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; amazon.com.
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, senior 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: $14; amazon.com.
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; amazon.com.
Goda Scalp Massager
Another gift that got away, Zoe Barton, associate director of audience development, wished for one of these at a gift exchange. These head massagers are guaranteed to give you that relaxed feeling that sends tingles down your spine, and at $8 for a pack of three, you can afford to keep one for yourself, too.
To buy: $8 for set of 3; amazon.com.
3-Quart Instant Pot
For a gift exchange with a slightly higher price limit, our beauty editor Chelsea Burns says the Instant Pot is the gift of the season. Right now, the smaller 3-quart pot is just $52, making it a reasonable price for the most desirable gift in the room.
To buy: $52; amazon.com.
Kate Spade Cue the Confetti Napkins
"I LOVE getting cocktail napkins," says Rebecca Longshore, our social media manager. "It’s the perfect gift because I love having them around, but I would never buy them for myself," she explains. Look for a cute set with cheeky sayings, like these adorable ones by Kate Spade.
To buy: $10, on sale for $7; macys.com.