The Yankee Swap, White Elephant, Secret Santa or, in my family, we call it Pollyanna (which is apparently a Philly thing? Who knew?) — there are many variations on these crazy reindeer games. Here’s a quick run down on some basic rules.
Whether you pick a name from a hat or bring a gift designated for “the pile” (and then mercilessly trade until you get what you want — see Kardashian Christmas), we have five no-fail ideas for your office or family get together. We tried to keep the cost below $25, but we didn’t try very hard.
A Mega Millions Lottery Card. Drawing tonight (12/17)! You never know…
$1, Various locations
$9; Mast Brothers chocolate bar from Bklyn Larder
Items professing your pet addiction, e.g., this Santa Kitty tee.
$24, Urban Outfitters
3. The gift of glorious geekitude:
Wired magazine art director Tim Leong uses pie charts, timelines and more to dissect the world of comic storytelling in Super Graphic.
Dang it! I lost these decadent gold pig bookends to a devious officemate at a recent Yankee Swap. They were a much-coveted item and went way above the $20 limit. No matter.
True story: My well-intentioned sister brought a goldfish in a bowl to our family Pollyanna — the year we decided to include small children. So you can imagine what occured: first one five-year-old nabs it, and then the other five-year-old steals it. Result: an hour of crying.
$3 and up, PetSmart.com
Darn Good Yarn is known for their luxurious, recycled, peacock-flamboyant colors of silk yarn, but these leather cuff bracelets are of-the-moment cool. A purchase also helps provide a means of support for women in Nepal and India.
$22 and up, DarnGoodYarn.com
Recommended by my friend Ericka, the Green PowerBank Keychain Battery Charger.
The Christmas sweater t-shirt. We dig the dinosaur version.
Starbucks gift card. Done and done.
The Grumpy Cat stuffy.
Want some more ideas? Check out our Secret Santa & Yankee Swap Gift Guide for 2014!