25 Dirty Santa Gift Ideas Under $25

Updated on December 20, 2018
tutta profile image

My name is Tatiana, but my friends and family call me Tutta. I like writing articles that help bring people closer together.

Be ready for the next gift swap at work!
Be ready for the next gift swap at work!

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!

Gifts for Coworkers

Have no idea what to buy for your office Christmas gift exchange? Shopping for coworkers can be a toughie, especially since you never know who will end up with your gift during a game of Dirty Santa. Here are 25 nice gift ideas that nearly anyone can appreciate!

Dirty Santa Gifts for Coworkers

  1. Yeti Insulated Mug. Help keep your coworkers caffeinated through the workday with one of these incomparable Yeti insulated coffee mugs!
  2. Succulent Planter. Making your work space a little more green never hurt anyone! And if whoever ends up with it doesn't have a green thumb, they can always store pens in it!
  3. Essential Oil Diffuser. With the right aromatherapy, an essential oil diffuser can help ease the stress of the office.
  4. Wine Glasses. After a bad day at work, who would say "no" to a nice glass of their favorite red or white.
  5. Personal Planner. Leather-bound personal planners make great Christmas gifts for coworkers.
  6. Christmas Tree Ornament. A lovely ornament (like those from the Hallmark store) is a great universal gift.
  7. Gourmet Cookies. A nice box of Harry & David cookies, or even a gift basket of Selma's will make any recipient merry!
  8. $25 Amazon Gift Card. Boring, maybe, but will they like it, absolutely!
  9. Roller Foot Massager. Hide this messager under your desk for some on-demand T.L.C. for those feet always stuffed in dress shoes.
  10. Floppy Disc Drink Coasters. Why not give those old floppy discs a new use! Just kidding, these coasters aren't actually made of plastic discs, but silicone ones that will protect your desk from water marks.
  11. Echo Dot. Make someone's home, or office, a little smarter with an Alexa Echo Dot smart speaker.
  12. "Ashes of Problem Customers" Canister. Ever worked in retail or the service industry?
  13. Paint By Numbers. Have your own personal paint party with a paint-by-numbers set. Comes with everything you need to create a beautiful work of art for the home or office!
  14. Wireless Phone Charger. This is just a convenient gift idea! I have one on my desk and love it!
  15. Batman Money Clip. Great to use for cash or business cards!
  16. Cell Phone Stand. Viewing your cell phone at your desk or in the kitchen has never been more convenient!
  17. Breakfast Sandwich Maker. It's hard to have a decent breakfast when you've got to run to work, but this little appliance will help you whip up a delicious breakfast sandwich faster than waiting in line at the drive-thru.
  18. Glass Bulb Planter Vase. A cool combination of decorative vase and functional hydroponics planter!
  19. Purell Pal. Sick of getting sick at work? Then you'll love this desktop hand sanitizer dispenser.
  20. Sheepi Paper Clip Holder. This cute magnetic sheep is easily the cutest way to store your unused paper clips.

Funny Gifts for Adults

If you and your friends play Dirty Santa, or perhaps if you have a more casual office family, check out these funny Christmas gift ideas for adults.

Funny Dirty Santa Gifts for Adults

  1. Cards Against Humanity. Absolutely the funnest, crudest, most ridiculous party game invented! I personally own Cards Against Humanity, and have gifted it many times, and can vouch for it being a very memorable game. Learn more about it by checking out my Cards Against Humanity Review.
  2. Zombie Survival Kit. Another Christmas classic! Okay, maybe not, but everyone will be wanting this kickass Christmas gift!
  3. Scratch-off Lottery Tickets. Include one of those fake winner ones that you find in a gag gift store.
  4. Bottle of Wine or Liquor. Here’s to staying warm this winter. Cheers!
  5. MAGA Hat. Whether you like Trump or not, this hat is sure to get some laughs when opened!
  6. People of Walmart Adult Coloring Book. Because coloring flowers isn't funny.
  7. Drunk, Stoned, or Stupid Party Game. The game where you have to decide who among you is most likely to lose their pants or have a 3 hour conversation about space.
  8. Death Star Beach Ball. A great Dirty Santa gift idea for your group of Star Wars fanboys!
  9. Harry Potter Shot Glasses. These things are clever! "I Solemnly Swear That I Am Up To No Good", "Felix Felicis - Liquid Luck", "Obliviate!"
  10. Redneck Backscratcher. It's a mini rake, it's a backscratcher, it's a hilarious gift idea!
  11. The Screaming Goat. This little goat figurine will quietly sit on your desk, but with a gentle press, it will scream at you... Aww...
  12. Prison Ramen Cookbook. These creative recipes will have you eating like a real-life law-breaker!
  13. Beginner Melodica. If you don't know what a melodica is, watch this video and you'll understand why I put it on the list.
  14. Superhero Snuggie. Fighting crime has never been so comfortable!
  15. Fake Gold Bar Door Stop. Got a gold bar you're not using?
  16. Fruit Keg Tapping Kit. For your next party, turn a watermelon into the coolest drink dispenser! Punch anyone?
  17. Potty Putter. Spend a lot of time in the bathroom? Why not practice your putting skills!
  18. "Makeup & Sh*t" Bag. The perfect place to store your makeup... and other stuff.
  19. "BigFoot Goes On Vacation:" Seek and Find Book. Adults like playing these games too.
  20. "Smell My Nuts" Scented Candle. I actually received this candle as a Christmas gift from my Mother-in-law, and I must say, it did smell amazing!

