Christmas Right Left Gift Exchange: Surfing Santa to the Rescue


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

For our 2023 Holiday Party we decided to go with a Hawaiian theme and went to a local venue that does Luauas. It was a blast. And after the food, and the Mai Tais, and the fire dancers, we had a good laugh passing our gifts around and learning about the fateful February Evening when Santa rode a wave in to save Christmas.

Surfing Santa to the Rescue

Gather around. I want to share a story that was LEFT out of the newspapers when it belonged RIGHT on the front page. It is the story of a hidden island in Hawaii called KANAKA MEA PAAHANA LIILII island, which roughly translates to, small tool man island. Now, you might be LEFT thinking that is a strange name for an island. You would be… wrong. The locals who know about the island call it that because that is where most of Santa’s elves hang out RIGHT after Christmas.

And that is why a crack group of international mercenaries hovered over that little island on a warm February night a few years ago. They were literally hired guns who didn’t know or care why they were about to land on the beach and round up everyone they could find and hold them hostage. But their leader, Rudy Van LEFThoven, knew. The group of toy company executives had offered him so much money he was LEFT with no choice but to take the job, even though he didn’t feel… good about it.

Van LEFThoven gave a signal to the pilots and the Blackhawk landed on a wide sandy beach that LEFT plenty of room. What they found after they raced up the beach and into the small village was about fifty small men and women wearing green bathing suits. Their pointy ears LEFT no doubt. They were elves.

The mercenaries gathered the elves, guns drawn, till they had them all rounded up RIGHT in the middle of their little Island version of the North Pole.  

“Who was LEFT in charge by Santa, Who is the head Elf?” asked Van LEFThoven?

An older elf stepped forward. She was wearing a very tasteless Christmas sweater and green swimming trunks. She said, “I am. And I can tell you one thing: Santa is not going to be LEFT with any choice but to put coal in your stockings.”

One of the men shouted towards the older elf, “That would be more than that fatty has ever LEFT me.”

As the men laughed, Van LEFThoven handed the chief elf a satellite phone and then pointed his pistol at her RIGHT temple. “Call your boss now. Tell him we are holding you all hostage. If he doesn’t come back to the negotiating table and agree to cut down on the amount of free toys that are LEFT under trees, Santa will start getting pointy ears wrapped in bloody little boxes under his tree.”

The head elf put the phone on speaker and dialed. After two rings, a recorded voice said, “Ho Ho Ho, even Santa’s helpers need a break now and then. RIGHT now, we are closed. Please leave a message after the beep, and we will get back to you RIGHT after we return.”

The commander grabbed the phone back and shouted to the man closest to him, “Get in there and find the elf with the longest ears.” The man walked into the crowd of elves, moving LEFT, then RIGHT, until he found the RIGHT victim. It was a young elf with a giant pair of pointy ears.

Von LEFThoven pulled out a big knife and raised it towards the young elf’s LEFT ear. RIGHT then, they heard deep, melodious laughter all around them. Von LEFThoven pulled a pair of binoculars and looked out. There, RIGHT in the waves, was an older man with a big white beard riding a surfboard. The mercenary chief was LEFT speechless as Santa rode that wave up the beach, past the LEFT side of the helicopter, and RIGHT into the middle of the confrontation.

As the water receded, he laughed again and said, “Little Rudy, I should never LEFT those GI Joe toys under your tree. Ho Ho Ho.”

Pushing down the memories of his favorite childhood toys, the mercenary shouted, “Don’t make me hurt her!” as he raised his knife to the… LEFT temple of the elf with huge ears.

Santa rocked back on his heels and let out a giant “Ho, Ho, Ho.” The mercenaries felt a tingle from their toes RIGHT to the tip of their nose. An instant later, they were holding plastic squirt guns and wearing colorful Christmas pajamas.

Santa let out another “Ho, Ho, Ho” and they saw they were standing on surfboards that began to move them one by one RIGHT down the beach. Their feet were glued to the boards as they slid into the helicopter. When the doors closed and the engine started and the blackhawk rose into the air without the pilots in the LEFT or RIGHT seat doing a thing, they could still hear Santa laughing over the sound of the rotors.

And then they heard Santa’s voice say loud and clear, “Tell those toy company executives I’ll never cut back on my production of free toys to be LEFT under the trees of boys and girls around the world. HO HO HO, NEVER!”

And then, as the copter sped away, he LEFT one final message, “Ho Ho Ho, MELE KALIKIMAKA. And don’t forget, there is always time LEFT to become good girls and boys. Ho Ho Ho”

# The End #


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