How to Do Secret Santa at School

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When you've got so many friends that buying Christmas gifts would break the bank, a secret Santa gift exchange is a simple solution. Get the gang involved in the organization of the event, then shower the person you choose with meaningful gestures and cool gifts.

  • Create list of friends who are interested in a secret Santa swap and can commit to the entire event. Have each person fill out a form to help "Santas" choose presents. Include likes (such as favorite foods and treats, bands, television shows, colors, celebrities and fashion accessories and styles) and dislikes. If all of the participants are trustworthy, also exchange locker combinations as a place to leave presents for one another.

  • Check with the school's main office to uncover any regulations that would prohibit secret Santa activities on school grounds. Ask if there are rules banning decorated lockers or classroom desks, for example, since some participants may want to create a display for their partner.

  • Hold a "meeting" after school, create an informational flyer or send a group email to list the instructions for the gift exchange. Include details like the number of days the swap will last, the minimum number of gifts, the minimum amount participants should spend and any official school rules.

  • Ask Santas to include a clue to their identity with each gift. Make them progressively easier as the days progress.

  • Consider small presents for your partner like gift cards to smoothie shops, earrings, after school snacks, lip gloss, compact discs or picture frames. Stay on budget with fun (but free) gestures like straightening her locker, posting cute notes on the school bulletin board or sending cool text messages or emails from an anonymous account. Ask her mom if you can decorate your friend's room while she's at a music lesson or sports practice, for example.

  • Organize a dinner at the end of the gift exchange to reveal the Santas. Bring one final gift and one final clue to help your partner discover who you are. Consider asking your friends to bring a small "thank you" gift for their Santa, as well.

Tips & Warnings

  • Avoid leaving or opening secret Santa gifts in class since teachers may confiscate the items if you're disrupting the lesson.
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