Dirty Santa? How will you be doing Secret Santa this year?

As the Christmas season unfolds and the air fills with the magic of twinkling lights from dazzling Christmas trees, Christmas jumpers and mulled wine, we start to think about gifting to friends, family and work colleagues. At eParaplan, we have two ways of gifting around this joyous time. In the past, we have completed a Secret Santa which most businesses today will do, in fact many families also now have a Secret Santa to prevent overspending and keep budgets down. However, this year is a bit different.. we are doing Dirty Santa!!!!

What is Dirty Santa?
Let me tell you how we play our Dirty Santa game…
No more having to buy a gift for someone you don’t know, dirty Santa is different. Everyone buys a gift, but not for a specific person. The gift is wrapped in the best way possible because you want it to stand out as the most attractive. All the gifts are placed in the middle of the room, and the first person takes a gift from the pile and opens it.

Now for the Dirty bit…
The next person can either pick a new gift off the pile or steal a gift that’s already been opened, and so the process goes. It’s chaos! For example player five could steal from player two, there is no way of keeping your gift safe from others. It is a game of swap, steal, laugh, giggle and far more fun than the usual secret Santa.

Rules Of Playing Dirty Santa

Define price limit: Set a budget for fairness and affordability, ensuring everyone can partake in the merriment.

Everyone buys one gift: Contribute a single gift to the exchange, guaranteeing that everyone walks away with a surprise to unwrap.

It’s all in the wrapping: Let your creativity run wild—wrap gifts deceptively to add an element of surprise to the unwrapping experience.

Draw player order: Establish a smooth order of play for clockwise gift swapping and opening.

Opening and stealing: Participants take turns unwrapping gifts or engaging in strategic theft, creating a dynamic exchange.

No swap-backs: A stolen (and loved) gift becomes a waiting game; the original owner must bide their time for another opportunity to strike back.

How the game ends: The grand finale unfolds as each participant opens a gift and strategically engages in the art of stealing. The last person decides to keep or steal and everyone is then stuck with what they have, good or bad!

However, if this sounds like far too much fun for you, then we would recommend you use the Elster app for your Secret Santa gifting. It’s a really handy app to help you plan, manage and announce anonymously who each team member has to buy for.

Create your own lists: Easy to use website where the participants can freely browse gifts and add them to their private wish lists.

How does it work?: Elfster then randomly generates pairings, revealing the wish list of your secret Santa, so you know that you can get  a gift that won’t disappoint!

Budget-friendly options: Set gift budgets, making the exchange accessible and enjoyable for everyone involved.

Virtual experiences: Perfect for remote teams or far-flung family members, Elfster facilitates virtual gift exchanges through video calls.

The Choice is Yours!

As you gear up for the festive season, the decision between Dirty Santa’s thrilling unpredictability and Secret Santa’s thoughtful precision is yours to make. Consider the dynamics of your gathering, the personalities of your participants, and the level of excitement you desire. Will it be a wild ride with Dirty Santa or a more traditional exchange with Elfster’s Secret Santa? The choice is yours, and whichever you choose, make it a memorable and joy-filled celebration!

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