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The Greatest White Elephant Items of 2023

It’d technically be October now, however I’m nonetheless undecided how I really feel concerning the calendar creeping ever nearer to the vacation season. Wasn’t it simply Christmas? Didn’t we undergo this entire gift-giving course of, like, three months in the past? 

I don’t imply to be a Grinch. I’m simply amazed on the passage of time. 

Dismay apart, white elephant items are form of enjoyable! The entire white elephant factor has an interesting backstory, with events relationship again to the Eighteen Nineties and the idea’s origins linking to the King of Siam. Nonetheless uncommon and exquisite, precise white elephants had been terribly expensive to look after, and receiving one from the king was a punishment within the type of monetary break.

Happily, right this moment’s white elephant events are usually tame present exchanges on the workplace or amongst family and friends and (ideally) nobody results in debt. However we do suppose you possibly can stage up your gifting recreation and depart behind the cheesy socks in favor of one thing which may really show helpful to its fortunate recipient!

Listed below are 25 ideas for food-forward white elephant items this 12 months, with slightly one thing for each finances—even when you’re additionally questioning the place the time’s gone.

White Elephant Items Underneath $15

A Snazzy Spatula


Amazon


Tovolo Flex-Core All Silicone Spatula Turner

Amazon


You may by no means have too many good spatulas, and neither can Mary from accounting or Dave in IT. These silicone spatulas are sturdy, straightforward to scrub, and serve numerous makes use of; from scraping bowls to pushing eggs to stirring a sourdough starter.

Value at time of publish: $12 and $11, respectively.

Some Swanky Sprinkles

Fancy Sprinkles Birthday Balloon Sprinkles

Amazon


We will’t promise these will result in any memorable moments, however Fancy Sprinkles makes, nicely, fancy sprinkles in a number of enjoyable colours, so it’s honest to say they’re making issues occur within the kitchen. Enjoyable for bakers and unsuspecting colleagues alike! 

Value at time of publish: $9.

Make Dish Time Enjoyable

Wettex The Original 10-Pack Swedish Superabsorbent Dishcloth

Amazon


We’ve raved about Swedish dishcloths earlier than, and so they’re nonetheless excessive on our “heck sure” record. These dishcloths are available in enjoyable, colourful designs, however most significantly, they’re environmentally pleasant and efficient at cleansing counter tops, sinks, and—await it—dishes. 

Value at time of publish: $13.

Critical Eats / Eric King


Drop a Delicate Trace

Urnex Biocaf Descaling Powder

Amazon


Look, nobody says white elephant presents should be glamorous. The espresso machine at your workplace may most likely use some attention, and who higher to make these internals sparkle once more than the one who unwraps this considerate present?

Value at time of publish: $13.

Make it Matcha

RISHI Organic Everyday Matcha Powder

Amazon


We praised this matcha powder in our latest evaluate, and between its nice taste (good for smoothies or baking tasks) and cozy worth level, this tea is a high contender for a white elephant alternate. 

Value at time of publish: $12.

Critical Eats / Vicky Wasik


Spice It Up

Watkins Popcorn Seasoning Variety Pack

Amazon


Popcorn is an everlasting favourite snack, so popcorn seasoning is a simple winner whenever you’re searching for an reasonably priced, crowd-pleasing present. This three-pack comes with tasty flavors like white cheddar, butter and salt, and ranch. Throw in a bag of popcorn kernels and also you’re good to go.

Value at time of publish: $12.

Measure in Miniature

OXO Good Grips Mini Angled Measuring Cup

Amazon


Managing to be each weirdly particular and extremely random is a cute little two-ounce measuring cup. The OXO Good Grips line by no means lets us down, and neither does this diminutive vessel. It’s useful for including a splash of water to a too-thick sauce or mixing up your favourite cocktail. Or, reasonably, the favourite cocktail of your artistic present’s recipient. 

Value at time of publish: $7.

Critical Eats / Vicky Wasik


White Elephant Items Underneath $25

Waffles for One

Amazon Dash Mini Waffle Maker

Amazon


Positive, this little waffle maker might not produce the crispiest, fluffiest waffles you’ve ever drenched in maple syrup, but when there’s ever been a white elephant present to make everybody go, “Oh, isn’t that enjoyable!” that is it.

