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Author Topic: Another Dirty Santa/Gift Exchange Question  (Read 11273 times)

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Re: Another Dirty Santa/Gift Exchange Question
« Reply #30 on: December 29, 2012, 03:00:02 PM »
I think it is OK if there is no rule against it.  That being said, I think there is nothing wrong with instituting a rule against it in the future.


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Re: Another Dirty Santa/Gift Exchange Question
« Reply #31 on: December 29, 2012, 05:13:26 PM »
I could go either way. It seems like with these games it not only depends on the stated rules, but also the unstated rules, or the "mood" of the group. If no one ever goes home with what they brought--even if that would be okay rule-wise--then it was odd that she wrangled her own gift back. Or if no one ever admits that they prefer the gift they themselves brought, then it was weird of her to tell everyone this. But if she didn't break the stated rules of the game, and she didn't break the rules of good sportsmanship (by saying, "I'm taking my own gift back, because the gifts the rest of you brought stink!" for example) then I don't think it could really be rude.

I don't really like competitive games of any kind... I think one thing that bothers me is the disconnect between how people are supposed to act when in competition, and how they are supposed to act in the rest of their lives. For me, it's too big a difference--how it's okay to do something sly and deceptive in a game, say, but not okay to be sly and deceptive in real life. Just my own thing, and why I just don't play games. I think the two different realms of etiquette are interesting, though.


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Re: Another Dirty Santa/Gift Exchange Question
« Reply #32 on: January 04, 2013, 09:36:19 AM »
Regarding people making rude comments about the gifts, that is a huge no-no in my book. And I announce that at the start of the game. I've definitely been in the situation of having to console someone whose feelings were hurt when someone else opened the gift they brought and then announced to the entire group how ugly/cheap/stupid the gift was. So I always start out with the first rule being, "if you don't like the gift you open, just smile and keep your mouth shut because everyone has a chance to relinquish their gift and steal." That's another good by-product of everyone having a chance to steal.

And I agree with sharnita -- who ever is running the game should set the rules. If they want a rule that says not to steal your own gift, then they can make that rule and announce it and everyone should abide by it. I wouldn't make such a rule, but I've played this game many times with other people running it and I keep quiet and follow their rules whether I like them or not.

I do understand the concept of a group dynamic which may imply certain rules but in the case of stealing your own gift, people may certainly have done it before without anyone knowing they did. This is the kind of thing you either legislate or just grin and bear it.


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Re: Another Dirty Santa/Gift Exchange Question
« Reply #33 on: January 04, 2013, 10:13:22 AM »
At first it seemed rude. 

Then I realized:
  • She obviously brought a "good" gift.
  • These parties are really more of a game than a gift exchange.   So no harm if someone takes home their own gift.

I think my feelings would change slightly if the gift was a clunker, but then I guess taking the clunker home would be OK too. 


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Re: Another Dirty Santa/Gift Exchange Question
« Reply #34 on: January 04, 2013, 10:38:23 AM »
Personally, I hate the idea that you shouldn't steal a gift from someone because they they like it. The whole point is to steal stuff and have fun with that. (I also think participation should be very optional because I understand that plenty of people are not comfortable with the stealing aspect) But some sort of unwritten rule that you don't take something because someone else already likes it? Ugh! Play a different game.

We kind of have this in my family when we've done this game--but it's really mostly for younger participants and for people who seem utterly enraptured with their gift rather than just pleased. If a 30yo adult seems mildly happy about the bath set she just unwrapped, sure, people will steal it. If a 10yo unwraps a toy and is all stars-in-eyes, people will usually leave her to it. Sometimes people will intentionally steal gifts kids don't like just to be nice--like, 8yo boy opens a jewelry box adorned with tea roses and is trying to hide his crestfallen look!  ;D But if Uncle Biker Dude opens that jewelry box, he might just get stuck with it, though there's also kind of a thing of exaggeratedly trying to "sell" an unsuitable gift to potential thieves...


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Re: Another Dirty Santa/Gift Exchange Question
« Reply #35 on: January 04, 2013, 03:05:09 PM »
That's how I got my Box o' Red at the last Dirty Santa.  The person who opened it is a very sweet lady who doesn't drink.  So, I relieved her of the responsibility.   :)