The holiday season is right around the corner so we’ve decided to put together a little guide for the best holiday tradition around. White elephant. White elephant is a gift swapping game you play with your friends and family. Depending on who you play with, you can either get a gag gift meant to be funny or a legit gift meant to be used.
The term “White Elephant,” refers to when you receive a gift that makes you go “eh,” but you have to put on a smile and laugh. It originated in Thailand in the early 1800’s. The King of Thailand would give an actual white elephant to people that he didn’t like. White elephants were seen as a rare sacred animal so the people who got the elephant weren’t allowed to put it to work or sell it. Instead, the unlucky new owner would simply have to care for the elephant which was very expensive. The King was essentially just a dick who gave people white elephants to ruin them financially.
Swap parties started gaining some traction in 1901 when a newspaper suggested a party with 4 or 5 little gift bundles wrapped so nobody could guess what’s inside. The term white elephant specifically popped up as a joke in 1907. To paraphrase, the joke was that a bunch of women were attending a white elephant party and were supposed to bring something that isn’t useful but too good to throw away. The majority of women brought their husbands! The joke was so popular it went as viral as something could back in 1907. Every newspaper had the joke in it and White Elephant Holiday Parties were cemented as a holiday tradition.
Before we get into our Top 10 Gifts for White Elephant, we’ll go over the rules for those of you who’ve never played. We know the rules differ depending on who you play with but here’s how we play. Each player brings a wrapped gift and places it on the table. The gift can be useful or useless, up to you. After everyone is ready, everyone draws a card to determine picking order. Whoever goes first chooses a gift from the middle. You can unwrap the gift but it’s more fun not knowing until the end. The next player then has the option to steal a gift from someone else or pick a gift from the center pile. After everyone’s done with their first turn, you go around a second time. Don’t be shy when stealing gifts. So what you’re cousin is only 8, fuck em. You liked that gift from the beginning so you better sack up and break his heart. Life ain’t fair kid. After the game, if the gifts are still wrapped, unwrap them and see what you got! Trades are allowed only if both parties agree. There’s nothing in the rules about bribes and blackmail so do whatcha gotta do. If you want to kick your game up a notch, drink every time a gift is stolen.
The most important thing to know before you go gift shopping is to remember your audience. If you’re playing with close friends, then inappropriate gifts are welcomed but if you’re playing with your extended family who you don’t really talk to, go for something a little more PG-13. We’ll include a mix of gag gifts, serious gifts, and WILD gifts for those who like to push the boundaries.
10) Shower Margarita Machine
The shower marg machine is probably the one gift in the pile that you’re dying to get. Even if you brought it, there’s nothing in the rules against picking your own gift so snag it when you can. After a long day, a nice marg in the shower can turn your frown upside down. To get the most out of your shower margarita machine, fill up your machine with marg mix and tequila before you shower, throw on some pitbull to set the mood, and dalé!
9) Giant Shrimp Neck Pillow
Who tf wants a neck pillow that looks like a giant shrimp? The pillow’s probably super comfy but it looks ridiculous! That’s the point of the game. You’re not supposed to like it but I guarantee you’ll use it on the drive home and enjoy it. The neck pillow is actually an underappreciated tool. They’re game changers in a long car ride or on a plane ride but you probably don’t have the stones to use it in public. Fortune favors the bold so embrace the giant shrimp and sleep well!
8) B Fresh Gear Visor Shades
Our visor shades are tuff. We make all different designs to suit whatever kind of playa you wanna be. No matter who ends up getting them, they’re guaranteed to be a hit. Hell even Grandpa will love em. He’ll be zoomin through the nursing home lookin to slam some apple juice! Our Visor Shades even come with UV 400 lenses so you can admire christmas lights all night long. Make sure you trade for these suckers because #visorvision hits different.
