Author Topic: Secret Mustachian Santa exchange  (Read 2000 times)

Masstache

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Secret Mustachian Santa exchange
« on: December 12, 2016, 03:30:21 PM »
Over the weekend I suffered through the annual tradition of the neighborhood Secret Santa gift exchange.  Each neighbor is randomly assigned the name of another neighbor, and they need to anonymously buy a gift for that neighbor (less than $25), wrap and address it, then put it in the pile of all the gifts.  Everybody then opens their gift at the neighborhood Christmas party (which happened on Dec 11 because everyone is too damned busy later in the month).  While you are ostensibly supposed to pick a personal gift based on your target neighbor's wants and needs, almost without exception the gifts are impersonal crappy pieces of junk that nobody needs (smelly stuff like potpourri, candles, and soap figure prominently).  Then everyone tries to guess who their Secret Santa was, drinks too much in order to cover up the awkwardness, and slinks out the door.  My neighbors years ago figured out they can easily identify my gifts (examples have been a big bag of Costco toilet paper, a snow shovel, a roll of postage stamps, and a receipt for $25 paid toward their mortgage).  I get the feeling they don't really appreciate my contributions, but they keep inviting me back.

This got me thinking, if this were a mustachian Secret Santa exchange, how would it be different?  Well, first of all, it probably wouldn't happen in the first place, because everyone would just agree that we already have everything we need and it's stupid to just give each other toilet paper.  Or we would just pass a $20 bill around the circle to the left, call it done, and skip right to the drinking (in moderation).

But just as a thought experiment, what kinds of things would you give to your neighbors in a Secret Santa exchange, if it were a group of like-minded people who appreciate frugality and practicality and aren't interested in overpriced smelly soap?

Dollar Slice

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Re: Secret Mustachian Santa exchange
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2016, 03:37:06 PM »
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Cannot Wait!

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Re: Secret Mustachian Santa exchange
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2016, 03:43:16 PM »
" probably wouldn't happen"     +1

I like your previous presents though.

Mustachians might put some perimeters like it must be a regift, or something from decluttering, or something useful.
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tonysemail

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Re: Secret Mustachian Santa exchange
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2016, 04:11:33 PM »
I'm thinking there would be coupons to baby sit each other's spoiled brats.

MayDay

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Re: Secret Mustachian Santa exchange
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2016, 05:32:03 PM »
A group of friends always did a regifting exchange. We saved whatever crap we got the year before, then brought it to the exchange. And mixed it up with funny things like a 4 foot long squash from someone's garden, or a bag of free swag from work, or whatever was in your goodwill pile already.

It was always an eclectic mix of really ugly shit (someone had a *ahem* "crafty" mil, those ones tended to come back year after year), random useful things, and hilarious stuff. But the firm rule was not to spend any money.

It was 3 hours of good entertainment.
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ender

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Re: Secret Mustachian Santa exchange
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2016, 06:45:04 PM »
This sort of thing would need to be planned far in advance of December 12th.

Though I guess it could be for any time of the year and wouldn't have to be for Christmas.

Poundwise

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Re: Secret Mustachian Santa exchange
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2016, 07:56:24 PM »
Has it occurred to you that maybe your neighbors were being Mustachian after all and only regifting useless junk that they had received, thus spending $0?

My husband is going to a Yankee swap tomorrow, and since he's not a shopper I've contributed some things from my gift stash.  One of the items is some sort of potpourri/incense thingy that I got as an appreciation gift from a teacher last year, for helping out as a class parent.  I'm pretty sure she probably received it from another parent at another time. Who knows how many times it has been regifted?

I also contributed a little multitool that was less than $15 but looks handy. The incense thingy was an extra that I threw in because I just want it out of my house, plus it's nice to have an extra gift or two at Yankee swaps. 

Rural

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Re: Secret Mustachian Santa exchange
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2016, 04:37:00 AM »
Mustachian Secret Santa: backhoe work from us, eggs (or old layers) from the guy with chickens, venison from the hunter, baking from the elderly widow, then everybody works on her porch rail for a few minutes so she doesn't fall.


Sounds like being neighbors, though, no Santa needed.

iowajes

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Re: Secret Mustachian Santa exchange
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2016, 06:45:24 AM »
You'd probably get a quilted wall hanging from me or a hand turned pen from my husband.

Both of these cost us something to make, but we are going to make them anyway, so might as well give it away at the end!


