gift exchange

The holidays are around the corner, which means lots of family members will be participating in a gift exchange. Thank Rudolph for Secret Santa. Or is it White Elephant? Yankee Swap? Christmas Gift Exchange?

Whatever you call it, you need a gift. So if you’re still stumped this season, here are some ideas for your next gift exchange.

The Basics of a Gift Exchange

gift exchange

Buy a white elephant gift that you would want. If your gift isn’t a hit with the crowd, then you have the possibility of taking your own gift home.

The Rules

gift exchange

To play, start by arranging all gifts in a pile in the middle of the room. To determine who goes first, draw numbers out of a hat. Whomever gets the number 1 goes first.

The number 1 goes to the pile and opens the first gift. The person with the number 2 then has two options: steal the gift from number 1 or open another gift. Should number 2 open another gift, then play moves to number 3. Should number 2 steal number 1’s gift, number 1 must open another gift. Only after this exchange does play move to number 3. Same rules apply to number 3: he or she can either open a gift from the pile or steal any gifts already open.

You may set any limit you want to the number of times a gift can be stolen before it is declared “dead” (no one may steal the gift anymore, and the person who currently has possession of it must keep the gift.

For large groups, a two-steal limit is recommended — I know from experience. For smaller groups, you can get away with three. The exchange ends when the last gift is opened and there are no more gifts remaining in the center pile. At this point, everyone keeps the gift under his or her possession.


gift exchange

These will be a hit with any generation, young or old. For extra pizazz, grab a pair of wireless headphones. Perfect for gym rats or active gogetters.

Insulated Water Bottle

gift exchange

These are all the rage with people who workout and those who want to keep their drinks cold or warm. They can come in sizes anywhere from 8 to 64 ounces. In other words, small to ginormous.

Bullet Journal

gift exchange

Perfect for anyone who wants to exercise their creative muscles. For those of you uninitiated, a bullet journal is a journal where you can write down quick thoughts (or bullet points). Be it your monthly agenda, a mood tracker, calorie counter, or a general journal, a bullet journal is the final stop for your racing thoughts before they escape your brain.

Portable Charger

gift exchange

Always a hit at my white elephants. Everyone has a smartphone, and everyone needs a charge when they’re away from an outlet now and then. All the recipient needs is his or her charging cord and he or she is set.

Sriracha2Go Keychain

gift exchange

Sriracha isn’t just for pho anymore. Every food brand from Lay’s to Jack in the Box has been capitalizing on the Sriracha hot sauce craze. If you have a couple of relatives who can’t stay away from the heat, then think about getting this morsel of keychain chili. Keychain comes without sauce, so your recipient will have to fill it his- or herself — which, if he or she is a Sriracha fan, shouldn’t be a problem.

USB Flash Drive

gift exchange

Practical and desirable, a USB flash drive will be a hit at any office gift exchange. Perhaps think of getting one with a keyring attached to it or a novelty

White elephant gifts are difficult. So many ages and people to cater to. But with your gift, you can be the talk of your Christmas party. And if no one takes your gift, you get to keep it yourself!

What’s your go-to white elephant gift? Comment below!

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