The Best Yankee Swap Gift Ideas

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As the holiday season rapidly descends upon us, many of us are already starting to feel the pressure of that dreaded holiday tradition: the gift exchange. 

Whether it’s a Secret Santa or a White Elephant exchange party, finding a good gift for someone while staying within a certain budget is never easy.

But if you’ve ever been to a Yankee Swap Gift Exchange — that’s where you can steal an already opened gift from someone else — you know there’s additional pressure to bring a gift everyone wants (and not the one nobody wants to get stuck with).

So to help you avoid humiliation and be the hit of your office or family Christmas party, we’ve created this list of fun, practical, and creative yankee swap gift ideas, for every budget and spending cap. 

The (Absolute) Best Yankee Swap Gifts

Breaking Down the Most Unique Yankee Swap Gifts For Every Budget

Yankee Swap Gift Ideas for $15 or Less

Alphabet Wine Charms

Letter wine charms

Simple yet elegant, wine charms are a perfect gift idea for a yankee swap or white elephant party with a lower spending cap. 

These alphabet charms are especially useful for your guests to keep track of their wine glass (particularly after indulging in a glass or two).

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Burt’s Bees Hand Repair Kit

Burt's Bees hand repair kit

For many dry skin sufferers, it’s that time of year when chapped and dry hands make everything more difficult. 

Help make someone’s life easier with this complete hand repair kit from the masters of hydration. 

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Veggie Spiralizer


New Year’s resolutions to eat healthier will be a little easier to keep with the help of a veggie spiralizer. 

Perfect for throwing together salads and zucchini pasta, it makes eating more vegetables a breeze. 

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Stackable Lunch Containers

Stackable lunchbox

The ideal practical gift, these stackable food containers are something literally everyone can use. 

From taking lunch to the office or snacks on a road trip, it’s the gift that keeps on giving. 

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Mini Belgian Waffle Maker

Waffle maker

This portable, adorable, single-serve waffle iron is such a great yankee swap idea, they won’t believe you stuck to the spending limit. 

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Yankee Swap Gift Ideas for $25 or Less

Wallet Phone Case

wallet phone case

Smartphone accessories are always a good idea for a yankee swap parties because you can pretty much guarantee everyone can use it. 

This faux leather iPhone case is especially cool because it has a built-in card holder, so it doubles as a sleek wallet.

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Touch-Screen Gloves

touch-screen gloves

There are few things as inconvenient as having to remove your gloves in frigid weather when you want to use your smartphone. 

These clever knit gloves with touch-screen technology in the fingertips is the perfect solution to the problem. 

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Cold Brew Maker

cold brew maker

Cold brew lovers are sure to fight over this nifty carafe that brews the coffee and keeps it fresh in the fridge for up to two weeks. 

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Trendy Jar Drink Holders

glass tumblers

Made famous by influencers on TikTok, these eco-friendly glass tumblers are the perfect way to enjoy iced coffee, smoothies, and water in style. 

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Coffee Table Book

coffee table book

A cool coffee table book is a good idea for any gift exchange event because it fits with pretty much any home decor. 

This one on liquor and music is sure to be a great conversation starter at their next dinner party.

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Funky Fridge Magnets

fridge magnets

Another practical gift idea, fridge magnets are something everyone — yet likely wouldn’t buy for themselves. 

There are plenty of unique sets to choose from, like this food-themed one that any foodie will adore. 

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Stylish Faux Plants

artificial plants

Once considered cheap and tacky, artificial plants are having a major comeback these days. 

As such, they’re more realistic and higher quality than ever, so finding an attractive one for your gift exchange won’t be a problem. 

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Soap & Lotion Dispensers

soap & lotion dispensers

Everyone uses soap and lotion, so why not put them in stylish dispensers and make them part of the decor? 

This farmhouse-style set is extremely on-trend and neutral enough to fit into almost any space. 

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Electric Mug Warmer

electric mug warmer

Your coworker who’s constantly having to reheat her tea in the staff microwave is going to vie for this electric mug warmer. 

Safe for a variety of mug materials, including stainless steel, glass, and ceramic, it’s the perfect desk accessory for hot beverage drinkers.

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Light Therapy Lamp

Light therapy lamp

‘Tis the season for SAD! Seasonal Depressive Disorder that is. 

