White Elephant gift exchanges are hard. You probably have a broad audience with a wide variety of interests and senses of humor. You probably have a low dollar limit (10 or 20 dollars is the normal, I think) and you don’t want to spend any extra because you know that the gift that you receive will be in that category as well.
In my experience, there are a few ways that people go. One is a serious gift. This is something like a candle or a soap. It’s neutral in that it won’t offend anyone. But, it also isn’t getting stolen, laughed at, or acknowledged for more than ten seconds. No one is excited to get soap in a work gift exchange.
The second way to go is edible. Depending on your crowd, this can be the biggest #1 hit. I’ve seen bottles of wine, six packs of beer, half a dozen cupcakes, and a huge box of Reese’s Christmas trees get stolen to the max. If you want to give a gift that people will probably want, enjoy, and then not have to worry about storing in their house, edible is probably the way to go.
The final category of white elephant gifts is silly. Silly gifts are a catch 22. They usually get a big crowd response when opening them. Everyone laughs, people say “let me see that!” They are the most discussed and remembered gifts. However, probably no one wants to actually take them home. I mean sure, the vegetti is funny to open (what is a VEGETTI it sounds like a dirty rash! is a quote from my gift exchange last year) but does anyone really want it? Probably not. Keep that in mind and know that an edible gift might be more practical and well received, depending on your crowd.
With that being said, here are 20 silly White Elephant gifts. They are all available on Amazon and all under $20. Do they have any sort of purpose? It varies. Are some of them NSFW? Honestly, it depends on your crowd. I’ve worked places where a Sir Perky Bottle Stopper would be a crowd favorite and places where it would get you called to HR. Know your audience, people!
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It’s the holiday season, which means lots of cooking and frequent guests. As much as I love to cook, you can’t beat the convenience of a crock pot meal. Prepping in advance allows you to be prepared for your guests whenever they may come. I am planning to serve a crock pot dinner the night that our guests arrive so that everyone can enjoy a hot meal as they arrive.
This spicy butternut squash chili is Sean’s creation, and it is the perfect treat for cold winter days. The combination of squash and spicy is an instant classic and is a great way to feature seasonal produce. A crock pot of chili would be great to set up on it’s own or even with a selection of toppings like jalapenos, cilantro, green onions, and shredded cheese, for a personalized chili station!
Butternut squash might not be your first thought when making chili, but it is a little bit sweet and makes the chili feel very special and festive. Combined with the savory ground turkey, two kinds of beans, lots of veggies, and a kick of spice, and this chili is balanced, hearty, and delicious.
While this chili is delicious, it is also very spicy. A lot of the food that Sean cooks is spicy! We don’t want to ruin anyone’s holiday, so be prepared for your guests who might be spice sensitive with Nexium® 24HR Capsules 42ct. Nexium® 24HR provides protection from frequent heartburn so everyone can savor the best of the Holidays. Just one pill a day provides all-day, all-night protection from frequent heartburn – no matter what triggers it.**Nexium® 24HR may take 1-4 days for full effect. It is not immediate relief.
One thing that we were really excited about with having a new home was having a house and yard to decorate for the holiday season. We might be biased, but we think the front of our house is really cute and lend itself well to Christmas decor.
This year, we decided to focus on white lights, garland, and red bows. I bought pretty much all of our decor at Michaels a week before Thanksgiving when they had a 25% off your whole purchase including sale items coupon. Pairing that with their regular sales (most of their holiday decor was 40% off already) and we spent about $110 on decorations, including some that went indoors. Here’s what we did.
Lights: We hung 36 feet (2 strands) of icicle lights across our front porch. We also ran 2 plain strands of white lights spiraled up our columns. Maybe next year we will be brave enough to add more of these to our 2nd story roof line.
Garland: We strung up 3 strands of faux garland around our garage door. I added a big red bow (tied from wired glitter ribbon) to the center and each corner. We hope to add lights to this next year as we slowly accumulate more decor. I also would like to grab an additional strand or two of garland to do around the front door.
