Secret Santa 101

“An arrangement in which each person in a group buys a Christmas present for one other person, without the person knowing who bought the present” – Cambridge Dictionary.

Secret Santa is a festive staple in many workplaces across the globe, it is a great opportunity to buy a great present for a colleague or friend without breaking the bank while getting to know someone you might not have conversed with a lot in the past.

Here’s some handy tips and tricks I have pulled together for someone who is organising (or taking part!) their Secret Santa gift exchange.

Use a free online generator 

With large groups of people it can be difficult to confirm who wants to take part and also who pick out the names fairly – an online generator is the solution to this problem… invite all the people in the department/office/friendship group and those who want to take part can confirm and then a name is chosen for them from the pool of participants.

Cuts down on the admin and the stress of getting everyone in a room to pick names from a hat (plus it eliminates the risk of someone saying they picked their own name when they get a person they don’t want to buy for!).

At my Secret Santa at work, the organiser decided to use Elfster (I also used this generator at my previous place of work), and it does everything it says on the tin!

Wish Lists

Wish lists are perhaps one of the most helpful things you could create to help your Secret Santa get a gift that you will actually want! Elfster has a wish list function built in, but if you chose not to use an online generator you can always encourage people to write down 5-10 things they would like within the price range…

Set a Price Range 

Speaking of price ranges – you need to set one! It will make the exchange fair and also make it easier for people to buy relevant gifts. The average limit set in the office is £10 which is achievable by all accounts but if doing Secret Santa with family and friends you could choose to increase this.

Realistic Timing 

Don’t set this up as a last minute thing (unless you like that sort of thing, I’m not the boss of your Secret Santa!), try and set decent time limits between the name choosing and the exchange – it is a busy time of year and the last thing most of us want is 2 days to find a present and just grabbing a box of celebrations from the petrol station.

Have Fun! 

Buying a present for someone you may not know so well can be stressful – but it is all in good fun so try not to stress over it to much. Also, if someone doesn’t want to get involved don’t pressure them no matter the circumstances.

That’s about it from me on this one – I’m a big fan of Secret Santa and I just wanted to outline some key points to make the process smoother and enjoyable for those taking part and sitting it out.

Merry Christmas, have fun all you Secret Santa’s x 

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