The perfect addition to any workspace or home office, a light therapy lamp is guaranteed to be a hit at the gift exchange. 

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Cryotherapy Facial Roller

cryotherapy facial roller

#Skincare TikTok has been buzzing these last few years over cryotherapy rollers. 

Said to prevent wrinkles, reduce dark eye circles, improve complexion, and even provide migraine relief, this is a gift they’ll definitely fight over. 

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Desk Vacuum Cleaner

Desk vacuum

The perfect yankee swap gift for an office party, this little gadget sucks up dust, crumbs, and dirt from your desk and keyboard in a jiffy. 

Plus it’s wireless so it can be used to clean those crevices in the car, too. 

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Retro Bluetooth Speaker

Retro bluteooth speaker

Anyone with vintage style will love to receive this adorable bluetooth speaker. 

It’s compatible with both iOS and Android devices and is small enough to sit on the desk or kitchen counter without taking up too much space. 

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Stanley Leak Proof Tumbler

Stanley leak-proof tumbler

From one of the best (and most popular) insulated water bottle brands on the planet right now, this leak-proof tumbler from Stanley is sure to be a gift they’ll fight over. 

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Electric Salt & Pepper Grinder Set

electric salt & pepper grinders

This elegant set of salt and pepper grinders will be an impressive — and appreciated — yankee swap gift for a home cook. 

Battery operated, made with durable stainless steel, and equipped with lights, they look more expensive than they actually are. 

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Hot Sauce Gift Set

hot sauce set

Thanks in part to shows like Hot Ones, hot sauces are all the rage right now. 

With a variety of heat levels and unique flavors, there’s something in this gift set for every palette. 

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Portable Smoothie Blender

portable blender

Your health conscious friend or coworker will be eager to snatch this gift for themselves. 

It makes smoothies and shakes at the touch of the button, so it’s perfect for after the gym or breakfast on the go. 

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Decorative Bookends


A nice set of bookends is an easy way to add a touch of style to any home, and this gold honeycomb pair is no exception.

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Electronics Organizer

Electronics organizer

We all have cables, and we could all use a good way to organize them. 

Perfect for travel and staying organized on the go, this pouch has plenty of compartments for all  of their electronics needs. 

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Desk Lamp with Charging Station

desk lamp

The perfect option for an office yankee swap party, this desk lamp with its compact design and handy charging station is sure to be appreciated. 

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Electric Hand Warmer and Power Bank

electric hand warmer

A handheld warming device that doubles as a charger is the perfect gift for that coworker who’s always complaining of cold hands (and a low phone battery). 

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Yankee Swap Gift Ideas for $50 or Less

Insulated Freezer Martini Glasses

frozen martini glasses

Perfect for cocktail hour on the patio or by the pool, these insulated glasses will keep their martini ice cold and stylish. 

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Electric Popcorn Maker

electric popcorn maker

An easy and innovative way to make the universal movie snack, popcorn, this electric popper is sure to be one of the best gifts at the party. 

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3-in-1 Charging station

charging station

Cable problems become a thing of the past with this wireless charging station that charges up three Apple devices at once.

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Milk Frother

milk frother

Make a coffee lover’s day with this sophisticated milk frother. 

It steams and froths both hot and cold milk for café style drinks at home. 

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Table Top Fire Pit

table top fire pit

For when they want to feel the warm glow of a fire or just have a craving for s’mores, this tiny, tabletop fire pot will come in handy. 

It’s all the benefits of a bonfire, but without the smoke, smell, or risk of burning the place down. 

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Essential Oil Diffuser

essential oil diffuser

If your giftee isn’t already into aromatherapy, they will be thanks to this chic and stylish diffuser. 

It has seven LED color options for setting the perfect mood, plus it has a timer for automatic shut off. 

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Electric Wine Bottle Opener

electric wine bottle opener

Opening a bottle of wine in seconds? Now that’s the gift that keeps on giving. 

This electric corkscrew looks beautiful, includes a stand and aerator, and is rechargeable — no batteries required. 

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Weighted Blanket

weighted blanket

We could all use a good night’s sleep these days, which is why a weighted blanket makes a great gift idea for a yankee swap, particularly for close friends and family members. 

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Bathtub Tray

bathtub tray

Sure, a bubble bath is nice; but a bubble bath with a glass of wine and an episode of Bridgerton takes #selfcare to the next level.