Wreaths: I left our DIY eucalyptus wreath on the front door since it dried nicely and still smells fantastic, but I added a DIY glitter red ribbon bow. We bought 5 small faux wreaths at Michaels and I added similar bows. They went on each front facing window with a suction cup hook.
So, that’s our outside decor this year! Share a link to yours below!
This post contains affiliate links. That means if you click through and make a purchase, we receive a small percentage of the sale. Thanks for supporting the brands that make Charleston Crafted possible!
One thing that we seriously talked about when house hunting was where the Christmas tree would go. I mean, it wasn’t make or break it, but picking a good Christmas tree spot while doing a walk through instantly made a place feel like a home. Well, this year we went a little crazy and got two Christmas trees, and interspersed our other decor around the first floor.
Coastal Tree: I decided to surprise no one and bring back my coastal chic blue and white tree. Sean calls it “Classy Christmas” but I really just love the beachy vibe. It fits in perfectly in our blue formal living room. The tree itself was a 7-8 foot tree from Costco for $32.99. Costco keeps their trees wrapped up so you don’t see them until you get home, but this one was very full. However, it has been dropping a lot of needles so we will see how well it lasts. I decorated it with small lights (4 strands) and globe lights (2 strands), sand and shell ornaments, faux seaglass ornaments, rope for a garland, and pearl and silver picks. I used a big blue bow on the top and a tablecloth for a tree skirt, since we had to put it on a box to make it look taller.
Mantle: My big excitement for decorating was actually to have live garland on the mantle. We got this long strand at Costco for only $15 and split it between the mantle and staircase. I actually cut the mantle piece in half and wired it together in the middle so that both sides would be pointing down and fall nicely. I moved all of our sea glass vases (I was worried about the cat pulling the garland) and added 2 sizes of plastic shatterproof ornaments to the garland. I really, really love this look!
Staircase: I ran that same garland on the stair case, using thin floral wire to attach it. It didn’t look good twisted along the handrail so we just let it swoop. The small plastic cat-proof balls are the perfect touch!
Dining Room “Mantle”: We don’t have a dining room table to decorate (yet! Coming very soon!) so instead I decorated the kitchen bar. Just a few little holiday nick nacks to festive it up, as well as my Merry Christmas Ya Filthy Animal DIY Felt Garland. Ho ho ho.
Colorful Tree: Our second tree is the faux tree that I’ve had for years and bought one July at a thrift shop for $20! I’m truly a faux tree girl (so much easier, I think they look better, and much more cost effective) but Sean was crazy for a real tree. I made us move this one and store it so it just made sense to put it up, too. We actually covered this with all of our non-blue and white coastal decor, which means a lot of felt or stuffed animals and the delicate gold ornaments that Sean has taken to picking up on vacations. Plus, the felt citrus and painted balls that I made way back in 2012! As much as I get heart eyes for a themed tree, this fun and playful one is making me very happy.
Sunroom Decor: I did a little more than just the tree to decorate the sunroom. I had 2 extra pieces of faux garland (one lights up that we had in the condo last year and one was trimmed from the pieces we used around the garage) and I decided to place them on the TV stand and bar. I just wove them around our existing decor, nothing fancy, but it does make it feel more festive in here.
Guest Bath: I dressed up our half bath a little just by adding pops of red. I never ever use red in my decor, so it really gives spaces a holiday feel. Red and green candles, a red tissue box (saved from last Christmas!), a holiday hand towel (it was a Christmas gift years ago), and a little Santa hat on Dusty the Bear made for a five minute makeover, zero cost to me, and a cute impact since this is the bathroom most guests use.
So, that’s our inside decorations this year. I don’t plan on buying too many more little nick nack-y Christmas things, but I am sure that we will accumulate them! Share your decorations in the comments below.
It’s holiday season and it seems like half the conversations I’ve been having with people lately have involved “what do you want for Christmas?”
We are really hard to shop for for the most first world reason. If we want something, in general, we buy it. If there’s something that we want but haven’t bought, it’s probably expensive enough that it’s not really in a great gift range.
