Secret Santa Ideas

Creative Secret Santa ideas are essential for making gift giving a fun experience.  These ideas offer a modern spin on the traditional Pollyanna form of gift giving.

In order for any type of secret Santa exchange to be successful, you have to make sure that everyone involved brings a gift. 

If necessary, make sure you state that on your Christmas party invitations.

There are two basic scenarios to use to make secret Santa ideas a success. 

First, you can assign a gift recipient to each person in advance.  In this case, each person should know who they have to buy a gift for, but the recipient should not know who purchased their gift until the time of the exchange.

The other scenario is to let people pick names right before the gift exchange starts, or  not pick names at all.  In this case, you have to make it clear to your guests that they should bring a gender neutral gift.

Secret Santa Exchange 

secret santa exchange

How to make your secret Santa a game:

Set a price range for the gifts.  A maximum of $20 should be good.  And make sure your guests bring only gender neutral gifts, and that they are wrapped.

Make a display table for your gifts.  Try to arrange them so that everyone can get a good look at everything on the table.

When its's time for the gift exchange to start, assing numbers to everyone.  Just write them down on small pieces of paper and let each person pick their number from a hat.

The person assigned to number 1 will go first.  He/she will select a gift from the table and open it for everyone to see. 

Number 2 is up next.  This person can either pick their own gift from the table, or take  Number 1's gift. 

If Number 1 gets their gift taken away, they can either reclaim the first gift, select another one from the table.

At this point, the person who comes in third choose a gift.  This person can take a gift from the two people who went before them, or get a gift from the table.

Continue this pattern until everyone has a gift.  And if you're not careful, the game can go on all night!


Here are a few tips for your secret Santa ideas:

secret Santa Ideas

*Tell your guests to try and disguise their gifts.  If the gift is a gift card, put it in a large box to throw everyone off.

*If children are included, make sure all the gift options are suitable for them too.  Don't bring bottles of wine or cigars.

*Advertise your secret Santa exchange on your party invites.  Everyone looks forward to an exciting holiday gift exchange.


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