Value at time of publish: $17.

The Greatest-Sized Baking Sheet

Amazon Nordic Ware Naturals Baker's Half Sheet

Amazon


Truthfully, that is such an amazing present concept that I’m now typing with one hand so I can pat myself on the again with the opposite. Not solely is a half-sheet extra sensible for day-to-day kitchen duties than cumbersome full sheets, however that is additionally a double-pack. Two baking sheets! Folks love multiples of helpful issues! What abundance! 

Value at time of publish: $22.

Critical Eats / Irvin Lin


My Private Favourite Factor to Present

Maldon 3.1 lb Sea Salt Flakes

Amazon


OK, I do know I used to be simply raving about baking sheets, however this bucket of Maldon salt is legitimately my favourite factor to provide as a present. It’s extreme however genuinely helpful; enjoyable however at all times applicable. In case your white elephant present alternate is the model the place individuals are allowed to steal an open present when it’s their flip, be careful, as a result of that is going to be the most well liked commodity. 

Value at time of publish: $25.

One thing Stretchy (and Reusable)

GIR Reusable Stretch Lids, 6-Piece

Amazon


Single-use plastic is out, reusable meals storage options are very a lot in. These stretchy lids work nicely to cowl bowls of varied sizes, so that you (or your colleague) can cease reaching for plastic wrap or fumbling by means of your (or your colleague’s) Tupperware drawer to discover a matching lid. 

Value at time of publish: $25.

Critical Eats / Grace Kelly


One thing Heavy

Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron

Amazon


Because the starting of time—or no less than since folks began wrapping objects earlier than giving them to another person—it has been a common reality that the heavier the bundle, the extra engaging the contents. Drop one in every of our favourite cast iron skillets at your subsequent white elephant present alternate (perhaps not actually) and watch everybody ooh and ahh. 

Value at time of publish: $25.

A Good Oil

La Tourangelle Toasted Pumpkin Seed Oil

La Tourangelle 


Fancy ending oils make an amazing present. They’re a kind of nice-to-haves folks don’t typically take into consideration shopping for for themselves—like this toasted pumpkin seed oil. It’s enjoyable, it’s completely different, and it’s scrumptious! 

Value at time of publish: $19.

A Helpful Ebook

I Dream of Dinner (So You Don't Have To): Low-Effort, High-Reward Recipes

Amazon


Cookbooks make an amazing present, and whenever you’re undecided who’s in the end going to take it house, choosing a wide-interest learn like Ali Slagle’s beautiful I Dream of Dinner is a wonderful alternative. These colourful pages will information your giftee to a scrumptious meal any evening of the week.

Value at time of publish: $19.

Preserve it Cool (Or Scorching)

MiiR Vacuum Insulated Tumbler

Amazon


This sturdy tumbler works actually, very well to maintain drinks at their supposed temperature for a very long time. It additionally is available in a number of completely different colours, has a cupholder-friendly form, and clocks in at an inexpensive worth. Name it a crowd-pleaser!

Value at time of publish: $25.

Critical Eats / Taylor Murray


A Hydration Station

YETI Yonder 750 ml/25 oz Water Bottle with Yonder Chug Cap

Amazon


Snag this YETI within the 750mL measurement and single-handedly promote each reusable water bottles and staying hydrated. Folks love the “Yonder Chug” cap, which is enjoyable to say and permits for simple sips (or chugs) with out drips or annoying sucking sounds. 

Value at time of publish: $25.

White Elephant Items Underneath $50

A Tidy Towel Set

Coyuchi Waffle Dish Cloth

Wayfair


Good kitchen towels are one other a kind of issues folks can recognize however most likely don’t take into consideration till it’s proper in entrance of them. This set consists of six tremendous absorbent, gentle towels and appears elegant in any kitchen. They’re a few of our personal favorites.

Value at time of publish: $36.

