How To Encourage Bringing Better Gifts

There is one dilemma that’s on every Dirty Santa organizers mind. If you have ever been to a Dirty Santa gift exchange, or if you have ever hosted one, you know that there will be lot of guests that will bring terrible gifts.

By terrible I do not mean simply useless or unwanted. Some gifts can be useless but they are so funny that everyone wants to steal them. No, we’re talking about the gifts that add no positive value to the whole gift exchange. It’s neither something someone wants to steal, nor does it make anyone laugh.

If a gift is opened and there’s silence as a sign of utter disappointment and lack of laughter, you know that gift is just something that was not very well selected. It is not uncommon for some guests to grab something last minute.

So, as an organizer of the event, how do you encourage everyone to bring the best gift they can think of within a budget? Simple – Introduce a “Surprise Present”.

What is a Surprise Dirty Santa present?

This is a gift that’s on the house. IE: The company would buy it, or the host of the party. It would be a great gift still close to the price limit in the rules for the gift exchange, but something highly desirable. This gift does not get added to the pool of gifts to be opened and stolen, rather it’s a prize for someone who brings the best, most stolen and sought after gift.

Why does this method work so well? It encourages everyone to try and think of a gift that everyone would want to steal. Think of it this way, if you are going to spend money on a gift anyway, why not put a but of effort into it and get something that may win you a Surprise Dirty Santa present?

It makes sense for the guests and makes sense for the party.

If you want to encourage your guests to think outside the box and bring better presents, this method will help you achieve that goal.

Few Gifts

More Gift Ideas


Can only 3 players play?

Yes, 3 players could play it but it works better in larger groups, more the merrier.

What Is Dirty Santa?

Dirty Santa is a Christmas gift exchange game where guest swap and steal random gifts.

What's a good date to hold a party?

It's recommended to run a Dirty Santa in mid December, but the best date is the one majority can attend.

What is the most important Dirty Santa rule?

If someone steals a gift from you, you can not immediately steal the same one back. Otherwise you'd get stuck in a never ending stealing loop.