These will be the most coveted presents at the party.

By Katie Holdefehr
Updated October 09, 2019

Whether you have to bring a small present for a gift swap at work or are planning a Secret Santa gift exchange with your friends, everyone will want these clever gift ideas. These are the best Secret Santa gifts Real Simple editors have ever received—and the Yankee swap gifts we sadly didn’t win, but wish we had. If you bring one of these genius gifts to a Yankee Swap, it’s sure to be the present everyone ends up fighting for. And at reasonable prices, you can afford to grab one for yourself and one for the party.

Lodge Cast-Iron 8-Inch Skillet

A Lodge cast-iron skillet is a classic kitchen essential that will last forever, but when presented in a tiny 8-inch size for just $11, it’s also a great idea for a gift exchange. At a Yankee Swap between coworkers a few years ago, everyone fought for this treasure. In the end, I didn’t win it, but it sticks in my mind as the best gift exchange idea ever.

To buy: $11;

Wine Diaper Resealable Padded Absorbent Bag

The best White Elephant gifts are those that are slightly silly—yet incredibly useful. The wine diaper is exactly that. “I got a Wine Diaper at a White Elephant party, and I took one look at it and laughed out loud at the absurdity of the name,” says Elizabeth Sile, our features editor. “Despite my initial reaction, many bottles of wine have survived international flights in my suitcase at the bottom of the plane because of the wine diaper.”

To buy: $12,


A Laugh-Out-Loud Game

"Someone gave me this hysterical gift last year and, needless to say, it was a hit (the photos are gold)," says Maggie Seaver, our associate digital editor. "Handimonium comes with two pairs of mini hands and various challenges and games that are extra hilarious once you've donned your little digits. Although everyone will appreciate it, you'll want to save this Secret Santa gift for someone with a serious funny bone (you wouldn't want it to fall into the wrong hands!)."

To buy: $11,

Rodin Lip Balm Ring

Filled with jasmine and neroli-scented lip balm, this ring is like a grownup version of our favorite childhood vending machine ring. The lip balm will leave lips moisturized, and you won’t have to hunt through your purse to find it. Rina Stone, executive creative director, says this is her go-to pick for gift exchanges. Just $15, the price is right for this little luxury.

To buy: $15,


A Reusable Ceramic Coffee Cup

"I received a similar cup last year and have used it every single day since. I love that it’s eco-friendly, keeps coffee hot, and the lid is silicone instead of plastic," says Jennifer Davidson, our deputy editor. For those who want to break their disposable coffee cup habit, this upgraded version will make it easy.

To buy: $20,

Oriental Trading

Cute Inflatable Cup Holders

These adorable inflatable drink holders really shine once the weather heats up. "Each inflatable cup holder keeps your drink of choice afloat whether you're lounging poolside or by the beach," says Rachel Sylvester, our lifestyle editor. And while you wait for summer? These inflatable cup holders are a must-have for luxurious bubble baths. 

To buy: $9 for a dozen,