The holiday season is centered around giving, but when Dirty Santa gets involved, the festivities can get downright feisty! Also known as a white elephant gift exchange or a Yankee swap, if you'll be participating in this popular party game at your upcoming holiday office party or a friends-and-family Christmas gathering, we hope you have a little luck on your side and are able to snag your top pick.
If you're having a reindeer-in-the-headlights moment thinking, "But, what is a white elephant gift exchange?" -- here are the deets.
Participants arrive with a wrapped gift, often in the price range of $20 or less. Gifts are gathered in a central location and numbers are drawn to determine the order of gift selection. The first person opens a gift and their turn ends. The next in line has the opportunity to unwrap a new present or steal an unwrapped gift. When a gift is stolen, the person left empty-handed can open another gift or steal from another player. To avoid never-ending thievery, a gift can only be stolen once per turn. The game is over when everyone has a present!
Unlike a Secret Santa, a white elephant exchange isn't exactly about bringing the perfect gift and usually involves gag gifts, impractical gadgets and uncommon goods that encourage plenty of swapping and side eye.
So, whether you want to bring the type of gift that gets a good laugh, or you're determined to contribute the best gift in the pool, we've searched the Cratejoy Marketplace for gift ideas for your upcoming white elephant parties. Keeping our suggestions to subscription boxes that hover right around that $20 price point, this gift guide is filled with budget-friendly, snatch-worthy goodies that'll help Dirty Santa spread some holiday cheer!
Price: Starts at $13.99/month
What They’ll Get: Spice up the holiday party swap with a 1-month subscription to the Hot Sauce of the Month Club. Guaranteed to kick things up a notch in the kitchen, they'll get 1 bottle of award-winning small-batch hot sauce in a preselected heat range. Each bottle represents the work of an artisanal spicy sauce expert, and comes with pairing notes and serving suggestions.
Shipping: Ships worldwide from the U.S. within 1 week from receipt of order, with renewals shipping on the 1st of each month
Price: Starts at $6.83/month
What They’ll Get: If a koozie collector or anyone who likes to enjoy a cold beer on a hot day shows up to this year's swap, they'll be pleasantly surprised if they score the unorthodox offerings from the Cooler Can Monthly. Both the 1-month and 3-month subscription options are affordable and send 1 high-quality neoprene koozie featuring fun prints, from offbeat slogans to hole-in-the-wall bar logos.
Shipping: Only ships within the U.S. by the 22nd of every month
Price: Starts at $19.99/month
What They’ll Get: Take the opportunity to make your Dirty Santa or Secret Santa gifts give back to a worthy cause with a box from Puppy Paws Coffee & Company. Each box sends a 12oz bag of whole bean or freshly ground coffee, along with specialty pet toys and treats, while donating half of all proceeds to animal rescue operations that care for homeless pups.
Shipping: Only ships within the U.S. on the 5th of the month
Price: Starts at $11.99/month
What They’ll Get: Practical, fun and focused on high-quality, Say it with a Sock is a great gift option for any exchange or swap. Available in either 1- or 3- month subscriptions, for either men or women, they'll get 1 new pair of socks sporting bright color combos, fun patterns, and maybe even a pun or two!
Shipping: Ships worldwide from the U.S. within 48 business hours from receipt of order, with renewals shipping on the same day as your original order day
Price: Starts at $9.99/month
What They’ll Get: Piquant Post is in the business of sending big, bold flavors in small packages, making it an ideal White Elephant gift idea. A box brings 4 small-batch freshly ground spice mixes and 4 chef-developed recipes, along with online access to pro tips, tricks and alternate recipes, all that's needed to prepare globally-inspired meals with ease.
Shipping: Ships worldwide from the U.S. on the 13th of December, and then on the 15th of every month
Price: Starts at $15.00/month
What They’ll Get: With The Gray Matter Sodality, they'll have gone through the challenge of trying to land the best gift in the lot, only to realize that with their gift, the game is just beginning! A box filled with a letter, physical clues and deviously clever puzzles and codes arrives bringing a story-driven, self-contained game that's complex, fun and interactive.
Shipping: Only ships within the U.S. on the 3rd of every month
Price: Starts at $6.42/month
What They’ll Get: Have Dirty Santa dish out sweet smells with a side of sass by bringing a subscription from The Burlap Bag. Handcrafted candles, wax melts, room sprays or all three feature divine fragrances that are created in-house and given playful names, like Unicorn Puke, Gimme Coffee and Baked Bread.
Shipping: Only ships within the U.S. around the 25th of every month
Price: Starts at $4.75/month
What They’ll Get: If they’ve got to get stuck with something, might as well be the prickly goodies packed into the Succulents Box. Offering plenty of economical options, send between 1-4 succulents, cacti and air plants all in one go or through a months-long subscription plan. Great for both green thumbs and not-so-green thumbs, each easy-care 2-inch potted plant comes with proper care instructions.
Shipping: Only ships within the U.S. within 3 business days from receipt of order, with renewals shipping between the 18th-20th of the month
Price: Starts at $6.75/month
What They’ll Get: Santa isn't the only man who could benefit from the Beard Care Club. While not exactly a funny gift, it's a gift that will make manscaping and whisker maintenance a whole lot easier. Offering a number of options in a range of price points, he'll get all-natural, deliciously scented grooming goods, like oils, balms and waxes.
Shipping: Ships worldwide from the U.S. between the 5th-7th of every month