Charlie had no idea what the area they had set up in was called, but that in no way curbed their enthusiasm as they put the finishing touches on the decorations - if you could call them that. As the last few attendees filed in, the tabaxi hopped off the stepladder they were perched on and took a good look around the room.
The old Dojo was a mess, and not just because its use had lessened since the Holodeck was implemented. Well, maybe that was part of it. But besides that, the room was garnished with tacky banners nailed to the walls and half-inflated balloons in neon colors scattered across the floor. In the center of the room was a rickety table, far too small for the precariously piled stack of presents resting on top of it. Around it was an assortment of brightly-coloured chairs arranged in a halfhearted circle.
Next to the doorframe, tacked to the wall was a sheet of paper listing the rules for the gift exchange in messy handwriting. Surrounding it was a long row of other papers listing the same rules, but in other languages across the multiverse, though most of them weren’t necessary for the people attending the gift exchange anyway.
It was perfect.
As the last of the attendees filed in, Charlie walked up to the table dressed in a tuxedo and top hat far too formal for the occasion, lightly tapping a mahogany cane against the ground to get the others’ attention.
“Well met, all, and welcome to this year’s New Years’ Gift Exchange! Thank you all for coming and let’s hope for a good time!”
Without waiting for a response, they swept the top hat off their head and held it out in front of them. “Inside this hat is a bunch of papers with your names on them. Whoever’s name is drawn can choose a present first, right over here.” They gestured towards the pile of wrapped gifts on the table.
“After that’s done, whoever gave the present will be going next, and…” They crossed the room to the instructions pinned on the wall and gave it a quick check. “Well, I think you know the rest! So let’s see who our lucky starter is!”
And with that Charlie stuck a paw into the top hat, reaching in far deeper than they should have been able to, their arm being swallowed nearly up to the shoulder before they retrieved a crumpled slip of paper. They unfolded it, held it up to the light, and cleared their throat.
“Hm. ‘Di-ane’. Alrighty then, Diane's going up first! So with all the fancy stuff out of the way…”
Charlie tossed their hat up into the air, sending scattered papers whirling around the room and into the faces of some of the closer attendees.
“...Let the exchange begin!”
Alright, with the attendees locked in and the New Year upon us, I figured it was time to get this started, so… here it is!
The rules can be found here, and the participants and gifts can be found here. If you have any more questions about this, feel free to ask.
Thanks, and here's hoping this works!