Useful White Elephant Gift Ideas

White elephant gifts are typically not the types of gifts you actually want to receive. They’re often bizarre, useless, inappropriate, and anything but serious or practical. While these oddities may be entertaining during the gift exchange, eventually they will wind up in the trash, or worse, passed around in an endless cycle of re-gifting forevermore. Why not show up with a useful white elephant gift instead? At least one person at the party will end up with something they aren’t embarrassed to keep.

Pens have a way of disappearing, and since they don't have legs, we have to assume people are stealing them. These serial pen thieves are lurking in every office and workplace, and everyone is a suspect. We've all been a victim, and we all just accept the fact that when someone asks if they can borrow a pen, that pen may be gone forever. There is a simple solution - use pens that make people deeply uncomfortable, preferably with messages so unsettling that they may not ask you again. And since such a pen would truly be yours to keep, it ought to be a good one. These professional metal barrel pens not only make a memorable first impression, but are built to last and filled high with ink - unlike some discount novelty pens out there. A great gift for your coworkers and friends, and even better to keep for yourself.

Happy couple decides to go on vacation, finds quaint lodging belonging to complete stranger for a price that seems too good to be true. In the movies, they get hacked to pieces. So here’s one way you can be happy that real life never ends up like the movies. In real life, they just have a great time and never stay in a hotel again.

Corporate life is not about achievement or progress, it’s about survival. Everyone in the office tribe knows this but few will admit it. With a few strokes of the pen, an artist has rendered that common feeling of treading water with feigned composure that all cubicle slaves feel as soon as they enter the dungeon. Remind them that you’re all in on the game with this humorous and poignant paper pad.

Like a big brother (or sister) helping them through life one handy trick at a time, the Life Hacks desk calendar is here to let them in on all the little secrets that they wish someone would have told them years ago. Well, maybe not all of them, like where to find that pirate treasure they’ve been looking for since they were 8 years old. But really, it’s time they gave up on that and moved on anyway. This is where the real intel is.

DIY

Lottery tickets are a great gift you can pick up at your local convenience store, that come with a serious upside. If they win big you may get a piece of the action. Lottery tickets are often things that people won't buy for themselves, believing that they never win anything, but who could help but get their hopes up when you present them with a dozen chances to strike it rich and travel the world in a super yacht?

Meetings are inherently stupid. A meeting is where good ideas, ingenuity, and morale go to die. So it would be extra stupid for anyone to put any more effort than necessary into contributing or looking smart. Here is a guidebook for the enlightened.

Effective communication is vital for a company’s culture to thrive in the long run. But there are so many obstacles that can get in the way of this on a day-to-day basis. Specifically, not everyone has the emotional intelligence not to drive everyone around them up the wall. One option is to train all of your employees in the art of interpersonal communication, but that’s expensive and really, some of them still won’t get it. On the other hand, everyone understands pictures of dog faces.

For your eternally optimistic (or deluded) co-worker, who still believes they might one day find love and have need to cook spaghetti for more than one person, this handy measuring tool is a great gift idea. And if they never find their soulmate, at least they’ll be able to comfort eat in horse-like proportions.

Sometimes it really isn’t our fault. And when those times come, you don’t want to be caught off guard, with no alibi and no excuse. Unfortunately, not everyone is good at thinking on their feet, so they end up taking the brunt of the blame when a more clever person would be able to weasel out of the same tight space with a minimum of effort. If you have a coworker who tends to go off the rails when no one’s looking, you might as well equip them with the excuse you know they’re going to need over and over again.

The long and venerated traditions of alcoholism and literary indulgence share more in common than most people realize. The best experiences in literature and booze both involve escaping reality and then eventually coming back with the sense that you’ve experienced a brush with deeper truths that you can’t explain to another human any better than you can explain it to your cat. Of course this book can’t promise anything like that. But it’s fun to read and adds another layer to getting drunk.

If you enjoy the world-renowned photography of National Geographic, you’re going to love this calendar. Walmart may be a historic case-study in ruthless bottom-line economics, but it’s most remarkable as the central gathering place for the rarest specimens of rural America. Darwin may have reconsidered his fancy theory if he had one of these handy.

For the coffee and donut addicts of the world, it’s hard to believe that anything could improve this heavenly pairing. But that will make it all the more mind-blowing when they realize you have indeed given them something that will take the experience to another level. This truly ingenious piece of kitchen/office-ware provides the perfect platform on which the two elements meet to create the true breakfast of champions. Because if you’re going to do it, you might as well do it right.

You don’t need to be an expert in the Theory of Relativity to realize that any of your coworkers would love this genius desk accessory.Also, perfect if you can never find a paperclip when you need one – now you can just head over to Bob’s desk, and pretend you’re adjusting Albie’s hairstyle for him!

Since the dawn of time, chaos, terror, and death have periodically rained down from the sky. Only the lucky were spared. But now we have weather radios, so you can go inside instead of dying. This one also conveniently charges your phone so the next hurricane doesn’t have to interrupt your game of angry birds.

Written by James Bond himself (or, you know, an actual real-life spy), this eye-opening book is packed full of genuine, practical tips for self-protection, and is a great present for any colleague or friend. Guaranteed to come in handy during a kidnapping, mugging or zombie apocalypse, you might just save their life one day.

In a world where deadlines are king, why not focus on a finish line that’s really worth celebrating? Retirement! They'll keep their eye on the prize with this optimistic ticker that will drive them to accomplish bigger and better things at work. Imagine the sweet silence of no alarm in the wee hours of the morning. Retirement will feel like it’s always right around the corner.

If they can’t inherit any of his talent, they might as well adopt some of his imagery. All office workers toil in words in one way or another, and those that take their words a little too seriously will probably get a major kick out of this. As will anyone who likes the classic look of an antique typewriter, or likes to pepper their speech with 1930s jazz-isms. Gives a timeless and classy look to the most sterile modern office.

What better way to say that the pen is mightier than the sword? This knight pen holder will be their most loyal servant in all of their clerical crusades. Whether they’re battling with the bookkeeping or feuding with their filing, help will be at hand. And yes, their grocery lists deserve the royal treatment too.

Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, or maybe just gives you PTSD. Either way, it’s better than dead. Here’s a book that can help the owner avoid the dead category for a little longer, even when things get hairy. Rough world we live in.

You might call your toes “little piggies,” but the truth is that feet are the real workhorses of the human body. And we tend to be pretty merciless toward them for long stretches of the day, so it’s a nice gesture to show them some love when it’s all over with. And healthy feet make a happy human, so you could try giving a foot hammock to the most unlikeable person you know and see if it brightens them up a bit. Or better yet, give it to someone you like. Trust us, they’ll appreciate it.

These are the kinds of questions you would only ask Google. The stuff you're genuinely curious about, but that basic dignity prevents you from asking someone face to face. The most traditional approach to this problem is to drink Martinis until you can no longer feel any shame, and corner a doctor at a dinner party. Luckily there is a more dignified way. This book is the equivalent of cornering hundreds of doctors and it answers all the hard questions "a friend of yours" may be wondering about like "Can I lose my contact lens inside my head forever?", and "Does it really take 7 years to digest chewing gum?", or "Why is poo brown?".