- Real Housewives Of Atlanta -The 'RHOA' White Elephant Gifts, Ranked
Cynthia Bailey’s mission was simple: Throw the final event for Season 13 of The Real Housewives of Atlanta and make it Christmas-themed. So, ordering a bunch of catered food and choosing a White Elephant gift exchange as the evening’s activity sounded like a good idea. The thing was, instead of sticking to her original idea of a $100 limit on gifts — still pretty high for White Elephant — she raised it to $1,000, making the game a little more Housewives-appropriate.
And while the move was great for viewers who come to this show for the extravagance, this doesn’t actually make sense as far as White Elephant goes. “Look at it like you’re not buying anyone a $1,000 gift,” Cynthia told Kenya Moore ahead of the party. “You’re buying yourself a $1,000 gift.”
Kenya was skeptical of this explanation and for good reason. In truth, you’re buying yourself a $1,000 gift that you don’t want. While, yes, you will get an expensive gift in return for the one you purchase, that gift is not worth $1,000 if you don’t even want it.
None of the Housewives are hurting for $1,000, but even as an average person watching the episode, I felt that I would be disappointed in some of the gifts. I mean, sure, an iPhone 12 is pricey, but if I already have a working phone, then it’s not really the most thrilling gift, is it?
So, let’s take a closer look at some of these gifts. And rather than ranking them in terms of what the Housewives wanted or needed, let’s rank them by how much they’re “worth” to a Housewives viewer.
8. Drew’s pet carrier, wig, tape recording, boombox, and $100 donation to the Humane Society
Drew Sidora clearly chose her gifts in an attempt to end her first season with a bang and to continue that Prophet Lott storyline.
Just to explain the gift: The wig and pet carrier were a reference to LaToya Ali saying Drew's wig looked like a “pet” earlier in the season. The $100 donation to the Humane Society was in reference to Kenya calling Drew a “stray.” (Which Kenya did in a confessional, meaning Drew watched that episode before this finale party was filmed. A little fourth wall-breaking there.) The tape was a recording of Prophet Lott saying he “likes” LaToya, which proves literally nothing about them having a relationship — not that it matters if they do.
Kenya miraculously ended up being the one to open the shady gifts, and during the hubbub it created, Porsha asked Drew, “But you’re still going to give the $1,000 gift though, right?" Drew responded, “That was $1,000, those bundles.”
At first, I thought she meant that she also put bundles of $1,000 in cash in the gift to keep things fair. But, I soon realized that was wishful thinking, because by “bundles” she meant the wig that she claimed was $1,000. Even if it was that expensive, it’s not worth that much to someone it wasn’t made for. No. No, no, no. I don’t want this present.
7. Kandi’s iPhone 12
Kandi Burruss brought an iPhone 12 with 256 gigs of storage to the party. Purchased new from Apple, this costs $979. This present definitely qualifies in terms of the price limit (or price goal, I guess, since no one was going to show up with a $10 novelty mug), this is the least exciting present... out of the one's that weren't Drew's.
Most people already have cell phones, for one. But also, you generally don’t pay the full price for a phone upfront. I’m not saying that it would make sense to turn away a free iPhone 12, but this isn’t free. By the nature of White Elephant, if you end up with Kandi’s present, you threw away $1,000 and now have two phones.
6. Malorie’s ten bottles of Veuve Clicquot champagne
Malorie Bailey provided 10 bottles of Veuve Clicquot champagne that Porsha Williams immediately joked that she stole from sister Cynthia Bailey's Wine Cellar. While ten bottles of expensive champagne would at least be more of a novelty to have than a second iPhone, Mal’s present ranks low because I believe it to *only* be worth around $700. A bottle of Clicquot in a silver bottle that appears to be the one shown on the episode goes for around $70.
5. Cynthia’s Tiffany beaded bracelet and necklace
Porsha was the first person to open a present and she ended up with the jewelry Cynthia bought from Tiffany. Porsha’s reaction, that of the other women, and the fact that no one stole the gift during the game shows that these were not highly sought after pieces. And, I’m sorry, Cynthia, I didn’t think they were that cute, either. As a regular person, I have to think about how an expensive gift I don’t like myself would do on the resale market, and I wasn’t left feeling enthusiastic about this one.
4. Kenya’s diamond earrings worth "$5,000"
When Kandi opened Kenya’s diamond earrings and Kenya immediately blurted out, “Their value is $5,000”, I immediately doubted that their value is $5,000 and had a flashback to Dana Pam’s $25,000 sunglasses on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
Porsha responded, “Anybody can set the value,” and she, Drew, and Shamea started Googling the earrings to find the real price. I don’t know how much these earrings are really worth, but I don’t want to put too much work into getting my $1,000 back, you know what I’m saying?
3. Porsha’s Baccarat perfume and Gucci bag
If I was a rich lady who was actually on the cast of RHOA, this is the gift I would most want. I would totally wear that mini Gucci Dionysus bag (original cost: $860) and, sure, I’ll try out some fancy perfume (original cost: $300). But, seeing as I’m not on Real Housewives, these could probably be resold at their original price. But, there are some more worthy items to give the highest rankings.
2. Shamea’s Chanel brooch and scarf
This one ranks highly simply because I’ve seen those articles about Chanel bags being better investments than houses. Does that go for brooches and scarves? I’ll take my chances if it means I avoid having two phones or all that stuff from Drew.
1. Marlo’s $1,000 cash
Marlo Hampton, who didn’t attend the party, but sent her assistant with her gift kept things simpler: $1,000 cash, no strings — or pet carriers or wigs — attached. Receiving this present puts you firmly back at square one, which is exactly where I’d want to be in this scenario.
In the end, here's how things shook out after all of the stealing and exchanging: Porsha got the Tiffany jewelry. Shamea got the iPhone. Cynthia got the cash. Kandi got the earrings. Mal got the Gucci bag and perfume. Drew got the champagne. Marlo got the Chanel items. Kenya "got" Drew's gift, but then stole some of the champagne and said she was leaving with the Chanel and the Gucci, too.
Well, now we have something to look forward to at the reunion: Was best gift-er Marlo Hampton rightfully delivered her designer scarf and brooch or did Kenya really take off with them?