Life Hacks

The Best White Elephant Gifts of 2020

July 27, 2021

The practice of exchanging white elephant gifts dates back hundreds of years to (supposedly) what is now modern-day Thailand. The King of Siam would give rare albino elephants to people who had displeased him. They would be unable to exchange the gift and be stuck with the unique gesture which, if you’ve ever participated in a white elephant gift exchange, makes a whole lot of sense.

White elephant gifts in 2020 might look a little different this year. From virtual gifts to unique ways of “exchanging” the unique treasures, there’s no doubt that you’re going to have to get creative this holiday season. Here are our picks for the best white elephant gifts of 2020 for a variety of different people in your life.

Best White Elephant Gifts for Coworkers

The Best White Elephant Gifts of 2020 | Cheese Debit Card
Image: Married Life/Amazon

White elephant gifts for coworkers are often funny and lighthearted gifts that meet a maximum monetary requirement of around $20. This year, we need all the laughs we can get, especially in the workplace.

The best white elephant gifts for coworkers, therefore, are ones that induce copious amounts of happiness; it’s even better if you can share them with the ones you love and care about (virtually, of course).

Punderdome Card Game

This is a white elephant gift that’ll be fun for the whole office at the next Zoom happy hour. Punderdome is a punny card game that requires everybody to work their brain a bit in order to come up with cringe-worthy puns. The general rules are...the punnier the better.

Funny Tarot Cards

Is it in the stars that you’ll receive that promotion? Nobody knows, but asking the tarot cards is one way to find out. Next time someone in the office has a ridiculously silly question, break out the tarot cards. They make for a great white elephant gift as they come in numerous themes, such as Golden Girls tarot cards, Food Fortune tarot cards, and Friends tarot cards.

Adult Coloring Books

What’s more relaxing than ending a long day at the office with a warm cup of tea and an adult coloring book? These types of coloring books make great white elephant gifts for coworkers as they are cheap and entertaining. Plus, you can find a book to suit just about any personality these days, including space-themed coloring books and ones for those who love true crime and serial killers.

Best White Elephant Gifts for Partners

The Best White Elephant Gifts of 2020 | Cheese Debit Card
Image: Zen Garden Litter Box/Amazon

If you sheltered in place with your partner then chances are you’re ready for some rest and relaxation...away from them. Seeing as you just spent 24/7 in their face, the best white elephant gifts for partners this year are ones that allow them to refresh their own sense of individuality and identity while also taking a break from all things toxic this year has thrown at them.

Alcohol Infusion Kits

Instead of going the basic route and gifting someone a bottle of gin or whiskey, get them a unique alcohol infusion kit. InBooze makes alcohol infusion kits that’ll mix well with the alcohol you’ve got to create craft cocktails that’ll make the holiday season just that much more entertaining.

Zen Gardens

Let’s face’s been a stressful year for all of us. If you’ve gotten into more than a few quarantine fights with your partner then think about giving them a white elephant gift that will help them chill out. If they’re a cat lover, try the zen garden litter box that’ll fuse humor and relaxation into one great gift.

Themed Puzzles

Seeing as we’ll all probably be staying in for a little bit longer, give the gift of endless hours of distraction. Themed puzzles are a great way to cater to someone’s specific tastes (if you know the gift will end up with them). Or, you can order a personalized puzzle that comes with a special photo.

Best White Elephant Gifts for Kids

The Best White Elephant Gifts of 2020 | Cheese Debit Card
Image: Gnomes at Night/Amazon

Kids usually aren’t that hard to please when it comes to the white elephant gift exchange. Whether you need to find a gift that’s kid-friendly for a family exchange or need to purchase a gift for your child’s classroom Christmas party, here are a few that’ll be sure to impress.

Gnomes at Night

The idea behind any great kids gift is to have it be equal parts fun yet educational. Gnomes at Night is one such gift; it’s a search-and-find maze game that’ll make any little one feel like they’re in the middle of a fun escape room. It’s great for teaching communication skills and is a gift that kids can all play together.

Crazy Forts

Who doesn’t love a nice, cozy fort? This year, make the forts crazy. Crazy Forts come with over 60 toggles that allow kids to build unique, structurally-sound forts whenever and wherever. It’s the perfect white elephant gift for kids who are creative and playful.

Fun Blankets

Staying in is easier when you’re able to cozy up with a blanket that adds a little more fun to the vibes. Mermaid tail blankets make for great white elephant gifts for kids, as do shark blankets and cute, fluffy blankets that look as if you’ve got a unicorn horn sticking straight out of your head.

How to Fund a White Elephant Exchange in 2020

What’s so great about white elephant gift exchanges is that there’s usually a price limit that’s often reasonable. And, you only have to purchase one gift instead of something for everyone at the party. 

If you’re worried about finding the spare change to pay for a white elephant gift on top of all of your other holiday financial obligations, start spending with the Cheese Debit Card. It’s a zero-fee cashback debit card that allows you to earn cashback when you spend on top of other great perks, such as:

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