Have you ever struggled with finding that perfect secret Santa or white elephant gift for a family member or coworker? Do not worry anymore! Listed below are the best gift exchange ideas that are highly reviewed but budget-friendly. We picked out our favorite ideas across a range of websites, some of which may provide an affiliate commission if you make a purchase.
Best Gift Exchange Ideas: Under $10
1. Gemstone Drop Earrings
There is always that pair of earrings *out there that everybody loves. You don’t have to look any further! These beautiful earrings make the perfect gift (plus they won’t break the bank) for secret Santa.
2. Tequila Mockingbird
This book is perfect for your people that love to make cocktails! It has a lot of different recipes that they can try, and it is inexpensive.
3. Manicure Kit
This is an excellent gift to give to a friend that loves to get their nails done or do their nails themselves. It has everything that you could need to do your nails perfectly! It is an 18 piece set and inexpensive.
4. Ring Holder
Secret Santa doesn’t have to be hard! This ring holder is great for a person that has a lot of rings. Most people don’t have a place to put their rings, so this makes an excellent gift for them.
5. Facial Sheet Mask
Self-care is the most important type of care that someone can do. These facial masks are great for stress relief for a spa night! Gift these to the person that you chose and maybe even join them for a night of relaxation!
6. Silk Hair Scrunchies
Hair scrunchies are in right now! They are great for pretty much any girl. If the name you draw belongs to a girl and they have long enough hair to pull up, get her these scrunchies.
7. Stainless Steel Straws
People love to use reusable straws nowadays because it is better for the environment! They are super convenient to have around, which makes them a great gift to give anyone.
8. Ponytail Beanie
There is nothing worse than trying to put a beanie on in the winter months and not being able to because you have your hair up. This beanie is made with that specifically in mind! Gift this to a friend that loves beanies and loves to have their hair up so that they can have the best of both worlds.
9. Sleep Mask
This gift includes two super-soft sleep masks and all for under ten dollars! It comes in two different colors and is great for light sleepers.
10. Protective Keychain
This protective keychain is excellent for people that live alone or don’t like touching items in public (like elevator buttons). It can be placed on doorknobs to prevent anyone from opening it from the outside. If you get the name of someone who lives by themselves, ask them if they would be interested in this!
Best Gift Exchange Ideas: Between $11 – $20
11. Amish Beard Oil
Everybody loves a soft beard! This beard oil keeps the skin underneath moisturized and the facial hair looking shiny.
12. 1,000 Piece Puzzle
A puzzle makes the perfect gift during Christmas time, especially with COVID-19! If you know the person you are shopping for has a creative side and likes a challenge, this puzzle is a great option for you.
13. Cute Mini Humidifier
This cute and inexpensive gift is perfect for anybody! You can give it to someone that you know loves to keep their skin healthy. We recommend it for small spaces only.
14. Fox Coffee Cup
Is the name you pulled a person that loves coffee and foxes? This is the perfect gift for them! It has everything they love combined into one and for a great price.
15. Cable Bites
Cable Bites are perfect, little gifts to give someone. They protect their charging cords from getting bent and snapped, all while looking adorable! You can buy these for under $20, and there are 18 pieces in the package.
16. Pocket Multi-Tool
Men can be tough to shop for. No worries! Here is a great gift if you choose the name of a man during a white elephant event. It is a pocket tool that has ten different tools within it for quick access!
17. BlackOpal Concealer
Is the person you got for secret Santa a makeup guru? Then this is a great idea for them! It is one of the top-rated concealers on the market. It has a variety of colors to choose from and made for every skin type.
This is a comfy gift to hand out to the person you chose. It can be for men or women, which is why it is so great! They aren’t super expensive, but they are super soft.
19. Texting Gloves
There is nothing worse than having freezing fingers during the wintertime and not being able to text while wearing your gloves. Our world is full of texting, so this is a great gift to give to somebody (especially during the winter months) to keep their fingers nice and warm!
20. Oven Mitts
Does the name that you drew belong to someone that loves to cook? Oven mitts are a great gift for them! These oven mitts are top-rated and inexpensive to get. They provide the comfort to the user of knowing that they will be fully protected.
Best Gift Exchange Ideas: Between $21 – $50
21. Mini Donut Maker
Who doesn’t love donuts! This mini donut maker is the perfect gift for someone that you know that loves to bake. It won’t take nearly as long to make, and it is so convenient.
22. Bubble Wrap Calendar
This is a great way to start the countdown for the year. You get to pop your way through it. Gift your person this fun and interactive calendar because, let’s be honest, everybody loves to pop bubble wrap!
23. Bluetooth Speaker
This is a cute and portable speaker that makes it a perfect gift! The person that you give it to can carry this around and set it up wherever they please. They can play it in the kitchen while doing dishes or in the bathroom while they are showering.
24. Talking Baby Yoda
Baby Yoda is in right now! This cute gift is perfect for big Star Wars fans and little kids. Nobody can resist Baby Yoda, so even if the person you give this to isn’t a Star Wars fan, the person will still love it.
25. Liquor Dispenser
What is better than a liquor dispenser for someone that is 21+? This lovely gift makes it easier for people to have a good time at parties and make drinks quicker (and correctly.)
