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girlofscience's avatar

Ideas for White Elephant / Yankee Swap / Barona Gift Exchange / Thieving Secret Santa / Selfish Santa / Nasty Christmas / Dirty Santa / Scrooge's Christmas / Rob Your Neighbor / Thieving Elves / Chinese Gift Exchange?

Asked by girlofscience (7553points) December 5th, 2008

Whatever you call it, I have one tomorrow night at my boss’s house. The value is $10. I am a competitive person. I always try to get the best / most interesting / most exciting thing in whatever I do, so just getting a $10 bottle of wine is way too boring for me.

Please suggest better ideas for this. I also need ideas for my boyfriend’s, as I’m sure I will be picking out his $10 gift as well!

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34 Answers

autumn43's avatar

A blanket, A calendar, lottery ticket (sucks when someone wins and doesn’t share though – LOL!) puzzle, DVD and popcorn, candle, gift card to Starbucks or Dunkin’s.

I love Yankee Swaps! They are a lot of fun and I got a really nice blanket last year, fleece with color snowflakes on it. Have fun.

girlofscience's avatar

Removed by me because I was being a bitch.

EmpressPixie's avatar

3 bottles of two/three Buck Chuck. Especially if the don’t know about it…

A good book.

Scarves or gloves. Of you knit, a yarn end scarf rocks this kind of thing. Cool, Unique gloves.

Madlibs. There are some great adultish ones.

girlofscience's avatar

@EmpressPixie: MADLIBS. Best idea so far.

So that accounts for like $2 of my $20 to spend (my gift and my boyfriend’s). I would love to put together two interesting packages with random fun things like madlibs.

Now, where can I buy madlibs?

Judi's avatar

Sometimes the things that get stolen the most are the ones that are home made. If you are artistic at all and you made something really cool…. do you knit? Someone gave one of those home made fuzzy scarves one year and everyone wanted it.

dynamicduo's avatar

I recommend going and browsing around at the mall, you can find some good value things in discount bins or marked down for last sale, technically it’s under $10, and one could describe such a gift as “best” since it may have a higher value than some other presents with an actual value of $10. This is how I got a set of side table lamps for $5 each, which I was going to use for a Chinese Gift Exchange, but I ended up keeping them and they’re still here!

EmpressPixie's avatar

Re:madlibs, a good humor store, the funny section of the bookstore

girlofscience's avatar

@Judi: I learned how to knit in high school because I had to knit on stage for my character of a play, and the director wasn’t into “faking it.” I made a few scarves through the rehearsals and during the actual show, but I haven’t knitted since then. Also, the party is tomorrow night, and I don’t have any knitting supplies and barely remember how to do it! In any event, my personality isn’t one to be making scarves for people. I’d prefer something that’s more edgy than it is warm, but thanks for the idea!!

figbash's avatar

A Viewmaster and with Christmas reels! (Charlie Brown Christmas, Nightmare Before Christmas, etc) or a snowglobe picture frame with a picture of your boss in it.

Judi's avatar

Walmart has some cheap frames, you could take some beautiful Christmas cards if you have them left from last year and mat and frame them. It also helps to spend $10.00 on the gift but go a little wacko on the gift wrap. (no rule about how much you can spend there, right?) Use a pretty ornament in the bow.

McBean's avatar

Throw a box of Little Debbie Snack Cakes, a bag of Pork Rinds, a few Slim Jims and a 6-pack of Lynchburg Lemonade or small bottle of Jack Daniels into a bag or box and label it “Redneck Party for One”.

A bag of freshly ground coffee beans and 3 kinds of cookies.

girlofscience's avatar

@McBean: LOL, that sounds amazing because we are in the South, but we are all transplants here!

Judi's avatar

I found a cheap airbrush tattoo machine at JC Penny last year. I never used it for my gift exchange. I wish I could mail it to you!!

McBean's avatar

The “Redneck Party for One” is one I did last year. We had a higher price range, though, so I also threw in an electronic fly swatter, a pair of camo boxer trunks, and some vienna sausages. It was a hit and was stolen twice. The CEO of our company ended up with it.

girlofscience's avatar

@Judi: Whoa, that would be so fun! Too bad the party is tomorrow night! I would have paypaled you for it!

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

Oooh, what about fake piercings and tattoos? Walmart or Claire’s should take care of that.

