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{Dirty Santa Game} Each participant brings a wrapped gift that is worth a certain dollar amount that is set by the party host. The gifts are placed under the tree and each participant draws a number (the numbers start at 1 and go as high as the number of participants). Number One chooses a gift first and opens the gift. Lottery tickets are not scratched until the game is over. Number Two can either “steal” the gift that Number One opened, or choose another gift from under the tree. If Number Two steals, Number One chooses another gift from under the tree and then it is Number Three’s turn. Number Three can choose to steal from Number One or Two or open a gift from under the tree. The game continues like that up through the last number. Some other rules: Gifts can only be stolen a total of 2 times. A gift can not be stolen back immediately. The person can steal a different gift or choose one from under the tree. Once a gift has been stolen twice, it may not be taken anymore. Number One gets to steal, if they choose, after the final number has taken his/her turn.

Dirty Santa gifts can be challenging.  No one wants to get the gift that never gets stolen or is met with an obvious lack of enthusiasm from the person who picked it.  Here are some sure ways to give the gift that everyone will want, no matter what the price limit is!

Lottery Tickets!  These are always a crowd pleaser.  If the gift price limit is $10 or lower, I suggest spending the limit on the tickets, and maybe sparing a dollar for an ornament to hang from the gift.  You can also just use cash, but that never seems to get the same amount of response as the lottery tickets, unless you have a high dollar limit.  Get the holiday themed tickets with lower prize amounts.  The recipient is more likely to get a winning amount.

holiday lottery tickets

 

Gift baskets, if done well, can be a big hit.  I like to put a little something for “everyone” in there so that whether the recipient is male or female, the gift will be a good one.  If you know that all the recipients will be male or female ahead of time, then obviously you can get more specific with what you put in the basket.  No matter what your price limit, if you plan it right, you can really stock it.  My big “secret” for this gift is to get a basket from a thrift store.  Baskets alone can be expensive, but you can get a nice one at a thrift store for a few bucks so that you still have most of your money allotment to spend on great things to go inside the basket.  Some great things to fill the basket with:

  • Wine—price according to the dollar allotment, but there are some really decent wines under $10.  I would steer clear of other liquors unless you go with a Godiva liquor or something similar.  Everyone has different preferences when it comes to liquor:  Vodka vs. Tequila vs. Gin, etc.
  • A high alcohol beer—Most brands offer large bottles, almost the size of a wine bottle. 
  •  Chocolate—the higher the dollar limit, the nicer the chocolate.  You can get a very large Hershey bar for under $2.
  • Lottery tickets—Even if you only have enough money left to buy one, this is a great addition to the gift basket.
  • Picture frame—again, you can get a nice one at a thrift store
  • Ornament—who doesn’t love a new ornament?
  • Wine glasses and/or beer mugs—the perfect compliment to your other items in the basket.
  • Party conversation starter cards—always a lot of fun.
  • Gourmet hot chocolates and coffees
  • Spa gift certificate
  • Restaurant gift certificate
  • Omaha Steaks Gift Certificate

 

Gift Certificates—Whether to a restaurant or a spa, just make sure it’s to a popular or unique place.  This gift can be hit or miss and is usually best when paired with something such as lottery tickets or a fun home décor trinket.

If you live in the Nashville area, you can purchase a gift check good at 4 popular East Nashville restaurants right here.

Or...you can purchase a gift certificate to one of Nashville's most loved jewelry designers, Hardware Merry by Merry-Beth Merrick, right here.

gift-check-imagehardwear-merry-logo

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