24 Stylish Items For a Virtual White Elephant Party
24 Stylish Items For a Virtual White Elephant Party
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24 Stylish Items For a Virtual White Elephant Party

I hate to admit this, but I’m 100% a last-minute shopper for gifts. Sprinkle in a toddler who won’t stop running around and my semi-new WFH schedule, and I was seriously considering opting for gift cards this year. I’m fully aware that I’m in need of some holiday cheer, which is why I turned to a few general style experts (aka my friends at Who What Wear and a stylist from Neiman Marcus) to change my mood (and mind on the gift cards).

Bobby Schuessler and Caitie Schlisserman, two editors here at Who What Wear, are some of the most thoughtful people I know, but more importantly for the sake of a gift guide, they’re very stylish. (I secretly hope I’m on their lists this year.) I also was able to get in touch with Carolyn Thompson, a stylist for luxury goods at the Neiman Marcus in Chicago (!!), to ask about how to give a gift thoughtfully. This year more than ever, we all need a little surge of happiness, and although we may not be able to give in person, we can still make those on our lists feel special. Whether you have a virtual white elephant party on the books or you’re a newly married couple and need something special for your S.O., trust me when I tell you these three style experts helped me see the light. A tip on hosting a virtual white elephant party this year? Host it via video chat and “unwrap” gifts by revealing a photo or link. Gifts can be purchased online and sent directly to the lucky recipient. Sounds fun, right? Keep reading to see how my peers helped change my mind from gift cards to tangible gifts.

 

Who’s number one on your wish list this year, and what do you have in mind for them?

My husband is number one on my list. We got married this year, so this will be our first holiday season celebrating as a married couple. He’s getting more and more into style, so I want to get him a few stellar accessories to complete his winter wardrobe.

Any tips on how to pick the best white elephant gift?

I always like to go for a fun and playful item for white elephant gift exchanges. Basically, if I think an item is funny and amusing, I consider it a go because I think others will enjoy it as well.

What’s the best thing about gifting to those around you, especially this year?

I always enjoy uncovering that perfect gift and making someone feel special. This was a wild year, so it’s especially important to celebrate love and the joy of spending time together.

How do you typically find a special gift for those on your list?

I try to listen intently over the months leading up to the holiday season to pick up on any hints of items those on my list are coveting. I also like to gift items people would never buy for themselves. I think that makes it more special.

 

Who’s number one on your wish list this year, and what do you have in mind for them?

Number one on my wish list for the holidays this year is my number one cheerleader, my Mom. The luxurious Jo Malone perfume is the ideal gift for making someone feel special, and I want to give a little something that will make her feel like her best self every time she spritzes it on.

Any tips on how to pick the best white elephant gift?

I recommend picking the type of gift that someone wouldn’t necessarily indulge in on their own but would love to try. Something fun, exciting, and unexpected.

What’s the best thing about gifting to those around you, especially this year?

Creating surprising and magical moments for my loved ones with the gifts I’ve selected for them is still one of my favorite parts of the holidays, even if many of us are celebrating differently this year.

How do you typically find a special gift for those on your list?

I try to pay attention throughout the year to what excites the people on my gift list and what types of gifts fit with their lifestyles. For instance, if my friend is always on the go and in need of some self-care, I might put together a personalized collection of my favorite products. Knesko Skin makes a fantastic travel set that includes a face mask, under-eye masks, and a facial roller in a nice cosmetic case. That paired with a plush robe and slippers makes a luxurious gift!

 

Who’s number one on your wish list this year, and what do you have in mind for them?

My sister! She’s the most laid-back person ever, which can make gift shopping a bit challenging because she’d be happy with anything. She also never asks for specific things (unlike me, who has a full list ready to go), so I always have fun getting her things she wouldn’t get herself or didn't even know she wanted or needed. This year, I’m thinking of getting her a bunch of little things that will allow her to indulge in some much-needed TLC, like an eye mask to help her sleep better, or some bath products.

Any tips on how to pick the best white elephant gift?

I’ve always felt that a white elephant gift exchange is more about the memories created than the actual gifts. With that being said, what you gift should be fun, useful, and if you can find something that’ll make people laugh, you get bonus points! I also think it’s important to know your audience. What you’d get for a work white elephant gift exchange is very different from what you’d get for one with your close friends. And as a general rule of thumb, avoid any alcohol-themed gifts.

What’s the best thing about gifting to those around you, especially this year?

It doesn’t matter how big or small the gift is. I just think it’s nice to show those around you that you’re thinking about them and here for them during this crazy time. Everyone just needs to smile a little more and feel like they’re supported because this year has been unlike any other!

How do you typically find a special gift for those on your list?

I actually have a note on my phone for gift ideas for my friends and family. Whenever they bring something up in conversation that sparks a gift idea I type it on my note so I have a full list of ideas by the time their birthday or the holidays rolls around. It’s always nice when they say, “I can’t believe you remembered me saying that!”

To find more stylish gifts, take this gifting quiz on NeimanMarcus.com.

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