I actually came away from a Yankee Swap with a great present this Christmas. I have my Yankee Swap strategies that I carry from year to year. Here's a synopsis:
If you pick a bad number (low or middle) [which I seem to do every time] then you can't pick a good prize because you are going to lose it and end up with nose hair clippers or a Chia Pet. SO, you have to pick a middle of the road gift that you think you would like, but no one else might. I usually take away some picture frames or fuzzy blanket or something and I'm fine with it. I rarely get the gift cards.
THIS year, my brother bought these really cool drawing items as his swap gift. Knowing my dad's family, none of them are artists, so I felt safe in picking this one. My mom was the only one left who might take it. She ended up taking a laptop holder thing.
I felt the art kit needed some portability and organization!
I got the basic idea from this tutorial: Traveling Art Show but changed it a little bit.