2022: The Year of White Elephant

By Sarah Yurch | July 6 2022 | NonfictionHumorHolidaysPromo Opportunity

With costs rising across sectors, we’re all a little extra price sensitive. And while there’s still plenty of summer left to enjoy, the holidays are coming faster than we might like to admit. So how can we prepare for the holiday season while staying mindful of increasing cost consciousness?

White Elephant gift exchanges. You’ve probably heard about White Elephant gifting opportunities for our books in previous years, but 2022 could be the biggest year yet. Hear me out:

In case you’re not familiar, White Elephant is a holiday gift exchange game where participants select, swap, and steal gifts from one another. The game aspect is at least as important as the gifts themselves, so gag gifts and novelty items abound. During Q4, we’ve seen books being purchased as White Elephant gifts sell up to 16 times what they do during Q1, and on TikTok, the hashtag #whiteelephant has over 130M views.

White Elephant exchanges only require each person in attendance to purchase a single gift, usually capped at around $20—perfect for staying within a tighter budget. We’re also seeing discretionary spending shift toward experiences, and since White Elephant is as much game as it is gift-giving, it’s aligned with consumer sentiment.

Plus, after the dip we observed in 2020 when most holiday gatherings were canceled, interest in White Elephant surged back in 2021 as families and friends celebrated together again. And now, with younger children eligible for vaccination, we can expect even more gatherings during 2022’s holiday season.

All of this points to 2022 as the year to convince friends and family to try a White Elephant gift exchange. PRH has a long list of trivia, novelty, humor, and activity books that already have a proven track record of selling as White Elephant Gifts.

See some examples below, or click through to the complete list:

  • On Edelweiss, click here
  • On the Backlist Vault, click here
Wreck This Journal (Black) Expanded Edition

How to Talk to Your Cat About Gun Safety
And Abstinence, Drugs, Satanism, and Other Dangers That Threaten Their Nine Lives
$12.00 US
Oct 04, 2016
US, Canada, Open Mkt

The Totally Awesome Book of Useless Information
$14.00 US
Jun 05, 2012
US, Canada, Open Mkt

A Card Game for Pun Lovers
$20.00 US
Jun 21, 2016
Clarkson Potter

Fifty Shades of Chicken
A Parody in a Cookbook
$19.99 US
Nov 13, 2012
Clarkson Potter