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White Elephant Gifting for Dummies: The 9 Types of Gifts

by Lisa Lozano 3:32 PM PST, December 16, 2014
Photo: iStock

So you’ve been invited to a holiday party, and the host is insisting you participate in a white elephant gift swap. Don’t know what to buy with your ($10, $15, $25) budget? Look no further, we’ve got you covered!

The Easy Gift:

This is the easy way out, in fact you can probably work this into your daily routine, picking up a Starbucks card when you get your morning joe. While it’s a pretty uninspired choice, it will most likely be among the most coveted.

Photo: iStock

The Booze Gift:

Always a gift swap favorite, even better if you can hit up Costco and get an extra-large size. But might not work for groups that frown on drinking.

Photo: Rachael Ray Show

The Naughty Gift:

Bringing a sexually explicit gift is a major risk and we only recommend it if you know the group really, really well. Warning: you may not receive a repeat invite if you go with a gift in this category.

Photo: ET

The Gift You Want Gift:

This is when you submit a gift that is very specific to your personal hobbies, with the hope that no one else will want it and you can steal it.

Photo: ET

The Thoughtful Gift:

You search high and low for a gift that appears to be, or is actually, worth more than the dollar amount, and would be desired by most people. This is a surefire win.

Photo: iStock

The Re-gifted Gift:

Just because you have no need for the iron your great-aunt gave you last holiday season, doesn’t mean you should subject someone else to it. And there’s no point to giving a crappy re-gift if it’s not ironic or amusing in some way.

Photo: ET

The Cheap-o Gift:

Like the re-gifted and easy gifts, this is a lazy move, but is made worse because you clearly ignored the dollar value requirement. You don’t get to charge for the hours it took to bake the cookies!

Photo: Rachael Ray Show

The Charity Gift:

A feel-good gift of making a donation in someone's name will probably only make you feel good and will make whoever receives it feel cheated, and then immediately guilty for feeling that way. Good job!

Photo: iStock

The Gag Gift:

We saved the best for last. The gag gift, if done correctly, will shock, awe and perhaps inspire a round of gift steals.

Photo: iStock
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