Going to a Yankee Swap party can be overwhelming, especially if it’s your first. Also called White Elephant or Dirty Santa, this party game makes participants swap and steal gifts from each other.
The goal of the game is simple: get the best gift possible!
Even if you don’t end up with the best gift, the game itself is a hilarious battle of wills and strategy.
Yankee Swap gifts can be anything your friends will enjoy, whether they be usable and genuine or goofy.
These Yankee Swap gift ideas are the first step towards a memorable, insanely fun holiday party!
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Yankee Swap Gift Ideas Under $25
Candles are a great gift that can be used year-round. This set comes with four different candles scented with essential oils and packaged in colorful, marbled jars.
This positive affirmations flip calendar is a thoughtful way to start off your friends’ new year! Every page has a different inspirational quote and beautiful gold foil designs.
This flip calendar is the perfect size for a desk and is reusable, so your fellow Yankee Swap participants can get a daily dose of inspiration for years to come.
Mouse pads are frequently used. Whether at work or for an awesome gaming setup, this gorgeous large mousepad will be loved. Choose from over 15 different styles. It’s also waterproof and easy to clean, so any accidental spills will be no big deal!
Tea, coffee, and hot cocoa lovers will fall in love with this cute ceramic cat mug! With a tiny kitten head and paw on the top and various colors to choose from, this mug is a fun gift people are sure to swap for at the Yankee Swap.
It’s also dishwasher and microwave safe!
Everyone knows the holidays can be stressful. This set of bath bombs encourages relaxation and some self-care-filled me-time. This set comes in seven colors and seven different scents, so there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
The holiday season is known for being chilly. Fuzzy slipper socks can keep your friends’ feet warm this winter. Not only are they warm and fuzzy, they’re cute too!
These slippers are non-slip and come in tons of colors and designs.
Sample Variety Packs
Sample variety packs let people try a whole bunch of new things without committing to a full-sized price. Sample packs are also great for big groups of people to try different treats together!
The Two Rivers’ coffee pod variety pack comes with 40 different flavors, including blueberry cobbler, chocolate marshmallow swirl, and butter crunch!
Holiday stress is sure to be eased with this lavender spa day gift basket! It comes with 11 relaxing, spa-day products, including bubble baths, bath salts, and an exfoliating loofah shaped like a flower. Everything is scented with calming lavender and has matching purple designs.
It comes in a cute basket that can store all of the spa-day goodies or be repurposed into something else.
This set of candles is a fun way to level up the traditional candle. It comes with 3 soy candles. They’re topped with rose quartz, opal, and aventurine. Gorgeous flower petals are scattered across them too!
Yankee Swap Gift Ideas Over $25
Holiday movies are a big part of the season! Yankee Swap players will love sampling this movie night popcorn variety pack as they watch the holiday classics. There are 3 different types of kernels in this pack and 5 premium seasonings.
If your friend group has a lot of travel lovers, this corkboard travel map is the perfect Yankee Swap gift.
This map comes with 60 pins to track where you’ve traveled or where you want to travel to in the future!
Throw blankets are frequently used and perfect for the chilly holiday season. This faux fur throw blanket is incredibly soft and comes in various colors.
It’s also double-sided! One side is faux fur animal print, while the other is a standard blanket.
There are plenty of candles with jewelry inside, but these candles are shaped like wine glasses and scented with rosè, pinot noir, and chardonnay. These candles are colored like their respective wines and have rings hidden inside.
Sample Variety Packs
If your Yankee Swap budget is a bit pricier, these sample variety packs might be the perfect fit!
A Bangin’ BBQ Sauce Variety Pack is a great way to prepare for spring and summer cookouts. It comes with 12 vegetarian sauces to try! Their flavors include pineapple bourbon, apple whiskey, and a honey barbecue sauce.
Wisconsin’s Best Cheese and Sausage Gift Basket comes with 4 blocks of cheese, 4 rolls of ground sausage, and a pack of water crackers. This gift basket is ready to serve and has enough snacks for the whole holiday party to try.
Coffee connoisseurs will love the chance to try the artfully crafted blends included in the bean box gourmet coffee sampler. This box includes 4 different blends to try. Tasting notes, roaster profiles, and brewing tips come with each flavor.
Funny Yankee Swap Gift Ideas
Funny socks are perfect for the frosty holiday weather. This pair makes it look like you are wearing a pair of sandals! Yankee Swap participants will get a kick out of how silly they look and appreciate their warm feet!
Hung in most bathrooms and kitchens, hand towels are seen and used almost daily. All the more reason for them to be fun to look at!
These goofy cat hand towels have dangly legs and tails, so it looks like a cat is hanging onto the rod! They come in a variety of colors and patterns, so they can
Blankets work overtime during the winter. Partygoers will not only use this tortilla blanket; they’ll talk about it for seasons to come!
This blanket is double-sided and made of soft flannel. It is 71 inches across, so adults and kids alike can use it! There are other versions, too, including a chocolate
These bad dad jokes will provide hilarity throughout the holiday season and beyond. They are terribly bad and sure to make people grimace and laugh!
There’s even space on the first page for you to write a personal message, so people will never forget where they got this great Yankee Swap gift from!
With this pack of multicolored confetti, you can pull off a confetti bomb prank that will go down as the best Yankee Swap gift ever!
Pack the confetti into any container you desire. An envelope, a box, an egg carton–anything works! You can even try and trick people into thinking your confetti bomb is an extravagant gift by placing it into a really big box.
Hilarity will ensue when it is opened to reveal piles of confetti!
Getting old. It happens to everyone. Why not tease your friends about it?
This hearing enhancer is an ear trumpet with senior jokes written across it. People can use it throughout the Yankee Swap party, making it a joke that keeps on giving.
This old-age joke book is not only full of silly jokes. It is a great way to improve memory and cognitive processing! There are over 365 one-liners, puns, and comic strips all about the pains of aging.
Make your friends remember their epic Yankee Swap party daily with these silly keychains.
Not only is this jellyfish keychain a declaration of friendship, but it also has a joke that will make your friends smile. It’s shiny silver and comes with a cute jellyfish charm.
Yankee Swap Rules
The first step for a fun Yankee Swap is to establish a budget. It’s normally $25, but the budget can be whatever players are comfortable with.
There are multiple variations of Yankee Swap. For some, participants need to wrap their gifts. This version has a bit more chance because players don’t know exactly what they’re swapping for.
Other versions take the guessing element out and require the gifts to be unwrapped, so make sure everyone knows what version you’re playing!
How a traditional game of Yankee Swap is played:
- The game starts with everyone choosing a gift, then forming a line.
- The first person unwraps and shows off their gift.
- The next person has a big decision; do they unwrap their gift or swap with the previous player? Is the gift you have better or worse than theirs? Will other players steal it later on?
- A swap can’t be stopped, but if a player’s gift is swapped out, they get to unwrap the new gift. Afterward, it is the next person’s turn.
- The game ends once all of the gifts are opened.
Sometimes, people will continue after the game has ended, so you’ll have another shot at getting your dream gift!
Some players get genuine gifts that can be used or displayed. Others go the silly route. Both add to the holiday fun and create a lasting holiday memory.