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Guacamole Serving Dish

guacamole serving dish

We’re not saying guacamole tastes better out of an avocado shaped serving dish, but we’re not not saying it. 

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BrüMate Slim Can Cooler

BruMate slim can cooler

From the cold-beverage experts at BrüMate, this insulated can cooler fits 12oz cans and keeps them 20x colder and without creating condensation.

Needless to say, your White-Claw-loving coworker is going to be thrilled. 

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Ice Cream Maker

ice cream maker

Homemade ice cream is surprisingly easy, especially with this automatic maker from Cuisinart. 

The best part is they can add their own ingredients through the spout at the top!

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Indoor Herb Garden Set

indoor herb garden set

There’s nothing like having fresh, aromatic herbs on hand when cooking at home, and growing them yourself makes it even more satisfying. 

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Cocktail Smoker

cocktail smoker

Budding mixologists and at-home bartenders will get a kick out of this cocktail kit, ideal for adding drama and smokey flavor to and Old Fashioned or straight whiskey. 

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Chic Dog Dishes

dog dishes

With their decorative ceramic exterior and chic wooden stand, these fancy dog dishes will be a welcomed gift by a dog lover.

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Breakfast Sandwich Maker

Breakfast sandwich maker

This all-in-one breakfast sandwich maker pretty much sells itself, but for good measure, we’ll mention that it heats all of your sandwich ingredients — including a perfectly cooked egg — in five minutes. 

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Weekend Bag

Weekend bag

A weekend duffle bag with plenty of pockets, a separate shoe compartment, and a USB charging port, is a gift literally anyone can put to good use.

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Smart Jump Rope

smart jump rope

The fitness enthusiasts at the party are going to fight over this smart jump rope that syncs with an app on their phone to track their progress. 

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Compression Travel Bags

compression travel bags

A thoughtful yankee swap gift idea for frequent flyers, this set of collapsible bags will change the way they travel. 

This six-piece set of ultralight cubes compresses clothes by 50% — they’ll wonder how they ever traveled without them. 

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Retro Mini Fridge

retro mini fridge

Adorable and practical, this six-can mini fridge is a unique gift for soda or beer lovers. 

It even has a handle for easy portability.

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Apple Air Tag

apple air tag

Help make it harder for them to lose their keys or wallet with an Apple air tag. 

They just attach it to their valuables, sync it up with their phone, then ask Siri to track it down when it’s missing. 

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Knife Sharpener

knife sharpener

Sharp knives are a game changer when cooking at home, which is why a knife sharpener is a great yankee swap gift idea. 

This one has four settings for varying degrees of sharpness, plus a non-slip rubber bottom for safety. 

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Portable Charcoal Grill

portable grill

Camping lovers and outdoorsy types will be looking to steal this cool portable grill. 

Weighing only 4 lbs, it’s perfect for the boat, RV, cottage, pool deck, or picnic table.

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Yankee Swap Gift Ideas for $75 or Less

Colored Wine Glasses

colored wine glasses

Colored wine glasses are en vogue this year, so this set of high-quality crystal glasses is likely to be one of the most coveted gifts at the party. 

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Neck Massager

neck massager

In this stress-inducing (and expensive!) world, save someone a trip to the massage therapist with this at-home neck and shoulder massager. 

It heats up and can also be used for the lower back, feet, and legs. 

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Bamboo Cheese Board Set

cheese board

Those who enjoy entertaining will love this bamboo cheese board, with built-in trays that slide out as well as cheese knives, labels, and more.

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Turntable Record Player

turntable record player

For the music lovers in the group, this portable record player with bluetooth technology puts a modern twist on a classic gift. 

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German Beer Making Kit

German beer making kit

Prepare for beer lovers to fight over this one: 

With everything they need to make their own German-style beer at home, this home brew starter kit will be a hot item at the gift exchange. 

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Practice Putting Mat with Ball Return

Practice putting green

Whether your gift exchange is with coworkers or your golf buddies, this practice putting mat with automatic ball return will be highly sought after by giftees who want to work on their game when they’re not on the golf course.

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Yankee Swap Gift Ideas for $100 or Less

Hydroponic growing system

hydroponic growing system

Green thumbs and home chefs alike will want to steal this indoor gardening system for growing vegetables and herbs all year round. 

