My name is Shay, and I'm a millennial. I've hand-picked 19 Christmas gifts that are sure to please the gals of my generation.
I Did the Hard Work So You Don't Have To
Choose a cheap white elephant gift that's completely original and fully hilarious. I've scoured the Internet and found you 20 gifts under $10 that are sure to be a big hit at this year's shindig. I was sure to avoid the easy bacon-flavored and uncleverly crude pitfalls that plague today's gag gift landscape. I stand fully behind my choices, and I was laughing almost* the entire time I was writing this, so that's gotta be a good sign, right?
*I spent a few weeks writing this. I was not laughing for weeks at a time. I'm not that funny.
What Is a White Elephant Party?
A White Elephant Party is a gift exchange type get-together that traditionally takes place during the holiday season. For a White Elephant Party, each guest must bring one wrapped present that is usually in a predetermined price range. Guests will take turns choosing one gift from the pile and opening it in front of everyone. Laughter should hopefully ensue. Or disgust. Or confusion (which does happen sometimes; it's unavoidable).
As everyone opens their gifts, partygoers will also have the opportunity to "switch gifts" with other people (aka, they get to steal gifts—"switch" implies choice on the part of the other person, which is not the case). The best white elephant gift at a party might get passed around a few times between guests. Trust me, you want the glory of being the person who brought the funniest white elephant gift at the party.
In the simplest terms, White Elephant Gifts are gag gifts. I hate the term "gag gift" because it usually refers to something unoriginal and just plain tacky. I like to put more thought into my fart jokes, thank you.
It's funny 'cause it's true.
— Homer Simpson
What Is Funny?
I know one thing for sure: analyzing funny does not make things funny, but I'm going to try to do it anyway.
In the words of Homer Simpson, "It's funny 'cause it's true." In the words of Tina Fey, "Comedy is only funny when it is telling the truth." It's honesty that makes something funny. Good comedy is effortless and simple, yet specific. Good comedy will allow the reader or viewer to draw a connection to their own life, experiences, or knowledge.
I find that things that are funny are absurd but are still somehow grounded in reality; some of the best comedy is completely straight-faced, i.e., it's something that isn't even supposed to be funny. At the same time, something that is original and unique will tend to be funnier than something that has been played to death, like a whoopee cushion or bacon-flavored anything.
The over-done, overplayed stuff becomes cliched and very much so NOT funny, and that's not what we want here. We want the freshly hilarious.
How Do I Find a Funny White Elephant Gift?
Don't fret, my pet! I found you 20 funny white elephant gifts under 10 bucks. Scroll down and see if anything speaks to you.
Names We Know and Love
In my 30+ years on this earth, I've learned that people love receiving presents that make noise. It's something everyone you live with—including grumpy roommates and sleeping babies—can enjoy!
Well no, this next one can only be enjoyed by one person at a time.
In Poor Taste
What's a little potty humor between friends?
Bare butts offend my delicate sensibilities. I like my potty humor to be full of poop, thank you.
Gifting grotesque amounts of grotesque candy is a White Elephant Party tradition. I've found two grotesque favorites that are sure to elicit a strong reaction.
For The Home
Because all we really want is to display our flawless taste for all our houseguests, snoopy neighbors, and burglars to see, amirite?
. . . and a serious one. I'm serious, though. Seriously.
As Seen on TV
Infomercial products make some of the funniest white elephant gifts because they are often products that other people have heard of; the terrible ones hold a special place in our collective pop culture minds. The TRULY awful ones are dirt cheap.
Looking Your Best
And finally for the food lovers...
You got something against pizza, bro?
Really Cheap Ideas
Don't like buying crap online? Go to a dollar store or similar discount store and browse the food or toy isles for the weirdest stuff. I went to Big Lots a few weeks ago, and they had the nastiest candy I've ever seen. Buy a few bags of it, and your fellow white elephant partygoers will be horfing* right along with you.
*horfing verb \'horfÂ·ing\ - a word that the kids use to refer to vomiting, particularly after eating a lot of crap
Even More White Elephant Gift Ideas
This list has a companion article with some top shelf White Elephant Gifts. And by "top shelf" I mean mostly in the $15 to $20 dollar range, with maybe two that are actually fancier.
Courtney on December 16, 2014:
I went to a bunch of websites and couldn't find a gift to get. I love your choices! I got the poo-purrie. You made my decision easy and fast! Thanks!