The best worst white elephant gifts

An example of a fantastic gift to bring to a white elephant exchange.


An example of a fantastic gift to bring to a white elephant exchange.

’Tis the season for beautiful snow (everywhere but Oregon), yummy sweets that only come once a year, and disappointing white elephant gifts. No matter what happens, there’s always someone that leaves the gift exchange with the unfortunate, unusable, and utterly awkward souvenir. Unfortunately, it feels like you’re always this person.

One of the most frustrating aspects of white elephant gift exchanges is the stealing. There’s always one desirable gift that the entire party fights for. It always seems to end up with you before being stolen by a player with a more advantageous number. You are then promptly traded an action figure of Captain Stretchy for your box of chocolate chip cookies.

This year, let us save our friends from their fate of disappointment and embarrassment. Let everyone leave with a worthless gift. Here are some of the best white elephant gift ideas presented by your own Beaverton High School students.

Training wheels: All families have an old pair of these sitting around. Regift them so they can sit around someone else’s garage.

Tacky boxers: Charming and classic. Buy some lottery tickets and pre-scratch them. You can either give them the two pennies they earned or keep it for yourself and give them the tickets. Best of both worlds.

String instrument with one string: This will help your giftee ring in the new year with the beautiful sounds of a unique string instrument, to say the least.

Motion-detecting singing snowman for the bathroom: He sees you when you’re sleeping. He knows when you’re awake. And now he sees you pee.

Random science gadgets: Think kinetic sand or a potato-powered clock. Nothing is cooler than a bunch of science stuff to help them feel smart. And everyone loves potatoes.

Horse mask: When deciding whether or not to purchase this gift, just ask yourself, “Who wouldn’t want a horse mask?”

Jazzercise videos on VHS: Ask your mom. You’ll never know what she finds in the basement from her 20s.

Sequels to awful movies (e.g. Sharknado): These cinematic works of art will provide them 1-3 hours of fun-filled laughter.

An autographed picture of yourself: You’re doing them a favor. When you become famous, it’ll be worth a lot more.

A water bottle labeled “Melted Snowman”: When in Oregon, this is as close as you get to a white Christmas. So why not give someone else some hope? Or at least help them stay hydrated.

Toolkit for making important decisions: a rock, paper, and a pair of scissors. At least one person will try to smash the scissors with the rock.

Rotisserie chicken: Because everyone needs a friend.

Chuck E. Cheese tokens: Useless solely because everyone realized that Chuck E. Cheese sucks.

Bill Clinton action figure: Extra points if he says, “Hide, Monica!” 

To those who have not learned their lesson, to those who have not experienced this disappointment, to those who bring nice white elephant gifts when everyone else brings useless ones, to those I say: beware. The reality of white elephant gift exchanges is coming for you.