7) DIY Vasectomy Kit Box
THIS IS NOT REAL! This is just a prank box. There’s nothing inside so you can fill it with whatever you want but the look on everyones face after the victim opens the wrapping paper is gonna be hysterical. We’d recommend filling the box to the brim with cinnamon gum (because nobody likes cinnamon gum) or throwing a 1 dollar bill in there with a bunch of wrapping paper. Can’t go wrong with either but the box is just step 1 of your devilish plan. Push the boundary with a hilarious box.
6) Shinesty Holiday Underwear (Mens or Womens!)
Shinesty makes some pretty rad gear. Game recognizes game. They make awesome holiday underwear for him and her so we’ll leave that decision up to you. Their undies are pretty sick so the lucky duck who ends up with this gift might wear them year round! They come in all sorts of styles from the nutcracker, to mistletoe, to a simple wrapping paper design. Wether you and your friends have struck out all year or you’re just a festive person. Their holiday underwear is a great gift!
5) Custom Photo Blanket/Towel/Pillow Case/ etc..
Custom photo items are always a good idea. Your buddy got a little to loose on Bourbon St and spent the night in the drunk tank? A mugshot towel would be all time. You can also take it down a notch and toss a nice family photo on a blanket and hope your mom gets it. White elephant is about rolling the dice so if you're feelin lucky, throw your cousins mugshot on a pillow case and hope Granny doesn’t end up with it.
4) B Fresh Gear Fanny Pack
This gift is the perfect 2 in 1 gift. Our fanny packs are frickin stylish as heck and have storage for days. All of our fanny packs have hella storage so if you’re feeling generous, stuff that ish with pennys to throw off all those people who think shaking the gift actually tells them what’s in there. I’m sure whatever lucky S.O.B. gets the fanny pack will be estatic. Become a post game businessman and stuff your new B Fresh Gear Fanny Pack with all the new gifts you traded for.
3) Snoop Dog Cookbook
This one is electric. Snoop Dog is a living legend so his cook book must be just as entertaining as he is. If this gift goes to any college aged kid, they’ll gonna have a hell of a time making food Snoop style! If this goes to someone who enjoys cooking, even better! We don’t know about you, but if we’re reading a recipe from the book, we’re reading it in a Snoop Dog voice. This book probably makes eating the food almost as fun as reading the recipe!
2) Shits and Giggles Brownies
Here us out. We told you we’d have a few gift ideas that would push the boundaries of a normal holiday get together. Shits and giggles brownies are brownies with either weed or laxitives. So as you probably guessed, if you get a laxative brownie, you’ll be on the shitter. But if you get the weed brownie, you’ll giggle at everyone on the shitter. Whenever the gift gets unwrapped, the victim has to eat a brownie on the spot and hope he got lucky! The rest of the group is welcome to spin the wheel but choose wisely!
1)The Potty Putter
The Potty Putter is a classic white elephant gift. You’re never too old for a good ol’ fashioned toilet gag gift. The Potty Putter is simple and awesome. It doesn’t matter who you are, if you sit down and see a putting green around the bowl, you’re gonna work on your stroke game. The green is pretty flat so no need to squat down and read it, stay on the throne. We can almost guarantee this gift will somehow always go to either the golf nut uncle or to someone who already spends way too long in the bathroom. Regardless of who ends up with it, it’ll most likely be used more than the hand soap in the bathroom.
These gifts are just recommendations to guide you on your quest for the perfect white elephant gift. Don’t be like that asshole King of Thailand and ruin someones day with an aggressive, over the top gift. Don’t be THAT guy...Remember to understand your audience and pick gifts wisely. This game is meant to bring everyone together and have fun. If you get a shitty gift, suck it up, you knew you weren’t getting an iPod. If you get a good gift, remember you have a ton of leverage when negotiating so be smart. If you liked the B Fresh Gear visor shades or the fanny pack, go check them out on our website! Hopefully our guide prepared you with everything you need to give the best white elephant gift ever. It’ll be talked about for years.