Author Topic: Another Dirty Santa/Gift Exchange Question  (Read 4854 times)

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yokozbornak

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Another Dirty Santa/Gift Exchange Question
« on: December 23, 2012, 03:20:59 PM »
This happened a few years ago, but I wondered what everyone thought.

A group that I am a part of does a Christmas party every year with a gift exchange.   Some years it's an ornament exchange, some years it's a regifting exchanging (bring something they you already have that you want to regift), and some years it's just based on a dollar amount bring a gift worth $15).

A couple of years ago, we did one with a specific dollar amount.  One of the gifts that everyone wanted was a great set of unique frames.  The person who ended up with the gift admitted that she was the one who brought it, but she liked them so much she wanted to keep them.  The girl who did is pretty quirky and fun-loving so most of us thought it was pretty funny.  There were a couple of people who were pretty ticked off and thought it was really rude of her to do it especially since it was a sought after gift.  It personally is not something I would have done, but there was no rule against stealing the gift you brought so I thought it was harmless.

What are your thoughts on this?  Was she rude? 


Mental Magpie

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Re: Another Dirty Santa/Gift Exchange Question
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2012, 03:27:47 PM »
I think it's pretty selfish, but I don't know that I would say it's rude.  It would leave a bad taste in my mouth, though.
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Allyson

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Re: Another Dirty Santa/Gift Exchange Question
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2012, 03:40:15 PM »
We had a gift-exchange thing a few years running where someone could 'steal' gifts from another..so you'd pick a wrapped gift, open it, and the next person could pick another wrapped gift or 'steal' yours (and then that person would open another one, etc). People were generally pretty good about not 'stealing' from people who obviously adored their gifts, and we knew each other well enough usually everyone ended up with something fun.

Except one person, the actual organizer of the gift exchange, who would get pretty excellent gifts...and always 'steal' them back for herself! It did leave a bad taste in some people's mouths as she would do this even if the person obviously loved the present.

oceanus

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Re: Another Dirty Santa/Gift Exchange Question
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2012, 03:44:23 PM »
I don't think it was rude, just odd and somewhat foolish.  If I wanted to keep an item, I wouldn't bring it to the gift exchange.  Surely she could have found something else.

Jones

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Re: Another Dirty Santa/Gift Exchange Question
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2012, 03:45:33 PM »
Personally, I bought 2 of my Yankee swap items this year, kept one for myself and put the other into the swap. It wouldn't have occurred to me to steal back my present from the person who unwrapped it; that feels very "off". Besides, I ended up with a pack of my favorite beer; why would I have wanted to swap that?  ;)

TomatoBunny

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Re: Another Dirty Santa/Gift Exchange Question
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2012, 04:21:54 PM »
Personally, I bought 2 of my Yankee swap items this year, kept one for myself and put the other into the swap.

This is pretty much what I think she should have done. If she wanted the frames so badly, why didn't she buy another set when she bought the first? Or if they were truly unique, decide to bring something else to the exchange?

It sort of feels like she was bragging about her new frames. She showed off new frames that she bought, teased people into thinking they might have them, and ultimately took home what she bought, as she wanted to do... which, you know, negates the whole idea of a gift exchange:-\

kitchcat

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Re: Another Dirty Santa/Gift Exchange Question
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2012, 05:24:07 PM »
I agree with one of the PPs: why would she bring the gift for the exchange if she wanted to keep it? I wouldn't say it's rude, just not bright. She didn't have to admit she was the one that brought it, but she did, which obviously opened her up to scrutiny.
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Re: Another Dirty Santa/Gift Exchange Question
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2012, 05:44:52 PM »
I think she should have either bought herself a set of her own or, if it was a unique item, kept it and brought something else for the swap.
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Thipu1

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Re: Another Dirty Santa/Gift Exchange Question
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2012, 06:01:39 PM »
This sort of thing reminds of a child with a new toy at a playground. 

'Isn't this pretty?  Don't you want it?  NO!  It's mine and you can't have it!  Nyah-Nyah-Naya-Naya!!

It's juvenile, it's petty and it's mean spirited.  This isn't the sort of thing that an adult should do. 

