I don’t do White Elephant Exchanges or Dirty Santa games.
I don’t want to steal someone else’s gift.
And I’d rather not be the butt of someone’s joke.
I’m not sure the when or how these games made the cross-over from Christmas office parties to Sunday school fellowships, Youth Group parties, and Women’s Ministry events, but I wish they never had.
Did we somehow forget the 8th commandment, “thou shall not steal”?! (See Exodus 20:15.)
White elephant and dirty Santa games have no place at our church events.
I readily admit I participated in my fair share when I belonged to a mommy group (not church-related) back in the day.
I have seen grown women cry over gifts that were “stolen” from them.
I have watched women whimper when a gift they really wanted was taken away.
I’ve seen moms want to die of embarrassment.
Friendships were tested.
And it broke my heart and made me ashamed to have been a part of it.
Our churches should not be a place of embarrassment or intentional hurt.
It’s just not worth it for a few laughs.
No gift is worth making someone feel worthless.
Whether the goal is stealing gifts to get the best gift or trying to end up with the best of the gag gifts, neither feels very Christ-like.
Games that undermine the unity of our groups or hurt the feelings of our women have no place in our ministries.
God’s given us a great opportunity at Christmas to love others. Let’s do it well!
Consider one of these alternative ideas and promote unity and goodwill among your women.
12 Alternatives to Dirty Santa Games
1. Host a Favorite Things Party – Pinterest is loaded with ideas. I like the way Bri did this with the women at her church.
2. Give gifts to your homebound Members/Local Nursing Home/Women’s Shelter.
4. Ask everyone to bring a $5 ornament and have an ornament exchange
5. Have an Operation Christmas Child Packing Party, in early November unless you live near a processing center.
6. Give the gift of time and volunteer together at a local food pantry, shelter, or Ronald McDonald House.
7, Decorate Christmas cookies or cupcakes to take to the local hospital for the nurses.
8, Plan a Christmas party for your local Women’s shelter or children’s home and give them each a bag filled with toiletries and treats.
9. Adopt children in need from a local school. Spend the wrapping their gifts and writing our Christmas cards for them.
10, Send packages overseas to men and women serving in the military.
11. Bless a missionary with a care package and Christmas cards.
12. Assemble the Gift of No Dishes together as an outreach into each woman’s neighborhood.
Before you consider me a Scrooge, please take a moment to read the comments women have posted below.
Feelings really do get hurt by white elephant and dirty Santa games.
It’s not worth the risk.
You may also want to check out:
How to Love on Women Who Have Been Wounded by the Church
31 Christmas Fellowship Ideas
10 Tips for Your Christmas Coffee
Icebreaker: Christmas Connection
Christmas Roll & Poll
Icebreaker: The Great Christmas Candy Pass
Christmas Icebreaker: Pick-a-Side