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10 Best Yankee Swap Ideas for Livening Up Your Holiday Party

10 Best Yankee Swap Ideas for Livening Up Your Holiday Party

January 11, 2024 by Giving Assistant Editorial Team

It can be fun and fulfilling to buy a gift for a loved one! Shopping for an entire party, on the other hand, can be overwhelming and expensive. 

If you are hosting a holiday party this year, why not incorporate a Yankee Swap into the party plans? It’s an exciting way to turn gift-giving into an entertaining game that ensures everyone leaves with a little something. We’ve included some “game rules” to follow below.

Not sure what to bring to a Yankee Swap? Here is a complete guide to the best Yankee Swap gift ideas for 2021.

The Best Yankee Swap Gift Ideas for 2023

1. PureRelief Neck & Shoulder Heating Pad

PureRelief Neck & Shoulder Heating Pad

The holiday season can be chaotic, and that stress can carry into the holiday parties. Relieve some tension with this PureRelief Neck & Shoulder Heating Pad. Any gift that massages or soothes sore muscles is usually a hit at a Yankee Swap.

This heating pad is designed specifically for your neck and shoulders and comes with a magnetic closure to keep it in place. 

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2. “LOVE” Freestanding Tabletop Decor

Tabletop sculpture

Finding tasteful decor to accent someone’s home is a great idea when shopping for a Yankee Swap gift. Weighing just a pound, this “LOVE” Tabletop sculpture is a nice piece that anyone can easily move where they see fit.

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3. Themed Clock

You know your family and friends best. So, it should be easy to find a Themed Clock that they would love to take home. 

You know your family and friends best. So, it should be easy to find a Themed Clock that they would love to take home. 

With thousands of options to choose from, you can pick out the perfect clock that people would certainly trade for. Whether you choose a theme related to movies, professional sports, music, or just something silly, the options are endless!

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4. Wireless Fitness Earbuds

pair of wireless earbuds

It doesn’t matter if your party is full of fitness fanatics, music lovers, or people on the go, a great pair of wireless earbuds always makes a great gift. 

With Balanced and Bass Boost modes, the sound quality of these wireless JLab Fitness Earbuds is unheard of! Partygoers will be fighting over them at the Yankee Swap. 

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5. Lazy Lounger Beanbag Chair

Lazy Lounger Beanbag Chair

Silly yet practical is a great route to go when selecting a gift for the Yankee Swap. A Lazy Lounger Beanbag Chair is the gift most adults didn’t know they needed. 

Made for both adults and children, this beanbag chair comes in eight different colors allowing you to find the perfect one!

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6. Hand Blown Crystal Wine Decanter

Hand Blown Crystal Wine Decanter

Another well-thought-out gift is something that adds class and elegance to someone’s home. This Hand Blown Crystal Wine Decanter does just that. It is designed to create a perfect wine-to-air ratio, making it the perfect gift for any wine lover in the group. And for the price, party goers will be shocked that you stayed within budget! 

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7. UGG Sherpa Classic Throw Blanket

UGG®  Sherpa Throw Blanket

What’s a better gift to go home with on a cold winter night than an UGG®  Sherpa Throw Blanket?

This machine wash sherpa throw blanket is great for snuggling up on the couch or throwing over your legs while you’re sitting around the fire. Not to mention, you can’t go wrong with the UGG name! 

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8. Collectible Books

When purchasing a gift for a Yankee Swap, it’s okay to bring something that you know at least a few people will love. Check out the selection of signed copies and first editions on thriftbooks.com to see how you can bring a truly unique gift to the group.

With hundreds of options to choose from, you will be sure to find a special gift that is also within your budget.

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9. Perfect Pair Wine Gift Set

Sometimes it’s best to know and cater to your audience. If you have a group of wine lovers, then the Perfect Pair Wine Gift Set will be a gift option to die for. 

This gift set is complete with a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Pinot Noir that go well with the assortment of snacks, spreads, and deli meats that are included in the set. 

And depending on the budget of your Yankee Swap, wine.com offers a selection of gift sets to choose from, so you can find the perfect gift for your group. 

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10. Jacquard-weave Bathrobe

A warm and comfortable Jacquard-weave Bathrobe is the gift that people want, but didn’t know they needed. This long-sleeve, floor-length robe is made from 100% cotton, giving it a soft and luxurious look and comfortable feel, making it a superb gift for your friends and family. Watch them try and trade for this gift! 

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What is a Yankee Swap?

A Yankee Swap is a fun way to add gift-giving to your party while creating a little fun banter and competition. 

Typically the centerpiece to a great holiday party, the Yankee Swap allows party-goers to try to snag a gift they want.  

In a fun way of course…

It’s also a way to make sure everyone who brought a gift also leaves with one. Whether that gift is the one they wanted or not, is another story. 

Yankee Swap versus White Elephant Gifts

A Yankee Swap is similar to White Elephant (UPDATE LINK), but there are some differences. 

When attending a White Elephant party, it’s important to note that the gifts are meant to be either a burden on the recipient, comical, strange or extremely unique. The goal is to get the weirdest gift that will be talked about at holiday parties for years to come.

A Yankee Swap tends to be for a different type of audience. Though funny gifts are welcome, Yankee Swap gifts typically have more meaning behind them.

Yankee Swap Rules

Step 1: Pay To Play

No, we don’t mean an entry fee. If you would like to participate in the Yankee Swap, then you have to bring a wrapped gift. (Gift cost parameters are usually predetermined by the host.)

Step 2: Create A Gift Opening Order

Create a random order in which participants will open gifts. The most common way is choosing names out of a hat, but feel free to get creative.

Step 3: The First Participant Selects and Opens a Gift

Whoever is first gets to select one gift from the group and open it for all to see. 

Step 4: The Following Participant (and so on) Can Steal or Open 

When it’s the next person’s turn, he or she can decide if they would like to steal one of the previously-opened gifts by another person or select an unopened gift. If the person chooses to “steal” another person’s gift, then that person will then choose another unopened gift. 

Step 5: Once All Gifts Are Open, The Game is Over

Other Christmas Party Gift Ideas You Might Find Interesting:

Everyone has a different idea of what makes a great gift, which means you may not love what you end up with. Bringing a gift that you put thought and care into ensures that someone will go home with something meaningful. Regardless of the gift you end up with, the entire game is about spending time with the people that mean the most to you.