If played correctly, the Dirty Santa gift exchange is a hoot-and-half. The idea is that you bring prank gifts to your party and trade back and forth until you end up whacking everyone in the room and leaving with the coolest prank gift that you can then bring to another Dirty Santa party. A couple years ago I snagged a muumuu at the first party and traded up to some authentic Sea Monkeys at another party later the same week. The Sea Monkeys proudly sit on a shelf in my office next to other professional items and scholarly publications.
Our family is big into making Christmas wish lists. You know, the kind where people don’t have to guess what you want for Christmas so that people won’t accidentally buy each other crap. Nobody wants crap for Christmas. We try to prioritize time together all year round, not just during Christmas. As my wife Princess Bride (her real name) recently said, “When are you people going to get off social media so we can watch T.V.?” In the spirit of togetherness, we’ve tipped children off wagons, gone bankrupt in Monopoly, and pulled muscles playing Twister. Many of these activities and injuries were due, in part, to our youngest daughter (who for the sake of anonymity and potential creepership I call Fair Maiden #2) often puts a game or something that you could play with as a family on her wish list.
Whether giving or getting, the greatest gifts are ones that make us smile and draw us closer to each other. This year I’m giving my family a DVD player. I’m keeping the Sea Monkeys for myself.
Calvin G. Roso, Copyright December 2013