• Hushh Magazine

Did Someone say "Dirty Santa"?

No... it’s not what I thought either, a story for another time. Dirty Santa is actually a popular Holiday present swapping game that has gone by several names but the object is still the same. Dirty Santa is a gift exchange game that concentrates on the game itself rather than the present, where “dirty” implies the stealing involved.

Stealing you say? That’s not very Santa like, I know! Unlike Secret Santa where participants get to know who the receiver will be beforehand, you will never know who will end up with your gift with this game.


Sound fun? Want to learn how to play? Well whether it’s played by family, friends or at work, this is a great game people from all ages can play!


Let’s begin!


1. You should have at least 5 participants to start the game (Otherwise it’s not fun).


2. Predetermine the price range of gifts to be exchanged such as “around $10”, “under $20”, “above $25”, and so on.


3. Every participant must wrap the gift and place it at a central location. *No marking or label is allowed, and no one should know the owner of a gift except the owner himself!”


4. Count the number of participants (let’s say we have 8 participants), then write down numbers 1–8 and on different small papers (our FREE printable will do that for you) and put them inside a hat or bowl.


5. Each participant draws a paper from the hat or bowl to determine the playing order of the participants


6. The participants who drew number 1 will have to pick a gift and unwrap it. *Participants are allowed to gently shake, touch or listen to all the gifts to inspect them before unwrapping.


7. The participant who drew number 2 can choose to unwrap a new gift OR steal the unwrapped gifts from number 1.


8. The fashion continues such that number 3 can steal from number 1&2 and number 8 can steals from player 1 to 7.


9. Whenever a participant’s gift is stolen, he/she shall choose to unwrap a new gift or steal from someone else. Exception: During the first round of stealing where number 2 decides to steal from number 1, number 1 cannot steal back from number 2 and can only unwrap a new gift.


10. You cannot steal a gift from the person who has previously stolen from you. (Too bad for you !)


11. A gift can only be stolen 3 times.


12. To be fair to player number 1 (so that he’s not left out), after everyone has their turn, participant number 1 gets to choose whether to keep his gift or steal from anyone else. (Remember

rule number 10 & 11).


13. The game ends when number 1 decides to keep his gift or after all the stealing is complete.


It’s always fun to add something new to the game especially if you have been playing the same rules for many years. Try out the fun variations below!


• Have a Theme — Have everyone buy from the same store or getting the same gift category such as ornament gifts, re-gifts from home, DIY gifts or board games.


• Head or Tail — Let a coin to decide whether to keep a gift or steal a gift! Head for keeping, tail for stealing!


• Keep it secret — All the gifts are wrapped until the end of the game.


Here's some gift ideas for your Dirty Santa Party!


“Adulting” Scented Candle, $22, or other funny AF sayings from maliciouswomenco.com



Bottle of Wine or Liquor: Here’s to staying warm this winter. Cheers! Try this Christmas City Whiskey $27.99, suninnbethlehem.org



What a more perfect Dirty Santa gift than “3 Things: Naughty or Nice?” an Adult Card Game. It’s a devilish twist on the best-selling game in the Shenanigames line. This fun new version adds bonus rations for the nicest - or naughtiest - plan. $19.99, kohls.com



Crowd Pleaser: $25 Amazon Gift Card: Boring? Maybe. Useful? Absolutely!



Harry Potter Shot Glasses: These things are so cleaver! Notable inscriptions include "Felix Felicis: Liquid Luck" and "Polyjuice" Magic Shot Glasses Set of 4, $22.99, www.amazon.com.



When in doubt-scratch it out! Scratch-off Lottery Tickets come in Holiday designs-snag you a few.



If you want some great printables, visit our Dirty Santa page at hushh.club/dirtysanta.