The Secret Santa game is a fun way to exchange gifts during the holiday season without the pressure of spending much money or stressing about finding the perfect gift for each member of a large family or multiple co-workers. Secret Santa rules are simple, and this is an easy game to organize.
There are several variations of the gift exchange game, and you can make adjustments and changes for your next Christmas party. Whether your next gathering is an office party or a gathering of family and friends, gift-giving becomes fun and stress-free when everyone follows the rules.
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Secret Santa gift exchange game rules
The first stage of the Secret Santa exchange game is when the group draws names to determine for whom each person will be buying a gift. Have a slip of paper with each participant's name and place the names in a hat or bowl. Pass the hat around and have each participant draw a name.
Have participants choose names a couple of weeks before the holiday party so they have plenty of time to shop and find the perfect gift.
Each participant is responsible for purchasing a gift prior to the gift exchange. Be sure to set a price range or maximum budget so that all the gifts have a similar value. Participants wrap the gift and add a tag with the recipient's name. On the "From" line of the tag, write "From your Secret Santa." Don't put down your name and ruin the fun!
On the day of the gift exchange, have everyone place their wrapped gifts on a table. The facilitator can pass out gifts so as to not reveal the gift giver. After each person unwraps the gift, gift recipients attempt to guess the identity of their Secret Santa. Can you do Secret Santa with five people? Absolutely! The larger the group of people you have, the more fun it is to guess who your Secret Santa is, but you can also play the game with only a few people.
Secret Santa game ideas
The basic rules of this holiday gift exchange are simple, but you can consider some variations to add to the fun and customize the game for your group. The gift budget already sets some constraints on the gifts, but if you want to make the game even more budget-friendly, consider a game that requires participants to re-gift presents from a previous Christmas.
Alternatively, you can have each participant write down gift ideas on the Secret Santa paper before drawing names. As long as the ideas are in the budget range, this can ensure that everyone gets something they will appreciate.
Some people prefer to keep Secret Santa a secret, never revealing who gave the gift. Decide what will be the most fun for your group or family.
You can also make the guessing game more fun by adding clues to the Secret Santa labels that help to reveal their identity. If the group is up for it, each Secret Santa can leave a couple of clues between the drawing of names and the gift exchange.
Play Secret Santa Remotely
Secret Santa isn't limited to in-person gatherings. If your family or group of friends can't get together during the holiday season, you can still connect by playing the Secret Santa game. The basic rules for the gift swap are the same, with a few modifications.
Secret Santa is a great way to bring together people who are far apart at holiday time.
Once you know who is participating, you can use a digital Secret Santa name-generation tool to assign names. Have each participant create a digital wish list of items within the assigned budget at online stores like Amazon or Etsy. This way, each Secret Santa can order and send gifts directly to the recipient.
Finally, have an online gift-opening party over a video call. You can guess your Secret Santa and celebrate the holiday season with friends and family, no matter where you are.
Secret Santa is a fun Christmas game that takes the pressure out of buying gifts for co-workers and large friend and family groups. Each person draws the name of a specific person and buys them a gift. On the day of the gift exchange, the game continues as each person tries to guess who was their Secret Santa.