Really Pre-planning for Christmas

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It’s time to start planning Christmas gifts. I know we are barely into wearing our sweaters yet and here I am thinking about Christmas. Let me be real though, I am making a lot of homemade Christmas gifts to distribute at my annual Christmas party and I need all the time I can spare.

This year, I have decided to have a dirty Santa event. Typically, I host an annual cookie swap and decided this year to shake things up. If you have never played the Dirty Santa game you are in for a treat! The mere fact that someone can steal your precious gift can make your heart race! Memories of a favorite blanket of mine for about 2 minutes float through my mind. Oh well! Easy come and easy go, right? The rules to Dirty Santa are simple.

  • Everyone brings a wrapped gift. I am setting the amount between $15-20
  • Place gifts in center of the room
  • Draw a number
  • Each subsequent number has two options:
  • A) Steal a gift
  • B) Open a new gift
  • If a gift is stolen, you may steal from another or choose an unopened gift
  • Gifts can be stolen up to three times
  • If number one has the same gift they started with, they made trade with any unfrozen gift
  • And it’s a simple as that!

So despite the fact that I will purchase a gift for the game, I do enjoy giving homemade presents. Those can range from homemade fudge to a Christmas ornament. This year, Noah and I have been committed to eating Talenti Gelato so that I can have the containers. Yes, it has been a burden but someone has to do it! LOL. I am not sure what I am going to do with those containers yet but I will post photos when they are complete!

Those wonderful Talenti Gelato containers have begun to replace my mason jar obsession. Those containers are nice for storing rice, cereal, pretzels, lollipops, brown sugar, leftovers, various office supplies like pens, paper clips, binder clips, flash drives, and the list continues. (Something to note though they are not microwavable or dishwasher safe).

For the Christmas party, I will set up a cocoa bar, snack bar and depending on the kiddos that attend, I will have a Santa writing station. Mary Engelbreit has some great ideas and it is really simple and yet so impressive for everyone. I have seen some adults join in for writing a Santa letter!! Pinterest also has plenty of great ideas for a Santa writing station. Just add some colorful paper, stickers, glue, glitter (beware of lots of glitter lasting weeks later!), lots of pencils, markers and pens. Be sure and include some catalogs for those that want to cut out a photo of their wish list. Christmas sing along music, and a mailbox for Santa will make this writing station complete. Below is the book I recommend called Christmas with Mary Engelbreit book:

Some really great $15-20 gift ideas for the Dirty Santa game are:

For the movie gift basket you can include gourmet popcorn in a neat popcorn container. Add movie tickets or movie gift card, soda, various candy bars, nerds, sweet tarts, etc. A gift card for Netflix would be a nice treat too.

It is a great evening and fun for everyone that attends! I decorate every room and play music. Noah will play some Christmas music on the piano and we will fill up on food! There is no calories during the holidays. At least that is what I tell myself. The best part of the whole evening is reconnecting at a slower pace with family and friends. That is what the whole season is to me. I miss a time when things were quieter and for things to go back to the way they used to be. For one night, we can do that.

Oh my gosh ya’ll this has me totally motivated to start making my plans! If you make any special homemade gifts what are they? If you have played Dirty Santa what was the best gift that you received? Would you share your ideas?

Heart your lifestyle,


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Heather Hoffman says:

    I love these ideas! But I have a small family, and a small work office space, and would still love to find a way to scale down some of these ideas to a smaller group. I think it might be hard to do a Dirty Santa event – or something similar for a very small group (4 people?). I love your ideas and would especially love to hear your thoughts on how to bring festivity to my small work space. Thanks!!!


    1. Hey Heather! Thanks for the comment. So if I understand correctly you were looking for space ideas for the office. You could do a real slim line tree for Christmas or you could just hang ornaments depending on the type of ceiling that you have and vary them in length I hang ornaments from our chandelier. It makes it festive it doesn’t take up any room. I will try to take some photos of what I am thinking of in a couple of hours. Thanks! Let me know if you do the dirty Santa.


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