Here are a few ideas for coming up with a last-minute white elephant gift for holiday parties. I hope you find one that suits your special event. The key principle to follow with these gifts is the concept of “non sequitur.” In other words, anything that is out of context with the idea of the typical tasteful, conservative Holiday gift will be appreciated. Happy shopping, and here’s to some wild Holiday parties!
Perhaps the most celebrated White Elephant gift I ever gave was a leather dog collar (for human beings) with small metal studs in it. I live near Haight Street in San Francisco, and Haight Street has numerous stores with these kinds of “accessories.” If you want to get a reaction, try giving a gift like this. I think you will be shocked at the response – I was. I actually turned red, because I hadn’t anticipated the uproar. And guess who ended up with the collar? My boss, of course… You can find these kinds of items anywhere, by the way. I don’t know if your town or city has a “Blue Light district,” but let’s face it, most of them do (and it’s usually in a surprisingly accessible area). Try to shop in a safe one, though, or if it isn’t safe, bring some really big guys with you when you do your shopping.
Along these same lines, if you have any store near you that sells hosiery, or a drugstore, you can always find a racy pair of stockings (like fishnet) for not much money. Those will make a very memorable White Elephant gift at your Holiday Party. And you can always run out and buy a pair at the last minute. In fact, these kinds of hosiery are usually on sale because – let’s face it – they’re harder for stores to unload than the usual, boring “suntan toeless” variety.
Okay – it’s an hour before the party, and you have nothing. You’re panicking, palms sweating – hey, wait! Remember the aforementioned drugstore? You’re saved. Just buy a bunch of condoms and wrap them up in a package with a nice ribbon. All set! Your friends or coworkers will be talking about this one for years … a perfect White Elephant Holiday gift!
And finally, here are some “nice” ideas that you can even run by your mother. (If I offended you with the three previous suggestions, I apologize – sort of.)
1. How’s this: take all of those expired grocery coupons you have, throw them in a little box, and wrap them up.
2. Got any leftover Halloween candy? Voila — wrap it up and you’re done!
3. If you have any leftover party favors from your kids’ parties, now is the time to get those suckers out of the house. Wrap them up — someone out there is going to love them – guaranteed!
4. If you have a music store nearby – you know, one that sells CDs of popular artists – go right to their bargain rack to snag bargains on Barry Manilow, The Osmonds, Debbie Gibson, Britney Spears, Best of the ’70s, etc. You get the idea. If you’re not feeling the Holiday White Elephant gift spirit, you can always be charitable and grab some classical music. That’s always easy to regift — trust me.
Have a wonderful Holiday Season, and all the best to you and yours!