Secret Santa

A little more than 1 week is left before the New Year. It is time to think about gifts for your relatives, friends, neighbors and colleagues. But what if your social circle is huge and there is simply no opportunity to bestow everyone? In that case, Secret Santa will come to the rescue. This is a kind Christmas game for a big company, the meaning of which is in the anonymous exchange of gifts. It brings no offense, disappointment and a dozen stupid cheap gizmos under the tree, which will have to be thrown away because of their uselessness.

The easiest option is to prepare pieces of paper with the names of all participants in the venture, roll them up and put them in a hat. Mix. Agree on the price range for the gift. The person who blindly chooses your piece of paper will be your Secret Santa. And you will become “Secret Santa” for the one whose piece of paper you have.


  1. Thieving Secret Santa

In this version, each of the participants brings a gift that is potentially suitable or interesting for any other participant. Gifts are wrapped so that they cannot be recognized. Ideally, the donor should not be revealed while organizing the game. Players take turns either opening a new gift or stealing a previously opened gift. This game is also called as “the exchange of gifts like a white elephant.” “The white elephant” is a gift whose value is much greater than its utility or “Yankee barter.”

  1. Secret Santa over several days

In this version, the distribution of gifts is extended over several days. Usually, every day everyone is given a small gift, the choice of which is focused on originality and humor. For example, it could be a homemade postcard, a poem, candles, a bauble, a snack, or a small piece of art. Due to the fact that the game is stretched over several days, the tension grows, and each participant wonders who exactly is his personal “Secret Santa”. On the last day of the event, the gift usually reveals the identity of the “Secret Santa.”

The game can also be played by agreeing on a certain place in advance, then all the Secret Santas hide their gifts, and then throw up small clues with the name of the donee, which lead him or her to the place where the gift is hidden. Another version of the game: for the participant is to leave a note to his Secret Santa. A note can be in any form – a poem, a note, etc. – but it certainly implies that this person knows who his Secret Santa is.

The only problem with this version of the game is that once the Secret Santa is discovered, they can no longer give gifts, which in a group game can cause problems with fairness and equality of participants.

  1. Stolen Santa

This version of the game has standard rules, but the presented gifts must be “stolen” or obtained in another illegal way. To ensure this, participants often simply steal office supplies from their workplace, enhancing the game’s humor.


– Try to find out about the preferences and hobbies of your recipient by conducting a little investigation on his page in social networks or by asking his relatives;

– Buy something practical for your addressee, something that will probably not collect dust on their shelves. Let it be a gift-impression (tickets to the theater, a trip to the SPA or a certificate for a climbing wall) than a senseless and merciless figurine of a rooster.

– If you know in advance that there will be difficulties with the choice of a gift, agree with the participants to draw up a general wish-list, attach it to the corkboard in the office or send it to everyone by email.

– You can also write a short list of desired gifts in the name note before the draw;

– It is worth taking care of a beautiful gift wrapping – this way it will be doubly pleasant to receive it. And do not forget to label the box in large letters so that it does not fall into the wrong hands in the confusion.

Remember, the main goal of the game is to ensure that no one is left without a gift in the New Year. Happy Holidays!

December 20, 2020

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