Gift Ideas for a white elephant office party - under $20
December 3, 2010 6:17 PM   Subscribe

Longtime lurker, first post. Could you help with some ideas for a white elephant gift exchange party with my coworkers. The company is a fairly conservative large corporation. The gift needs to be secular, inoffensive, good humor and under $20. Last year some popular gifts were Snuggie, Dilbert calendar and so on.. Food/wine seems to be ok but not popular. Any trendy gifts for 2010 or techtoys will also help. Thanks much.
posted by whistle to Shopping (24 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite

Hexbugs are awesome.
posted by Sidhedevil at 6:20 PM on December 3, 2010 [1 favorite]

The Stylophone. It's a little cool looking retro synth that works with a stylus so even if you have zero musical ability it is really fun. It doesn't exactly fit the spirit of a White Elephant party because it's great, but would be a cool techy/geeky gift for $20 bones. I have a couple, as do a very large number of my friends, and it's an amusing toy.
posted by EvilPRGuy at 6:24 PM on December 3, 2010 [1 favorite]

Potted meat food product.
posted by infinitewindow at 6:29 PM on December 3, 2010

This desktop magnet entertainment tool has had at least 2 mentions here on MeFi in the last week. I can personally attest to its awesomeness.
posted by Night_owl at 6:30 PM on December 3, 2010

You can get a couple of frozen Omaha Steaks in a little Styrofoam coffin for about 20 bucks. I've had good luck with them at previous Yankee swaps.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:34 PM on December 3, 2010

Potted meat food product... with $20 gift card taped to the bottom. Or cheap bic pen (preferably from the supply closet) with gift certificate rolled up inside. Basically, anything that seems like a crummy gift, but turns out to be way better than the candle set your coworker just scored.
posted by ldthomps at 7:05 PM on December 3, 2010

I don't know how new they are, but I love the idea of digital photo keychains like this one. If you've had office outings you can customize wit some pics you've taken of those outings?
posted by TravellingCari at 7:24 PM on December 3, 2010

ThinkGeek has a TON of fun options!

Chop Sabers? Got 'em! Caffeinated marshmallows? Check! An assortment of silly office supplies? The options are as delightful as they are endless!
posted by chatongriffes at 7:37 PM on December 3, 2010

I always dreaded this time of year, and my stand-by was invariably Chia Pets in whatever brand-association they were doing that year. SpongeBob Squarepants Chia was a huge success.
posted by ZaphodB at 7:54 PM on December 3, 2010

Screaming monkey slingshot. Guaranteed to be a classic, and just $6.99.
posted by arnicae at 8:27 PM on December 3, 2010

That's nice, arnicae. How about Supersizing your flying monkey?
posted by NortonDC at 8:49 PM on December 3, 2010

Is it really a "white elephant" gift exchange? If so, it should be something kind of awful and kind of funny, hence it being a white elephant. Chia Pets would be great.
posted by wandering_not_lost at 9:09 PM on December 3, 2010

The Clapper
posted by cinemafiend at 10:05 PM on December 3, 2010

Paperwhites were a highly stolen item at my work's Yankee Swap.
posted by fermezporte at 5:38 AM on December 4, 2010

Handerpants: the underpants for your hands!
Potty Putter: speaks for itself
You might also look at the Archie McPhee web site for general cheap silliness.
posted by Gilbert at 7:16 AM on December 4, 2010

Quotable Cards has some nice stuff. Get a mug + coffee?
posted by nuclear_soup at 8:22 AM on December 4, 2010

I've got a macrame owl I could send you. Genuinely from the 70s, available in brown, orange or yellow. $5! Shoot me your address via memail and I will seriously send you one!

If you want to provide a popular gift, I'd suggest a good game, like Apples to Apples.
posted by wwartorff at 8:44 AM on December 4, 2010

I'm thinking of making this humorous work-related mug my office white elephant gift this year.
posted by trunk muffins at 9:30 AM on December 4, 2010

Solar Queen Liz!
posted by WorkingMyWayHome at 10:12 AM on December 4, 2010

Where do you live? Any major college or pro sports teams? I live in New Orleans and pretty much anything Saints (and to a certain extent LSU) goes over very well.
posted by radioamy at 10:13 AM on December 4, 2010

Scratch-off lottery tickets are always very popular at my work's white elephant exchanges.
posted by belladonna at 10:29 AM on December 4, 2010

Maybe miracle berry tablets plus something else for the weirdness factor.
posted by ifjuly at 10:50 AM on December 4, 2010

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