Secret Santa Theme Ideas

eHow may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story. Learn more about our affiliate and product review process here.

Christmas is a season of giving. In many workplaces, staff members engage in a Secret Santa gift exchange project. This is an opportunity to give small gifts to a fellow worker to brighten their holiday season. Secret Santa present theme holiday gift exchanges can be organized with strict guidelines such as cost or frequency of gifts.


Providing a theme for the gift giving can make the Secret Santa project challenging but fun for all. Always allow your staff the option of participating.

Video of the Day

Video of the Day

12 Days of Christmas Secret Santa theme

With a 12 Days of Christmas Secret Santa theme, each Secret Santa gives gifts during a 12-day period preceding Christmas. On the first day, give one item; the second day, two items; and so on. The items should be small, inexpensive gifts so no one's budget is exceeded.

For example, make a tape with five holiday tunes for the fifth day; then, as the days progress, give 10 Hershey's Kisses or 11 candy canes. Keep it simple. Everyone will look forward to a daily gift for the 12 Days of Christmas.

Food as a Secret Santa theme

This theme offers a wide-open category in which Secret Santas can give homemade treats or buy them. DIY cookies, candy or bags of flavored popcorn are good snack items to choose. Beverages such as packets of cocoa mix or a holiday latte from a nearby coffee shop are all possibilities.


For a cook, Secret Santa gift ideas can include some special herbs or spices. For a chocolate lover, visit a local chocolate shop and get individual chocolates. Give a gift card to a local restaurant or specialty food shop for a bigger gift option.

Holiday colors, merry and bright

Festive colored items are always available around the holidays. Give a color theme, such as red and green, silver and gold, or blue and silver to your Secret Santas. The choices are unlimited.


If you choose holiday-related items, you can find mugs, candles, holiday pins and buttons, ornaments, notepads, pens, socks and ties. Other holiday-colored items that recipients will be grateful for would be wrapping paper or bows that they can then use for their gift wrapping.

Set reasonable spending limits

Monetary guidelines are often established for Secret Santas. Sometimes all participants are asked to fill out an "About Me" form listing some favorites, such as favorite color, sports team, hobbies, magazines or kinds of music. Then a dollar amount for gifts is set, and Secret Santas choose appropriate gifts within a spending limit.



The limit can be a specific dollar amount or a range of spending. Always take your coworkers into account when setting a dollar limit, as many have their budgets stretched during the holidays.

Decorations make excellent gifts for nearly everyone

Everyone who decorates for the holidays will appreciate new ornaments or decorations for their home. To keep spending down, Secret Santas can purchase a box of ornaments and give one each day, rather than purchasing individual decorations, which can be pricey at times. Homemade ornaments, which will add a personal touch to the giving, can be encouraged.


Helping out someone in need

If you have a coworker who is going through a difficult time, either financially or emotionally, the rest of the staff can choose to be a Secret Santa to that individual. For this secret Santa present theme, each staff member brings an item to add to a care package for that person, such as lotions, candles, candies, gift cards, flavored coffees, teas and cookies. All of the gifts are arranged in a basket and presented by the Secret Santas.



Report an Issue

screenshot of the current page

Screenshot loading...