Have you thought about giving out some fun and quirky white elephant gifts instead of traditional favors for a Christmas-themed bridal shower? I just think that would be so much fun, don’t you? If you need some ideas, keep reading! We came up with 10 that are just amazing!
What is a White Elephant Gift
Really quickly, let’s go over the whole concept of a white elephant gift. A friend of mine literally thought that it involved exchanging gifts that feature some sort of elephant on it. She’s not entirely wrong, historically speaking.
The origins reach way back to when Thailand was still Siam, and the king gave albino elephants to people he really just didn’t like all that much. Why albino elephants? Well, think about it- the cost of feeding, housing and caring for such a ginormous creature would basically bankrupt them!
They couldn’t very well exchange the gift for something else. Not only would that insult the king, but really, who would willingly take a massive pachyderm off their hands?
In today’s world, white elephant gifts are cheap and funny presents that really serve no purpose. Basically, we’ve kept the humorous spirit of the exchange without all the ethical concerns of giving each other live animals (or the mean-spirited desire to bankrupt each other). We’ve also turned it into a fun holiday party game!
As always, you can use these ideas for a lesbian bridal shower with two brides or separate parties for just one.
White Elephant Gift Exchange Party Game
While every family has their own way of playing this game, the basic rules are fairly simple.
- Person A takes a gift from the pile.
- Person B takes a gift, then either keeps it or swaps it with person A.
- Person C takes a gift and keeps it or swaps with A or B, and so on down the line.
- When the last person goes, everyone opens up their gift to see if they made out or lost out.
The video below does a good job of explaining the different ways to play:
Obviously, this is an “in person” game, though. So, if you’re planning a virtual bridal shower (which is really your safest bet right now), you’ll need to get creative.
Let’s talk about how to pull it off, then we’ll dive into those white elephant gift ideas.
How to do a white elephant gift exchange during your virtual party
There are a few ways to go about this, and there’s even a website dedicated to helping you. However, I find the following two methods to be the easiest. Both assume that the host will buy all of the gifts, but you can easily adapt it to a true white elephant exchange with everyone pitching in.
- Gather all of your gifts in one spot (the host’s house works best), wrap them, and number them (just write the number on a gift tag).
- Make a list of all of your guests.
- During the party, randomly choose the first player.
- That player chooses a number. Any number from 1 to however many gifts you have.
- As the host, you’ll write down the number they choose next to their name. If someone swaps a gift, cross out the old number and write in the new one.
- At the end, go through all of the gifts unwrap them so everyone can see what they got.
- Ship (or deliver, for local people) the gifts out after the party, so everyone can enjoy their totally impractical present!
Option 2 (the easier method)
If all of that sounds like way too much work, this option is for you. It basically eliminates the “game” portion, but it’s still super fun!
- Buy enough white elephant gifts for all of your guests, including yourself and the bride to be.
- Wrap them up and number them.
- Use a random generator (or heck, numbers in a hat) to assign a number to each guest.
- Grab the gift that corresponds to their number and ship/deliver it before the party with instructions to not open it until you say so.
- During the party, everyone opens their gifts to see what they got!
Okay, now that we’ve covered all the basics, let’s check out some of our favorite ideas!
FYI, this post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, we earn a small commission at no extra charge to you.
White Elephant Gift Ideas for Christmas-Themed Bridal Shower
We tried to stick with gifts under $20 for the most part. Just for fun, we’ve included a few ideas that are literally “white elephant gifts.” We’ve also including a few practical or semi-useful ideas, since part of the fun is making each other say, “Oh, I wish I got that one!” Let’s check them out!
1. Light-Up Christmas Hat
Let’s start with something flashy…literally! You can’t have a white elephant exchange without at least one totally ridiculous gift, and this hat definitely fits the bill. Grab it on Amazon and wait for the laughs when the recipient opens it. Rule #1, they totally have to wear it for the rest of the party!
- SUPER VALUE PACK. The Christmas Light Up Beanie is made of high-quality flannelette, which is soft and comfortable. Soft comfortable fabric to protect your head and hair without irritation or sweat. It comes with 6 different modes
- EASY TO USE. With our knitted beanie you can keep your head warm and bring you a great quality experience, style and comfort, perfect for indoor and outdoor, festivals, holidays, celebrations, parties, bar, great gifts for your family and friends.
- UNIQUE AND FESTIVE. Pair this with your ugly Christmas sweater for a holly jolly contest-winning look. This is a fun photo booth prop & giveaway. No matter which list you are on (probably Naughty), you’ll look great and keep your noggin warm while caroling, walking the dog, shoveling or snow blowing, skiing, snowboarding, ice skating and more!
- PREMIUM QUALITY. Child Safe: Non-Toxic. Meet US toy standard. Safety test approved.
- CUSTOMER SATISFACTION. Providing a 100% satisfaction experience is our main priority to our customers. Feel free to message us through “contact sellers” if products don't meet your expectations. The celebrations start at JOYIN!
2. White Elephant Incense Stick Holder
Here’s one that takes the theme quite literally! This white, elephant-shaped incense holder from Etsy is actually quite beautiful. Not exactly practical for anyone who doesn’t burn incense, but that’s the whole point of the game!
3. Wine Condoms
Although practical for wine lovers, this is also one of the funniest gift ideas! They actually have terrific reviews, too! You can use them to reseal pretty much any bottle, so even your non-drinking guests will get a kick out of it.
- THE ORIGINAL WINE CONDOMS: This protective wine covering was Invented by a mother son duo, inspired by a Macgyvered wine seal that looked like a makeshift condom. Unaware of the success that would come from this hilarious, yet effective solution to resealing opened bottles of wine, they set out to create this fun novelty gift. With a bigger is better mentality (pun intended), the newly upgraded wine condom version 2.0 is the ultimate in wine protection and preservation.
