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How to run a Secret Santa

How to run a Secret Santa

Are you looking for Secret Santa ideas or do you want to organise a Secret Santa session? Do you need a secret santa gift for your work or a family member? Here's our helpful guide for running a Secret Santa for friends, family or in the work place plus our Secret Santa Gift Ideas!

Running a Secret Santa:

There are two types of secret santas. One where everyones name goes in the hat and you draw a name. The other way is that gifts aren't assigned, you pick one at random. There is usually a dollar value assigned to the gift with either option.

Out of the Hat Secret Santa:

If you have the name of the person who receives your secret santa, it pays to try to personalise it to the recipient. You can do this in a thoughtful gift or with humour. If the latter consider how the person may receive it. If they will see the light side and won't be upset, then this can work well.

Humour can also relate to the profession rather than the person, for example a calculator and bag of beans for an accountant (with a note for the bean counter).

Think about what was given last year, the best humour is original.

Random Secret Santa:

This is similar to the previous option however you will not know the recipient, therefore your gift should be suitable for a male or female if both are participating. You maybe able to purchase a humourous gift related to the workplace or group interest.

Gifts can be handed out by Santa or his helpers or you may opt for the secret santa swap.

Secret Santa Swap:

The Secret Santa swap works well in a smaller group. Here's some steps to help you run your secret santa swap:

  1. If there are 12 participants, you add a number 1 to 12 into a hat.
  2. Each participant chooses a number out of the hat.
  3. The presents are placed in the middle of the group or in Santas Sack.
  4. The person who got number one selects a present and opens it.
  5. Then the person who got number two chooses to take number ones present or choose from the middle. If number one loses their present they get to choose from the middle.
  6. When the presents are opened number three chooses to take from one or two or from the middle.
  7. This proceeds until the last person has a present. Everyone should have a gift along the way.

This is lots of fun where there are sought after gifts.

Secret Santa Gift Ideas:

Humour can also be used for the random recipient. It may relate to the workplace or just something fun.  Click here to find our collection of ideas.

Top tips to run your Secret Santa session:

Here's a few tips to help you run a fun and enjoyable Christmas pressie swap:

  1. Set a price limit and let everyone know
  2. Decide on whether the presents will be out of the hat or random.
  3. Send an extra reminder to people a day or two prior, so they remember.
  4. Have some spare presents in case someone forgets.

For more Christmas fun ideas see our Christmas section.

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