The holidays are meant for spending time with loved ones and fighting over white elephant gifts like the savages we are!
Joy to the World!
As a kid, all I had to look forward to were presents. I was hardly responsible for gift giving. The days when accepting was all I had to do. I know selfish right?
Christmas Eve was (is) spent with the entire family at my grandparent’s house. My grandma always insisted on dressing up as Santa to surprise the kids, which was me for many years. Gifts were always exchanged and I most certainly left with more than I arrived with.
But the real celebration arrived Christmas morning when my sister and I rushed downstairs to open even more gifts, ya know, the gifts we asked for. Thanks, mom for always paying attention to my Christmas list.
As the years passed, so did the number of gifts. Before I knew it, I had a list of people to shop for.
As my family got older and grew, we decided to start games like Secret Santa and White Elephant to lessen the hole in people’s pockets.
Honestly, I found this to be more exciting. Everyone fighting over their white elephant gifts had the entire family laughing hysterically.
But that’s not even the most exciting part of Christmas in my adult life.
I’d have to say the highlight of Christmas now is attending the wild holiday parties hosted by myself and friends. And ooooh do we get down with some white elephant.
Now for any of you seriously confused by White Elephant, let me explain. . .
What the Heck is White Elephant?
7 scores ago a bunch of Americans decided to spruce up the holiday celebration and invented this wacky game. I actually have no idea if that’s accurate – most likely complete bull sh*t. But hey, had you interested.
In all seriousness, White Elephant is a gift exchange game meant for entertainment purposes.
Price of such gifts typically ranges between $20 and $40 as it’s meant to be silly, funny, useful or practical gifts.
In an effort to be as accurate in explaining the rules of the game to you as possible so I referred to WhiteElephantRules.com.
I kid you not this is a real website solely dedicated to white elephant. Talk about a strong niche. Ugh, to be that clever.
The Official White Elephant Gift Exchange Rules are as follows:
- Each player brings one wrapped gift.
- One designated person draws names or numbers from a pool (I use a bowl) to determine the order.
- Players will gather in a circle around the gifts (let the games begin!)
- The first player selects a gift and opens it for all to see.
- When it’s the next players turn, they can decide to steal the previous player’s gift or open a new one.
- Now here’s the tricky part. If you get your gift stolen, you can then steal a gift or open a new one.
- This continues to the very last person.
- Once the stealing of gifts has commenced the game if over!
Doesn’t that sound fun?!
Now it’s time to pick out some epic gifts that will have everyone stealing.
But this gift guide is more unique for all the gifts that are travel-inspired.
If your friends are a bunch of travelers then they will be fighting over gifts even more. And if they don’t travel, then these gifts are sure to spark some wanderlust.
White Elephant Gift Ideas Under $25
Books & Games
Lonely Planet Best in Travel 2022 The book for dreamers and travel planners. This book not only serves as a great addition to coffee tables but is actually fun to read.
The trusted people at Lonely Planet release this book yearly – covering all the top places to visit. 2019 travel trends and tips from around the world.
A Visual Guide to Traveling the World: Traveling to Asia and want to know the proper way to hold Chopsticks? What about how to properly crack open and drink coconuts in Hawaii?
This book is all about helping travelers travel smarter to destinations around the world with how-to visuals. Everyone can benefit from reading this book.
The Game of Ludicrous Life Choices: It’s basically a game about our lives. I mean, whose life isn’t ludicrous? If it’s not then you need to read more travel guides and get yourself out of the house.
OK, so this might not be the most travel-related but it’s just too fun not to include it. Who doesn’t enjoy walking down memory lane with your closest friends?
It also happens to be a no-judgment game and “America’s #1 Ice Breaker”. See it for yourself here. It’s a simple game to understand and mature enough for adults. No kiddies allowed.
Carry On Goodies Everyone Will Fight For
Give Coach a first-class feeling with these genius gifts!
Airplane Portable Armrest: A genius solution to the armrest battle. Simply clamp this on to your armrest so you and the awkward stranger next to you can get your own space on the tiny armrest. I honestly can’t get over how hilarious this is.
Flight Flap: Only the best gadget ever for plane rides. When you’re flying and trying to watch a movie on your phone but usually find your neck cranked down so low (poor neck), or your arm cramps from holding your phone up at eye level.
Either way, it’s uncomfortable and not the ideal “movie watching on the airplane” situation. That’s where Flight Flap comes in.
WTF Travel Neck Pillow: This twisty neck pillow or it is a neck bar? I don’t really know but what I do know is that it’s super flexible to meet all your comfort needs while on a plane, train, or automobile. It can be used as a standard neck pillow, but also for the spine, lower back, and shoulder support.
Wine Wings: Reusable sleeves for wine bottles. Buying wine and booze on the road is a great treasure to bring home to remember your travels by. The problem is lugging it around.
I used to throw it in-between my clothes and hope for the best, but I find peace of mind with these wine wings. They prevent leaks. Don’t no one want to risk wine leaking all over their precious clothes. Even more so if the trip isn’t over.
Practical Travel Essentials
If you prefer to take the practical, useful route, then these essentials will make for the perfect gift.