Gifts for Family

Dirty Santa is a creative way to mix up the regular gift exchange. Think of things your family enjoys, inside jokes that you share, places everyone likes to visit... These all can lead to great gift ideas for your family Yankee Swap!

Dirty Santa Gift Ideas for Family

  1. Rustic Board Game. You can find versions of your favorite classic board games redesigned into trendy wooden collectible sets. I personally just bought Rustic Battleship to play with the hubby! Visit Target to check out their whole series.
  2. Farkel Rolling Tray Set. If you've never played Farkle, buy this... and if you already have a Farkle cup set, buy this anyways! The tray is super convenient and it has the roll scores right there on the tray itself!
  3. Throw Blanket. You can never have enough cozy throws, especially this time of year! My favorite are those super cozy Cuddl Duds ones from Kohls! I've probably gifted 10 or more of these bad boys over the years!
  4. 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?
  5. "As seen on TV" Anything. Order now and you’ll get not one, but two for just $19.99! Seriously though, some of those nifty gadgets are pretty creative and could make a popular gift for Dirty Santa!
  6. Oven Mitts & Potholders. Got a lot of cooks in the family? Why not offer up some new and stylish oven mitts and potholders to your cooking crew!
  7. Universal Yums Box. A box full of international snacks and candies! Who wouldn't have fun digging through one of these? I actually ordered a box for my brother and his wife for Christmas this year!
  8. Hershey S'mores Caddy. S'mores are not only a fun snack, but they can be a fun activity to do with the family!
  9. Snow Cone Maker. It might not be most useful during winter, but whoever receives this fun kitchen appliance will enjoy it come summertime!
  10. Giant Inflatable Bowling Set. Another fun gift to play with the family after the backyard snow melts!
  11. TableTopics: Family Edition. 135 questions to ask your family members to get the conversation started!
  12. Family Birthday Reminder Wall Plaque. Sure you can keep a calendar with all the birthdays on it, but this is way cuter!

Gifts for Teens

If you are your friends are planning a sleepover over Christmas break, then you better also plan on playing Dirty Santa! Here are some unique gift ideas to bring to the party that your friends will definitely love!

Dirty Santa Gift Ideas for Teens

  1. Bluetooth Headphones. Because getting rid of wires is so, so gratifying!
  2. 5lbs of Gummy Worms. Did you know you can buy 5lbs of Trolli Sour Brite Crawlers on Amazon? Well now you do and you're welcome.
  3. Sushi Go! Card Game. If you like Japanese cuisine and card games, then you'll adore Sushi Go! Who knew sushi could be so cute?!
  4. Bluetooth Speaker. The coolest Dirty Santa gift idea for your music-loving crew.
  5. Slime Kit. Whether it's rainbow, puffy, or sparkly, mixing up and playing with slime is a ton of messy fun!
  6. Selfie Light Ring. Take perfectly lit selfies with this super easy to use clip-on light!
  7. Exploding Kittens Game. This card game is a blast! Ha ha!
  8. Pusheen Anything. Pusheen is literally, the cutest cartoon kitty cat there has ever been and will ever be!
  9. Rainbow Makeup Brush Set. You're going to need brushes if you're going to be practicing those cool makeup tutorial on Youtube!
  10. Mermaid Tail Blanket. Transform into one of these majestic mythical maidens, without the annoying shell bra!
  11. Ruby Red Sequin Slippers. No, I'm not meaning the sparkly shoes Dorothy waltzed around Oz in... I'm talking plushy house slippers with sherpa lining! They'll have you saying, "There's no place like home!"
  12. Neon Nail Polish Set. Neon nail polishes are pretty much always a win, but pastels and metallics are also trendy color sets too!
  13. Adult Coloring Book. Sometimes you just need a little quiet time! An adult coloring book and quality marker set is a perfect Dirty Santa gift idea for your gal pals.
  14. Mini Drone. Take the most epic videos and selfies with a mini drone.
  15. Chocolate Covered Oreos. No explanation required for this one!

