Gift exchange games are a popular pastime at many holiday gatherings. Games like Dirty Santa, White Elephant, Pollyanna and Secret Santa can be a fun, easy and affordable way for large groups of people to participate in holiday gift giving traditions. These games are great for office parties, club meet ups and other larger holiday gatherings because participants only have to buy one gift.

The Pollyanna Gift Exchange is a regional variant of the White Elephant Gift Exchange. Popular in Southeastern Pennsylvania and South New Jersey, Pollyanna is named after the ever-cheerful children’s book character Pollyanna. In common parlance, this name has become synonymous with people who are incredibly optimistic. As you might expect, a Pollyanna Exchange focuses on amusing gifts designed to make people cheerful and merry, making it the perfect option for a holiday gift game.

How to Play

The rules to this Secret Santa style game are simple. Some time before the event, every participant randomly chooses a name out of the pool of participants. No one shares what name they have drawn. Each person then purchases a fun and amusing gift for the person they’ve been assigned to. There is usually a dollar amount assigned before the event so everybody is on the same page as to how much they will be spending on their gift. The presents are then brought to the event and unwrapped by the recipients. Since the gift giver is kept anonymous, you can have a lot of fun choosing hilarious and unique gifts for the person you’ve been assigned.

Choosing Gifts

Choosing the gift you’re going to give can be one of the most fun parts of a Pollyanna Gift Exchange. Think carefully about the person you’ve been assigned to buy for. Think about his or her sense of humor, what he or she likes and dislikes. Perhaps they are a part of an ongoing inside joke. Or maybe they have a zany sense of humor. By taking these personality traits into consideration, you’re sure to find a gift that the person will find humorous, as well as enjoy.

If you happen to be assigned someone you don’t know very well, ask those who know that person. A thoughtful, fun gift is in reach for everyone, even if you have to do a little bit of research to find the perfect one.

If you’re stumped for Pollyanna gift ideas, here are seven affordable gift ideas that are sure to get some laughs and to delight just about any personality type!


A Grumpy Cat Ornament is a great choice for the lover of all things memes and cats. This adorable (and grumpy) cat holds a sign letting the gift receiver know exactly where his or her gift is located. This seven-inch ornament is a great gift all by itself, or you can attach it to a bottle of wine or box of chocolates.


Don't Speak! Funny Coffee Mug - 13 oz Glass - Cool Novelty Birthday...
  • TOP GIFT FOR THE FABULOUS PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE! Husband, Wife, Father, Mother, Grandma, Grandpa, Sister, Brother, Best...
  • DURABLE AND HIGH QUALITY COFFEE MUG. This best coffee lovers gift is not just about the witty and humour, it also about...
  • BEAUTIFUL, CLASSY AND MODERN DESIGN. A cool decorative mug that makes a great gift for anyone that loves a caffeine...

This hilarious glass coffee mug is the perfect gift for that person who just can’t seem to get with the program until she’s had just the right amount of coffee. This mug lets the world know exactly when it’s safe to talk to your gift recipient. For an extra thoughtful touch, pair it with a bag of coffee or a gift card to her favorite coffee shop.


Tipsy Tubes 8 Oz. Hidden Alcohol Flask 3-pack. Unique Secret Flasks.
  • THREE 8 OZ. FLASKS. SUNSCREEN. BRONZER. HAIR PASTE. Great for the Pool, Theater, Golf Course, Beach, Sporting Event,...
  • 24 TOTAL OUNCES or 16 SHOTS. Our Flasks are Designed to Hold Enough for You and Your Friends in One Backpack.
  • HIDE IN PLAIN SIGHT. These Tubes were Made to Look Realistic when You Need it Most.

A set of Tipsy Tubes is guaranteed to make that one person who always jokes about drinking in the office laugh. These cleverly designed 8 ounce tubes may look like tubes of sunscreen, bronzer or hair gel, but they are actually flasks to hide your adult beverages.


Burp Button - Talking Novelty Gift with Funny Burping and Belching...
  • Hilarious Burps: Regardless of how old you are, people of any age can admit that burps are funny! Our talking toy brings...
  • Have the Room in Stitches: Immature? Sure. Hysterical? Always! The Burp Button is the must-have for any class clown or...
  • Share the Joy: A little gross-out humor goes a long way to lift sprits and spread laughs! Surprise your child after a...

Perfect for the perpetual joker and/or prankster, a personal sound effect machine will get tons of laughs. Provide your cubicle mate with his own laugh track, drum roll, applause, boos and more. Featuring 16 funny sound effects, this little machine will provide all sorts of fun in a variety of situations.


Accoutrements LLC Squirrel Feeder Unicorn Standard
  • Size: Standard
  • Plastic unicorn head w/ detachable horn
  • Two holes in the head to thread string or fishing line to hang

This hilarious squirrel feeder will make unicorn sightings an everyday occurrence. Hang this unicorn head with nuts, corn or seeds in its snout and wait for squirrels to come and chow down. This amusing gift is a whimsical take on a squirrel feeder and perfect for both nature and fantasy lovers.


Sargent Art Classic Fine Tip Marker Pens in a Case, Set of 30 and...
  • Gift Set Includes Sargent Art Classic Fine Tip Markers in a Case, Set of 30 and Maybe Swearing Will Help: An Adult...
  • Brilliant Color Formulation Designed to Produce Long Lasting Vibrant Colors and Hours of Fun
  • Sargent Art Markers are Non-Toxic and Safe for Children and Younger Artists.

For the notorious swearer, this adult coloring book comes with markers so that your gift recipient can color away all of their stress. Featuring cute animals, funny puns and trendy designs, this coloring book proves that coloring isn’t just for little kids anymore. This is a great gift for someone with an adult sense of humor, as well as those who enjoy an outlet for their creative side.


ARAD The Butt Office Supply Station Desk Accessory Holder, Green
  • FUNNY ACCESSORIES FOR WORK OR HOME - This humorous toilet tape dispenser is a fun addition to any workspace, whether...
  • GREAT GIFTS FOR FRIENDS & COWORKERS - No matter the occasion or the recipient, this lighthearted cubicle décor is sure...
  • VERSATILE USAGE - While many desk accessories can take up valuable work space, these cute office supply holders take up...

This desk accessory holder is the perfect choice for that guy (or gal) in your office who is known for potty humor and a messy desk. Featuring a colorful person sitting on a toilet, this organizer serves as a tape dispenser, pen holder, memo pad holder and paper clip storage. It comes in blue, green or orange and will get lots of laughs. This clever and amusing desk accessory is a fun way for your gift recipient to keep everything all in one place at his desk.

Finding Pollyanna gift ideas doesn’t have to be difficult. A little creativity and some research or knowledge of the person you are buying for can go a long way in ensuring that you find the perfect gift for your Pollyanna Gift Exchange.

There you have it, the best pollyanna gift exchange ideas. These are sure to get a good chuckle from the recipient. Make sure you check out our best gift ideas for kayakers.

Featured Image via Pixabay