Party Christmas Story for Random Gift Exchange

Christmas cards are flowing in at a steady pace now. We got most of ours posted yesterday (yeah, I know it’s late, but I’m a procrastinator–what can I say?) Have you noticed from year to year how certain graphics seem to dominate card choices? This year, we have more snowmen than any other graphic. Snowmen rule this year for some reason–at least in our house.

I know it’s late, but Christmas parties may still be going on in your neck of the woods, and since I’m busy doing holiday-wrapup-stuff, I thought I’d post a party Christmas story you might use in your holiday gift exchanges instead of the same old, same old, whatever same old pattern for exchanges might be for you. This is for those parties you attend and take along a gift to exchange at random.

The story is not new, and wasn’t written by me. I downloaded it from a website for party hostesses about five or six years ago, when I was helping organize the annual Christmas party for an organization I volunteered for. I was looking for a unique way to distribute “pink elephant” gift exchanges. Every year we did the exchange on a number draw system, and each person could demand any gift already chosen as their own. I’m sure you know the game I mean.

Thinking story-telling might work, I read this story though not exactly as written, taking it instead and using my own twists, inserting names of guests in attendance in appropriate places, and tailoring the story to my organization’s theme as a surprise twist.

I’m happy to say it was met with great success. People were nearly falling off their chairs with laughter! I was asked to repeat variations of it at another party for the local AARP community.  It works best for bigger groups, and is especially good at getting those people who stand around the sidelines and hesitate to get into the swing of the holiday to forget their shyness. So, even though I cannot attribute the story properly, (I wish I could, so if you happen to know the origin, please let me know) I’m reposting it for anyone who happens by and would care to use it.

Choose someone with a flair for drama to read loud enough to be heard above the roar that’s bound to come as the story progresses, and make sure the proper words are emphasized. The gift exchangees hold the gifts they brought and sit or stand around in a circle so that each is within hands reach of the person on the right or the left. Every time the word RIGHT (or LEFT) is read (or anything close, like WRIGHT) the gifts should be passed in that direction.

The Wright Family’s Christmas:

Christmas was almost here, and Mother WRIGHT was finishing the Christmas baking. Father WRIGHT, Sue WRIGHT, and Billy WRIGHT returned from their last-minute Christmas errands.

“There’s not much LEFT to be done,” said Father WRIGHT as he came into the kitchen.

“Did you leave the basket of food at church?” asked Mother WRIGHT.
“I LEFT it RIGHT where you told me to,” said Father WRIGHT.
“I’m glad my shopping is done,” said Billy WRIGHT. “I don’t have any money LEFT.”
The hall telephone rang, and Susan WRIGHT LEFT to answer it.
She rushed back and told the family “Aunt Tillie WRIGHT LEFT a package  on Grandma WRIGHT‘s porch. I’ll go over there RIGHT now and get it,” she said, and LEFT in a rush.

Father WRIGHT LEFT the kitchen and brought in the Christmas tree. By the time Susan WRIGHT returned, Mother WRIGHT, Father WRIGHT, and Billy WRIGHT had begun trimming the tree.

The entire WRIGHT family sang carols as they finished the decorating. Then they LEFT all the presents arranged under the tree and went to bed, hoping they had selected the RIGHT gifts for their family.
Now I hope you have the RIGHT present for yourself, because that’s all that’s LEFT of our story now that the Wrights have LEFT to go to bed, except to wish you a Merry Christmas . . . Isn’t that RIGHT?

UPDATE: December 16, 2008: For a longer and different version of this gift exchange Christmas story for parties, check here.

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7 thoughts on “Party Christmas Story for Random Gift Exchange

  1. What if the number of rights and lefts adds up to exactly the number of people you have, and a person ends up with her own gift? :)

  2. You are SUCH a hoot, Alice! LOL I’m still laughing!
    I’d never heard of this before or read it…..I’ll have to remember it for next year. Really good!
    The actual gift exchange is called the Yankee gift exchange…..but the reading, I’d never heard.

  3. Pingback: Another Story for a Random Party Gift Exchange « My Wintersong

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  5. I am a Special Feature Coordinator for a Stone Croft Ministires group of women in Portsmouth, VA. I use one of the Wright versions for our annual Christmas Brunch every year, and everyone has such a wonderful time. Our planning team supplies all of the gifts therefore; it doesn’t matter which gift the attendees end up with.

    • I’m glad people are using them, Laverne. If the number of hits on those posts are any indication, lots of people are using them for their giftswap parties. Must be lots of fun parties going on out there!

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