Awesome Dirty Santa Gift Ideas

I hope you’re lucky enough to have a Dirty Santa exchange on your calendar this holiday season. My office has started a tradition of hosting a Dirty Santa event each December, and it’s oh-so fun. Ours is happening tomorrow, in fact!

(Y’all are familiar with the concept of a Dirty Santa gift exchange, right? Sometimes they’re referred to as White Elephant gift exchanges, too. You gather a group of people and everyone brings a gift to contribute. Usually something in the $10-20 range. The gifts don’t include the names of who brought them, and the group draws numbers from a hat. The person who drew number one gets to choose a gift first. Then, the person who drew number two gets to either steal number one’s gift OR open a new one from the pile. And on and on. So the best number to get is the highest one, as you have your pick of all the already opened gifts.)

There are many approaches to take when it comes to Dirty Santa, but I’m a firm believer in the weirder the gift, the better. Go for the creepy/unexpected/out of place options, which are sure to garner awesome reactions from the crew. (Last year, for example, at our company’s Dirty Santa, I contributed a rainbow-colored fleece throw blanket featuring an iron-on Virgin Mary decal. It just felt right.)

If you’re in alignment with this Dirty Santa attitude, here are a few gift suggestions I’d like to offer:

  • A machete. Kevin swears this is the absolute best gift to bring to a Dirty Santa exchange, and I have to agree that he’s onto something. “Every guy wants a machete,” he says. Plus, it doesn’t exactly scream “holiday cheer,” which helps it meet my weird/unexpected criteria. Perfect!


  • Justin Bieber singing toothbrush and floss set. Promote dental health in the best way possible. (And, let’s be honest. Homeboy’s latest record is solid. This is bound to go fast.)

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  • Nicolas Cage whiteboard. Because no cubicle is complete without this gem, which allows you to customize the beloved actor’s hairstyle into anything you can imagine. Let the doodling begin…

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  • Unicorn sprinkle shaker. Spice up any kitchen with this SUPER useful tool. Everyone will wonder what they’ve done without a sprinkle shaking device up to this point. (Include sprinkles and maybe a frosted — but not-yet-sprinkled — cupcake or two so this gift can be enjoyed immediately!)

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  • Design-your-own rubber ducky. Everyone loves personalization, so give the gift of creativity this year with this lovely gift. Plus, since it’s suitable for ages 4 and up, this is the perfect gift for any party crowd.

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  • Log pillow. This will go over big with any Twin Peaks fans at the party. (Can I get a Log Lady shout out?)

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Happy gifting!

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