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 that fits the theme of our holiday party.
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 we may have gone way over the top with a SciFi story that involves an alien scouting party visiting a new planet.
Winter’s Night Rediscovered
LEFT to their own devices, the Zalaks will generally wander RIGHT around the galaxy. Captain F’Tool G’K’RIGHT and his RIGHT-hand man, and nestmate, LEFTenent P’Turn N’Tuk were lucky enough to have a job where they were paid to wander around the galaxy. It LEFT them both with a sense of true satisfaction and a feeling that could only RIGHTly called joy.
“P’Turn, where are we RIGHT now?” asked Captain G’K’RIGHT.”RIGHT now… let me see,” muttered N’Tuk as he looked at his navigation console. “We are approaching an inhabited planet referred to as Earth in the dominant language.”
G’K’RIGHT asked, “Technological Status?”
“They appear to be RIGHT in the middle of the standard computational revolution, having just LEFT a short nuclear period wherein the majority of the planet appears to have been LEFT untouched by thermonuclear conflict,” answered LEFTenent N’Tuk. “Where should we land for our initial investigation?”
Captain G’K’RIGHT tapped his RIGHT temple with his RIGHT foreclaw. “hmmm…. This should not be LEFT to chance. I think we should land in an uninhabited spot, RIGHT here,” he said, pointing at the nav screen with the same RIGHT foreclaw. “RIGHT on top of the planet on this ice cap.”
“RIGHT, sir!” responded N’Tuk. “Turning on landing engines, setting course LEFT 237, RIGHT 124”
The ship shook violently, LEFT to RIGHT, forward to aft, as it descended through the planet’s atmosphere. Soon the spacecraft slowed and stopped RIGHT above a huge ice ridge, looking down into a valley that should have been just snow. The crew looked at the RIGHT view screen, which showed sensor data. It registered the expected uninhabited snow-covered valley. But RIGHT there in front of them, on the LEFT view screen, which showed a visual image, they were LEFT with no doubt. The valley was filled, from LEFT to RIGHT, with a sprawling village.
The view LEFT the Captain stunned. “Turn off the landing engines and set down RIGHT here. LEFTenent N’Tuk, we are LEFT with no choice but to go out and explore this anomaly with our LEFT, RIGHT, and center eyes!”
A short time later, the landing party stood in a large open square. Their initial exploration had LEFT them with the impression that the village had recently been abandoned. They had also discovered that RIGHT beneath their tentacles was a vast underground industrial complex capable of manufacturing a staggering amount and variety of items. It, too, had been recently LEFT abandoned.
Captain G’K’RIGHT looked around the square. In the center, a tall pole stood. It stretched RIGHT up to the bottom of the clouds, wrapped in red and green stripes arranged in a RIGHT-handed spiral. To the LEFT of the pole, someone had LEFT a pile of boxes wrapped in colorful paper. On the … other side of the pole was a giant green plant of some type that formed a cone shape. It had green and red decorations hanging from its branches. As G’K’RIGHT stared at it, he realized it leaned a little to the RIGHT, the imperfection of which seemed somehow the RIGHT thing.
“RIGHT!” said the Captain. “Before we turn around and get back on our ship, I want to understand why our sensors still read snow, but we can see and touch a complete village and a gigantic manufacturing facility underground.”
LEFTenent N’Tuk looked up from his portable sensor array, gazed LEFT, gazed RIGHT, then gazed LEFT again and said, “Captain, I am LEFT with no doubt. It turns out that this whole area has a temporal damping field that obscures all non-biological sensing. It is as if the sensors see what was RIGHT here about 3000 orbits ago. But what we see and touch is what is here RIGHT now. The technology required has LEFT me amazed. The temporal generator appears to be RIGHT there on top of that pole.”
The Captain was about to order the disassembly of the pole when, on the horizon to the RIGHT, he saw a bright red light. “Set up a defensive perimeter, RIGHT now!” he ordered.
The landing team formed an arc on the LEFT of the square behind a low wall. As they watched, the red light got brighter. It resolved into what appeared to be nine fur-covered animals pulling a large red vehicle RIGHT across the sky. Once again, the Captain was amazed.
The train of animals pulling the vehicle landed RIGHT in front of them in the square, where they realized that the red light was actually coming from an organ on the very tip of the lead animal’s head. Soon, a door on the RIGHT side of the red vehicle opened, and out streamed multiple bipedal creatures dressed from head to toe in green. The creatures formed a line that stretched from the LEFT to the… other side of the square. When several thousand had LEFT the vehicle, a much larger and rounder bipedal creature came out of the opening and strode RIGHT up to the landing party.
He began to speak, and the team’s universal translator repeated what it heard into an earpiece they wore in their RIGHT ears: “Hoo Hoo Hoo. Welcome, my friends, to the North Pole! I’m sorry we LEFT no one here to greet you, but RIGHT now is the only night of the year when we are not home! Ho Ho Ho! Your timing has LEFT us unprepared. Ho ho ho.”
Captain F’Tool G’K’RIGHT strode forward to greet the large but friendly alien. And then he stopped. A memory had popped RIGHT into his head that LEFT him wondering. He turned and asked his RIGHT hand man, “P’Turn, do you think, that this might possibly… , no it can’t be RIGHT. But the more I think the more I’m LEFT without a doubt. Could this be S’ta C’las?”
As the Captain looked at his childhood nest-friend, he remembered rushing with P’Turn into the nursery room on Winter’s Night to find gifts scattered under the Winters’ Night Mushroom… and a tear of joy formed in his RIGHT eye.
He turned just in time to see the bi-pedal alien morph before his eyes and become S’ta C’las.
In the Zelak language, he heard S’Ta C’las say, “N’ka, N’ka, N’ka. Merry Winter’s Night to you! F’Tool G’K’RIGHT, you have been a good little Zelak, N’ka, N’ka, N’ka, and I welcome you to my home, RIGHT here on earth. I, of course, knew you were coming, so we LEFT you and your crew something here, RIGHT beneath this tree.”
As the landing party rejoiced and rushed forward to put their tentacle RIGHT around their gifts, the Captain realized something important. With a version of this mystical and magical creature on every planet LEFT with a civilization on its surface, every sentient being in the world was bound together by this special spirit that he called Winter’s Night and this planet called Christmas. And that made him feel RIGHT.