Have you had your office Christmas party yet? If not and a Yankee Swap is in your future, here's some good gift ideas. And some that should be avoided.

If you are unfamiliar with a Yankee swap, here's how it works.

Each participant brings a wrapped, unmarked gift and places it in a designated area. Guests are given numbers as they arrive, or their names are randomly drawn, and they select and unwrap gifts from the pile in that order. The person who has number 1 picks first and unwraps the present. On subsequent turns, participants have the option of unwrapping a gift or “stealing” a gift from another participant.  If a participant’s gift is stolen, they can unwrap another present or steal a gift from someone else.  Gifts can only be stolen three times. The game is over once everyone has had a turn.

Most of the places I have worked at have had a 10 or 20 dollar maximum on spending when shopping for your Yankee swap.

Let's start with some great ideas for giving: (And these are my personal thoughts. Any gift is good, right?)

Lottery Tickets (Can't go wrong with this gift)

Gift Cards (You pick the place and amount. Again, hard to go wrong with this one)

Bottle of Wine (Depending on your budget, you can find a fairly good bottle of wine in the 10-20 dollar range. And if the person who gets it doesn't drink, it is perfect for re-gifting) 

Candles (I am kind of torn on this one, as I always seem to end up with candles at the end of every swap. I'm not much of a candle guy, but must admit, I received a large vanilla scented candle a few years back that I really enjoyed. Candles are also great for re-gifting)


Some not so great ideas for your Yankee swap.

Clothing (No guarantee your gift will be going to a male or female, and who knows if it will fit them)

Personal Hygiene Products (Don't want to be sending out any personal messages here)

Fruit Cake (Seriously, does anyone really like these?)

Chia Pets (These were popular...in the 70's!)


And while surfing around Amazon, I did find these beauties which I probably wouldn't recommend unless you are completely secure in your job!

*The Original Toilet Mug 

Big Mouth via Amazon


*Fake Poop

Domagron via Amazon

*Redneck Plunger

Bankhok via Amazon


Above everything else, have fun with your Yankee swap. And if you are serious about picking out the best gift to bring to your party, check out the website Yankee Swap Gift Ideas for a list of good, and bad gift ideas.