For our Holiday parties at PADT, we generally have over 50 employees, so a traditional secret Santa gift exchange takes too long. At some point, we downloaded a right-left gift exchange story from the internet, and it was a big hit. When we ran out of stories on the internet, we started writing our own, usually in some sort of over-the-top style.
How Does The Gift Exchange Work?
Everyone gets the gift they brought and forms a big circle in the middle of the room. Someone with a strong voice (or a microphone) reads the story, and every time the word LEFT is read, everyone passes the package they have to the left. Every time the word RIGHT is read, everyone passes the package they have to their right. You should pause a bit at each LEFT/RIGHT to give people a chance to pass. Once the story is over, you end up with the gift you are holding.
You Can Find Previous Gift Exchange Stories Here:
These stories are for everyone’s use, free, and with no strings attached. So please copy and paste the text into your word processor and enjoy. And if it all goes well, please share a picture with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This year it was sort of a Film Noir style with a hard-boiled detective, a blond bombshell, and a can of Right Guard. There is a Christmas connection, but you have to read it to get it.
The Right Guy
Jack Hammer sat in his office on the 5th floor of the WRIGHT insurance company building. His RIGHT hand held a cold cup of coffee, and in his LEFT was a RIGHT guard deodorant can. He wore a hat cocked slightly to the LEFT. Two competing streams of cheesy Christmas music were coming through his walls, from Doctor LEFTentowskeys office on his RIGHT and the accountant’s office on his LEFT. He didn’t know the name of the accountant, but he had LEFT Jack a Christmas Card with a picture of reindeer on the LEFT bank of the Siene in Paris, which Jack felt was just not… appropriate.
Christmas had been a lonely time for Jack ever since his wife Janice had LEFT him RIGHT before Christmas five years ago, waking up one morning and saying, “We are not RIGHT for each other” She packed and walked RIGHT out the door.
As he remembered this, he heard footsteps coming down the hallway from the LEFT, and they stopped RIGHT in front of his door. After a few seconds, he heard a rhythmic rapping on the frosted glass panal. Three knocks one RIGHT after another, a pause, then three more RIGHT after that. It LEFT him a bit puzzled, but RIGHT now, he needed the work and a distraction from his depressing thoughts.
He said, “Come RIGHT In.”
The door opened to reveal a stunning blond bombshell. The kind that comes RIGHT out of a pinup calendar. The kind that had come into his office several times in the past five years and LEFT him heartbroken.
Her ruby-red lips parted, and she asked, with a slight accent that sounded almost Italian, “You Jack Hammer? My name is Cemento Smerigliatrice. My friend Joey RIGHTenhaour said you were the RIGHT man for the job?”
Her voice LEFT him a bit speechless, so he used the act of clearing off the RIGHT side of his desk to find a place to put the RIGHT guard down as an excuse to gain his composure.
He said, “I may be the RIGHT guy for the job, but it needs to be the RIGHT job.”
She walked over to his desk and around the RIGHT side to sit RIGHT there in front of him on the RIGHT corner. She said, leaving no chance LEFT for misinterpretation: “I need you to kill Santa Clause.”
The statement hung there in the air. Jack was LEFT speechless.
“Why?” he asked
She pouted those red lips and leaned forward, putting her ample bosom RIGHT in front of his eyes, and said: “Last year, that red-coated jerk LEFT me coal. I came downstairs and found that he had eaten the cookies and drunk the milk I’d LEFT him. But hanging there RIGHT over the fireplace was my stocking full of coal. It just is not RIGHT!”
Jack Hammer was used to trouble, and the part of him that didn’t get LEFT on the battlefields of the Pacific during WWII enjoyed the RIGHT kind of danger. But her whole attitude LEFT him a little nervous. She had LEFT something out. Things just didn’t seem RIGHT.
He looked her up and down and then stared RIGHT into her eyes, and noticed a small tear streaking down her LEFT cheek. He put his RIGHT and LEFT hands down on the LEFT and RIGHT arms of his chair and slowly pushed himself up until he stood RIGHT next to her. “RIGHT now, gorgeous, I don’t care what is RIGHT and what is… not-RIGHT. Life has LEFT a hole RIGHT here in my heart” he lifted her RIGHT hand and placed it on the LEFT side of his chest. “It has LEFT me bitter, LEFT me without any hope. LEFT me without many morals.”
She looked up and smiled an evil smile at him. The kind of smile that LEFT you wondering if you took a wrong turn in a bad part of town… or maybe it was a RIGHT turn.
He let go of her hand to reach out and pulled her body RIGHT up against his and whispered in her LEFT ear.
“Looking at you, I’m guessing that if Santa LEFT you coal, you deserved it. He has every RIGHT to leave you coal because if you check his list, you would be in that naughty column on the LEFT side of the sheet.“
He then spun her around and pushed her RIGHT out the door. “The elevator is on your LEFT sweaty. You can ride it RIGHT down to hell!”
He heard her start to sob when the elevator door closed.
Jack Hammer sat RIGHT back down in his chair and picked up the RIGHT guard that was sitting RIGHT on his desk. Somehow, the exchange LEFT him feeling good for the first time in a long time.
Meanwhile, far up RIGHT on top of the world, a large man in a red suit set a cup of hot cocoa on the LEFT side of his desk. He crossed out the name of Jack Hammer on the LEFT side of a long list, and wrote it in on the… other side, under the heading of Nice. In a deep rumbly voice, he said: “Ho Ho Ho. Every year I am LEFT with no doubt that RIGHT around the world, when people are LEFT with a simple choice, they always do what is… appropriate. Merry Christmas, Jack Hammer!”