Yankee Swap Gifts And Ideas
Whether you're organizing a Christmas party for your office co-workers, your extended family whom you may only see once a year, or even whether it's your immediate family where everyone already owns everything, the Yankee Swap Gift Exchange is a great game choice for your event. This game also works well amongst team-mates, members of a community group who are fairly comfortable with one another or even a volunteer group who work hard together all year long.
This game too doesn't have to wait till Christmas! If you want to add some fun to any gathering at any time of year, the Yankee Swap Gift Exchange is a great game for a group of people who aren't afraid to get loud together, who aren't afraid to swap for the gift they want. If your group is quieter, or if they don't know each other very well, you might consider choosing one of the other gift exchange games that we've written about. But it could also be true that this game can help your guests get to know one another better.
Since every guest brings a wrapped gift, every guest will leave with an unwrapped gift, and there are ways to ensure lots of swapping goes on. At the end of that swapping, hopefully everyone is leaving with a gift that they value.
Traditionally, you'll want to set a price range for gift-buying so that everyone spends the same amount of money. Usually $20-$30 works well for this game. The gifts do have to have value, otherwise no one will want to swap! The gift you purchase as a participant should have not only value, but be desirable to the most number of people in the group. It is way more fun when multiple people are all vying for the same great gift. Keep this in mind when you are purchasing your gift or when you are advising others on what they might want to buy.
Here are some themes you may want to consider, with specific gift ideas attached:
Yankee Swap Themes
Alphabet: With this theme, the host or hostess decides on a letter of the alphabet. Everyone has to buy a gift that begins with that same letter. For example, you've chosen the letter "P". Gift ideas include pillow, pyjamas, popsicle maker, print of art, pedometer, paper-making kit, Percy Jackson DVD, Pasta-making kit, to name a few.
A variation on this theme is that everyone purchases a gift that begins with the letter of their own name. Say your guest's name is Robert, he could purchase Return to Neverland DVD, a rice cooker, a rocket model kit, a race track toy, remote control car, Ring Pop and Rolo candies.
The 12 Days of Christmas: There are so many items in this Christmas Carol, and guests can choose any element of the lyrics and find some gift to match, from stuffed toys to decorative pillows, from bird feeders to mugs, jewelry to musical instruments. Here's what's listed in the song: partridge, pear tree, turtle doves, hens, birds, golden rings, swans, geese, maids, milk, swimming, dancing, Ladies, leaping, Lords, pipers and pipes, drums and drummers. The possibilities really are endless here!
Birth Dates: This one requires some research and thought on the part of each guest. If you are doing this with a social group of friends, the likelihood that everyone knows what an item is, is really high. On the opposite side, if its amongst a group of people who have a wide age range, the gifts purchased here will be really interesting and probably begin a lot of discussion.
The idea with Birth Dates as your theme is that everyone must find something that happened in the year of their birth. They then find a gift to match that event. It is also helpful to print out a small description of that event and include it with the gift so that the person who unwraps the gift knows more about what it is about. This print-out should move with the gift as it is swapped. This theme will guarantee you have a wide variety of items which will make the game really interesting.
As Seen on TV!: If you are looking around the Internet for some great themes, this one continually pops up in the comments section of websites as a really popular theme, no matter the group. Everyone of a certain age has seen some of the wild products that are offered "only on TV" and "for a limited time" where you must "Call Now" for the incredible price. Not that guests have to purchase the same exact item, but with a bit of ingenuity and creativity, guests can adapt a purchase to seem the same. They can also completely make up a product that might be found "As Seen on TV!". Of course, if your group is of a younger age and they no longer watch television or stream their media without ads, this theme might not work so well, so bear that in mind as you select a theme.
Some of the products you can find with an "As Seen on TV!" search are a ceramic pet with plant hair, a mat for barbequing to stop splattering messes, a light for your toilet bowl, a small compactable water hose, a broom that spins and gets into tight corners, fun gloves for your hands while you are cooking. Any creative idea can be turned into a give that might be an "As Seen on TV" gift.
There is lots of fun to be had in organizing a Yankee Swap Gift Exchange, whether your gathering occurs at Christmas or another time of the year. The goal of the game is to encourage fun and laughter, to encourage your guests to swap gifts with one another to get the one they really want. We hope you've found some useful tips in these articles to help you have the best Yankee Swap Gift Exchange ever!