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Fun Stuff, Holidays, Shopping, TBS Tips and Tricks — December 1, 2009 2:23 pm

The Broke Socialite’s Guide To White Elephant Party Gifts

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If I had a dollar for every White Elephant holiday soiree that I’ve been invited to this season, I could knock $10 off those fab D & G pumps below. Once you get to the party, it’s always, always great but the drama which leads up to the actual swap can be ulcer-inducing. TBS to the rescue!


On average, I see that the price limit is $20 or so; this isn’t so bad. I’ve gotten a couple of invitations with $50 gift limits…ummm, yeah, no. I had to decline (gracefully, no doubt). After all (and let’s say it together again), I AM The BROKE Socialite.

What To Bring:

So, assuming the target limit is $20, I thought I’d offer some gift ideas (ohhh, you’re very welcome!):

*If there are lots of cube dwellers involved in the swap, try the Cubicaller(tm), a cubicle doorbell. What a cool idea, huh?

*Nesters in the fold? Who doesn’t love natural kitchen cleaners? For $11.25, Caldrea offers a sweet set with dish soap, countertop cleanser and two sponges. Doesn’t the ginger pomelo sound lovely?

*If the audience is comprised of women, who doesn’t love a nice wrap? Target offers a nicely weighted wraps. Opt for a neutral color.

*Desk Calendar = A Year’s Worth of Inspiration.

*Amongst friends who like takeout? Isn’t this the coolest? This takes organization to a whole new plane.


-Don’t bring anything that you wouldn’t want to receive. Simple.

-Understand the notion of gift limit. If you find a great contribution that’s $15, you’ve saved $5. Don’t be pressured to spend exactly $20.

-Be creative. Candles and wine are always nice but can be overdone in this environment. And certainly (though at a point, it may seem tempting) do not come bearing a $20 gift certificate. That’s just…well…lazy.

-Don’t forget to wrap the gift.

-Discreetly place your contribution on the “gift table”.

-Eliminate the pressure by picking up items throughout the year and it will be breeze.

-Have fun!

Have you participated in any White Elephant parties this holiday season? Any gift ideas to share?
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