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 $14.99/month
What They’ll Get: Spice up any holiday party swap with a 1-month subscription to the Hot Sauce of the Month Club. Whether they're adding it to pizzas, tacos, or their own kitchen creations, these award-winning, small-batch hot sauces are guaranteed to kick things up a notch. Choose a preferred heat range to deliver artisanal spicy sauces, along with pairing notes and serving suggestions.
Shipping: Ships worldwide from the U.S. on the 1st of the 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 by gifting 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 in need.
Shipping: Only ships within the U.S. within 5 days of signing up, and then on the 5th or 15th
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 for either men or women, your gift recipient will get a fresh new pair of socks sporting bright color combos, fun patterns, and maybe even a pun or two. It also makes a fun stocking stuffer, too!
Shipping: Ships worldwide from the U.S. within 48 business hours from ordering
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. Each kit contains 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 DIY some globally-inspired meals with ease!
Shipping: Ships worldwide from the U.S. on the 15th 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 gift box from The Burlap Bag. This gift brings handcrafted candles, wax melts, room sprays or a combination of the three, all featuring divine fragrances that are created in-house and given playful names like You're a Wizard, 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 the players have 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 green thumbs (and not-so-green thumbs), each 2-inch potted plant comes with complete easy-care instructions.
Shipping: Only ships within the U.S. within 3 business days from ordering
Price: Starts at $6.75/month
What They’ll Get: Santa isn't the only one who should be rocking some amazing whiskers this Christmas! With the Beard Care Club, you'll add a gift that will make manscaping and beard maintenance a whole lot easier. While not exactly a funny gift, you can choose from a number of options in a range of price points for all-natural, deliciously scented grooming goodies, like oils, balms and waxes.
Shipping: Ships worldwide from the U.S. after the 4th of the month
Price: Starts at $19.99/month
What They’ll Get: If you'd like to contribute a useful gift to this year's festivities, you can't go wrong with Mug Boxx. Great for keeping in the office for late nights or adding to their go-to coffee mug collection, each box delivers a high-quality mug that's perfect for their preferred hot beverage. And, every box also includes a surprise gift item like coffee or tea, a bath bomb, stickers, or more.
Shipping: Ships worldwide from the U.S. on or before the 22nd of the month
Price: Starts at $14.95/month
What They’ll Get: When an Amazon gift card just feels too uninspired, encourage those around you to geek out and challenge their minds when you throw Sleuth Kings into the mix! Start them off as a Rookie Detective with a high-quality interactive mystery that will have them joining the lead detective, working through the clues and evidence in the case file, and eventually cracking the case!
Shipping: Only ships within the U.S. by the 4th of each month
Price: Starts at $12.00/month
What They’ll Get: Tis the season for knits, so help them gear up for their favorite fiber arts with Knit-Wise. For under $20, they'll get a box with 2 cakes of some of the best yarn out there, or for just over that, they can get a complete crochet or knit project kit. From soft socks to a beanie, people of all skill levels can get crafting with top-quality yarn, needles, accessories, and easy-to-follow instructions.
Shipping: Only ships within the U.S. after the 20th of each month
Price: Starts at $14.00/month
What They’ll Get: A perfect gift for 2020 is something that will help them clear the mind and busy the hands. Devoting just 30 minutes a day to a calming activity book can help change mood and mindset, and Coloring And Classics brings a small dose of serenity into the daily grind. Each box brings downtime essentials like a new hardcover book, an adult coloring book, and an intricate activity book.
Shipping: Only ships within the U.S. within 2 business days of ordering
Price: Starts at $17.95/month
What They’ll Get: What better way is there to spread good cheer than through super-fresh sticker sheets, a paper-loving zine, and fun extras? The pros at Pipsticks have it all figured out, serving up a curated collection of stickers and stationery goodies each month that are perfect for lovers of scrapbooks, snail mail and all around "fun stuff." No matter what option you go with, this box is guaranteed to bring the happy!
Shipping: Ships worldwide from the U.S. except for select countries on the 7th of the month