Yankee Swap gifts can be humorous, practical, tacky, dirty, clever, beautiful, and/or delicious. But if there’s one quality every one of them should have, it’s uniqueness. These days, you can find an enormous variety of unusual gifts online, but for something truly original, you need to think outside the (gift) box and maybe even make something yourself.
Sound intimidating? It shouldn’t be. Remember that a holiday gift exchange is all about having fun. No one expects perfection.
Here are some creative Yankee Swap gift ideas to get you started. Most of these gifts are dirt cheap or even free. All they take is a little of your time.
Many gift exchanges specify that people should bring unwanted gifts from home. In fact, for many people, this is the very definition of a Yankee Swap.
However, even when it’s not the whole theme of the party, re-gifting is a popular option for a lot of Yankee Swappers. It allows you to get rid of that tacky salt-and-pepper set you got from your aunt, or that horribly ugly ornament you got stuck with in the last gift exchange. And who knows – maybe someone else will actually like something you find hideous.
Why pay for a worthless gag gift when you can make one yourself? Here are a few ideas:
- Wrap up some batteries and put a tag on them reading “Toy not included.”
- Label a box “Redneck Washer and Dryer.” Put a metal washer and a clothespin inside.
- Make homemade slippers out of maxi pads.
To complete the effect, look around the internet for printable labels you can attach to the gift. Some of them are pretty funny in their own right.
Sometimes its not the present, but the presentation. Because people choose which gift to open based on its outward appearance, you can have some fun by messing with their expectations. Put a classy gift in novelty wrapping paper, or vice versa. Or try wrapping a girly present (think Bath & Bodyworks) in masculine-looking paper.
Unless you’re drop-dead gorgeous and it’s a naked picture of you, this probably won’t be a popular item at the gift exchange. It is pretty funny, though. Be sure to make it a really nice frame, so the recipient can walk away from the party with something of value.
This idea has a lot going for it. It’s unisex. It works for any price range. And best of all, it’s likely to be one of the most sought after gifts at the party.
If you think gift baskets are only for fruit and Hickory Farms sausage, think again. With a little imagination, you can make a unique gift basket around just about any concept – candy bars, beer bottles (arranged in a bouquet), bacon, etc. Search Pinterest and craft websites for inspiration.
If your Christmas party is a Yankee Swap, you could bring memorabilia related to baseball’s New York Yankees, such as these playing cards. If it’s a White Elephant gift exchange, you could bring a knickknack in the form of an actual white elephant. If they’re calling it a Dirty Santa gift exchange, try a rude novelty Santa toy. You get the idea.