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Smart Kettle

smart kettle

The Cadillac of kettles, this stylish smart kettle with precise temperature control and pour over spout is the ideal gift for tea drinkers who are also techy. 

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Air Fryer

Air Fryer

The gift that’s been on everyone’s wish list in recent years, you can’t go wrong with an Air Fryer. 

(In fact, you should probably grab one for yourself, too.)

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Mini Color Photo Printer

color printer

A fun way to use all those pics on their phone, this mini printer instantly prints photos and turns them into stickers. 

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Waterproof Binoculars

waterproof binoculars

Perfect for camping, the cottage, long hikes, or just bird watching at home, these high-power binoculars are the gift everyone can use. 

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Dart Board

Dart Board

Anyone with a man cave or home bar will be looking to steal this fun holiday gift.

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Fun & Funny Yankee Swap Gift Ideas

Stormtrooper Slippers

star wars slippers

Because Star Wars fans get cold toes too, these cozy slippers make a practical and fun gift.

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A Fun Cookbook

Snoop Dogg Cookbook

Cookbooks don’t have to be boring! Look for one that’s quirky or unique, like this one from Doggfather himself. 

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“Okayest Employee” Coffee Mug

novelty coffee mug

If you’re looking for a funny gift idea or a coworker, look no further than a novelty coffee cup. 

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Funny Succulent Pots

succulent pots

Cute and useful, these pun-ny plant pots are sure to be a great conversation starter in their home. 

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Throw Throw Burrito

Throw Throw Burrito party game

Because everyone likes whipping foam burritos at their friends, this fun party game is quickly gaining popularity among grownups and kids alike. 

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“Tell Me Without Telling Me” Party Game

Party game

For something slightly more sophisticated, this fun game based on the viral meme is a great way to pass the time with large groups and at parties. 

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Funny Coasters

funny coasters

For the right person with a good sense of humor, these cheeky coasters make for funny yankee swap gifts. 

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Top 100 Movies Scratch Poster

movie scratch poster

Film buffs will love this bucket list poster that lets them scratch off the flicks they’ve seen.

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Pizza Box Socks

pizza box sock

The perfect socks don’t exi—

We stand corrected. 

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Ring Toss Drinking Game

drinking game

This simple drinking game went viral on social media, and with good reason: 

It’s easy to play, totally addictive, and fun at parties. 

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Lego for Adults

Lego bonsai kit

Why should kids get all the Lego fun? 

This beautiful bonsai kit is a challenging way to be creative and zen. 

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Golf Bag Beer Sleeve

golf beer sleeve

The perfect drinking buddy accessory, this insulated beer sleeve fits discreetly inside their golf bag to add a little fun on the course. 

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LED Ring Toss Game

LED ring toss game

Fun for day or night, this light-up ring toss game will be a hit among kids of all ages. 

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Yankee Swap Rules & FAQ

What is Yankee Swap?

A Yankee Swap, also known as “dirty santa,” is a gift exchange game popular at holiday parties in which participants can either choose a wrapped gift or “steal” a previously unwrapped one from another player. 

This adds a little bit of fun and unpredictability to the traditional gift exchange.

What are the Yankee Swap rules?

A Yankee Swap Gift Exchange has basic rules: 

Everyone brings an unmarked wrapped gift and places it under a Christmas tree or central location; they each then draw numbers to determine the order in which they’ll open the gifts.

The first person selects a gift and opens it. Each subsequent person can either choose a new unwrapped gift or “swap” for an already opened one. If the second person, or anyone after, swaps for the first player’s gift, that person can select a new gift or steal from another player. 

The process continues until everyone has a gift. While there may be variations, these are the official rules for this kind of special event.

Yankee Swap vs White Elephant

In a White Elephant Gift Exchange, a group of people come together to exchange often humorous or quirky presents, typically funny gag gifts or little things that aren’t meant to be of high value. 

On the other hand, a Yankee Swap Gift Exchange often has participants bring more desirable or functional items. 

The best white elephant gift ideas lean toward absurd or funny Christmas gifts, whereas Yankee Swap gifts are typically things people might genuinely want or use. 

More Great Gift Ideas from Irreverent Gent:
Alphabetically Themed Gift Ideas:
Banner photo: Studio Romantic; Illustration: Irreverent Gent