Not precisely a gift tradition, but it is a gift, so... my theatre group used to have an auction at the regular Christmas Celebration. People bring Stuff, people bid on Stuff, money raised goes to charity. Well, there was a traditional penguin. A little plastic wind-up toy of no value whatsoever, but it was always the last item to be auctioned, and always raised the highest sum, to be borne off in triumph by the winner. Then it would reappear the following year.