+ Gift Guide

2011 Gift Guide: White Elephant

White Elephant gifts are difficult because you never know who might choose your present.  Thus, the gifts have to be gifts that anyone might like.  Here are few that I thought would be good.

White Elephant Teapot ($12). (Sold out online, but can be found in stores.) This gift is as literal as a white elephant gift can be.  It’s also functional for the tea drinker and decorative for the non-tea drinker.  No word on how a Democrat might feel about receiving it.

Succulent Plant ($11).  I don’t keep plants because I kill them, but a succulent is basically unkillable.  It looks great on a desk or a kitchen windowsill.

Gourmet Marshmallows ($17).  Handcrafted, these are the perfect addition to hot cocoa.  They also taste pretty great on their own.  Plus, it’s almost impossible to be allergic to marshmallows, so they might be the only acceptable food gift out there.

Shake Weight ($23).  Yes, this thing actually works.  Yes, you look like you’re having an epileptic seizure while you’re using it.  But even if all the recipient gets is a good laugh, it’s worth the price tag.


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  1. Sarah says:

    Perfect timing, I have a White Elephant gift exchange in my office on Monday! Thanks for the great suggestions, Belle!!

    November 30, -0001/Reply
  2. MidwestChic says:

    I have that white elephant tea pot and I absolutely love it!

    December 15, 2011/Reply
  3. MidwestChic says:

    Oh, and I bought mine at World Market… so check there, too!

    December 15, 2011/Reply
  4. S says:

    MIght be rare for someone to have a marshmallow allergy (no idea) but marshmallows aren't kosher or vegetarian (because they contain gelatin) so they are out of bounds for some people.

    Which sucks for them, those marshmallows look yummy.

    December 15, 2011/Reply
  5. CatG says:

    Oh my gosh, I thought the shakeweight was something SNL just made up for that sketch they did. That's HILARIOUS.

    December 15, 2011/Reply
  6. Ellie says:

    Another vegetarian who nixes marshmallows. Gourmet olive oils and vinegars would be an amazing yankee gift.

    December 15, 2011/Reply
  7. Kaylee says:

    See, for my family White Elephant gifts are truly things you have lying around the house that you don't need anymore and range from things that almost no one needs/can use to things that others might really like (my Aunt gave away a brand new French Press she'd had for four years and had never taken out of the box). I think it's interesting how White Elephant gifts mean different things to different people. To me, a gift exchange in which everyone brings an item but doesn't know the recipient is different than a White Elephant exchange.

    December 15, 2011/Reply
  8. Anon says:

    Actually, most handcrafted marshmallows contain egg whites, which are definitely allergenic for some (mass-produced supermarket marshmallows are better in that respect).
    Love the teapot idea!

    December 15, 2011/Reply
  9. strin012 says:

    My favorite Dirty Santa gift is a classic Christmas movie. They usually fall within the $10-$15 price range and there are tons of classics to choose from.

    December 15, 2011/Reply
  10. Emily says:

    HAHAHA I actually just bought that white elephant teapot a week ago at Meijer (grocery store in Michigan.) So if anyone in the Midwest is looking for it they have it there too in home goods. It's super cute:)

    December 16, 2011/Reply
  11. Rory says:

    I'm going to have to get that teapot. I'm a Democrat who collects elephants, which has raised some eyebrows but I've been in love with them since I was a kid.

    The Shakeweight does work, as stupid as you look doing it, it's really helped my batwing disappear.

    December 16, 2011/Reply
  12. Roberta says:

    The most pursued white elephant gift I've ever seen at a holiday party was a 2-gallon jar of whole dill pickles. I have no explanation. For my office whilte elephant, I'm doing a bottle of wine. I had my favorite wine shop recommend a great $10 bottle.

    December 16, 2011/Reply
  13. CynthiaW says:

    I would totally pursue those dill pickles – I could eat pickles all day!

    December 16, 2011/Reply
  14. Heather says:

    So, seriously, the Shake Weight works? Have you tried it and, if so, would you recommend it for someone who, let's say, has a 100 mile daily commute, sits at a computer all day, tries to squeeze in workouts, but is afraid she's getting flesh wings under her arms? Hypothetical, of course.

    December 16, 2011/Reply
  15. BLM says:

    Um, the problem with the shake weight isn't that it looks like you're having a seizure. It's that it looks like you're giving the thing a handjob.

    December 17, 2011/Reply
  16. Belle says:

    BLM-Unexpected, but I laughed at loud.

    December 17, 2011/Reply
  17. Rory says:

    Heather, it really does work! I used to be a landscaper and my arms always looked great, but when I took a new office job a few months ago my arms started looking flabby. I started using the Shake Weight and it's really helped.

    December 18, 2011/Reply