When I was a little girl, I absolutely loved buying Christmas presents. Come to think of it, it was really simple. My parents gave me a stipend and I would go and buy stuff I liked for whoever I felt like giving a present to.
As I got older, Christmas presents (and absolutely everything else in life) got a lot more boring… and complicated. I got to deal with: budgets, forgetting to buy presents for certain people, not really knowing what to get others, and continuously having to remind yourself that white socks are not that great of a gift. That was cute when I was about six. At 25+2, it is just lame.
Every Christmas, I promised myself to spend the next 365 buying really good gifts. It doesn’t matter if it is January 3rd. If you see something that would make a great present for Has-It-All Aunt or Likes-Nothing Uncle, just buy it. It will save you a lot of last minute shopping on December 23rd. But I never really got around to it.
Ergo, my love affair with Secret Santa. You get to concentrate on one gift, you can’t overspend or be cheap and everything is back to being very simple. That is, until you get the name of the most boring person in the planet. Or, even worst, when the one person who ended up being a part of Secret Santa because he just happened to be around when you did the name draw gets your name. What was my present that year, you ask? Two Diet Cokes and a Milky Way packed in a beautiful, beautiful CVS bag. I kid you not. College Secret Santa 2011 (not that I’m keeping tabs or anything).
Dirty Santa has been the solution to all my Christmas Present problems. For one, you don’t even have to look for a gift for someone specific. Just go out and buy something you think is really cool. If everyone brings lame gifts, just try and get yours back! There’s also the fact that weird rivalries are formed and I find that immensely entertaining. Word of advice: do not let children play. If you don’t know what Dirty Santa is, I’ll include instructions at the bottom. For now, here’s a list of my favorite Dirty Santa Gifts.
Dear Rain Handbag Poncho – $20 (https://mydearrain.com/dear-shop/)
Surprised to find this one show up first? Ha! Seriously, though, unless this is a frat house Dirty Santa, there will be women, they own purses, it often rains… You get the drill.
Poo-Pouri – $9.95-$44.95 (https://www.poopourri.com/)
I have to give two disclaimers. First, I haven’t actually tried this, so I don’t know that it works. Second, I gave this as a Dirty Santa gift a few years ago and no one understood what it was. Come on, people, it’s not that hard. You spritz Poo-Pouri on the toilet. Poo-Pouri creates a barrier on the water that traps odor under the surface. The end. Maybe its just me, but I think it’s genius.
Contigo Water Bottles – $9.99-$22.99 (http://www.gocontigo.com/)
This was all the rage at last year’s Dirty Santa. Honestly, I still don’t get it. Maybe its a Venezuelan thing, but people were ripping these (yes, there were more than one) off of other’s hands. When I went on their site, though, I noticed they released a new water bottle that allows you to infuse water. Spa-water to go? Yes, please.
Christian Louboutin’s Loubi Under Red Nail Designer – $45 (http://www.saksfifthavenue.com/)
Just because I would never pay $45 for this, but I would totally want to steal it from someone else. It seems to be a fairly regular red nail polish, only it is the exact Louboutin color and the fine tip makes it easy to apply under the nail.
Scratch Map – $16.99 – $30 (http://www.scratchmap.org/)
This is a rather cool, and show off-y, way of keeping track of your travels. A simple world map in which you scratch off the countries you have visited. Yes, there’s an app for that, but you can’t really display it on your wall, can you?
If you’re into being super boring or you are a terrible gift-giver, spare your friends and family, get a gift card. It definitely won’t be the talk of the night but, hey, I wouldn’t complain either.
I am assuming your Dirty Santa will be somewhere between the $10 and $50 range. If it’s above that, lucky you. I keep daydreaming of joining a Dirty Santa in some billionaire friend club I don’t have and having the price range be something like $500k to $750k. It would definitely be more interesting (and more annoying to get the equivalent to the electric toothbrush my father-in-law got stuck with a few years ago). But I’ll have to keep you posted when I find that Dirty Santa League…
DIRTY SANTA INSTRUCTIONS
- Let all guests know about the gift exchange and set a price range.
- Place a bag or box near the entrance of the party.
- Have everyone wrap their gifts, bring them unmarked, and place them in the designated bag/box.
- Randomly assign a number to every guest.
- The person assigned with #1 picks a gift, opens it and shows everyone what it is.
- Then, #2 can either “Steal” #1’s unwrapped gift or unwrap a new one. If #1 gets their gift stolen, then #1 opens a new gift.
- The game continues following these simple rules:
- If someone steals your gift, you can steal someone else’s gift or choose and open a wrapped one.
- A gift can only be “stolen” once during a turn.
- Once a gift has 3 “owners”, the 3rd owner of a gift gets to keep it.
- After everyone has had a turn, #1 can chose to steal someone else’s gift (and give that person their gift)