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Yankee Swap: Yay or Nay? (POLL)

What's fun for some is tacky for others. Take our poll: what do you think?

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.)

Elizabeth S. Leaver December 12, 2011 at 07:02 PM
I think they're fun (and funny) too, even when everyone's not on the same page. And Liz, you're right, you never know what the "hot" gift will be. I would have been all over those slippers, though! That's one thing I ask for almost every Christmas.
Kim Smith December 13, 2011 at 12:00 AM
We had a couples Yankee Swap one year--my husband bought a baseball cap with an LED light that I thought was ridiculous, and the guys thought it was the best gift ever (for fixing things and such). Another guy bought three ummm...questionable magazines and by the end of the night one recipient was wearing the headlight hat perusing the pages. (Most women buy blankets and kitchen items and such. I myself got a furry blanket that night that I still love.) It was a laugh-out-loud funny evening, and the most ridiculous swap I've ever been involved in. Two thumbs up for the (inappropriate) swap! .
Heidi Murphy December 13, 2011 at 12:31 AM
I love them!! No matter what the gifts are, if you are amount friends and have a few good laughs, its well worth it.
Elizabeth S. Leaver December 13, 2011 at 02:37 AM
Kim, great story. Boys, huh? There was only one man at the swap I participated in for a few years and his contribution was always those little liqueur chocolates. Safe bet with a group of ladies, though usually he would angle to get them back for himself (except for the year he ended up with my pink, dangly earrings).
KarenL December 13, 2011 at 02:38 PM
The boss where I used to work made a big deal about the item she wanted. It was very funny and everyone would find it more desirable and vie for it. The next year, someone would inevitably emulate the coveted prize from the prior year. And, just as inevitable, it would be ignored.

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