2017 Gift Guide: White Elephant Gifts You’ll Want to Swap For

The term “white elephant gift” supposedly derives from a centuries-old practice in Southeast Asia. Emperors would give white elephants to nobles they disliked. Since elephants are expensive to care for, and they can’t be re-gifted like a gravy boat, the gift ended up being an enormous burden. If you’re a fan of The Simpsons, you know how it goes.

A white elephant gift exchange follows that spirit. Folks take turns unwrapping and swapping ridiculous or unnecessary gifts, vying to walk away with a hidden gem. Of course, one person’s ridiculous and unnecessary is another person’s awesome. So, we asked our fellow Vodorians what white elephant gifts they would actually want to swap for this year. Below are some of their suggestions.

This is the droid you’re looking for


Star Wars fans will want to swap for this R2-D2 Popcorn Maker ($35). That way they’ll never run out of fresh popcorn as they re-watch Episodes I through VII over the holidays.


We’ll drink to that!


A set of classy, World Market White Marble Hexagon Coasters ($13) are useful, stylish, and will protect your furniture from unrefined holiday guests.


Don’t make me run, I’m full of chocolate


Frequent trips to the candy basket hurt productivity. Keeping these Giant Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups ($26) at your desk would eliminate the need for candy basket breaks for at least two days.


Oils, spice, and everything nice


A Gourmet Oil Dipping Spice Kit ($38) lets you explore flavors from around the globe from the comfort of your own kitchen. This one’s a sure winner. Trust us, we know our Pepper® products.


Take charge


An Anker PowerCore+ Mini Lipstick-Sized Portable Charger ($14.99) fits easily in your pocket or purse and provides you with a full charge in a pinch.


Clean up on aisle baby


As a new parent, it’s a constant juggle between keeping up with the baby and keeping the house clean. Thanks to the Baby Mop ($40), I can do both.


Cream of the crop


A L’Occitane 3-Piece Hand Cream Collectibles ($29) set is perfect for combatting gross winter dryness and keeping your skin from looking like an elephant’s.


So cool now, it’s ridiculous


Friends don’t lie. The truth is, Stranger Things is one of the hottest TV shows and this Eleven Bleeding Nose Candleholder ($40) will be the hottest gift of any white elephant gift exchange.


Put on for your city


What better way to celebrate your civic pride than drinking from a City Map Glass ($14) featuring a printed map of your city. It also comes in handy when your GPS stops working.


Whatever floats your float


It’s never too early to think about summer. And nothing says summer like drinking tropical cocktails while lounging in this Intex Splash and Chill Island ($89.99) on Lake Michigan with friends.