Gifts for Kids

If the kids are having a gift exchange at school or church, here are some great ideas to consider. Most likely the budget will be less than $25, so many of these ideas can be scaled down to fit the rules of your Dirty Santa specifically.

Dirty Santa Gifts for Kids

  1. Lego Building Kit. Legos are a classic toy with so many fun, sets to choose from, everything from Star Wars fighters to Disney princesses and their castles!
  2. Play-doh. Kids love Play-doh! Whether you get a collection of different colors, or a play set with modeling tools, this gift is sure to make some kid very happy!
  3. Crayola Color Wonder. Crayola products always make great gifts for children, but this series will make the parents happy too! Color Wonder markers only show up on Color Wonder paper, so there are no unwanted wall-murals!
  4. Walkie Talkies. I love a gift that can be enjoyed by anyone, and toy walkie talkies are definitely one of those gifts! Talk about a fun addition to a camp-out with friends!
  5. Lite-Brite Ultimate Classic. I had one of these classic toys when I was little and LOVED it! Who knew they were still around?
  6. Bubbles and Bubble Machine. Bubbles are fun for kids of all ages! It doesn't hurt that they're also incredibly affordable!
  7. Magnetic Blocks. For once, a building toy that won't hurt your feet if you step on one! My kids are still a bit young to properly play with them, but they still enjoy stacking them!
  8. Kids Headphones. Perfect for when the kids are watching tv show or movie or playing their favorite learning apps on their tablet.
  9. Hedbanz for Kids. Hedbanz is one of my favorite party games to play with friends, so I can only imagine how much fun this version would be with the kiddos!
  10. Skip Hop Backpack. These adorable animal-inspired backpacks come in a ton of different designs, many which would be cute for boys or girls! My son has the giraffe one!
  11. Disney Christmas Storybook. My kids love this book! Our favorite stories are "Mickey's Christmas Carol" and "A Gift for Wall-E."
  12. Gumball Machine Bank. A fun and tasty way to teach kids how to save money!
  13. 5,000 Awesome Facts Book. Learn something new with one of these 'awesome' books from National Geographic Kids!
  14. Kinetic Sand. If you haven't played with this stuff, you don't know what you're missing!
  15. Thermos Funtainer. An awesome, leak-proof bottle that kids will love!
  16. Play Tent. Pretend to be knights, defending the castle from the Black Dragon, or a lion tamer in the Big Top!
  17. Superhero Capes & Masks. Because every kid wants to be a superhero!
  18. Sticky Mosaics. Color by numbers just got way more creative! Fun for toddlers, as well as elementary school aged kids!
  19. Marble Run. Build the most intricate marble run, then drop your marble and watch it go! Definitely a winner with my boys!
  20. Look & Find Books. Finally, a picture book parents can enjoy! If you're really ready for a challenge, check out "Where's Waldo?". They are way harder than I remember!
  21. Soccer Ball. It's a classic.
  22. Maze Book. Include a pack of cute pencils for a cheap Dirty Santa gift idea for kids!
  23. Light-up Bath Toys. What better way to make little ones love bathtime!
  24. Spirograph. I loved drawing spirals with these when I was a kid!
  25. Mr. Sketch Scented Markers. I don't care if you're a preschooler or a parent... you can't resist sniffing these markers...

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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    • profile image


      8 months ago

      This passage helped

    • mandybaker02 profile image

      Mandy Baker 

      8 months ago from Michigan

      Great ideas! I've also found that handmade gifts are a big hit!

    • Paramita Mallik profile image


      3 years ago from KOLKATA,WEST BENGAL

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

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 

      3 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 

      3 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 

      5 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


      5 years ago

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

    • S Macauley profile image


      5 years ago from Oklahoma

      Cute ideas

    • poetryman6969 profile image


      5 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


      5 years ago from malang-indonesia

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



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