25 Dirty Santa Gift Ideas Under $25

Updated on May 18, 2016

What is Dirty Santa?

When you think of Christmas, you probably consider it as a time of giving. This is true, except in the twisted game of Dirty Santa!

Dirty Santa, a.k.a. White Elephant, Thieves’ Christmas, Yankee Swap, Naughty Santa, or Chinese Gift Exchange, is a gift exchange with the added twist of taking. The game is called "dirty" because partygoers get to "steal" gifts from each other in an attempt to get the best (or at least not the worst) gift.

Dirty Santa Rules

Each participant starts out on Santa’s “nice” list by bringing a wrapped gift, so the game does begin with giving. Each wrapped gift is placed in the middle of the gathering.

One person chooses a gift from the pile and unwraps it. Their turn is over, but this does not mean they get the gift that they chose.

Here is where the “naughty” comes in: The next person can either choose to steal any opened gift or choose open a new gift from the pile.

This goes on until each and every gift from the pile has been opened. Once the pile is gone, the gift you hold in your hands is the gift you take home!

Gift Exchange Ideas

Now that you know how to play, you're probably wondering what gift to bring. No worries, we've got you covered! Here's our list of the 25 best Dirty Santa gifts under $25!

  1. Charlie Brown Christmas tree. This is a classic that everyone will love! Bring a small potted or cut tree.
  2. Christmas tree ornament. A lovely ornament (like those from the Hallmark store) is a great universal gift.
  3. Dunkin' Donuts gift card. Mmmmmmm. Who doesn't love donuts and coffee?
  4. "As seen on TV" anything. Order now and you’ll get not one, but two for just $19.99!
  5. Small cooking appliance. Something like a sandwich press, quesadilla maker, or a cake pop maker makes an easy and affordable gift.
  6. Gourmet cookies. A nice box of Harry & David cookies, or even a gift basket of Selma's will make any recipient merry!
  7. Exploding golf balls. Up for a little game of goofy golf? Slip one of these into your friend's golf bag for a good laugh!
  8. Bottle of wine or liquor. Here’s to staying warm this winter. Cheers!
  9. Throw blanket. You can never have enough cozy throws, especially this time of year!
  10. Classic board games. Monopoly, Sorry!, Scrabble, Chutes and Ladders, checkers, etc.
  11. A classic Christmas movie. A Christmas Carol, Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer, A Charlie Brown Christmas, etc.
  12. Zombie survival kit. Another Christmas classic! Okay, maybe not, but everyone will be wanting this kickass Christmas gift!
  13. Cards Against Humanity. Absolutely the funnest, crudest, most ridiculous party game invented!
  14. Scratch-off lottery tickets. Include one of those fake winner ones that you find in a gag gift store.
  15. Bath gift basket. This might be more appropriate for the women at the party, but some men like baths too, ya know!
  16. Personal planner. Leather-bound personal planners make great Christmas gifts for coworkers.
  17. Set of poker chips. You can easily find a nice set in an aluminum case for under $25!
  18. Glass candy dish. Filled with candy for the win!
  19. Coffee mug. An oversized mug filled with coffee goodies and a Starbucks gift card is sure to please!
  20. Kitchen stuff. Oven mitts, measuring cups and spoons, spatulas, a muffin tin, spices... you get the picture.
  21. Seasonal scented candle. A nice, affordable gift that can be appreciated by most partygoers.
  22. Teapot set. It worked in The Office, so why not in a real Dirty Santa game?
  23. Movie night gift basket. A fun DVD (I suggest a Pixar movie), popcorn, and a selection of movie theater candy. Who would've love that?
  24. Stylish photo frame. Universal gift giving: You got this!
  25. Homemade baked goods. Make some yummy goodies and put them in a festive tin.

What's your favorite "As Seen on TV" product?

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Christmas Party Gift Exchange Shopping Guidelines

Considering the naughtiness of the game, it’s difficult to shop for a gift because you don’t know who is going to wind up with it! With this in mind, it’s best to keep things simple and stick to some basic rules:

  • Universal is key: Buy something that would be practical for anyone or something that anyone could enjoy.

  • Unisex is best: If you plan on buying something such as a hat or scarf, avoid overly girly colors or manly prints. Stick with neutral, solid colors because Uncle Bob might not appreciate polka dots!

  • Have a sense of humor: Gag gifts normally go over well and work as great conversation starters! Have fun with this category but keep in mind the age group of those attending.

Remember: What goes around, comes around. So if you want to stay on the 'nice' list, you best play nice and bring a great gift!

Now that you've got your gift in tow, it's time to play a little game of Dirty Santa! Have fun and Merry Christmas!


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    • Paramita Mallik profile image


      wonderful hub.Loved reading some of the great ideas.Thanks for sharing.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Great list. I did get a throw blanket for X-mas last year, especially to keep me warm in the winter. All thoughtful ideas too and inexpensive as well.

    • erorantes profile image

      Ana Maria Orantes 2 years ago from Miami Florida

      Thank you for the gifts ideas. You are a genious. You made my job easier. I need to get a few gifts for some people.like you wrote anything goes during Christmas. As long, it comes with good intentions. Thank you miss Tatiana.

    • amiebutchko profile image

      Amie Butchko 4 years ago from Warwick, NY

      Good ideas! I am always at a loss for these things, and you gave some really good options and advice! Love #1 Charlie Brown Christmas tree. That is a really cute idea!

    • torrilynn profile image

      torrilynn 4 years ago

      Nice ideas especially the exploding golf ball idea. Voted up.

    • S Macauley profile image

      Sandy 4 years ago from Oklahoma

      Cute ideas

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 4 years ago

      A cool name for the white elephant thing. Zombie cookies for me thanks! Can't wait to bite their heads off...

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 4 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Wow...huge collections of Christmas gift. Thanks for sharing with us. I love the Santa Pictures. Take care!