Freestyle Friday: It’s Dirty Santa, Not Smelly Garbage

I feel like a tree falling in the woods this morning. Either our internet is down or our router has finally kicked its connection, or both being kaput is also a possibility I assume. Whatever the reason, as of 5:15AM, I can’t connect to the internet to actually upload this post. There’s a lot of Google Analytics that makes not being able to get this posted early Friday morning, when you expect it, frustrating to me.

Alas, I’ll write anyway and just post it when I can.

We have our first Christmas party of the season tonight. Leah’s “work party” as it is referred to in our house. Always a lot of fun. Family friendly, good people, good food, over well before midnight, just a good time. Tomorrow night is our “Old School” Christmas party which started when we lived on Overton Road in a house that isn’t there any more. I’m taking homemade mac-and-cheese (I KNOW!).

I’ve heard it called different names over the years, White Elephant, Naughty Santa, Gift Swap, etc. but at each party we play some version of Dirty Santa. You guys know the game. Everyone takes a wrapped gift. Everyone gets a number. Number 1 takes a present and then the fun begins, right? Okay, here are some tips to make your Dirty Santa game fun for everyone. I started to give you “rules”, but I didn’t want to have another controversial post this week, so my tips are:

1. Don’t take garbage as your gift! Everyone likes a fun gift, like a calendar with pictures of a pig in a bikini, but no one wants something that you should have sent to the landfill a year ago. No one wants your son’s old Mario lunchbox with the busted zipper. No one wants your old toilet bowl brush, and no one wants the stick of deodorant you opened but realized it was only deodorant, not deodorant AND antiperspirant. No one wants that! Funny gifts are funny. Quirky presents can be fun and entertaining. Garbage is garbage! Don’t take it.

2. Make rules that are fair for everyone. I’ve played in games that the “rule” was a present was frozen after it had been stolen twice. That’s twice total, not twice in a round. So if #3 stole #2’s present, #2 stole from #1, and then #1 stole from #3, the present #1 ended up with was frozen for the rest of the game. #1 may be great with that, but #17 might not be so thrilled based on his/her knowledge of those playing and their experience in previous years. “Well if we keep a present in play and it gets stolen a lot the game takes too long to play,” usually says the person who drew a low number. I submit that, in later rounds, it takes longer for the person to decide which one of the mystery wrapped gifts they want to choose than it does for the person to steal a gift from someone else. Steals get fast and furious by the 8th round.

3. Observe the price limit. I’ll take an $8 30A coffee mug over a $50 Anthropologie gift card every year, but why would you take at $50 gift card when there is a $20 limit? When people do stuff like that it always makes me wonder what they’re trying to feel better about.

4. Have fun. While I value their friendship, I only see some of these people once or twice a year. I’m not going to leave upset because I got the potholders instead of the Disguster Sound Machine. Have fun. Laugh. Enjoy.

Follow these tips and you’re sure to have the hap-hap-happiest Christmas since Fred Astaire tap-danced with Danny Kay.

Oh, I know some of you think he’s a loon, but I came across this post on re-gifting on the Dave Ramsey site.

Sorry for the delay with the post, but thank you for stopping by and I hope that you have a great weekend!

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