A Useful Timer

Amazon OXO Good Grips Triple Timer

Amazon


When Riddley wrote about this timer, she properly understood that a few of you’d surprise what was flawed with utilizing your telephone as a kitchen timer. Your white elephant-gifting associates or household may need the identical thought, however whoever is fortunate sufficient to take this house will quickly perceive the glory of having the ability to set three timers directly and know precisely how way back the timer went off when you occurred to overlook its well mannered chirps.

Value at time of publish: $27.

Critical Eats / Grace Kelly


A Poppin’ Thermometer

Thermoworks ThermoPop Probe Thermometer

Thermoworks


We’ve lengthy cherished the ThermoPop timer for its reasonably priced accuracy, so it’s no shock we love Thermoworks’ newest model. This digital thermometer is quick, straightforward to make use of, and simply as dependable as your chance of sneaking out of the workplace early on a Friday afternoon. 

Value at time of publish: $35.

A Nifty Pocket book

Moleskine Passion Journals: Recipes

Amazon


Relying on whether or not the recipient enjoys taking notes and writing in notebooks, this may be a kind of love-it-or-hate-it items, however we predict Moleskine’s recipe journal is a intelligent method to accumulate favorites. It’s helpful for jotting measurements throughout baking tasks, recording household recipes, or simply reminding your self which cookbook (or website—ahem) that tasty factor you made final Tuesday got here from.

Value at time of publish: $34.

Daring and Chilly

OXO Compact Cold Brew Coffee Maker

Amazon


Everybody is aware of Jessica in graphic design sneaks out for an iced coffee most afternoons, however perhaps she’ll find yourself with this white elephant present and swap to creating it at her desk as an alternative. This little gadget is straightforward to make use of, straightforward to scrub, and delivers a flavorful brew with minimal fuss. HR-approved!

Value at time of publish: $28.

Critical Eats / Ashley Rodriguez


The Famed Lame

Goose Lame

Wire Monkey


Breadbakers within the know love Wiremonkey’s elegant, ergonomic lames for scoring dough, so when you occur to be exchanging items this 12 months with any sourdough fanatics, you’re certain to earn bonus factors for rolling up with one in every of these. 

Value at time of publish: $45.

A Sensible Salt Storage Resolution

Zero-japan-bee-house-salt-box

Amazon


Unusually named however splendidly helpful, a salt pig is supposed to maintain salt at hand. Attain in for a pinch whereas cooking or end a dish with a sprinkle of Maldon (see the aforementioned bucket) whereas this ceramic “pig” retains it contained and guarded. When you get previous the “What’s it?” questions, this present is bound to impress.

Value at time of publish: $28.

Critical Eats / Grace Kelly


A Secure House 

Knife-dock-in-drawer-knife-storage

Amazon


Whereas turning as much as the workplace with an enormous chef’s knife could also be questionable, certainly there’s no hurt in gifting somebody a secure method to retailer their knives at house? We’re big fans of this intelligent keeper, which organizes knives whereas defending their blades (and your fingers). 

Value at time of publish: $35.

A Lunch Field

Amazon Hydro Flask Lunch Bag

Amazon


Truthfully, what’s higher for a white elephant present alternate on the workplace than a lunchbox?! Particularly a really nice one, like this one from Hydro Flask that’s each spacious and has insulative properties that truly work to maintain meals chilly for hours. So cool!

Value at time of publish: $50.

Critical Eats / Taylor Murray


FAQs

What’s white elephant present?

White elephant present exchanges are supposed to be enjoyable and informal, so don’t overthink it! Think about the viewers—i.e. is that this a present alternate on the workplace? Amongst associates? Prolonged household?—and go from there to find out what to purchase. Should you’re undecided how a lot to spend, ask the organizer what the goal worth level is and use that as your guideline. 

What’s the perfect low cost white elephant present? 

“Greatest” is subjective, so, once more, go along with your intestine! We like a present that’s enjoyable however sensible, so when you’re on a good finances, contemplate one thing just like the OXO Mini Angled Measuring Cup. It’s lower than $10, it’s versatile, and it’s memorable!

Why We are the Specialists

  • Summer Rylander is a contract author who’s been contributing to Critical Eats for nearly two years.
  • Her work has additionally appeared in Meals & Wine, Journey + Leisure, and extra.

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