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Christmas Gifts Ideas: 15 White Elephant Gifts for Less than $15

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Angry Birds Part IVEvery year, my family does a white elephant party. It’s fun to see what creative things others come up with when the limit drops ever lower. Whether you want something silly, or something a little more serious, the good news is that it’s possible to stick within the limit without too much trouble.

Web sites like,,,, and a wide array of gag gift web sites (Including and all have the ability for you to search by price. Some of the “safest” gifts include specialty foods, gifts cards, decorative soaps and generic mugs filled with hot chocolate, candy or coffee beans. If you don’t mind something a little more “fun,” though, here are 15 ideas for frugal white elephant gifts under $15:

  1. Angry Birds Plush Toy: Angry bird plush toys are all the rage this year, and you can get one — with sound — for less than $15, making a fun white elephant gift for any party.
  2. Christmas Ornament: Look for a character Christmas ornament, or look for a silly ornament. These make fun gifts that can be useful, too.
  3. Stress Ball: Who isn’t stressed about something? There are any number of stress balls out there with clever sayings, funny pictures, or odd shapes. And many of them cost less than $15.
  4. Desktop Sports Games: From desktop bowling, to a small ping-pong game meant for the top of your desk, there are different sports games designed as novelties for playing with no matter where you are.
  5. Novelty Push-Pins: There are a number of ways to hold items onto a cork board. Novelty push-pins are perfect for the job. These come shaped as sports equipment, vegetables, and even a headless man in a suit. You can even get a package of huge push-pins of comic proportions.
  6. iPhone Stands: There are a number of novelty iPhone stands, designed to look like wrenches, sticky bubblegum and more. Useful gifts for the smart phone owner, and fun to boot.
  7. Koi Toy: This fun fish, found on FunSlurp, lights up when you put it in water. Your co-worker or family member can keep it in a class of water and enjoy all the benefits of a goldfish without the hassle of having to take care of one.
  8. Toilet Mug: Up til now, the gifts have been mostly classy. However, it can be fun to give novelty mug shaped like a toilet. Other funny-shaped mugs are also available, adding a new twist to the idea of the coffee break.
  9. Bacon Soap: Bacon jokes haven’t quite run their course. There is soap scented like bacon, and a number of other bacon-temed products you can choose from.
  10. Bobbleheads: These are great favorites, and they’re loads of fun. I once got my dad a bobblehead moose. There are character bobbleheads, animal bobbleheads, and more to choose from.
  11. Fortune Telling Pen: Ask a question, click the top, and the future appears. This function pen on is a fun and usable white elephant gift.
  12. Marshmallow Shooters: Mini crossbows, marshmallow guns, and other marshmallow shooters can be fun. Just remember to include a packet of marshmallows.
  13. Earmuffs: Faux-fur earmuffs, or earmuffs with cute animal faces on them, can be fun gifts. You can also find more “serious” earmuffs for less than $15.
  14. Instant Excuse Ball: This is a fun gift that works like a “Magic 8-Ball.” Instead of telling your future, though, it provides you with excuses that can be used to get out of almost everything.
  15. Grenade Screwdriver Set: Useful tools presented in a fun way. Comes with different bits that can be used in a pinch. There are other screwdriver sets in shapes other than the grenade.

(Photo: susanti.chandra)

{ 6 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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6 Responses to “Christmas Gifts Ideas: 15 White Elephant Gifts for Less than $15”

  1. Nick says:

    God, I hate getting invited to parties with White Elephant gift exchanges. Every year you look for crap to give away and receive crap instead. The last thing I want is more stuff to take up space.

    I now just “accidentally forget” my gift at the host’s house .

  2. Alex says:

    I hate buying people gag gifts, especially when everyone’s money is short. In a way, I agree with Strebkr.

    I usually take a nice gift that I received that isn’t to my taste or is a duplicate (as long as the original giver isn’t at the White Elephant), or I buy things at craft fairs during the summer that I know people will like. I also watch for close-outs or sales. Things that I’ve given that cost $15 or less – 4 dozen cocktail forks (closeout), handmade pottery serving plates (purchased at a potters’ seconds sale, normally $40), handblown glass ornament ($10, normally $30), handmade postcards with stamps and a pen, halogen headlamp (when the power went out, this was a huge favorite), Leatherman tool, a microplane grater, dishtowels, a birthday party “kit” – banner, candles, candleholders, matches, cake cutter. Or, I buy liquor.

    • Strebkr says:

      Alex – those sound like nice gifts. I would gladly accept any of those in an exchange.

      • Jeff says:

        My family has been doing White Christmas for like three years now and at first I didn’t think I would like it, but I’m starting to get used to it now. I’m never too sure what to get for a gift so I usaley give 20 dollar gift card and a box of candy. Mabe next year I’ll try n be a lil more creative. It is fun though.

  3. CookieMonster says:

    I have been to a few white elephant parties and most of the time the gifts that were being stolen the most were anything out of the ordinary. Usually something you don’t see every day that is still somewhat useful. With a gift limit of only $10, I was amaze at all the weird and wacky things I could get while keeping my bank account happy.

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