Another gift question
December 4, 2012 8:01 PM   Subscribe

Help me buy a gift for a gift swap.

Must be appropriate for people ages 18-90, male or female. Spending limit is $30 but I'm willing to go over for something excellent.

Unique and/or funny would be a bonus.
posted by murfed13 to Shopping (17 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
posted by pompomtom at 8:10 PM on December 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

Last year at our office Yankee swap, the surprise hit gift was a remote-controlled helicopter.
posted by chickenmagazine at 8:15 PM on December 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

I can't imagine anyone not liking one of these giant legos.

I brought a beta fish, fishbowl, little fake tree, and fish food to a gift swap once. It went over really well and didn't cost more than $30.

Other gifts that I've seen go over well were 30 McChicken sandwiches (they were $1 each at the time), $30 worth of tiny booze bottles, $30 worth of toilet paper (that is a lot of TP), a framed portrait of the person who brought the gift photoshopped to look like an oil painting, a subscription to National Geographic, and a wide selection of japanese candy.
posted by troika at 8:22 PM on December 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

At cost plus they sell these GIANT gummy bears, like as big as a brick. You could get one of those and a bunch of candies of the world.
posted by dottiechang at 8:29 PM on December 4, 2012

Cards Against Humanity
posted by StickyC at 8:48 PM on December 4, 2012 [3 favorites]

At last year's office Yankee swap, a giant plush Angry Birds minion pig was the most stolen gift, with a box full of lottery scratchers running a close second.
posted by jamaro at 9:02 PM on December 4, 2012

posted by backwards guitar at 9:44 PM on December 4, 2012

Down Ice Scraper Mitt
posted by E3 at 12:08 AM on December 5, 2012

One year I brought a bottle of wine, some wine glasses and a corkscrew. Came well under $30.00. Other years I brought $25.00 worth of Ramen, scratch offs, a toaster that burns the image of, in this case, and the New Orleans Saints logo on your bread (that almost created a fight.)
posted by govtdrone at 4:23 AM on December 5, 2012

This sounds like my family's gift swap. Things that have gone over well in the past have been kitchen gadgets, a weird alarm clock and a grow your own cactus kit.
posted by martinX's bellbottoms at 5:32 AM on December 5, 2012

Remote control flying fish for $25! There's a shark, too! And a bass!
posted by argonauta at 5:46 AM on December 5, 2012

$30 worth of $1 scratch lottery tickets
posted by belladonna at 6:00 AM on December 5, 2012

Lottery tickets and booze always go over well. I used to get a Crock Pot and people used to go ape-shit for it.

We'd do one of those progressive exchanges, everyone gets a number, you can choose from the pile, or you could take someone's gift. Hella fun, expecially when it's YOUR gift that everyone wants.

So, yeah. A Crock Pot.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:04 AM on December 5, 2012

I really wanted to get the Sriracha Popcorn/Lipbalm from The Oatmeal, but I couldn't find a way to swing it with our $15 limit at my work. Of course, now that I ordered something else, I found out that I can get the popcorn over at
posted by getawaysticks at 7:56 AM on December 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'm putting a box of hostess cupcakes into my swap with the rest of the monetary amount in scratch tickets this year, but that may be hard to buy right now.

Other items that have worked well in the past:

- Wireless weather station (sounds geeky, but I got this one and freakin' love it)

- a cooler with 2 live lobsters in it (or alternative - filet mignons) - who doesn't love that?
posted by floweredfish at 8:37 AM on December 5, 2012

nice bottles of olive oil & balsamic vinegar
posted by belau at 10:32 AM on December 5, 2012

As noted above, AirSwimmers have been regularly turning up at the $25-30 mark online and on Groupon-style sites. I have yet to meet a person who doesn't think they're awesome.

(I'd probably go the Clownfish, especially if there's a chance your recipient is going to be a very femme lady - they strike me as more broadly appealing than the shark or the fisherman's bass.)
posted by Someone Else's Story at 5:28 PM on December 5, 2012

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