(As for our neighborhood gift exchange- we all give away something that was around the house. Could be great, could be crap. We got a nice martini glass set one year, a dead car battery another year. I usually use it as an opportunity to get rid of some old DVDs.)

Masstache

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Re: Secret Mustachian Santa exchange
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2016, 06:52:54 AM »
I came up with a few things I would enjoy and appreciate much more than a box of scented candles:

1) A list of your favorite 10 books and music albums (this year or ever)

2) Teach me to do something I would love to be able to do myself (knit, bake a favorite cake, brew beer, replace a toilet, build something out of wood, install a new water heater, etc.)

3) A couple hours of time (could be for babysitting,  to help move a few heavy objects, or just go for a walk or bike ride, or to teach something like in #2 above)

4) Chocolate.  Because if you have to buy something, you can't go wrong with chocolate

sparkytheop

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Re: Secret Mustachian Santa exchange
« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2016, 12:26:34 PM »
I'm not close enough to my neighbors to do a gift exchange.  However, if I were to do a gift exchange with similarly minded people, I'd gift things like:

A handmade lap quilt--  I got a steal on batting, and you can make beautiful quilts using remnants, fat quarters, on-sale fabric, even old dress shirts.  They take some time to make (I could machine piece/quilt for speed), but materials cost could be well under $25.

Homemade-- cookies, dog treats, pies, salsa, jam, relish, mint tea (from mint I grow in my yard), cake, bread, candy, hotpads, recipe book with my favorite recipes, etc.

An adirondack-style chair made from leftover wood I have on hand (would need to buy 2 x 6's and nails/screws).

Side table for indoor or outdoor use (they get a pretty aged look).  Some 1x2s, nails/screws, and a 12x12 tile.

If used buy still usable items-- dvds, books

marty998

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Re: Secret Mustachian Santa exchange
« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2016, 01:49:41 PM »
You really gave toilet paper as a gift?

WTF?

pbkmaine

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Re: Secret Mustachian Santa exchange
« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2016, 01:52:17 PM »
You really gave toilet paper as a gift?

WTF?

I would love it. As long as it's Charmin Ultra Soft.

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Re: Secret Mustachian Santa exchange
« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2016, 04:19:47 PM »
+1 on the toilet paper!   Consumable, practical and shows a sense of humour; highly Mustachian.
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sparkytheop

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Re: Secret Mustachian Santa exchange
« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2016, 07:49:54 PM »
You really gave toilet paper as a gift?

WTF?

Well, it was supposed to be a personal gift, and what gift is more personal than one you shove between your butt cheeks?

iowajes

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Re: Secret Mustachian Santa exchange
« Reply #15 on: December 14, 2016, 08:30:55 AM »
Toilet paper is pretty common at white elephant exchanges.

Often it is coveted, because all the other stuff is complete junk, at least that is useful junk.

Just Joe

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Re: Secret Mustachian Santa exchange
« Reply #16 on: December 14, 2016, 08:51:52 AM »
Something homemade sweet or savory and a bottle of wine...

Masstache

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Re: Secret Mustachian Santa exchange
« Reply #17 on: December 14, 2016, 10:50:53 AM »
You really gave toilet paper as a gift?

WTF?

Yeah, there's a funny story that goes with it.  The recipient has 2 teenage sons, and apparently teenage boys are notorious for using a lot of toilet paper when they do their business.   During the course of that year she had to call Roto-Rooter 4 times and complained to anyone who would listen about how her boys were going to send her into bankruptcy with their TP habit.  So toilet paper seemed like an obvious gift.

AZDude

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Re: Secret Mustachian Santa exchange
« Reply #18 on: December 15, 2016, 08:15:27 AM »
I imagine mustachian gifts would be stuff like vegetables/fruits/eggs/etc... grown in their own garden. Fantastic meals prepared by the gifter, and volunteering to help with projects/maintenance/etc...

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: Secret Mustachian Santa exchange
« Reply #19 on: December 15, 2016, 08:57:45 AM »
You really gave toilet paper as a gift?

WTF?

Yeah, there's a funny story that goes with it.  The recipient has 2 teenage sons, and apparently teenage boys are notorious for using a lot of toilet paper when they do their business.   During the course of that year she had to call Roto-Rooter 4 times and complained to anyone who would listen about how her boys were going to send her into bankruptcy with their TP habit.  So toilet paper seemed like an obvious gift.

This is brilliant.