The pleasures of a white elephant gift exchange can often lie within scoring a wacky present that you didn’t know you needed, but the true joy of the game might be in bringing a creative gift worthy of being stolen or swapped. While you may have already meticulously planned your shopping for friends and family, selecting the perfect gift for the next holiday party circuit might require a bit more whimsy. Not to worry, however—we’ve rounded up the truly weirdest, wackiest and most eclectic gifts that are sure to be the most enviable items at your next white elephant exchange. The best part? They all clock in at $25 or less.
Popularized by the rise of talking head TikTok in recent years, there’s no better way for your colleague or bestie to sing their heart out or give insightful commentary than with a tiny microphone. While some TikTok influencers like a clip-on lavalier microphone, we prefer this tiny, mini me-sized version of the real thing. It plugs easily into the headphones jack of any cellphone, which means the person on the receiving end of this secret Santa or white elephant gift can sound off with panache at any time or in any place.
Mushroom growing kit
Give the gift of food with this Back to the Roots indoor oyster mushroom growing kit. It’s so simple to use that anyone who is lucky enough to get this present will see success regardless of their gardening skills. All they have to do is open the package of mushroom spawn-infused soil and mist it daily with water. Within a week, gorgeous pink mushrooms will have sprouted and in less than two weeks, they’ll be ready to harvest and eat.
Mayonnaise may not be the first thing that comes to mind for a covetable white elephant gift, but hear us out: this is no ordinary mayonnaise. Kewpie mayo, Japan’s first mayonnaise, is beloved by foodies around the world for its sweet and umami flavor, and it’s garnered somewhat of a cult following. Fans range from chef David Chang, who has gone so far as to call it “the best mayonnaise in the world,” to TikTok star Emily Mariko, who helped fuel a run on Kewpie this year with her viral salmon recipe.
Buy Now: Kewpie mayonnaise
Squats aren’t just good for the gym, they’re also helpful in the bathroom. The Squatty Potty has become a classic white elephant hit that actually has a practical use. The new “Curve” style has all the features of the original Squatty Potty, but with a sleek and minimalist design—plus, it comes in three soothing colors (personally, we’re partial to the rose quartz pink.)
Buy Now: Squatty Potty Curve toilet stool
Sunset lamp projector
Price: $9.99 and up
Winter might mean shorter days and far too early sunsets, but that doesn’t mean we have to give up the joy of having good light. Help someone replicate summer’s most precious golden hours with a sunset lamp projector, which can bathe an entire room with its soft, golden glow. With the ability to rotate this projector 360 degrees, it can be adjusted to fit anyone’s needs.
Buy Now: HUGOMOVA sunset lamp projector
Tortilla throw blanket
There’s nothing more comforting than devouring a delicious burrito after a hard day at work or in the throes of a wicked hangover, but for the times when a burrito is unavailable, this tortilla throw blanket is a nice alternative. Sure, there’s no beans and rice, but it can swaddle anyone in warmth and make the day a little cozier.
Buy Now: Freesooth tortilla blanket
Bacon scented candle
Few things smell as good as freshly-cooked bacon, which is why the geniuses at the Stinky Candle Co. (yes, that’s really their name) painstakingly replicated it for their deliciously-scented bacon candle. Anyone will be thankful to get the gift of long-lasting sweet and savory smell of sizzling bacon, sans the frying pan.
Buy Now: The Stinky Candle Co. bacon candle
While this silicone scalp scrubber helps exfoliate your scalp and clean your hair, it also provides a luxurious head massage that will leave any user in bliss. When used to apply shampoo during a shower, it’ll deliver squeaky clean results and a relaxing, salon-worthy experience.
Buy Now: Cibumpro shampoo massager 2-pack
Chrome fortune cookie
There are few things more satisfying than cracking open a delicate fortune cookie and interpreting its message about what the future may hold. With this glamorous chrome fortune cookie, you can write your own dazzling fortune. The cookie, which is packaged in a chic takeout box, would also make a wonderful case for pills or small trinkets.
Indoor herb garden kit
Indulge a green thumb with this easy, from-seed indoor herb garden kit. The tiny but mighty starter kid includes everything you need to nurture this garden, from seeds for four different types of herbs (basil, chives, parsley and cilantro) to bamboo fiber mini pots and expandable soil pellets. The lucky person who gets this gift will be cooking with homegrown herbs in no time.
Buy Now: Loako indoor herb garden starter kit
Custom face stickers
Price: $17.00 and up
For a gift that’s sure to get a kick out of the friend group, consider going with these custom face stickers. Simply choose the visage of one of your beloved friends and it will be turned into a roll of stickers to be used and cherished for posterity. Who wouldn’t want to adorn every surface with their friend’s face?
Buy Now: Sticker Mule custom face stickers
There is no condiment more versatile than chili crisp and the best chili crisp is from Lao Gan Mai, whose recipe consists of tons of dried, crushed chilis and fried soybeans swimming in a deep red, spicy oil. The oil and crisp do an excellent job of elevating any dish, from a chicken dinner to leftover pizza. It’s so tasty, you may find yourself reaching for it at every meal, which is why we recommend getting this two-pack so you can keep one for yourself. Plus, it comes with an adorable pig spork.
Dinosaur hooded blanket
Whether you’re shopping for a dinosaur enthusiast or the hygge obsessed, you can’t go wrong with this hooded blanket that’s as fun as it is functional. Affixed with a 3-D dinosaur head on the hood, furry spikes down the back, and soft paws on the edge of the blanket, it’s cozy enough for the couch, but playful enough for a night of donning costumes. It may be made for kids, but it’s guaranteed to put a smile on anyone’s face.
Buy Now: Pillowfort dinosaur hooded blanket
Crystal water bottle
Price: $17.99 and up
Whether you believe that crystals have healing properties or you just think they’re beautiful to look at, there’s no denying that crystals are having a moment in the zeitgeist. Help someone tap into it with this reusable crystal water bottle, which features a sturdy glass bottle with a crystal point in its base. While there’s no science to back up any claims of healing, it’s a fun way to stay hydrated and cut down on single-use plastic.
Portable UV phone sanitizer
There’s no denying that we’re all a little more wary of germs than we used to be, which is why this handy UV phone sanitizer would be a welcome addition to anyone’s home. The UV-C lamp inside the device neutralizes microorganisms in five minutes, while its compact size makes it portable and perfect for keeping germs at bay while traveling. Its sanitizing abilities aren’t just limited to phones, either; the sanitizing case can also fit ear buds, glasses, masks and other small items.
Buy Now: IFLOVE phone sanitizer
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