2015 Gift Guide: White Elephant Gifts That Don’t Suck

Please, think outside the nearest drugstore.

White Elephant Gifts That Don't Suck - Sarrandipity's 2015 Gift Guide

To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of the whole “white elephant” thing—usually because the whole buying-gifts-for-unknown-recipients means that everyone receives cheap, random tchotchkes that they’ll never use (but will collect dust and add to stressful household clutter). That said, if you’re part of a group who commits to doing the blind gifting tradition right, it can work. In my opinion, that means setting a budget of at least $15—but ideally $25—and making the effort to find cool, usable gifts rather than frantically shopping the “As Seen On TV” aisle at CVS. Here, my second-annual list of suggestions (I still stand-by the first annual round-up, too) for some quality white elephant gifts you can bring to your next exchange. (Just use your judgment: If the exchange is with your officemates and half of them are dudes, probably don’t go with the jewelry dish.)
White Elephant Gifts That Don't Suck - Sarrandipity's 2015 Gift Guide

1. Telestrations
This game is AMAZING. I recently bought it and tested it out with my (sometimes difficult-to-impress) friends at our last game night, and it was a hit. I’m obsessed.

2. Wine Glass Writers
I bought these because I have stemless wine glasses and thus can’t use the typical wine charms, but I love them more than the charms anyway. The metallic colors are pretty, they’re fun and easy to use, and three pens suffice for any number of people.

3. Umbrella Ring Dish
White Elephant Gifts That Don't Suck - Umbrella Ring Dish - Sarrandipity 2015 Gift Guide
These little trinket dishes are endlessly handy for anyone who wears jewelry (PSA: it holds more than just rings).

4. Ponytail Holders (Set of 15)
A slightly prettier, snag-free alternative to those ribbon hair ties that are everywhere (and that sadly, lose their elasticity too easily for my thick hair…).

5. Silicone Popsicle Molds
I know, I know, the listing says “For Kids.” But trust me, these things are awesome. Fill them with some mashed up fresh fruit (I highly recommend watermelon), or any other food and/or drink you want to experiment with, pop ’em in the freezer, and get some tasty treats out of it.

6. BeeSpa Hand & Foot Cream
This stuff is a dream, especially for those of us who live in cold-weather climates and have to deal with dry air and dryer skin for multiple months out of the year.

7. Country or State Slate Cheese Board

White Elephant Gifts That Don't Suck - State or Country Cheese Board - Sarrandipity 2015 Gift Guide

Go state-specific if the whole group is big on local pride, or keep it general with the USA version.

8. ‘Maison Holiday’ Petite Candle Set
Voluspa candles are my absolute favorite. They smell so good; they’re pretty much impossible to resist.

9. Wood Appetizer & Dip Tray (With Glass Bowl)
Who doesn’t need a good chip-(or appetizer)-and-dip vessel? Even non-entertainers can use it to class-up their post-work snack times.

10. 90s TV Trivia Game
May as well buy one for yourself while you’re at it because, come on.

Related Posts:
2014 Gift Guide: Unique White Elephant Gifts That Don’t Suck 
Giveaway: A Stylish Soiree Gift Basket From Windy City Bloggers
Exploring Amazon Handmade: 9 Jewelry Finds to Snag Now

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5 Reasons to See A Gentleman’s Guide To Love and Murder

Even if you’re not a “theater person.”

5 Reasons to See A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder - Sarrandipity

Fun Fact: My friends and I have season tickets for Broadway in Chicago. Twice a year, we pay something like $180 per person for six shows—yes, that’s $180 total, not per show. Sure, the seats are high up in the balcony, but it doesn’t really matter: We still get the full experience and have fun taking in a little culture every month or so. Some shows miss the mark, some are decently entertaining, and some are amazing. The show we saw last week, A Gentleman’s Guide To Love And Murder, falls into the latter category. It’s rare that everyone in our group likes a musical—we all have different tastes—but this one got rave reviews from all of us. If you live in Chicago, you have a few days left to catch it (It’s in town until October 11th; get tickets here.), and I strongly encourage you to make it happen. If you don’t live in Chicago, you can see it in New York or in one of its many other tour stops. Even if you’re not a “theater person.” Here’s why:

1. It’s Twisted, In a Hilarious Way
If you’re a fan of any sort of “twisted” humor, I feel confident saying you’ll laugh out loud at least three times during this show (and that’s a conservative estimate). The basic premise is this commoner, Monty, loses his mom and then learns he’s actually not a commoner at all and is in fact ninth in line to become an Earl and inherit a huge fortune. So, he takes it upon himself to eliminate the eight people ahead of him. But his methods are so ridiculous (as is the whole plot, basically) that they’re hilarious—as is the dialogue, musical numbers, and, well, everything.

2. One Guy Plays 8 Characters, and He Pulls It Off. 
I’ll admit, it took me a few scenes before I figured out that the same guy (in the case of the touring company, John Rapson) was playing every single member of the D’Ysquith family (aka all of the rich peopled getting killed off because they’re ahead of Monty in the succession), including women. It’s nothing short of amazing the way he transforms himself into eight different people, all with a unique look, voice, and personality. He is just. so. good.

5 Reasons to See A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder - Sarrandipity

3. It Won 4 Tony Awards…
…including Best Musical. So, if you want to be (or at least seem) cultured and be able to take part in a conversation about something culturally relevant that’s not on TV or represented at the VMAs, this is a good way to do it.

4. There’s A Love Triangle. 
And everyone loves those, right?

5 Reasons to See A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder - Sarrandipity

5. The Musical Numbers Are Gold. 
A Broadway musical can be hilarious and compelling, but if the music isn’t good, it doesn’t really matter. Fortunately for this show, the musical numbers are amazing. It’s not just the songs themselves (with titles like “Poison in my Pocket” and “I Don’t Understand the Poor”), but the actual performances of the songs that are beyond impressive, funny, and entertaining. (The pipes on these actors; I’m tellin ya: Amazing.)


Still need more info? Watch this handy and hilarious four-minute low-down on the show.

Photos via Facebook.com/AGentlemansGuideBroadway

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