This also reminds me of another thread in which the organizer of an event won two of the best door prizes. 

yokozbornak

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Re: Another Dirty Santa/Gift Exchange Question
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2012, 06:05:32 PM »
The funny thing is no one would have known she brought the gift if she hadn't told us.  I honestly thought it was funny at the time so it's interesting seeing a different perspective because she's more clueless than malicious.  I probably would have felt differently if it was a gift that I had chosen and liked or wanted. 

gen xer

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Re: Another Dirty Santa/Gift Exchange Question
« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2012, 07:43:09 PM »
I don't think it was rude, just odd and somewhat foolish.  If I wanted to keep an item, I wouldn't bring it to the gift exchange.  Surely she could have found something else.

This....and it is odd that she felt compelled to tell everyone that she was the one that brought it in!

RegionMom

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Re: Another Dirty Santa/Gift Exchange Question
« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2012, 10:50:07 PM »
Several years ago, a group my DD was in held an ornament exchange.  I bought a pretty mirrored ball with white feathers on it.  I do not recall if DD saw it beforehand, but she knew what gift bag she took to the party. 

Well, she returned with the same ornament!  I asked her if someone else had brought the same one as her, and then she rather reluctantly told me the story-

her game allowed 3 'steals' and then it was frozen in the 3rd and final owner's hands. 
DD opened her ornament gift bag with her number on it for her turn.
Another girl took it from her on their turn, so she picked another. 
another person opened DD's ornament.
after the game was almost over, DD had her 2nd ornament taken.
she had been watching 'her' ornament and realized if she took it, then it would be the 3rd time and thus hers to take home.

Darn it if that ornament did not hang for over five years from her ceiling fan handle pulls, until she got too tall and there was no way to adjust it shorter from bonking her head on it!

Granted, all the girls were under 10 years old, and DD had not played the game before.  No one else realized she left with 'her' gift,  yet she still felt a bit guilty.  "Mom, the other ornaments were too girly or cutesy, or just not me. You would not want me to bring home something I would not want, would you?  I promise I will use this one."

And she did.  It never did make it to the tree.  And she did receive compliments from friends on how cute it was hanging from her ceiling fan.  She simply thanked them and said "it was a gift."

As for the OP's story, if the frame giver had not made such a big deal, no one would have known.  My Bunco group has been known to sneak in double bagged gifts, or trade gift bags in the driveway, so less people know who brought what.  It is supposed to be a fun party. 

Frame lady had attention issues.  Just ignore her and enjoy the 'cool' stuff everyone got!

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magicdomino

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Re: Another Dirty Santa/Gift Exchange Question
« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2012, 11:34:46 PM »
This happened at my office's Dirty Santa as well.  The person who brought a particular present liked it so much that she stole it.  I recognized the package and outed her.   We teased her a bit, then someone stole it from her.   >:D   The co-worker said that at the time, she just thought it was cute, but after thinking about it, then seeing it again, she thought that it was really cute.  Last I heard, co-worker was going to go back and see if she could get another one.

lowspark

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Re: Another Dirty Santa/Gift Exchange Question
« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2012, 03:47:34 PM »
There are (or should be) clearly stated rules announced at the beginning of the game. If one of those rules is "don't steal your own gift" then yeah, she was wrong. Otherwise she had just as much right to those frames as anyone else, provided she followed whatever other rules were in place.

I've played this game (I call it the greed game) many many times, and have run it myself many many times. Whenever I'm running it I always set a price range and tell people to bring "something you wouldn't mind going home with"*. And I've never had a rule that you can't steal your own gift. The whole fun of the game (in my experience) lies in the competition for and stealing of the gifts. So if people choose their own gift over whatever other people brought, then it simply means that they like that item more than the others. Every time I've played where there were limits on the stealing, it diminished the fun.

I once was running a game where someone "D" admitted she'd stolen her own gift back. No one had any problem with it except one other guest, "A". A was extremely rude to D and berated her loudly. I stepped in and stopped A cold and made it clear that since I'd stated the rules at the beginning of the game and that since there was no rule that prohibited stealing your own gift, D was prefectly in the clear.

In all honesty, the idea that stealing your own gift would be a bad thing had simply never occurred to me, especially taking into account my directive to bring something you yourself would like to have. Since then I've taken more notice of it (just because that stuck in my mind) and I've noticed that it does tend to happen occasionally. It's just not that unusual.

*I say this because I want to make it clear that it's not a white elephant or regift type of game.

onyonryngs

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Re: Another Dirty Santa/Gift Exchange Question
« Reply #14 on: December 26, 2012, 04:00:58 PM »
I wouldn't have given it a 2nd thought.  There usually isn't a way to guarantee what gift you'll end up with at those things & there was a good chance she wouldn't have gotten it.