When this woman feels guilty, she asks Reddit:
Honestly this is a silly issue but my husband and I both like AITA and we were curious how reddit would react.
So over the years my husband and I have been to a number of holiday parties with White Elephant/Dirty Santa/Yankee Swap or whatever you call it.
Basically everyone brings a gift, you go in order by picking numbers and at your turn you either open a new present or steals one that has been opened. There's varying rules based on the house but you get the concept.
What my husband and I have done a few times is play strategically, since we live together it doesn't really matter which one of us ends up with the gift. So for instance the other month I opened a fuzzy blanket which I was psyched about, I love fuzzy blankets.
A few turns later it was stolen which was a bummer so I picked another gift. Shortly after it was my husband's turn so he stole the blanket since he knew I wanted it. A couple people were a little miffed that we played that way since it gave us an advantage so were wondering if that was kind of an asshole move.
This is obviously super low stakes, I'm pretty okay with being a bit of an asshole in a game designed to have everyone be a bit of a dick if that's what the judgement ends up being.
No one was really upset aside from a few joking comments. But we thought Reddit might have some opinions on it!
Also for clarification to those who hate White Elephants. We keep it totally voluntary when we host. It's one activity at a larger party. Those who want to play bring a gift and those who don't just continue on with the party. No one is forced or even remotely pressured to play. AITA?
NTA. I don't understand how you'd be the asshole. I think there is a very applicable expression here:
'Don't hate the player, hate the game'
I guess NTA. But to share from someone who has born the brunt of this approach... I have a large extended family and to manage the gift exchange for the adults, we have opted to do the White Elephant route (keep costs down).
I’m one of the very few singles and all couples do play strategically. For about three years, felt like I was played (it is what it is, I get it), walking away with a gift that I really don’t want or have use for (note: our budget is $75, so fairly large chunk of change).
That said, the last two christmases, I decided not to play (looks as though most single cousins seem to have done so as well). Instead, use the $75 to buy myself a gift I want.