Costume party -- what to wear? Theme is "White Elephant Exchange"
December 5, 2017 5:21 PM   Subscribe

I need really good ideas for what to wear to a Christmas costume party with the silly and expansive theme of "White Elephant Gift Exchange." Help!

So, some friends and I are throwing a Christmas costume party. In a fit of drunken enthusiasm, we decided that if white elephant gift exchanges are fun and silly, dressing like something you might give or get in a white elephant exchange is even better. The invites have already gone out and there's no going back now to some easier theme (NO UGLY CHRISTMAS SWEATERS EVER), so now I need to come up with the VERY BEST random ass costume. Ideas so far: a bottle of Jean Naté body wash; a dashboard hula girl; an all-expenses paid trip to Cancun. These are ok, but none of them have quite the right combination of awesome and ridiculous. Help me, Metafilter—you're my only hope!
posted by pleasant_confusion to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (24 answers total)
Garden gnome
posted by dayintoday at 5:28 PM on December 5, 2017 [2 favorites]

Snow globe.
posted by theora55 at 5:37 PM on December 5, 2017

Fuzzy blanket

Piggy bank
posted by Ftsqg at 5:52 PM on December 5, 2017

Leg lamp from A Christmas Story
posted by Weeping_angel at 6:05 PM on December 5, 2017 [3 favorites]

Starbucks gift card or bath and body works products are literally the only things that got given last year at our office Xmas secret Santa.
posted by raccoon409 at 6:46 PM on December 5, 2017

A scratch ticket

The number one (the coveted order picking number!!)
posted by floweredfish at 6:48 PM on December 5, 2017

Oooo sorry- Im just realizing that the theme is "white elephant" specifically. One year when I worked in another office all the prizes were from "as seen on tv" aka snuggles and shake weights.
posted by raccoon409 at 6:48 PM on December 5, 2017

lava lamp
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:54 PM on December 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

Broken doll house
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:55 PM on December 5, 2017

Chess set missing 3 pieces
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:56 PM on December 5, 2017

My favorite thing I have seen given at a while elephant exchange was a 50 year old packet of emergency food rations. It was like a giant bright yellow solid rectangle with a loooooong list of questionable ingredients and a proud proclamation that it contained 3000 calories or something printed on it. Do that as a costume.
posted by joan_holloway at 7:28 PM on December 5, 2017

a bottle of hot sauce
posted by fingersandtoes at 7:33 PM on December 5, 2017

vanilla or cinnamon scented candle
fondue set
big mouth billy bass
body wash with glitter in it
posted by Lawn Beaver at 7:35 PM on December 5, 2017

The best/worst White Elephant gift I ever got was an ashtray (?) composed of a flat leather saddle, complete with stirrups, plus a brass-colored metal tray mounted right where a person would sit if it was a real saddle...but that's a difficult costume.

A Buns of Steel VHS tape, still in its box and plastic wrapping, was the circulating gift of choice for 15+ years at the same office. You'd need tennis shoes, legwarmers, a high-cut leotard, and a sign or sash. And a VCR.
posted by esoterrica at 7:42 PM on December 5, 2017

Any well known vhs tape case from the 80s.

Richard Simmons maybe?

Billy bass +1

The best white elephant present I ever thought up (for a pretty brutal group) was a box of cheap drug store chocolates, with a bite out of each one.

Not sure how to make that into a costume though.

People often try to get clever with the wrapping - maybe you could riff off this somehow?
posted by bluesky78987 at 9:32 PM on December 5, 2017

A scented candle. You can pick the scent and if you're into puns, there's a built in opportunity there.

A gift card to Amazon or something random and silly, like the Dollar Tree or Chili's.
posted by AppleTurnover at 9:35 PM on December 5, 2017

A god-awful velvet painting.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 10:05 PM on December 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

If it weren't so gosh darn hard, the punster in me would want to see a literal white elephant costume holding an LED stock ticker sign, perhaps with some white elephant gift-themed parody stock symbols. But I have no idea how you'd execute that unless you can find a foam elephant head somewhere affordably, and I really doubt that's a thing..
posted by Alterscape at 5:00 AM on December 6, 2017

I was once at a white elephant gift exchange where someone who didn't quite understand the concept brought a ream of printer paper. It was, naturally, one of the most popular gifts. Other hits have been a miniature axe, a giant hello kitty doll, and all kinds of childhood board games. Any of these could be a pretty great costume.

("bottle of Jean Naté body wash" is gold, though. I vote for that.)
posted by dizziest at 6:57 AM on December 6, 2017

Bulk size bag of off-brand granola or trail mix (it was thing in my family for a while)

VHS copies of modern movies

A Flowbee
posted by RhysPenbras at 7:39 AM on December 6, 2017

Snuggie? Even better if you could do the two person version.
posted by jraz at 2:18 PM on December 6, 2017

The chambong was a favorite at my office's white elephant exchange yesterday, if you want figure out how to make a costume of that...
posted by naoko at 4:17 PM on December 6, 2017

Would love to know how this went.
posted by theora55 at 6:57 AM on December 7, 2017

The party was a hit! I ran out of time and ended up coming as a scented candle, with a pipecleaner flame coming out of my head. Standout costumes included an elf on a shelf, the girl on the whip-it cartridge box, and the evening's winner, a koosh ball. We made flaming drinks (blue blazers), played a drunken game of pass the parcel, and generally made asses of ourselves. Merry Christmas, y'all!
posted by pleasant_confusion at 10:50 AM on December 17, 2017

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