Have you been invited to a Yankee Swap gift exchange? Make sure you’re familiar with Yankee Swap rules. Here’s a quick guide as well as some fun gift ideas everyone at the party will want.
Quick Yankee Swap Rules
A Yankee Swap is a fun twist on the White Elephant gift exchange that will have your guests fighting each other to go home with the best gift. Here’s how it works: Each participant brings a wrapped, unmarked gift to the party. Guests place their gifts on a table and add their names to a hat. As each participant’s name is drawn from the hat, they choose a gift – not their own – from the pile and unwrap it. Participants are allowed to visually inspect and gently shake the gifts before choosing one.
The next person to be chosen from the hat also selects a gift, but here’s where things get interesting. Person 2 can either choose to keep the gift they open or swap it for Person 1’s gift. Person 3 can choose the gift they select or swap it for either Person 1’s or Person 2’s gift. Each subsequent person gets to choose to either keep the gift they select or swap it for any other person’s (already opened) gift. Once the last swap has been made, that’s the gift you go home with.
What’s a Good Yankee Swap Gift?
Fortunately, most of the fun of a Yankee Swap gift exchange isn’t really about the gift itself, but instead the idea of getting lucky and stealing someone else’s gift. So, you won’t have to spend a ton of cash trying to impress everyone with a super great gift.
Not sure what you should bring to a Yankee Swap? Most hosts will ask you to keep your gift value below a maximum threshold of anywhere from $10 to $30. Here are some ideas for gifts that everyone will want to swap for.
Yankee Swap Gifts under $30
A Non-Stick, Hands-Free Electric Egg Cooker
Enjoy omelets, frittatas, and other egg dishes like you never have before with the Rollie egg cooker.
Cards Against Humanity
If you haven’t explained pixelated bukkake to Great Aunt Edna, you haven’t really lived. Everyone will want their very own copy of this popular card game.
This simple, but surprisingly fun, game for two is great for playing at home or on the road.
Bigfoot Laptop Bag
Is Bigfoot real? Probably not. But this funky, psychedelic laptop bag definitely is.
This scientifically-proven travel pillow makes sleeping on planes so much easier. Available in a range of colors, it holds your head in an ergonomic position while sleeping upright.
Yankee Swap Gifts under $20
Bob Ross Figurine
Who doesn’t love Bob Ross? The Bob Ross Funko Pop Figurine will have everyone thinking of happy little trees.
Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty is a great gift for relieving the stress of modern life. It comes in 30 colors, including glow-in-the-dark. It stretches, bounces, and won’t dry out.
People of Wal-Mart Adult Coloring Book
Will the adult coloring book craze ever die? Hopefully not before your guests get their hands on this wacky, kind-of-inappropriate coloring book.
Shower Wine and Beer Caddy
A nice, long soak in the bath or shower is the perfect way to unwind – especially if you’re sipping on your favorite adult beverage while you’re in there. This drink caddy will hold a glass of wine or a beer and suctions to the shower wall.
Shipwreck is like the classic game Battleship, but if the ships were liquor. This fun drinking game combines your childhood nostalgia with, well, drinking.
The PowerCube converts one wall outlet into five without blocking another, and with a surge protector to boot.
Yankee Swap Gifts under $10
Apples to Apples
Apples to Apples is the family-friendly version of Cards Against Humanity – perfect for your friends with kids, or those with more tender sensibilities.
Sipwell Stainless Steel Drinking Straws
Save the turtles – ditch the disposable straws. These days, more and more restaurants are skipping the straws, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring your own reusable ones.
Kikkerland Scalp Massager
Few things are more relaxing than a nice head massage. This nice, copper head massager relaxes muscles in the head while stimulating the nervous system.
Elizavecca Milky Piggy Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask
One of your guests can treat themselves to a home spa day with this fun, detoxing clay mask. Who gets the privilege of removing excess sebum from their pores? Time will tell!
This classic salve is great for chapped hands, chapped lips, and all your other moisturizing needs.
Poo-Pourri Before-You-Go Toilet Spray
What if you have to go number two in someone else’s toilet? With Poo-Pourri Before-You-Go Toilet Spray, you don’t have to leave a stinky reminder of your dirty deed behind.
If you’ve been invited to a Yankee Swap this year (or hosting one), you’ll want to bring something desirable, because the fun is in the swapping. With a little luck, you’ll pick a gift that everyone will want and fight over.
Have you participated in a Yankee Gift Swap or White Elephant gift exchange? Share with us in the comments below!