Monday, December 08, 2008

25 White Elephant Gift Exchange gift ideas

Last week, I wrote that one idea for this Christmas season is to do a white elephant gift (WEG, as I like to call it) exchange at a Christmas party. As I thought back over my youth ministry career so far, I remembered quite a few good WEG ideas. So, being the generous person I am - I am posting some of the better gifts I can remember.

Disclaimer: in the case of a WEG, "better" does not always mean "better" in the normal sense. Just keep that in mind as you read the list.

25 White Elephant Gift Ideas:
1. a slice of cheese
2. two stuffed pig dolls
3. a broken "don't spill the beans" game
4. various cds (dishwalla, mercy me, a couple compilations)
5. a vhs version of any movie
6. mark twain paperback
7. 10 random buttons
8. $1 bill (which by the way no one really seemed to want)
9. a mp3 player (it will be a gift most people want)
10. headphones (nothing else)
11. Winnie the Pooh backpack
12. A Casey's top 40 record from 1983 (probably need an old DJ for this one)
13. a plethora of a charity's (like relay for life) material (buttons, stickers, cups)
14. 101 things you need to know book
15. a used sippy cup
16. girl scout cookies and hot chocolate (another item people will actually want)
17. random items from your desk (works best if its a student's desk)
18. a dance instruction vhs tape
19. potpourri (any shape or form)
20. a mostly burnt candle
21. a manual ice cream maker
22. some of your old school papers (for the adults)
23. Britney Spears cassette tape (a few kids didn't even know what a cassette was)
24. one coaster
25. a pink t-shirt that says "Britney's competition" (I'm wearing it in the picture)

There are 25 ideas to get you started. One of my favorite WEG moments came a few years ago. My wife reminded of it recently, because it is her favorite WEG memory. We had a new student, the Christmas party was her first event, and she brought a really nice bath set. Somehow the communication of what kind of gift to bring was lost and she actually brought a nice gift. The best part was the gift she left with, though. At the end of the night, she left with a plastic fork. Classic youth ministry moment. A moment that brings a smile to my face every time I think of it.


  1. That "Britney's Competition" is amazing!!!

    My best White Elephant experience was when I had a WWF Championship Belt for most of the evening, and was totally excited about it, but wound up with a massive old lady bra (it was like 5 feet long!). And no, I did not keep the bra- I regifted it another White Elephant that year!

  2. some of my favorites are:

    1. Toaster oven from Goodwill
    2. Bowling ball
    3. Alvin and Chipmunks Christmas cd with a broken case.

  3. @brandon did the next person like the gift?

    @rvincent3 did the toaster work? and what size was the bowling ball? Just wondering if they were really good gifts to take home or not.

  4. Adorable! I love the combination of the two ideas & whoppers-Yum! Makes for the sweetest

    gift! ;O)

  5. as an adult the best gifts to leave with are ones you can eat on the way home, aren't they?

  6. It is very good blog, I like it very much. Keeps it up!!!!

  7. Great gift ideas. We have found some of the best most unique white elephant gift ideas on the internet.
    You might check out the AlbinoPhant blog for several variation of the white elephant gift exchange.

  8. Some friends and I are doing this for the first time this year in a small venue New York has. I was struggling to think an idea for the thing, but now it looks like I have a whole arsenal of idea. Thanks for sharing, and merry Christmas!