When choosing something for a gift exchange, a lot of people go for the funny gift. But honestly, the most hilarious part of any gift exchange – whether it’s a Yankee Swap, White Elephant, Dirty Santa, or whatever you want to call it – is watching people fight over the good stuff while trying to rid themselves of tasteless or inappropriate junk. In other words, bringing something nice not only scores some brownie points with whoever walks away with your gift, but actually increases the humor level of the party.
With that in mind, here are our picks for the year’s best Yankee Swap gifts – you know, the kind of presents that people might actually want to take home. Some of these are new in 2013. Others are popular every year. Most can be had for $10-20.
Gift cards are often the last resort of poor gift givers who can’t think of anything better to give. But in a Yankee Swap where there are a lot of idiotic novelty items changing hands, a gift card to, say, Starbucks is likely to be a big hit. Depending on the store, gift cards can also be funny, weird, or whatever you want them to be. You can even get custom designs made online using a picture and wording of your choice.
By the time someone turns the last page in this calendar, the Grumpy Cat phenomenon will probably have run its course. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t still get some laughs out of this sour puss. Each month features the cat’s image with a different darkly humorous caption (example: “If you’re happy and you know it… get away from me”). The more time your group spends on the internet, the more likely they are to appreciate this one.
Just about everyone loves chocolate, making it a go-to item for office gift exchanges where you don’t know exactly who is going to end up with your gift. In any group of Yankee Swappers, there’s bound to be at least one person who really wants these fancy chocolate covered cookies.
Should you bring a novelty item to your gift exchange, or something practical? With these Measuring Matroyshkas, you don’t have to choose. They look like Russian nesting dolls, but work like standard measuring cups (though without handles, they’re probably destined to be a kitchen decoration for most people).
Along with enjoying the hilarity of Grumpy Cat, people spent a lot of their online time in 2013 looking at pictures of dogs plunging into water. Of course, Seth Casteel’s astonishing series of photographs will likely have a lot more staying power than your typical internet fad. This coffee table book featuring more than 80 photographs is destined to be a mainstay on “best gift” lists for years to come.
If you’re not going to buy something funny, at least get something fun. This microwavable s’mores maker certainly qualifies, and it’s affordable to boot. A s’mores lover who snags this in a $10 gift exchange won’t believe his or her luck.
The redneck wine glass has been a popular gag gift for a few years now, and it’s probably going to remain so for years to come. There are a variety of different brands to choose from, including the Original RedNek Wine Glass featured here. Alternatively, you can make your own using a mason jar, a cheap candlestick holder, and some glue.
Of course, people are likely to have different opinions on what makes the best Yankee Swap gift. If you haven’t found the perfect item yet, be sure to have a look at the other gift ideas on this site.