Gift Exchange Party Ideas! | Do Say Give

Gift Exchange Party Ideas!


Gathering with friends, family, or colleagues this holiday season? A holiday gift exchange always adds a lively touch to the mix, and certainly serves as a festive icebreaker. Today we are breaking down the different types of gift exchanges and giving you gift ideas for all of them – for both adults and children! 

First, let’s clear up some confusion around gift exchanges. We have readers all over the country and what we’ve realized is that what you call a Christmas gift swap party depends on where you live!

A Secret Santa is pretty self-explanatory. Draw names from a hat or use a website like and get a gift for the person whose name you draw.

A Yankee Swap – which many also call a White Elephant party – is when everyone brings a gift to party in a certain price range. Guests draw a number and that determines the order in which people open their gifts. Guests can choose to steal a gift from someone that opened a gift before them (and that person would pick a new gift). The host usually sets a limit for how many times someone can steal a gift (otherwise the party would go on forever!). 

Sometimes a “White Elephant “party can mean the gift should be funny or something no one wants. Many people in the South also call this a Dirty Santa party. If unsure, clarify with the host!

And on top of that, many of these gift exchanges often have themes. We’ve listed some below along with some fabulous gift ideas!

Shop this collage here

Favorite Things Party

Bring one of your favorite products to exchange with friends. Think your favorite mascara or the handy travel steamer you love. If you are blanking on ideas don’t worry we’ve rounded up some great “favorite things” in different price points below. 

GOODR Polarized Round Sunglasses
Head to to see more styles!
SCOUT Market Tote
Best bags ever!
Lululemon Scrunchie 6 Pack
Anyone could use a set of these.
Tan Luxe The Face Mini Bauble
How cute is this beauty gift?!

Red Clay Drink Salt Duo
A fun gift you can get on Prime!
Swig Skinny Can Cooler
These are so popular.
DoSayGive Greeting Card Set
Anyone could use this!
Joy Creative Shop Bag of Tags
A bag of tags for every occasion.

For more under $25 Favorite Things ideas see this post. Also you can filter any of our gift guides by price.


Girlfriend Gift Exchange

This could be at a Christmas coffee after carpool or a fun dinner at a restaurant. Bring a gift that you know anyone would love to receive. Browse our Gifts Under $30 guide for tons of ideas for friends, as well as our Women’s Gift Guide! This Slip ornament is a popular Christmas gift this year, and these festive to-go cups would be cute paired with a Starbucks gift card. And we love this lipstick case! 

Tuckernuck Tumblers
Several cute designs to choose from.
Pillow Talk On the Go Eye & Lip Set
A fun beauty gift!
Estelle Colored Wine Glasses
Sure to be a hit any gift exchange.
Neely Phelan Barque Drops
Any lady would love these.

The Smooch Key Ring
Cute and handy!
Tory Burch Performance Visor
One of the most popular gifts on our Women's Gift Guide!
Vietri Bud Vase
So pretty and you can order on Prime.
Chanel Eyeshadow Palette
Anything from Chanel would be a winner.


Couples Gift Exchange 

Fun to do with friends or adult family members. Couples exchange one gift that both can use (think Air Fryer or a Coravin). We have a Couples and Families Gift Guide that can help but here are some of our favorite ideas: 

YETI Lowballs
A set of YETI lowballs or coffee mugs would definitely be a hit.
Sugarfina Holiday Candy Trunk
This would be a wow gift!
The United States of Cocktails Book
A fun and unique book!
There are options at several price points.

Massage Gun
A less expensive but great version of the Theragun.
Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Grill
Who wouldn't love this?!
Stovetop Popcorn Machine
So fun for families!
Always Pan
One of the most popular gifts of the year!


Classroom/Children’s Gift Exchange

There are many different ideas for children’s gift exchanges. Ornament, nutcracker or just a simple gift exchange. We like giving classic children’s books for classroom gift exchanges. 

Mortimer's Christmas Manger
A sweet book for children!
Target has the best $10 Nutcrackers
Dog Ornament
We love Pottery Barn dog ornaments!
All About Advent Coloring Book
Only $7 on Amazon Prime!

Can't go wrong with a classic slinky!
Christmas Pop-It
Christmas Tree Pop It!
Apple Gift Card
For Teens!
Peace Love and Happy Notepad
Smily Faces are so popular for tweens/teens!

Browse our favorite gift ideas for holiday gift exchanges below for even more inspiration! 

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2 thoughts on “Gift Exchange Party Ideas!

  1. Hi Lee—
    Love you most recent post…but your plaid button down jacket/sweater caught my eye! Care to share if it is a recent purchase and if so, from where? Happy Holidays!