There’s no arguing that 2020 is the most throwaway year in recent memory. The global pandemic has canceled pretty much all of fun activities—watching movies at the theater, going to festivals, screaming at birds in the park. And to top it all off, many of us won’t even be able to visit our families for the upcoming holidays. This year is absurd, so why not push the weirdness to extreme levels of what-the-fuckery with an epic exchange of white elephant gifts? We could all use a laugh!
Traditionally, a white elephant gift exchange is a party game. During each turn, a player has the opportunity to unwrap a hilariously impractical gift or steal an already opened gift from another player. Since a social gathering like this is a terrible idea during a pandemic, we’re simplifying the game to one solitary rule:
Not just something mildly funny. A profound head-scratcher you know will trigger an involuntary guffaw or confused phone call asking “WHY?” Remember, the goal of a white elephant gift is to share a good laugh over the pure ridiculousness of an item. To give you some ideas, we’ve compiled a list of artist-made designs we’re certain will get you the immediate reaction you seek. Buckle up and let’s get weird!
“Presents Opening Children” Tote Bag by Glitch Goods by Rob Sheridan
How nice. A wholesome illustration of a family unwrapping Christmas gifts by the—OH GOD IT’S HORRIFYING. This design unveils an alternate reality where presents are people and people are presents. Somehow, the holiday colors and warm atmosphere soften the gory details—like the severed feet in the background. This tote bag is a Trojan Horse for darkness.
“I Like to Watch” Shower Curtain by Dripface
A furry, red-eyed creature salivating through a gapped-tooth grin doesn’t need any help making skin crawl. Whoops. Allowing it to live on a shower curtain instantly elevates its creep factor to a level no one asked for. This bath accessory raises so many red flags, it might as well read “Bathroom Not in Service.” Does that make it the perfect white elephant gift?
“Do you” is very useful advice. Forget that it came from a talking cat who’s two whiskeys deep and leaning casually on the bar like a human. There’s nothing strange about living your own reality, even if it has melting clocks and exists in a picture within a picture within a picture. This framed fine art print has a lot going on, and it could be a fun distraction to look at in a home office!
“Hungry Eyes” Women’s T-Shirt by Laurence Jenkins
This white elephant gift reminds us of everything we love about the 1987 classic Dirty Dancing. The romantic story. The famous “lift” scene. The soundtrack featuring the ubiquitous single “Hungry Eyes.” Speaking of which, did you notice both Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey have mouths for eyes? If you shuttered at the sight, you aren’t the only one.
“Butt Magic!” Travel Mug by FoodStampDavis
Magicians are so mesmerizing that it seems like they can pull anything out of thin air—a handkerchief, a bouquet of flowers, a rubber chicken. Turns out there’s a very specific area they pull everything from. This travel mug reveals a secret about magicians that not even Breaking the Magician’s Code could expose. Poor rabbit.
“Man Up!” Duvet by Sir.Ruffikins.The.Third
Some say you have to cross the line to know where it is. This duvet pours gasoline on that line and lights it on fire after murdering your dreams with its chainsaw hands. But behind that ruthless exterior, there’s got to be a softie hiding in there. Actually, a blanket insert isn’t included.
“Poop Art” Bath Mat by mathiole
That’s right. We’re back to bathroom humor. Who could resist with a pun as clever as this one? You can really sense the desperation on that poor woman’s face. We’ve all been there. But nothing can match the feeling of sweet release—except for receiving an unexpected gift. Especially one that’s both stylish AND funny.
“I Married a Hotdog” Premium Face Mask by Popcornpunk
This premium face mask is an emphatic response to the age-old question “If you like it so much, why don’t you marry it?” Well Samantha, maybe we will. However, the particular hot dog in this design wouldn’t be our first choice. It doesn’t even have any relish, onions, or career aspirations that’ll impress the family. But you can’t always control who you love.
“That’s A…” Men’s T-Shirt by Demented
Some people spend an entire lifetime trying to accept who they are when they could’ve just looked in the mirror and said, “I’m a three-legged snake man who just wants to ride a wet pencil and stomp on eggplants.” Life would be a lot simpler if everyone followed Panda Cat’s advice to “Do You.” Callback.
If there’s anything you can learn from this list other than the fact that Threadless artists have the wildest imaginations, it’s that you can put your favorite designs on pretty much anything. Our print-on-demand process allows you to not only custom-tailor products for yourself, but also for your loved ones as you seek out the perfect holiday gifts. Cross everyone off your holiday shopping list, only at Threadless!