Thrift Town is an AMAZING Source for White Elephant Gifts

Posted on by Ashley      2 Comments
photo of a ventriloquist doll

What says White Elephant Gift more than a ventriloquist’s doll from Thrift Town? Right?!

A Brief, but Very Interesting History… 

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A White Elephant Gift Exchange, Yankee Swap or Dirty Santa is a party game where amusing, impractical gifts are exchanged during festivities. Usually, the goal of a white elephant gift exchange is to entertain party-goers rather than to gain a genuinely valuable or highly sought-after item.

The term white elephant refers to an extravagant, but impractical, gift that cannot be easily disposed. The phrase is said to come from the historic practice of the King of Siam (now Thailand) giving rare albino elephants to courtiers who had displeased him, so that they might be ruined by the animals’ upkeep costs.


General Rules of a White Elephant Gift Exchange …

  • Each participant supplies one wrapped gift, usually of similar value- set a price range to guide participants. Or, set a gift type, like handmade items, thrifted items, books, baked goods, kitchen gadgets, or gag/silly gifts. etc. The categories are endless!
  • Place wrapped gifts in a central location. Decide if you’d like to know the giver ahead of time so gifts are tagged “from” or if gifts will be anonymous- you can spill the beans later on the giver. Side note, the better the gift is wrapped, the more likely it will be opened early. A pretty package is just too tempting when choosing to open a wrapped gift.
  • Participants determine in which order they will take turns. Selecting numbers from a hat (have the exact number of guests available) and starting with #1 seems to be a good method.
  • The designated first person opens a wrapped gift, and the turn ends.
  • On following turns, each person has the choice, on their turn, to either unwrap a new present from the pile or to “steal” another’s gift.
  • When a person’s gift is stolen, that person can either choose another wrapped gift to open or can steal from another player’s already opened gift.
  •  To avoid never-ending circles, each gift can only be stolen once per turn. Sometimes the group sets a limit on the overall number of times a gift can be stolen- For instance, a gift is retired after it has been stolen three times.
  • The game is over when everyone has a present. Generally, it is recommended to have at least six participants for the gift exchange.

Thrift Town is a great resource for your White Elephant Gift Exchange gifts. We have lots of outrageous items that are sure to make people laugh. We also have a lot of nice items at a great value. If a price limit is set for your gift exchange,  you can give a much more valuable gift than buying something new. Below are some items we thought were White Elephant Gift worthy! Happy Holidays from all of us at Thrift Town!

Some Fun/ny Gifts!

photo of KFC bobble head toy

Winner, winner chicken dinner. Be the talk of the gift exchange with this hysterical Colonel Sanders Wacky Wobbler.

photo of rocks with google eyes

No words for this one.

photo of a toy doll in a glass jar

This whatchacallit is a little creepy and is likely to not be stolen. However, it will make people laugh, or say eeew!

photo of a glass cow sculpture

Holy Cow! This large glass cow sculpture might be just the balance of funny and nice. It may be perfect for that special somebody with a cow collection.

photo of wendy with a huge white piggy bank

This pretty piggy bank is so fun and a keeper!

Something Nice! Great Bang for Your Buck.

photo of a vintage feragamo pen

Hello, vintage Ferragamo wallet! This is sure to be the most stolen item at the party.

photo of a thrifted vase with suculent

Make something yourself! This pretty white vessel was thrifted and upcycled. A trendy succulent was planted inside. See past blog on how to do this.

photo of a stack of books with red ribbon

Why give one book, when you can give a stack-o-books?!

photo of cookies on a pretty plate

These cookies say take me home! Bake some holiday cookies and place them on a thrifted plate.

photo of pretty plates

These pretty plates would make great holiday cookie platters or would be fun to gift as a set.

Sometimes you find the best stuff at Thrift Town, like these hand painted tea towels. These one-of-a-kind items make special gifts for any occasion.

photo of brass elephant sculptures

These beautiful brass elephants would make a very literal White Elephant gift indeed.

Brilliant! Make up a theme basket with loads of goodies.

photo image of gift card

Give an experience by giving a really cool gift card! Thrift Town gift cards are available at any Thrift Town store or at



I am the art director and marketing manager for Thrift Town. I have worked for Thrift Town for just about twenty years and I'm passionate about thrift, decorating, entertaining, crafting and, of course Thrift Town.


  1. Beautiful things that I would Love to have