So, I figured that some of you may feel the same way. I wanted to share some gifts that you might not realize that you want yet, but are really cool. We decided to focus the guide on 4 of our passions which are shared through this blog. If you read here, you might love these things too! They are Food, DIY, Pets, and Travel. For each category, we have highlighted 6 items that we have and love. Underneath each list is an Amazon shopping widget with lots of other goodies in that category that inspire us!
Cravings Cookbook – this was one of the biggest cookbooks of the year! The recipes are really indulgent, but packed full of flavor! Great for any foodie or fan.
Olive Oil Sprayer – An olive oil sprayer is a big step up from a can of Pam and a way to really cut down on unknown ingredients and preservatives. I use ours daily!
KitchenAid Spiralizer – This was my favorite gift last year. If you are trying to eat more veggies, spiralizing is the easiest way to do it. I love that this tool works with the kitchen aid mixer I already have and is so simple!
Ice Ball Mold – Sean loves these big ice balls for his scotches. It’s a great stocking stuffer!
Wine Opener – I feel so fancy every time I use our electric wine opener. It’s really an inexpensive indulgence and perfect for any wine lover.
Mortar and Pestle – When we have fresh herbs, I love to muddle some for liquor drinks or recipes. This marble version is gorgeous!
Craft Organizer – I have one of these to organize my beads and Sean has one for screws. It could work for so many hobbies!
Smart Lock – I really feel like I live a keyless lifestyle since adding this lock to our garage door. It’s really convenient and impressive to our guests!
Palm Sander – Sean loves a good sand and this is a step up for anyone getting into DIY who might be sanding by hand.
Steamer – It’s not sexy, but this tool is a workhorse in our house. It’s so much easier to steam fabric (especially curtains) than ironing, plus it’s great for traveling with nicer clothes that wrinkle easily!
Nest – We love our Nest thermometer and how much energy it helps us save. This would be great for anyone looking to go green.
Furry Pillow – A little texture is fun for any room, and I know that a big furry pillow is a gift that makes an impact!
Reflective Vest – It gets dark outside so early this time of year! CiCi’s reflective vest is awesome now that we have to walk when it’s dark out – no one will miss her!
Grooming Brush – This brush is great for dogs and cats and is amazing at de-shedding them, like nothing I’ve used before!
Dentastix – Hands down CiCi’s favorite treats! I love that they take longer to eat than a regular cookie, and they’re great for her breath!
Soft Pet Carrier – This pet carrier is airline approved, but we use it when taking Bear on car trips. We love that it folds flat for easy storage and doesn’t necessarily look like a pet carrier.
Deluxe Leash – This leash has been a game changer this year! It is reflective, is padded for human comfort, AND has 2 handles. I don’t think I could ever go back to one handle again – I love being able to grab close to CiCi when we go near other dogs.
Pet Tipi – Ok, to be fair, we don’t own this. Sean won’t let me get or make one because “they’ll never go in there”. Bah Humbug. I need y’all to get this so I can live vicariously!
Hiking Sandals – These sandals are versatile and perfect for hiking and walking a lot on adventure trips! Plus they pack easily and dry quickly. They are available for men and women.
Bike Rack – If someone likes to bike, they need a bike rack! Ours has enabled Sean to drive his bike to safer areas to ride and to take it along on trips.
Qalo Ring – If your man is active and frequently taking off his ring, consider a Qalo ring. A lot of athletes wear them and Sean loves his for triathlons!
Packing Cubes – Think of these as a more permanent way to pack in ziplock bags. I love being able to separate items like socks and underwear or entire outfits into individual zippered bags. It makes packing and unpacking easy!
Hanging Toiletry Bag – I love having a toiletry bag always packed and stocked – all I have to do is grab this bag! I also love that this unfolds to have tons of room and can hang from any hook or rod – I feel a lot cleaner with it off the counter and floor!
Packable Backpack – This easily packable backpack folds up into a tiny pouch and is perfect for taking on trips. We loved it as a daypack in Italy but it’s great for any trip where you may or may not need a small day bag!
All of these gifts are available via Amazon, which is my favorite way to shop. I also love that they let us use affiliate links – meaning that if you click through and make a purchase, we receive a small percentage of the sale. Thanks for supporting the brands that make Charleston Crafted possible!