Travel Humidifier: Ever get sick on the road? Everyone has at least once, especially if you’re on a backpacking trip during the changing of the seasons. A stuffy nose and sore throat on the road are never fun.
This on-the-go humidifier is perfect for combating those travel colds. Just attach it to a water bottle, flip it upside down, and set the timer for however long you want it to run.
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Are you in the middle of the forest with no outlet around? No worries. This has the option to run on batteries.
Universal Travel Adapter: Boring but super useful. I can’t tell you how many adapters I’ve left behind. It’s a mystery. Like losing socks in the dryer or pens. No traveler will EVER turn down a travel adapter. I guarantee it.
So, if they never turn it down, that only means they will be fighting over this practical essential.
Tell them it works in over 150 countries and ahhh “gimme”. I know. How could something so wonderful be so affordable?
Hanging Toiletry Bag: Hanging ones are a total game-changer. Ever been in those small bathrooms with zero toilet space? I don’t know about you but I don’t particularly enjoy placing things on the toilet seat.
Maybe it’s my inner germaphobe inching its way to the surface year after year. My point is, this practical toiletry bag will have everyone fighting for this upgrade.
Hydration Pack: This is a great gift for hikers or music festival junkies. Plus, it’s so colorful! Well, you can choose any design you like. The important part is this is a lightweight, super practical hydration pack.
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Survival Medical Kit: We all have that super clumsy friend. The one you can’t help but wonder how they’ve lasted this long? This gift is inspired by that person. However, safety on the road is always a concern, especially international travel.
It’s not always easy to track down pain relievers and other tools for accidents when abroad.
Trust me, I tried to find cough syrup in Rome. It took all but 3 trips to the pharmacy and lots of charades to get what I needed.
On-the-go Travel Kit: On a practical note, this 14-piece, TSA-approved travel kit will come in handy for anyone. It’s equipped with a razor, shampoo & conditioner, body wash, toothpaste, q-tips (Yass), and more. Plus, it comes in a stylish case.
Bet You Didn’t Think of These
I feel confident enough to say even you might want most, if not all of these. This may be the best part of this entire post!
USA Beer Cap Map: For the beer traveler, which is basically everyone I know. This map is unlike others I’ve seen because it hangs.
Just plant a nail in the wall and swoop the string over. Voila! You have art and a tracker for all your beer adventures. Cheers!
Airbnb Gift Card: EVERYONE will want this. It’s Airbnb. A gift that can literally be used anywhere in the world. A $25 gift card will surely pay for at least one night in someone’s RV atop the Swiss Alps.
Cool Iron on Patches that scream I’M CULTURED AF: Surely I’m late to the iron-on patch game. Better late than never I suppose. They are a cute and clever way to make your wardrobe stand out.
Do you know that denim jacket from Forever 21 we all have? Make it extra special with these iron-on patches. Suddenly those peace sign Instagram poses in your jean jacket will look original.
Coffee Brew Buddy: I get it. Free hotel coffee is crap. Dear hotels, stop enticing people to book their stay with you by giving them watered-down coffee.
If you’ve been a victim of brown water disguised as coffee, comment below, or just grab this AWESOME lil’ buddy. Combine that with the coffee you brought from home and you can have quality coffee ANYWHERE.
I just realized this post is to help you find white elephant gifts for others, yet I keep making “you” the reference as if you’re shopping for yourself. What the hell. Shop for yourself too. Moving on. . .
You Are Here Coffee Mugs: Brew buddy, check. Coffee mug, check. I’m a bit of a coffee cup collector. My favorites are the “You Are Here” collection by Starbucks. They are the perfect cappuccino size.
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Each kit makes not 1 but 6 premium cocktails. How long is the flight again?
Travel Journal: This spiral bound journal reminds me of Sebastian’s from Cruel Intentions only way cuter. Maybe it’s just the soft, leather look of the cover and string that ties it together. Yup, that’s it.
The decor comes in many options, each one looking like a handmade scrapbook on the outside. Maybe I’ll pass my journal down to my one day spoiled kids. Now there’s a thought.
Light Saber Chopsticks: You’re welcome.
White Elephant Gift $50 or Less
As I mentioned earlier, White Elephant gift limits range somewhere between $20 and $40. That’s not to say rules can’t be broken. Such a rebel.
Here are some genius white elephant gifts under $50 that everyone will be fighting for. Remember to watch out for those savages!
Globe Decanter: Alcohol is a massively popular white elephant gift among adults. Throw a curveball and bring a globe decanter. Everyone wants it, they just don’t know they want it. . . yet
This etched globe decanter comes on a wooden stand and two matching glasses. It can be used for all types of spirits.
Etched Globe Whiskey Glasses: If you don’t want to spend as much on the decanter set, you can still by the etched globe glasses separately. Comes in a set of 2.
Writing this post just got me even more excited for the holidays. Admittedly, I want to shop for myself now. Sorry, not sorry. These gifts are amazing.
Hopefully, you found this to be helpful and inspiring. Comment below with the craziest, wackiest gift you’ve ever received? I’d love a good laugh. Happy Holidays!
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