- SHRINK FIT TECHNOLOGY: The shrink to fit technology allows you to seal up almost any opened bottle, creating a water-tight and air-tight seal that is fully reusable! No need to buy separate bottle stoppers for different sized bottles, this is an all in one solution for storing your opened beverages, wine and more. The tight seal keeps oxygen out and liquid in, providing the ultimate spill protection while sealing in freshness. It is 99.9% effective preventing unplanned spills screw the cork. Use
- FUNCTIONAL AND FUNNY: Sure to put a smile, or awkward expression on even the most uptight wine snobs face, wine condoms are about being functional and fun. Set the mood with a bottle of wine and this silly yet practical beverage storage solution. Most bottle stoppers add too much length to be placed upright in the refrigerator once opened, wine condoms offers a solution to upright or side lying storage. The leak-proof technology means you can pick your favorite position; talking about storage of
- NOVELTY GAG GIFT: These wine stoppers make the perfect gift paired with a bottle of wine, or alone. The ideal gag gift for the friend that can’t quite loosen up. The reactions are priceless, and the functionality is unparalleled
- CELEBRITY APPROVED: Wine Condoms boast recognition from celebrities, national publications and televised programs like NBC's “TODAY” Show & CNBC “Make It”. Not only funny, but one of the most creative and functional solutions to resealing opened bottles. Amy Poehler, Sharon Stone, Mila Kunis and Melissa McCarthy have some!
4. Elephant Mug
How fun are these elephant mugs from Amazon. They are the cutest thing in the world and even come with a compartment for the teabag! I’d be totally jealous of whoever got this one during the exchange!
- Elephant Tea Mug, 15 ounces
- High Heat Resistant Ceramic
- Spot to hold a used tea bag, does not steep.
- Hand washing recommended
5. Screaming Goat
The absolute epitome of totally impractical, this Screaming Goat is the funniest gift no one really wants. It even comes with a cute booklet that they won’t read. I love it!!
- The Screaming Goat
- officially Licensed
- Become the owner of your very own screaming goat with this desktop companion. Press the tree stump button to hear the high-pitched bleats that caused the screaming goat sensation to go viral. Kit also includes a 32-page illustrated book of fun facts and trivia about these famed farm animals.
- English (Publication Language)
- 32 Pages - 04/05/2016 (Publication Date) - RP Minis (Publisher)
6. Ugly Christmas Sweater Wine Bottle Cover
Who doesn’t want an ugly Christmas sweater wine bottle cover? Well, okay, everyone, but that’s what makes it the perfect white elephant idea for a Christmas-themed bridal shower! This set actually comes with three, so they get thrice the laughs!
7. Christmas Mug Gag Gift
Mugs make amazing white elephant gifts because everyone uses them but just about everyone already has more than they can fit in their cupboard. This one is perfect for 2020, as it sums up the entire year in one phrase: the one where we were quarantined.
- Package includes:A christmas mug wrapped with foam in a gift paper box.
- Material:Made of high quality ceramic,both sides printed.
- Dimension & Capacity:The quarantine coffee cup is 3.7"/9.3cm high,3"/8cm in diameter.It holds up to 12.8 ounce.
- Vibrant design:"Merry Christmas & the one where we were quarantined & 2020" surrounded by a christmas tree.
- Christmas gag gifts:It is a choice to make it a white elephant gag gift to your family or friends during this special period.Suitable for highlight the xmas themed party or daily using.
8. White Elephant Succulent Planter
Succulents are one of those wonderfully impractical gifts that people actually do want. What better way to include them in your funny gift exchange than by using actual white elephant planters? You can find it on Amazon!
- Two set of modern, minimalist design white ceramic plant pots .
- Each planter comes with a draining hole that allows water to flow through the soil and into the saucer below.
- Ideal for displaying live plants, but can also be used to hold and organize a variety of other items.
- Plants not included.Approximate Dimensions size:the big one 2.75x2.25x3inch.The small one,2.5x1.75x2.5inch.
9. White Elephant Teapot
Another literal white elephant gift is this super cute teapot! Here’s where it becomes a true “impractical” gift, though- it’s a thrift find and really only ideal for a decoration. Find it on Etsy.
10. Prank Gift Box “Shower Margarita Machine” with a secret twist
Every white elephant exchange needs one gift that, for all appearances, looks like a totally off-the-wall ridiculous gift that literally no one on the planet ever wished for. This “shower margarita machine” is absolutely that gift! It’s an empty prank gift box!
Here’s the twist- every exchange also needs one really stellar “prize” gift that makes everyone else super jealous. So, tuck the real prize inside. A gift card works best, since you can choose one to fit your budget. Of course, if you have more to spend, you can also pack something really spectacular inside, like a new Kindle or even an iPad (for huge budgets).
- Please note: This is an empty prank gift box. Shower Margarita machines are not real. The ultimate joke gift box designed to look like a real, upscale product box for an absolutely ludicrous product that doesn’t really exist.
- Every panel is a hilarious parody of product info, selling points, instructions and warnings - all of which appear at first glance to be plausible.
- Transforms any gift into “that gift!” that people will be giggling about for a long time.
- Assembled box size is 11.25” x 9” x 3.25” - perfect for many different types of gifts. The gift box is empty, of course. The “product” is a joke.
- SATISFACTION GUARANTEED - If you are not happy with your purchase for any reason, we will issue a full refund.
Related: 10 Amazing 60th Anniversary Gifts For Gay and Lesbian Couples
I’m really hoping that these 10 white elephant gift ideas for Christmas-themed bridal showers inspired you! Remember, grab a mix of totally impractical (but fun) as well as a few practical gifts that act as prizes.