Unfortunately for me, my work has one every year, and there's no way to get out of it. What is the point of these gift exchanges? For someone like me, who doesn't keep junk around her house, there's nothing to get rid of. These exchanges usually result in me getting more junk and someone else going home with my Mary Poppins book (I'm still sad that I gave that one away....)
They're awkward too--what do you do when you open up a lovely box and inside is a heated rock for your nonexistent lizard? Laugh? Roll your eyes? Thank the giver? Get competitive and try to pawn it off on the next person?
I wish I could think of a good alternative.