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This year our family is doing a gift swap that involves buying a gift and playing a game.
We didn’t pick names, so our gift is supposed to be “general”. Something everyone would want.
Ummmmm . . . that’s hard.
I’ve heard this idea called a lot of different names: Dirty Santa, White Elephant, Yankee Swap and for some reason we call it a pollyanna.
Whatever it is called, chances are your involved in at least one this year.
I asked around and gave this “gift-guide” a lot of thought. I have some general suggestions on what to shop for and some specific ideas too.
We are doing this gift exchange with men and women. Ages 24 to 43. Some single, some married, some parents.
So, I should probably write this for next year – but I’m going to attempt to give suggestions for those of you also participating in this type of “pollyanna”.
I’m making sure everything is available on Amazon Prime so if you are looking at this 2 days before the exchange – you’re welcome.
#1: Make the gift desirable.
Let’s state the obvious first. Most people would love a gift card – or a winning lottery ticket. However, if everyone brings gift cards, that will be one lame game.
So, depending on the price limit, I suggest getting a gift card and a physical gift.
Amazon gift cards are awesome. You can click below to get one 🙂
Want to do several gift cards and a small gift? Get this Merry Christmas Garland and clip gift cards and lottery tickets to the back of some of the letters.
It’s soft and people will want to touch it immediately. Then they will want to sit on the couch with it. Then they will think about how they will be sitting on their couch with it.
#2: Make it funny
I asked for suggestions on Facebook, and one person suggested this Knock Knock Bathroom Book
Apparently it is the gift that keeps on giving laughs long after the party. Can you imagine sitting in the bathroom reading what everybody wrote?
Another idea is a DVD of a funny Comedian – I talk about my favorites in this post 5 Comedians That Make Me Laugh
Like the blanket idea but want something funny? You know a guy will pick this one: Mermaid Tail Sherpa Blanket
Funny and practical? Pretty much every member of my family needs a key finder
#3: Appeal to the Senses
Something that smells good or tastes good – make sure you like it, you could end up with it!
I strongly suggest Trappistine Quality Candy – not only is it delicious, but you the giver and the gifter will know it was made by some humble, hard-working women!
Candles tend to be popular suggestions, you can go the festive route or funny!
#4: Be Unique
The more thought you put into the gift, the more fun the game will be!
I love this Farmhouse Letter Board. I’m thinking of including it but not without opening it and making it say something random and hopefully amusing first.
No matter what the spending limit is, you can always find something amusing – like, for example these sticky notes. Please look at what customers also bought – the selection is pretty funny.
#5: Remember “One size fits most”
There are fun, practical gifts that will fit almost everyone.
Socks (If you can read this bring me some coffee) might pair nice with a coffee gift card.
Coffee socks that come in a mug
You should TOTALLY get something you would want to go home with – however, maybe not size 9 pumps or a pink cozy sweater size small haha!
However, I will admit, the idea of buying myself a pair of earrings and including it in the gift is not completely off the table.
#6: Don’t forget Tech
Whether it is politically correct or socially acceptable or not, I’m going to say it – when women get together to do these things they look A LOT different from a mixed group or all guys.
Men love tech. Boys love toys. And honestly, some of these gifts are fun and useful.
This ThinkGeek Star Wars R2-D2 Car Charger was a gift I gave to my brother-in-law one year and his mom ended up buying two more as gifts. It’s practical and I totally have a soft spot for R2-D2!
The Amazon Echo Dot is a great idea and is on sale as a Last Minute deal.
Last Minute Deals – Echo Devices
For the social media lover, Amazon has several clip on cell phone lens for better pictures!
#7: Add a Personal Touch
Do you make the best chocolate chip cookies and everybody knows it? Add a cute holiday can of those goodies with your gift.
Do you know that many of the people you will be playing this game with have young children and need a babysitter for a night out? Offer your services!
Or, put your face on the gift.
My husband loves his “My pillow” I got for him one year. I wish I thought of purchasing this pillow case you can put your own photo on and given it to him that way. Sooo funny!!!!
Are you going to give some kind of beverage? Add these picture coasters that look like polaroids!
Speaking of adding a bottle of wine to your gift . . .I love these Wine Glass Markers!
Are you the person who is always quoting movies? Do people actually call you or your husband Clark Griswold? Throw in a classic movie -most are under 10 bucks!
Want more ideas?
If you still like your family after playing this game (haha) perhaps another game would be a fun gift!
Still need more?
Look at Oprah’s Favorite Things and see if any could become one of your favorite things!
From our family to yours – MERRY CHRISTMAS!
AND DON’T FORGET TO GIVE THE BE YOURSELF JOURNAL TO THE SPECIAL YOUNG WOMEN IN YOUR LIFE!
I could really use some of these things! And I laughed at the bathroom guest book. Too funny!!!
This year I’m doing a reusable tumbler (The Greens Steel Beast 20 oz Tumbler) with a gift card to Starbucks or Dunkin’. My husband is doing a car emergency kit with jumper cables, a flashlight, tire pressure gauge, and first aid kit. Some things that have been popular in the past are the Amazon Fire Stick, Echo Dot/Google Home mini, portable batteries (for phones/laptops), multiple port USB charge station, bluetooth speakers, movie night basket (movie snacks and gift cards to a movie or Redbox or DVD), scratch off lottery tickets, liquor or wine with fun glasses or accessories (like a whiskey stone or fancy ice cube trays, or the Drinking with St Nick book), ice cream sundae basket with dishes, toppings and an ice cream scoop, new towels or pillows, flashlights, headlamps, reading lights or lanterns… Oh, the Squatty Potty was popular a few years ago – we actually had 3 different people bring one to our gift exchange!
My family always does this for the adults. It’s always hard to find a gift that almost anyone would appreciate but these are great tips!