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Clever gifts for white elephant parties

Anitra Elmore

Whether you call them Secret Santas, White Elephants or Grab Bags, holiday gift exchanges can easily turn into holiday stress. Thankfully, finding a great Secret Santa gift doesn’t have to be a difficult process. Take your cues from this list, and you’ll find a unique Secret Santa gift that will make you the star of the holiday gift exchange.

1. Cool mugs

World Market
Image: World Market

They don’t have to be coffee drinkers to enjoy an awesome mug. I like the “Carpe Caffeine” mug set from World Market. (World Market, $12 for set of two)

2. Clever coasters

Image: Amazon

Everybody drinks something and everybody has tables to protect. Try the Scrabble-style tile coasters pictured above. (Amazon, $25)

3. Retro chalkboard gifts

Image: Amazon

From notebooks to frames to actual chalkboards, there are all sorts of inexpensive retro chalkboard gifts to make your recipient smile. I have a few mugs that I love to doodle on with chalk. The “I Am Not a Paper Cup” ceramic chalkboard mug is a fun choice as well. (Amazon, $12) 

4. Tech accessories

Image: Amazon

Your co-workers don’t have to be techies to enjoy great tech gear. Anyone with a smartphone will enjoy a portable battery. Kits like the Polaroid four-piece tablet accessory kit with a case, stylus, earbuds and microfiber cloth is something anyone with a screen can appreciate. (Amazon, $13)

5. Selfie sticks

Selfie Stick
Image: Brookstone

While I’m no fan of selfie sticks, I will admit they come in handy from time to time. If you’re going to gift one, go big with the tripod selfie stick with a remote shutter. (Brookstone, $25)

6. Super-socks

Image: Target

Who can say no to a clever pair of socks? If you know your recipient is a superhero lover, opt for a pair like these Batman caped socks. (Target, $10) 

7. Portable jams

Image: WalMart

Portable Bluetooth speakers are all the rage with kids these days, and they’re not expensive. Opt for the iKanoo portable Bluetooth speaker. (Walmart, $16) 

8. Pocket journals or notebooks

Image: Uncommon Goods

Everyone has to write things down every now and then. The Pocket Record Journal from Uncommon Goods is a super-cool way to do it. (Uncommon Goods, $7) 

That should be enough to get you started. If nothing else, you at least have a list of great stores where you’ll find gifts no one else will be bringing. If all else fails, gift cards still work — just make sure you wrap them up in something pretty. Now, grab that clever gift and walk into that Secret Santa exchange with your head held high. Pop back to let me know what you decided on and just how excited your giftee was when they opened it.

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