Bad Santa

Let’s Be Real, ‘Bad Santa’ Is Awful, So Why Do I Low Key Love It?

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Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, so why do I live for the messy drama?

As Christmas Day inches closer and closer, we know you’re having a bunch of friends and family over to celebrate the festive season. There’s dinner with friends, office Christmas parties and of course, the extended family gathering (with both families). And at each of these events, there are two gift-giving games that could happen.

Secret Santa Vs. Bad Santa

There’s the classic Secret Santa, where each person is tasked with buying a present for another. And then there is Bad Santa, which… well.. is chaotic. 

Bad Santa (which is also known as White Elephant, Dirty Santa or Yankee Swap – if you’re American) is one of the messiest Christmas activities ever. 

How The Game Works

Essentially, everyone participating brings a wrapped gift and places them under the Christmas tree. Everyone is then assigned a number which determines which order people will select their presents. The first person picks a gift, unwraps it and then we move onto the second person. As each subsequent person picks their gift they are allowed to steal someone else’s present or pick from the unopened ones. If someone’s present is stolen from them, they are allowed to steal another or pick from the pile of unopened gifts. The game then ends when everyone has a present. 

Sounds messy right? That’s because it is. 

Why Bad Santa Will End Relationship

This game, in a nutshell, highlights alliances that exist within the group of people you’re playing with. If you’re wondering where you stand with someone in your life, this is 100% the game to play. However, we should note, favouritism could not be more evident once this game starts. So, if you don’t get along with someone, prepare for that friction to flourish. 

Furthermore, let’s just say, if you’re not the best gift-giver, this is not the game for you. If you’re someone who often needs to supply a gift receipt with your presents because they often get returned, I would beg your squad to opt for the Secret Santa alternative. Oh, and don’t even think about bringing a joke present unless you plan on having your festive celebrations cut off early. 

Whenever I’ve played this game, it’s always ended with someone really happy, most people feeling fine and a few people feeling super angry. So why do I get around this game even though it usually ends in blood, sweat, and/or tears? Well, there’s something about Christmas that makes me live for the drama. I have no idea why. Anyone else? Just me? Okay then. I’ll see myself out. 


While we’re on the subject of Christmas, have you ever wondered what happened to the singer from Love, Actually?