Very dirty Santa 

Once you’ve whittled down the pile and sent the proper regrets, the focus then turns to those parties you can attend.

Some are ugly sweater parties or have other themes. Maybe you’ve got a gala or soiree that requires cocktail wear. Most certainly, however, aside from the dips and the fudge and the dresses, you’re going to need a gift for an exchange.

And it’s highly likely that you’ll be part of a Dirty Santa or White Elephant gift exchange. Every year I find myself asking, “So, is that a good present or a fun present?” As a person who’s been on both ends of the poor-present pick during these holiday games, I’d like to clear up a few discrepancies to help you better prepare.

First, Dirty Santa and White Elephant exchanges are typically two very different things. While Dirty Santa, based on name alone, sounds like you’d want to bring an ornery present, that’s not the case. For this specific game, the requirement is a good present that can be stolen (usually up to three times).

A White Elephant gift, however, is one that would leave a recipient saying, “What in the world am I going to do with this?” Once you’ve worked out whether you need a good gift or novelty gift, the fun begins. How much shock value do you want to go for? I mean, it’s the holidays. There’s no reason to do anything halfway.

That means it’s time for a trip to Patricia’s Novelty (614 E. Memorial; 755-8600). This shop was formerly called Priscilla’s, so don’t let the name throw you. It’s in the same location, and the general idea remains the same.

Pick up some Juicy Lube, fruit-flavored personal lubricant, and wrap it up nicely so as not to give away the naughty surprise. It’ll bring plenty of laughs. And who knows, maybe the recipient will get some use out of it.

If you want to step up the level of embarrassment, purchase a pair of edible underwear from Christie’s Toy Box (several metro locations). Christie’s has been meeting the — ahem — needs of Oklahoma City since 1979, when the first store opened.

Maybe the party will be a little less scandalous than that, but you need something with a kick. Can’t go wrong with a bottle of something festive at Freeman Liquor Mart (4401 N. Western; 524-8031).

Whether it’s a big bottle of champagne or several little bottles of assorted alcohol, it’s a fun way to toe the line of appropriate while still having some fun with your gift.

Dirty Santa or White Elephant, be sure to have fun with family and friends. Relax and enjoy the season. Let’s shop, OKC!

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