There are lots of Yankee Swap/White Elephant lists on the internet, many of them circulating the same gift ideas year after year. That’s a shame, because there are new swap-worthy products coming out all the time.
Yes, some gift ideas are so good that they deserve to be in the mix every year. However, there’s also something to be said for bringing a gift that’s fresh and unexpected. That’s especially true if there are experienced gift-swappers in the crowd.
Here’s our (highly subjective) list of the best Yankee Swap gifts of 2014. While gag gifts are always a hit, we feel that the perfect gift swap has a mixture of the nice and the funny – and thus, so does our list. Most of these items can be bought for less than $20, and all can be found online.
How did we miss this on last year’s list? Anyway, this highly rated item screams “gift” because it’s something most people wouldn’t think to buy for themselves. There’s also a humorous pop-culture aspect to it, as a similar item was prominently featured on The Big Bang Theory.
Those who like to enjoy a glass of wine after a long day will appreciate this humorous (and attractive) wine glass. It has three lines – Good Day, Bad Day, and Don’t Even Ask – that helpfully indicate how high to fill it.
Chia Pets have been around since the 70s and have taken many kitschy forms over the years. But it’s hard to think of a cheesier – or more appropriate – version than this. Needless to say, a Chia Uncle Si or Willie makes a perfect topical gag gift.
This product bills itself as “the World’s Strongest Coffee Beans.” The name and the claim are enough to make this a buzzworthy gift, but if that’s not enough, there’s also the fact that these coffee beans are actually of high quality judging by the customer reviews.
The Will Ferrell comedy Elf is slowly gaining status as a holiday classic, much like A Christmas Story and Christmas Vacation. How can you tell? Over a decade after its release, there’s still Elf merchandise coming out. These pint glasses feature famous quotes from the movie.
If you’re looking for a nicer gift that will have people drooling (literally), this gift tray is a solid choice. The only trouble is that the price might be beyond the limit of many gift exchanges. But hey, gourmet food this tantalizing doesn’t come cheap.
Calendars fill the bill in a couple of ways – they’re the right price and many of them capture the latest trends that everyone is talking about. Most people have heard about the “dog shaming” meme, and those who haven’t will get in on the joke quickly with this hilarious day-to-day calendar.
This is a great gag gift to give to cat owners (unless it hits too close to home, in which case it would be awkward). For a gift exchange, it’s just bizarre – and that’s a good thing. After all, every gift exchange needs a few “WTF?” presents.
This little desk topper is an ideal gift to bring to an office Christmas party. A lot of people are already pining for warm sandy beaches at Christmastime, or soon will be. If you want to up the cute factor, you could print a label reading “All Expenses Paid Stay-cation.”
When all else fails, a gift card is a perfectly acceptable choice for a gift exchange – this or any year. Amazon offers these sweet Christmas-themed tins, along with gift cards from other places like Starbucks and IHOP. Best of all, you can spend however much you want.
Want even more gift ideas? Check out the best gifts from 2013. Most of these items are still available and make good choices for this year’s gift exchange.