“Can you post a curated White Elephant gift list?” asked a reader named Candace. We get this question all the time. “We have a few of these parties lined up this season, and I never know what to bring, especially when the maximum is $25,” adds Amanda. Plus, says Erica, “is it supposed to be funny, sentimental, useful or edible?”

Overall, my guiding principle is that it can fall into any category as long as it’s something people will actually WANT. I am allergic to parties with gag gifts like pizza blankets or toilet timers. You can find legitimately good gifts for under $25!

So! We gathered a bunch of brilliant recommendations from the Cup of Jo community (and please add your recs below)…

“A gift basket of Trader Joe’s finds.” — Tracie

“My favorite White Elephant gift is an extra long phone charger. Someone in the group will find it useful.” — Lexie

“We do a white elephant every yeah with my husband’s family and it’s a slog. So this year, I’m doing two envelopes: ‘The Sure Thing’ with $20 cash and ‘The Gamble’ with $20 of lottery tickets. We’ll see what happens!” — Sarah

“I took a house plant as a white elephant gift, and everyone went NUTS.” — Alice

“Caviar. A small tin is $20ish at Whole Foods, and it’s a hilarious thing to open at a white elephant gift exchange.” — Erin

“A gift card to the neighborhood coffee shop.” — Kate

Disco balls are always my go-tos. They are fun, sparkly, and always appreciated. If you put them in a window, they get gorgeous glow when the sun shines.” — Kelli

“My go-to is a few packs of pretty blank cards and a sheet of stamps. Always a hit as we all enjoy getting notes in the mail and so the receiver can brighten the day of people they love.” — Lisa

Kikkerland wind-up toy. I brought one and it KILLED. People were so obsessed. Now it’s my go to.” — Cate

“A candle snuffler and wick trimmer set. EVERY time I use these items, I find myself thinking, ‘I’m so glad I have these.'” — Erica

“A beautifully wrapped multipack of toilet paper. Funny and useful.” — Jenni

Bananagrams.” – Al

What would you suggest? I’d add car fragrances, fancy olive oil from your fave restaurant, and a cool red beanie (everyone looks good in them).

P.S. The full 2022 holiday gift guide, and 10 wonderful holiday rituals.

(Photo by Pati Gagarin/Stocksy.)

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