dirty santa party ideas

Hosting a Dirty Santa Christmas Party

There are many fun themes these days for hosting a Christmas party from a more traditional Drop In party to an Ugly Sweater get together.  One of our favorite party themes is hosting a Dirty Santa party.  You might not be familiar with the party game “dirty Santa,” which is a fun way to exchange gifts that can be done a few different ways.  We thought it would be fun to share some party ideas with “dirty Santa” as the inspiration for the party.  Along with the gift exchange, food, drinks, photos and fun were all part of a wonderful evening with friends.  Invite everyone to bring food and or wine and you will enjoy those surprises as well.

Christmas is the perfect excuse to host a friend, office or organization party.  The days of formal parties seem have gone by the wayside and they have been replaced with party themes that are a lot more fun to host and to attend.  “Dirty Santa” gift exchanges have been around for a while, but their popularity have been on the rise both for family holiday gift exchanges and for parties.  You coordinate them a few different ways or make up your own rules, but here are the basic rules:

Dirty Santa Exchange

  • Everyone brings general wrapped gift within a certain established cost.
  • Numbers are put into a hat for the total number of gifts that are brought
  • Each person chooses a number from a hat
  • The person holding #1 chooses one gift from the pile and opens it for all to see
  • The next person can steal that gift or choose a new unwrapped gifts, unwrapping it for all to see
  • The next person can steal from any opened gifts or choose an unwrapped gift.
  • The catch is once a gift is stolen 2 times it becomes frozen and no one can steal it again.

Gift Ideas

  • You can choose everyday, basic items that anyone would love to have
  • Wrap a little fun and choose gag or silly gifts
  • Some exchanges have funny re-gifted items from toilet seat covers to a box of rocks (wrapped differently to be sneaky)
  • You might even find some fun gift boxes like the Earwax Candle Kit Box that is sold empty, but sure gets a reaction when opened.
  • Books and games are always popular


  • Have the gentleman bring guy gifts and the ladies bring gal gifts
  • Request only food or kitchen related items
  • Host a music or book themed party and suggest that everyone actually buy cd’s or books
  • Have the older folks bring gifts for older folks and the kids bring kids gifts
  • Pair couples and bring and choose one gift per couple
  • You can also choose to let the guests steal additional times

The Food

When thinking about party foods you can serve a sit down meal, assign everyone a dish to bring, have the meal careered or ask everyone to bring a small plate or appetizer.  How about a Charcuterie Board,?  What is that you ask?  Well it is a board of meats and cheese and lots of other wonderful things.  Click on the link to see more about them too.   Starting the display with a Canvas Corp Burlap Table Runner, set the perfect tone.  The natural color along with the wooden board, was stunning.   Available in a wide range of sizes you can find the prefect one for your table or offer them along side the gourmet products in your store.

You can ask your guests to bring something red, green and white like these adorable cucumbers topped with cherry tomatoes and a wonderful cream cheese dill spread.

If you have a friend who loves to bake, definitely give her the dessert card and you might end up with a gorgeous Southern Living Angel Cake, that even tasted better than it looks and that seems pretty hard to do.  Featured on the cover of Southern Living in 1997, that seems so very long ago.  here is the recipe if you want to give it a go – Souther Living Angel Cake.


When everyone at the party is into wine and you can offer wines in a few fun and different ways.  Of course there is a wine tasting, where you can cover the bottles and have your guests taste each one to see which is their favorite, you can pair them up with wonderful scents like herbs, spices and other goodies to test their senses or you can create a wine bar opening a wide range of wines for guests to try on their own to discover which are their favorites.  Don’t forget to put markers on the glasses or try these Wine Markers we found at both William Sonoma and Bed Bath and Beyond.  They were fun to use, washed off easily and they let your guests get creative.

Suggest to your guests to bring a variety of different wines, maybe the most popular right now, wines with low prices and a high rating, or something new like the Cooper and Thief Bourbon Aged Wine by Cooper and Thief Cellarmasters, “born by mischief” they claim this wine to be and we are so glad they were up to something, because the results are wonderful.


You can make them serious or have a little fun make or buy photo props to get everyone in the mood to have some fun.  Everyone can relax a bit more when they have a prop for the photo.  What a fun photo and great memories.

holiday photo ideas

The holidays can be a busy time of the year and long gone are the days where you had a holiday party to attend every day of the week leading up to the holiday, but bringing back some of the old party traditions creates wonderful memories and good times.  Don’t feel that you must take on all the burden yourself when hosting a party, have everyone join in and make the night a wonderful success.  Thank you to the friends and models for this holiday photo!!

Happy Holidays!!!


Canvas Corp Brands is the home of Tattered Angels, 7Gypsies and Canvas Corp (Canvas Home Basics). We are a manufacturer of surfaces, paint and vintage reproductions coming to you from Springdale, Arkansas.

'Hosting a Dirty Santa Christmas Party' has 1 comment

  1. December 25, 2017 @ 4:33 pm Julia Cotrim

    I enjoyed so much your “dirty Santa”party! 🙂


Would you like to share your thoughts?

Your email address will not be published.

This blog is a compilation of inspiration from the Canvas Corp Brands family including Canvas Corp, Tattered Angels and 7Gypsies.