Does the person you got love to sit on the couch to do work or watch tv? This is a great option for them then! It goes right over the arm of the couch and makes it easier for them to keep their drink stable. Whether this is their morning coffee or party drink, it will hold it in place.
27. Toiletry Travel Bag
Does your friend love to travel but never has anywhere to put all of their things? This travel bag is great for toiletries and makeup. It has different compartments for all the different sizes of your items. Not to mention, it is adorable!
28. Hydroflask Water Bottle
This is on the upper side of the price scale, but it makes a great gift! These water bottles will keep your drink hot or cold for hours, and it holds up to 32 oz.! Gift this to your person if you know they love to have a drink with them at all times.
29. Pizza Scissors
Did you know that pizza scissors even existed? This is one of the most convenient household items that you could give someone! Everybody loves pizza, so make it easier for them to cut it by getting them this great gift.
30. Portable Record Player
Records may seem old-fashioned, but people love to collect them! Buy your person this portable record player so that they can play their favorite records wherever they go. It is a bit higher in price, but it is most definitely worth it.
31. Travel Mug
I know I love being able to take my coffee on the go, and I know many people also love it! A travel mug makes this possible. The person you give this to can bring coffee, tea, or even hot chocolate with them in the cup.
32. Shot Glass Holder
If you and all your friends are 21+, this is a great gift idea. Some people collect shot glasses from places all over, so if you draw the name of someone that you know collects them, this is perfect. It can hold up to 28 shot glasses at a time!
33. Keep Your Ice Cream Frozen
This bowl is a great gift for someone that loves to eat ice cream! It keeps your ice cream frozen for an hour once the bowl is cooled. It can be great for someone to use at a party or even on their own.
34. Amazon FireStick
This gift is great for a close friend group to possibly give out. It isn’t too expensive, but it is super nice. It comes with a remote control with Alexa Voice control!
35. Cards Against Humanity
This is an 18+ game to hand out during a white elephant party, but it is so much fun. It makes a great party game for your friend to have for later on. They can even bring it to the New Year’s Eve party for a fun-filled night!
36. Cutting Board
This is a great gift for kitchen-savvy people! It is a three-piece gorilla grip cutting board set. They each vary in size and are very inexpensive for the quality.
Make Your Best Gift Exchange Ideas Interesting
Homemade gifts just feel different when you give them out. They make each person feel special because someone else put their time and effort into making them this gift. Have everyone create something crafty to hand out at the gift exchange.
38. Treasure Hunt
If there are children at the gift exchange, they can get bored quickly. Set up a few stocking-stuffer gifts around the house and let the kids try to find them. Whatever gift they find, they can try to exchange with their friends or keep it for themselves!
39. Bid for It
Make your white elephant event extremely interesting by making it a bid-off. Set a price limit and ask everyone to bring in a present. Use fake money and give out the same amount to each person. Each person is then allowed to go up the present they brought with them, and the other guests bid for it. Whoever has the highest bid will win that gift!
40. Adopt a Family
Christmas time can be difficult for some families because not everyone can afford to buy their children presents or even Christmas dinner. Sponsor a family for Christmas to give them the best holiday ever. Specific charities provide a wish list from the family that you can then purchase the items they want from.
41. Left or Right
The purpose of this game is to come up with questions that have to be answered with either “left” or “right.” Everyone stands in a circle with a wrapped gift. The items are then passed back and forth as each question is answered. When all the questions are answered, whatever gift is in your hands is yours!
42. Ornament Exchange
Handmade ornaments are the staple of Christmas in any household! Have each guest bring in their own ornament-making kits that they can exchange with another guest. This allows each guest to experience a new type of ornament that they can look back on in the years to come.
43. Spin the Bottle for a Gift
This isn’t like your typical game of spin the bottle! Everybody gets into a circle and spins an empty bottle (of your choosing). Whoever the bottle lands on gets to choose a gift from the pile of gifts first, then this continues on and on until all the presents are gone, and everybody has at least one present.
44. Keep it Simple
Sometimes it can be hard to make ends meet, and you can barely afford to buy yourself and family members gifts. Tell the person you chose a bit about your situation and offer something like a home-cooked meal or cards. They will be understanding and might even feel a bit relieved.
45. Carol Around
When explaining this game to your guests, compare it to musical chairs, but with a twist. Have a holiday song picked out and gather your guests into a circle. Pass a gift around and when the music stops, whoever has the gift has to finish singing the lyric. If they get it right, they keep the gift!
46. Holiday Trivia
Have a set of questions put aside for a moderator to ask. This can be to name all nine of Santa’s reindeer or four holiday songs and so on. Players can raise their hand to answer, and once they get it right, they get a present and are out of the game.
Bingo can be a game that is played anytime of the year and for anything. It is simple! As your guests win bingo, they will get to choose a gift from the pile. Keep the game going as long as there are still presents.
Hopefully, these best gift exchange ideas help you out when you have to choose a gift for your party! There are all types of presents to choose from varying in price. Keep in mind that there are plenty of options from the above in different colors or more customizable to your needs. This guide is to make your white elephant or secret Santa party a bit easier on you.
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Written by: Mercedes Loescher