouguKyougu Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    BoomShake wrote: »
    Gifts are typically inexpensive, humorous items, or used items from home; the term white elephant refers to a gift whose maintenance cost exceeds its usefulness.

    Classic?

    And you win the thread sir! And god bless Amazon Prime.

    Kyougu on
  • HevachHevach Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Godfather wrote: »
    I thought a white elephant gift is a gift that is rather expensive to maintain in the long run, and is usually more trouble than it's worth.

    It's also usually something that keeps a person interested in shelling out cash over hand and foot, not something completely useless.

    It's the origin of the term itself, but in the gift swap game it's normally the intent that items be cheap/tacky/humorous but generally useless. My old workplace did them. Common items were stuff like the Christmas Story night light above (had one taken from me in the last round, too), novelty Monopoly sets (I got the NFL Monopoly when they took the night light - the Cleveland Browns are a chance card. "You buy the Cleveland Browns. Pay $50. You can never collect ticket sales on the Cleveland Browns."), and sometimes just bizarre things from the antique warehouse like a WWI helmet with a bayonet stuck in it.

    On that subject, antique warehouses. You can find some downright hilarious stuff at them for $20 if you get lucky. Most of them are consignment or rented stalls, so you do have to get lucky to catch something cool. One in my area currently has a knife with a carved bust of John Wayne for a handle and Marylin Monroe chamber pot.
    Google search for "tacky antiques" and nearly half of the first two pages are softcore porn

    Hevach on
  • illigillig Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Id suggest an Air zooka from thinkgeek. Its huge and unwieldy, but great fun for a few minutes.

    illig on
  • mtsmts Dr. Robot King Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    shake weight [/thread]

    mts on
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  • Fizban140Fizban140 Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited November 2010
    This sounds like tortue, I hate christmas just for this reason. I don't want or need 90 percent of the garbage I get. I wish cash was a more acceptable present, then instead of getting someone else a present we could just find the difference of the money and pay that out. Much more efficient.


    Oh and I just thought of the best one, $20 worth of pennies. Not sure how to pull that off but it would be hilariously useless.

    Fizban140 on
  • VisionOfClarityVisionOfClarity Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    mts wrote: »
    shake weight [/thread]

    If this is under $20 it's perfect.

    VisionOfClarity on
  • Dark_SideDark_Side Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    If you know the person you're getting the gift for, it makes it easier. For instance a year or two ago one of the engineers here got a giant over sized calculator with these huge buttons as a joke gift for another. (Engineers are very particular about their calculators).

    Other than that, great places to look: Dollar stores, gas stations, more specifically trucker road stop gas stations as they have even loonier shit, places like 7-11, or if liquor is acceptable bodega liquor stores which usually stock goofy bottles of booze. (Such as a cheapass bottle of tequila that comes in a bottle shaped like a revolver and so on.)

    Edit: Oh, and the tried and true go to is always an extremely gaudy and ugly christmas sweater.

    Dark_Side on
  • ukiyo eukiyo e Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Shake weight is a great idea. I have a white elephant swap with my family every year. I'm planning on giving this.

    ukiyo e on
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  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Air Zookas are awesome.

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  • TerrendosTerrendos Decorative Monocle Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    My family has a gag gift that someone new gets every year. It's right here: http://www.amazon.com/Chia-Decorative-Indoor-Pottery-Planter/dp/B000VB04DQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1291169929&sr=8-1-catcorr

    Which reminds me, I should probably go look for that thing and wrap it up before someone gives it to me.

    Terrendos on
  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    edited December 2010
    A PSP Go.

    If you;re not feeling that evil, go to a science or military surplus store and find some weird item.

    MichaelLC on
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  • Rhesus PositiveRhesus Positive GNU Terry Pratchett Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Sparkly pink cowboy hat, as seen on hen nights throughout the country (at least, my country).

    Maybe something horrendously touristy, like an "I saw the Duck Museum!" hat, if there's anything local that might work.

    Rhesus Positive on
  • OrestusOrestus Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Good ideas I've seen come up at ones my workplace has had include the following (our limit was $10 I think):

    For a laugh, a wall poster of a shirtless sexy man from a popular movie - We've had Leonidas from 300 and the guy from Twilight...I would not recommend doing a similar poster of a female, I'd worry someone uptight might get offended.

    $10 in Lottery tickets

    $10 worth of Dunkin donuts/starbucks/whatever coffee

    One year one guy also wrapped up one of his old shoes and put a $10 bill in it, that was pretty funny.

    Orestus on
  • GdiguyGdiguy San Diego, CARegistered User regular
    edited December 2010
    I tend to go more silly for this kind of thing - last year for our lab's Christmas party I got one of those Indiana Jones Mr. Potato Heads (http://www.amazon.com/Playskool-Potato-Indiana-Jones-Taters/dp/B000Y8Z2L0) that was on sale, the year before I think I got one of those little hand-held massage things they sell in Fry's for $10

    Without knowing the group it's hard to be specific; sometimes you're going more for entertainment value than actual gift-value, and it also heavily depends on the silliness/geekiness of the crowd... but basically you usually want something that's going to be enjoyed on some level by almost everyone, as opposed to a gift that would be really desired by one person but not liked by someone else. Which is why people are mentioning things like lottery tickets / silly antiques / etc as opposed to a tv series - if someone really liked the tv series, it would be a great gift, but if they didn't then it would be a waste

    Gdiguy on
  • CangoFettCangoFett Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    First, White Elephant is a stupid game where everyone shows up with something atleast kinda neat/desirable, then some goose shows up with a darn mason jar.

    Second: 20 dollars of Doughnuts. Trust me, you'l l be the coolest dude there.

    Third: Dont bring a Mason Jar

    Fourth: Unless you can fit 20 dollars of doughnuts into it

    CangoFett on
  • MegaMan001MegaMan001 CRNA Rochester, MNRegistered User regular
    edited December 2010
    White Elephant stuff is goddamn infuriating because one asshat always shows up with something that's either really really good or really really bad (see: The Office). It's not necessarily an iPod, but there is always 'that guy'.

    The best white elephant gift I ever got was a flashlight you charge by shaking (something to do with Ohm's law according to the package).

    Go with something at least somewhat cool. I gave a gently used putter one year that went over really well.

    Or, $20.00 of doughnuts. I probably would keep trading for the doughnuts.

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  • HorusHorus Los AngelesRegistered User regular
    edited December 2010
    my white elephants where created from what current events where happening.

    With friends I had a Swine Flu preparedness kit which had typical house cleaning supplies, bottle of tequila and cheap cold medication all decorated in a nice BREAK IF NEEDED BOX

    With my family being we are all Hispanic. I had a Deportation Preparedness kit its a box with two themes on each side, what you need being sent to Mexico and one when you smuggle back to the USA. Mexico side had tequila, shot glasses, mexican money and other details then there is the crossing back to USA supplies: bottle of Jack Daniels, American flag, a How to Cross the border for dummies and dvd of Born in East LA.

    Sometimes you can theme your gifts and yes all of these where under 30

    Horus on
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  • Casual EddyCasual Eddy The Astral PlaneRegistered User regular
    edited December 2010
    last one I went to someone brought a nice bottle of gin and it was highly sought after. Good thing about that is if people don't drink they can trade it for something else

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