How to find cool elephant gifts
There are few animals out there so good at capturing the popular imagination as the elephant is. It plays a central role in some Asian and African cultures and we are all aware of some basic trivia on the world’s largest land mammal, gathered from the Discovery channel if nothing else. Any high school kid should be able to tell you about Carthage using war elephants against Rome and any kindergartner would know to name it as part of African fauna.
Not surprisingly, the majestic pachyderm can elicit strong passions in some nature-lovers, either as an object of scientific interest, but also as a sort of innocent obsession. This guide addresses both categories, while putting a stronger accent on the latter since among them you’ll find the people most appreciative of elephant themed gifts. Whether your friends like to fill their house with elephant shaped knick-knacks, or just mentioned in passing that the elephant is their favorite animal, this guide should be for you.
We’ve looked through the best elephant gifts reviews out there to get an idea of what people partial to the subject might appreciate, taking into account variables such as their age and character traits. We do feel the need to mention however that it’s ultimately you who should know your friends best.
How we chose the coolest elephant gifts
It might be fine and good that something is roughly shaped like your favorite animal, but is that object any worth to you otherwise? Some people really don’t like receiving future dust catchers, even from friends who show consideration for their ecological interests, so it might be a good idea to check that the object has any practicality before shopping for these types.
Luckily, the elephant form renders itself well to be embedded in household object design. The wide, boxy torso can easily be shaped into a container or the casing of some electrical appliance, while the trunk and ears can act like handles.
An elephant tea set or flower pot might be well appreciated and get a lot of use since the elephant form it alludes to blends well enough with the rough shape of the object as not to appear tacky or detract from its function.
There are of course elephant slippers, belt buckles, elephant prints for curtains, shopping bags casual wear and funny-shaped headgear for children or particularly child-like adults. These all serve a function even though their incorporation of the popular pachyderm can be seen as lazy. They might not elicit the same smiles as more imaginative elephant gifts, but they are pretty cheap and easy to find.
Don’t overlook quality
We tend to have this notion that objects (especially utilitarian objects like the elephant tea set mentioned above) whose design embeds some sort of figurative form are somewhat tacky and of poorer quality than their more traditional counterparts.
This does indeed apply if the items in question are sold as cute gimmicks, to give you something to talk about with your friends, or if their shape was specifically intended to impress a child. But it shouldn’t be always true, especially in the case of a somewhat traditional form like that of an elephant.
The reason is that designers and manufacturers themselves consider the elephant form to be stylish and tasteful enough to warrant some consideration given to the quality of the object itself. You’ll probably not find any high-quality Simpson’s themed dinnerware, but we’re pretty sure you can find elephant themed ones.
So if you have particularly discerning friends, there’s no reason to give up on finding a well-made elephant gift that will both appeal to their well good tastes and love of giant pachyderms.
If functionality is of no concern, you’ll basically have the world to chose from. Elephant prints, figurines, house decorations and jewelry run the gamut from cutesy or minimalistic pop-art pieces to stylish Victorian artwork.
It’s obvious, we know, but always consider the age and taste of your friends when shopping for them. If they are young and unpretentious, an unassuming elephant themed ring or necklace might do the trick. If shopping for an entire family, go for a figurine or some other artwork that can be displayed in their living room.
If you’re shopping for particularly tasteful friends, it’s good to know that art-history wise, elephant representations were very prevalent in all South-East Asian traditional art but also in 19th-century Victorian art.
Just google for traditional Indian, Burmese or Malay art (basically all areas of the world where the animal was domesticated) for an elegant little piece with some background to it. Replicas of Victorian antiques are also easy to find and might better fit the style of most Western homes.
A lot of the present day artistic iterations of the elephant form borrow elements from the above, and certain items might even serve a practical purpose. Victorians were big fans of highly ornate cutlery items and furniture, so something like an elephant shaped antique looking salt shaker might be easy to find.
Thinking outside of the box and other considerations
The coolest elephant gifts might not always be the most obvious and you can use any gift-giving occasion as an opportunity to make a joke.
If your friend’s passion for elephants is well known, meaning he or she somehow expects to receive an object associated with the animal, you can take the opportunity to be funny and give them something like a scale model of an “Elefant” WWII German tank destroyer. Of course, there’s always a risk to choosing this type of present.
If your friends have small children, feel free to take that into account and buy educational books on elephants for their parents to read them. Squeaky rubber elephants make great baby gifts, but bear in mind that buying toys for other people’s older children might make you look a bit awkward.
Another big no-no would be gifting your nature loving friends with something that alludes to indiscriminate hunting and animal cruelty. Elephant tusks are often sold as decoration and you can easily stumble upon them on popular shopping sites. We highly recommend you avoid buying these.