Although the holidays are really about spending time with friends and family over hot cocoa and home cooked meals, gifts matter too — don't pretend otherwise. Picking out something for your dad (socks), or sister (earrings) may be manageable, but with a white elephant gift exchange, the search is a bit trickier (read: no socks, please). But, play things right and your cool white elephant gift will go down in holiday history.
"A top tier white elephant gift is one so embraced or hated by the group that it reappears year after year, an annual ceremonial trading of hands if you will," explains Ruthann Clawson, Merchandising Director at perennial gift destination ban.do. She adds that a gift's price and usefulness don't necessarily have to align — it's about presents that delight the crowd. "People also enjoy trading legitimately good gifts with their loved ones during the holidays," she adds. "One size fits all is the best." With that in mind, skip shoes in favor of hair accessories, sparkly jewelry, or small trinkets.
Before you decide what to buy, take into account the group attending the exchange to help guide you in your search, "this will inform how age of gender specific you want to be with your gift." And lastly, don't break the budget if your party sets a specific price limit, play by the rules. Below you'll find a range of gifts that fit the occasion, and will have all your friends fighting over who gets to finally take them home.