For many of us who grew up in these parts, holiday parties are synonymous with one particular tradition: the Yankee swap. For the uninitiated, Yankee swaps come in a few different forms, but the ones I’ve participated in went like this: Everyone brings a gift to the party, and draws a number. Depending on the position of this number—the coveted ‘1’ gets the person who picked it the final choice at the end of the game, and the last number is usually stuck with whatever no one else wanted—you could end up with something you actually really want, or a kitschy regift.
Which is exactly the issue for some folks. If everyone’s on the same page, meaning you all bring an actual gift, or you all bring something tacky—it can be fun. But I’ve experienced more than a few where some people ended up with something useful and others were left holding the proverbial bag of coal. Awkward.
Take our poll and let us know what you think—and post your Yankee swap story in the comments. (Mine? I brought a pair of earrings that somehow ended up with the only man at the party, then somehow with a friend whose ears aren’t pierced, then somehow back to me. Luckily I liked them.)