It’s your turn to host the Christmas party, and you simply hate the idea of organizing a boring night at your house where people come only for drinks and food.
But what if you could transform this event into a party every one enjoys, including you? What if instead of swapping the same gifts you’re offering each other for years, you take a fun spin and make the whole experience more entertaining?
We present to you the concept of Dirty Santa. You might not have heard of it, but it’s one of the most enjoyable Christmas party ideas around here, which will definitely keep everyone entertained the entire night. Some call it Dirty Santa, others have different names for it (Yankee Swap or White Elephant), but it’s the same concept, with rules simple to follow.
Who is Dirty Santa?
Some would say that Dirty Santa is the punk cousin of Santa Claus, who makes parties more entertaining and becomes everyone’s favorite person in the room. However, Dirty Santa isn’t a person but a gift exchange game you can play at Christmas parties, regardless of who attends it. You can choose this theme irrespective if you want to throw a holiday party for your friends, an office party, or a Christmas Eve party for your family. Everyone will love the idea because it encourages them to use their creativity and search for hilarious gifts for the other guests.
The name Dirty Santa tells you it will be a naughty night. Some would even say that the Grinch is the spirit of this party because not only that the gifts are wicked, but everyone turns into a thief at the end of the night.
The aim of the game is to buy funny presents and to steal the gift you want from someone else.
Dirty Santa is you and all the other party guests.
The secret to a successful party is to plan an engaging and fun night and put some effort into picking a gift everyone would want to steal from others. The gifts should be funny, maybe even a little bit weird, and match everyone’s interests. It might even be a concert ticket if you know your guests are fans. Or maybe a ticket to a Magic Mike show if most of your party attendees are girls.
One of the best parts of the party is that you can watch the others squirm when they get their present swapped with a weird one and hope to be able to change it again. Does it sound entertaining enough for you?
How to play the game?
If this is the first time you hear about Dirty Santa, you might want to read more about the rules so you know how to play it properly.
We already established that you host the party, so the next step is to ask your guests to confirm their attendance so you can know for sure how many Santas will be in the house. Let’s assume there will be around 20 people; the more, the merrier. Establish how much you’ll spend on the gift; somewhere around $30 is reasonable, but you can set a lower or higher sum. Ask everyone to bring general gifts, wrapped carefully so no one can see the content, and without any tag or name. When they arrive at the party, they should place the gifts under the Christmas Tree or on a table clear of anything else.
Once everyone arrives, you write numbers on slips of paper, making sure they equal the number of gifts. Everyone should draw a slip of paper and then choose a gift from under the Christmas Tree when their turn comes.
Starting with Player 2, the guests can steal gifts from the previous players, and so on, until the last gift is opened. At the end of the game, Player 1 can steal a gift from whomever they want.
Gift ideas for Dirty Santa
As mentioned earlier, the purpose of the game is to make the Christmas party funnier, so you should ask everyone to pick general gifts that would match everyone’s interests but to look for something with a twist.
Here are some ideas to help you suppose you lack inspiration.
– Gift card. So many stores offer gift cards, especially during the holiday season, you’ll definitely find one at a retailer that sells products everyone would love to purchase. A great idea is to buy a gift card from Starbucks or another local coffee store.
– Choose unisex gifts. If you buy pink socks, some of the men at your party might not be thrilled to get such a gift, so you should try to opt for unisex products. You can put in your gift box something like one of the Funko Pop! Vinyl figures inspired by your favorite movie franchise as a group.
– Mugs. While everyone buys mugs for Christmas, not everyone buys funny mugs. Instead of getting the same Christmas-printed mug, you can go for one with a funny message or in a unique shape.
– Succulents. If you’re a group of people who love nature, your guests might love the idea of receiving a plant for Christmas. Most people are looking to make their houses greener during winter, and you help them a little. Fingers crossed, the succulent gets to someone with a green thumb because even it needs a little care.
– Wine bottle. Everyone loves wine, so one of the best unisex gifts you can get is a bottle of wine. Suppose you want to level up your game, you can also add two wine glasses to the gift to provide them with a full experience.
– Christmas Tree ornaments. Everyone loves to receive these classical gifts for Christmas because they most likely have a Tree at home and can easily hang it when they get back from the party. You can go with something funny, like a figurine inspired by food or a character from a movie you all like.
Are you ready to throw the Dirty Santa party?