Some people call it a “Yankee Swap;” others call it a “While Elephant Gift Exchange.” Whatever you call it, the rules are pretty simple: each person brings one wrapped gift. The gifts are placed in a central location, and numbers are drawn to determine what order people get to pick their gifts in. The first person opens a wrapped gift, and their turn ends. On subsequent turns, each person will pick and open a new present, which they can either keep or give another person when they “steal” that person’s gift. The game is over when the last person goes and the first person gets to choose if they want to steal from any of the other participants.
Although who brings what gift is technically supposed to remain anonymous, it – much like who slept with who at the office party – is never a secret that gets kept. So here’s what the gift you bring to the office yankee swap says about you:
Booze/Lottery Tickets/Starbucks Gift Cards
You are literally the least imaginative person in the entire world. I sure as hell hope your job is something that involves absolutely no creativity at all, because otherwise, you’re screwed.
Ok, we get it: you forgot about the gift exchange until you were on your way into the office this morning, and the only place open at that hour was CVS. But still, I’m not gonna look down on three giant bags of peanut butter M&Ms.
A Good Book
You’re an intellectual, which is cool. But the type of book is extremely important. A coffee table book of awkward family photos? Winning. A 800 pager about the history of Canada? Losing. Hard.
A Pop Culture Trinket
You’re hip. You’re up on current events…well, as much as you can glean about them from 140 characters on Twitter anyway. But still, you’re more in the know than Brian from IT, who thought his DVD of Pitch Perfect would be the hit of the party.
For your reference, here’s an example for you:
A Practical Yet Fun Office Item
A tape dispenser shaped like a high heel. A puppy desk calendar. A pencil can that looks like a beer can. A power strip that is modelled after a UFO. Your gift is like you: a little boring, but still sort of fun and definitely useful. And hey, at the very least no one will think that you just stole stuff from the supply closet and wrapped it up.
A Candle/Any Item from Bath and Body Works
You’re a guy that works in a female dominated office, and you were just trying to get something that you thought the ladies would enjoy. And while we appreciate the effort, next time just go with chocolate, ok?
Local Sports Paraphernalia
This is the easy way to dominate the office Yankee Swap. Anything – particularly something unique – that features the logo of one of your local teams is sure to be a hit. For instance, my contribution to the swap at my office this year was two soup crocks with the Patriots logo. I’m pretty sure none of the dudes in my office have ever made soup in their lives, but they fought over those things like I had wrapped up a subscription to a porn site.
Anything Bacon Flavored
Bacon air fresheners. Bacon condoms. Bacon chocolate. Bacon toothpaste. Whatever it is, it shows that you have good taste and are trustworthy, because people that don’t like bacon are pretty much scum as far as I’m concerned. .