$10 doesn’t buy much—how about fruitcake?

augustlan's avatar

The dollar section of Target usually has some ‘interesting’ things. My step-mother is a hugh Hello Kitty fan, and I bought her some HK ziplock bags and plastic storage containers there. You could do a Hello Kitty Hell type of thing…

Jeruba's avatar

As an observer of quite a few of these events (and participant under duress), I have noted four categories of things that were the most popular, judging by what got “stolen” the maximum numbers of times:

1. bottle of wine (yes, boring, but—that’s what I finally bought for the one I have to attend next week, after my “interesting” gifts had languished so many times)
2. cooking and gardening assortments, like a basket of tools and gadgets along with some seeds or mixes or spices or other related small items
3. currently hot novelty items like those silly singing fish plaques of a few years back
4. gift cards and gift certificates

Also good are smart combinations, like a movie DVD paired with a tub of instant popcorn or a how-to book on massage and some lotion. (For $10 or so you can also get some pretty titillating or downright racy things if you are not too embarrassed to be seen shopping where they’re sold.)

Least popular were Christmas ornaments, cheap decorative items, and special-interest things that simply went to the wrong person and died there.

By the way, you can add “gift rumble” to your list of names for this barbaric custom.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

You could go to the goodwill and find an interesting lamp.

autumn43's avatar

Well now I just have to know what you said, girlofscience! I’ll trade you my set of three vases from Lenox to know. And of course, what you ended up buying for the exchange!

girlofscience's avatar

@autumn43: lol, it wasn’t bitchy against what you said. I was just bitching about how I hate that the limit on these things is only $10. That it just makes people waste money because nobody actually wants things that are less than $10. And that if the limit was $15 or $20 instead, yes, more money would be spent, but less would be wasted because there’s a bigger chance people would actually want the gifts.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

My daughter suggested buying an “As Seen on TV” item, which can usually be found at Target or Walgreens, even if it costs a little more. Just because the conversation factor is so fun around these products, or just the fact that it is an “As Seen on TV” item. (I saw a Pocket Fisherman at Walgreens just today) Or regift something you received during the year (assuming the giver is not part of the swap group.)

wondersteph's avatar

At the last one I went to, there were quite a few gas cards.

girlofscience's avatar

So, the holiday party at my boss’s has come and gone. Thanks for the suggestions.

And a big thank-you to EmpressPixie because I ended up going with the Mad Libs. I bought 3 “adult” mad libs books. The guy who ended up with them enjoyed his present, and we all played a few rounds.

My boyfriend got Knocked Up. My boss ended up with it, and his wife is pregnant! (His wife ended up with Olde Time Erotica DVD).

I initially got Scrabble, but it was stolen three times, and I ended up with the Democratic Dream Mug. (All the states turn blue when a hot beverage is in the mug.)

My boyfriend ended up with a set of a bunch of different hot sauces, which he loves!

maybe_KB's avatar

*A porn
(funny, exciting to see opened and some1 may REAllY enjoy it:)

*Go Green
(Light bulbs we’re all going there, so start it off for them… Hey- They’re like TEN BUCKS ya’ know!?)

*Emergency kit
(They’ll thank you every day when they get to using it)

*$10 gift card to a famous pie place in your county
(Do you have a Cheesecake Factory?)

*T-shirt w/ a message-e.g.
(‘I went to a secret santa party & all i got was this lousy T-shirt’)

*PetSmart gift card
(come-on everyone has a dog or cat….Right?)

figbash's avatar

Oh! I forgot! I often give scratch-off tickets, too. Those are a big hit.

Jeruba's avatar

Oddly, at the last one I went to (a week ago), the hottest items were (a) a book on astronomy, (b) some kind of small digital weather station thing, and (c) a wine bottle opener. The usual wine and champagne were popular. There were no gift cards or gas cards in evidence. Alas, Christmas ornaments still seemed like a good idea to somebody.

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WilAthart's avatar

I know that this is a little late in the answering, but I like to do a mix of something funny and practical. A lunchbox is always useful, but make it a hello kitty lunchbox! Stuff it with candy, a ‘worlds best boss’ thermos, something like that! Have fun with it, and don’t be afraid to be clever!

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barbg's avatar

Our family does $25 swaps. Last year, I made a $25 donation to the local food bank. .after the Yankee Swap, I had them send a thank you note (for tax purposes) to the winner.

Pandora's avatar

I tune gift card

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