It's called a White Elephant gift exchange and the "rules" are here. One of our additional family rules is that the gift can't cost more than $5. Challenge accepted.
My personal goal is to bring the most frequently exchanged gift, so I usually choose all of the gifts my family brings to the party - five of them this year.
The most hotly contested items...
Using a version of this tutorial, I MADE IT INTO A BOOK SAFE!! Labor = $0.
Besides, I've always wanted to try to make my own book safe. Why not use every opportunity to try something new?? It turns out it only takes about 4 hours over two days (because the glue needs time to dry).
Pro Tip: Always bring gifts you'd like to take home yourself. Tim and I ended up with one of these each. Can you guess which ones???