What Is A Pollyanna Gift

What Is A Pollyanna Gift? Explained

Last Updated on April 23, 2024 by Kimberlee Johnson

Seeking a unique and memorable method to make someone’s day brighter? Look no further than Pollyanna gifts.

They can be as simple as a handmade card or as elaborate as a surprise vacation. 

No matter what you give, Pollyanna’s gifts will surely bring a smile to anyone’s face. So, what is a Pollyanna gift? Read on. 

What Does A Pollyanna Gift Mean?

2 gifts

A Pollyanna gift can go by many names, but in the west of the United States, it is more commonly known as a white elephant present.

One key distinction between pollyanna and white elephant gifts is that the latter typically involves giving someone something they don’t need or want.

In contrast to Pollyanna gifts, the giver is expected to present the recipient with something of practical value.

The idea behind a Pollyanna gift is to give something special that is both thoughtful and appropriate for the person receiving it. 

It is not typically found in stores and is often handmade or an item that is meaningful to the recipient. 

The best Pollyanna gifts are uniquely tailored to the recipient, considering their likes, interests, and hobbies [1].

But what are the qualities of a good gift?

5 Rules Of The Pollyanna Gift Exchange

1. Decide On A Budget

Before the game begins, set a budget for the gifts. This will ensure that everyone knows how much to spend and that everyone’s gifts are of similar value. 

And the budget should be realistic and agreed upon by all the participants. 

A Pollyanna exchange costs between $20 and $30 but varies widely depending on the person.

2. Only One Present For Each Guest

One of the Pollyanna gift exchange rules is that each participant must bring one present for each guest. 

It means that each guest will receive a single, unique gift. This ensures that each person gets something special and that the gifts will be spread evenly. 

Besides, it prevents people from trying to outdo each other with the most expensive or impressive gifts.

3. Plan The Theme

When it comes to planning the theme for a Pollyanna gift exchange, it is essential to keep in mind that the theme should be something that will be enjoyable for all participants. 

So, it should be easy and fun for everyone. Examples of themes could be a favorite color, hobby, or movie.

4. Determine The Order

In a Pollyanna gift exchange, one of the primary rules is determining the order in which participants choose their gifts. 

“To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift.”

– Steve Prefontaine, American Long-Distance Runner

This can be done in various ways, such as drawing names from a hat or simply having each person choose in a predetermined order.

5. Choose If You Want To Swap Or Open The Gift 

When participating in a Pollyanna gift exchange, one of the rules is to decide if a person wants to swap their gift with someone else or open it themselves. 

If the person decides to swap, they can swap their gift with someone else who has received it. 

Or if they decide to open the gift, they can find out what it is and keep it for themselves. 

Swapping or opening the gift is a personal choice, and both options are acceptable for the Pollyanna gift exchange.

Find out when will families in Colombia exchange their gifts here.

What Are Some Ideas For Pollyanna Gifts?

Resin Necklace Jewelry

Some great gift ideas for the Pollyanna gift exchange include homemade items, personalized items, and items that will be useful and enjoyed. 

Homemade items, such as knitted scarves, jewelry, and baked goods, are popular gifts in the Pollyanna exchange. 

Not only do they provide a personal touch, but they also show that you put thought and effort into the gift. This is a great way to do it if you are crafty or want to show your creativity. 

Personalized items, such as mugs, t-shirts, and photo frames, are great gift ideas for the Pollyanna exchange. These gifts will be cherished and appreciated for years to come. 

Lastly, valuable and enjoyable gifts, such as books, games, and puzzles, are also great for the Pollyanna exchange. 

It will provide hours of fun and entertainment and be something the recipient can use and enjoy for a long time.

Also Read: What Should You Say When Giving A Present?


Where did the Pollyanna gift-giving come from?

Pollyanna gift-giving originated in Southern Pennsylvania and New Jersey. It is named after the novel “Pollyanna” by Eleanor Porter, first published in 1913. 

What’s the best gift to give in a gift exchange?

The best gift to give in a gift exchange depends on various factors. But a good approach is to consider something thoughtful and practical that the recipient can enjoy. 

Some examples include office gadgets, a cozy blanket, a high-quality water bottle [2], a personalized notebook, or a fun board game.

What are the five gift rules for grown-ups?

The five-gift rule for grown-ups suggests that you give something that the receiver needs, something they want, something to wear, something to read, and something to do or give a special gift. 

This simple rule encourages thoughtful, meaningful gifts that the recipient will appreciate and cherish rather than many smaller, less meaningful items.

Final Words

The possibilities of Pollyanna’s gifts are endless, and the joy they bring to their recipients is priceless. 

Whether you give a gift of time, a handmade item, or something from a store, it’s sure to bring a smile to those you give it to. 

So this holiday season, why not spread some cheer and give a Pollyanna gift? It’s sure to warm the hearts of all who receive it.


Kimberlee Johnson
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