Christmas is a holiday of traditions, and one of the most beloved is the gift exchange party. They go by a lot of different names: White Elephant, Yankee Swap, and – my favorite – Dirty Santa. But whatever you call it, it’s basically the same thing – a game where people contribute anonymously to a pool of gifts, and then try finagle their way to bringing home the most desired one from the lot.
Dirty Santa gifts can be anything from a literally worthless homemade item, to a nice present that just about anyone would want. In fact, the best game usually involves a wide variety of gifts, leading to lots of humor and active trading. Here’s a huge assortment of Dirty Santa gift ideas, organized by style and reflecting a wide range of prices.
1. Something Funny
It’s not a gift exchange without at least a few humorous gag gifts in the mix. This Bullshit Button is perfect for office parties where everyone understands the amount of frustrating crap that happens on a daily basis. It’s not ideal in every case, though. If your work is more formal, you may want to check out one of the other options instead.
2. Something Good
Off-the-wall novelty gifts always generate a lot of laughs at a Dirty Santa gift exchange, but then, so do nice ones. To see what I mean, try bringing this Oster Electric Wine Bottle Opener to the party. If it gets opened early, people will be fighting over it all night – and the best part is, someone will be going home with a present they really appreciate.
3. Something Bad
In addition to straight-up gag gifts, useless, tacky or just plain baffling items can also be entertaining. The sheer cheesiness of this Three Wolf Moon T-Shirt has made it a full-fledged internet meme with all sorts of hilarious variations. If you want to see what the fuss is all about, check out the enormous number of Amazon comments for this shirt.
4. Something Cheap
Every gift exchange has a price limit – usually $20-25, but sometimes much less. If you’re on a tight budget, food is always a great choice. However, there are also plenty of wacky items you can pick up for less than $5, or even useful ones like this Head Massager.
5. Something Dirty
Okay, the dirty in Dirty Santa Gift Exchange refers to the underhanded practice of stealing presents from other participants. However, provided you’re playing with a really laid back group, you could give it a whole new meaning by bringing a naughty novelty item. This box of Smut Word Magnets is only slightly risque. The other recommendations? Well, let’s just say you better know the group pretty well.
6. Something Christmasy
Let’s not overlook the obvious. One of the best Dirty Santa ideas is to get something that reflects the holiday season. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t find something that’s also funny and twisted. For example, check out this Moose Mug from the “classic” movie Christmas Vacation.
Looking for even more Dirty Santa gift ideas? Check out our big list.