6 Easy Tips to Plan A Secret Santa Gift Exchange

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A simple step-by-step guide on how to set up a Secret Santa Gift Exchange for an office or a family party.

Discover some good and inexpensive gifts for your coworkers.
Ok, you’ve been chosen to organize this year’s Secret Santa Gift Exchange.

Secret Santa Gift Exchange

How can you make your Secret Santa Gift Exchange fun instead of an awkward gift exchange? Let’s think about a few things you can do to make this event fun and free of stress.

#1 Download the Free Secret Santa Gift Exchange Form

Yes, there is a form for everything! No worries, this one is fun and will help your team to find gifts for each other in a breeze. And the chances that the recipient will enjoy their gift is going to go way up.

The idea is that each participant reveals a little bit about their likes and dislikes. This way their Secret Santa doesn’t have to sweat what to buy for the colleague whom they meet only every once in a while in the elevator.

What’s the name of that new guy in accounting again?  Oh yes, Chandler.  Well, what to get Chandler (of course this is a reference to FRIENDS ;-))?

With the Free Secret Santa Gift Exchange Form, your team won’t have this problem.

How to Organize a Secret Santa Gift Exchange

#2 Secret Santa Gift Exchange Participation

Make sure your staff knows that participation is voluntary. You never know what’s going on in people’s lives.

Money can be tight. Some members of the group might not be at their best during the holiday season. Or others might object to the idea of doing an office or club gift exchange.

#3 Set a Spending Limit for the Secret Santa Exchange

I recommend setting a spending limit anywhere between $10 and $25. That’s a good range for people to be able to avoid having to buy a $5 junk gift.

Secret Santa Gift Ideas
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#4 Gift Cards to the Rescue

As the organizer of the secret Santa gift exchange people might privately ask you for ideas about what to give another person.

Especially, if they don’t know that person very well. If you know the recipient you’ll probably come up with a great idea but if you don’t you can always recommend gift cards that are within the spending limit.

Amazon gift cards are great because they give the recipient almost limitless choices.

Inspiration for Gift Ideas

#5 Foster Team Relations

Use this opportunity for people to get to know each other a little better.

Our Secret Santa Gift Exchange Printable is designed to help people quickly jot down a few things about themselves: their favorite color, their hobbies, or an indication of what type of gift they like to receive (silly? practical? creative? etc.).

They also get a chance to make comments about what they don’t like. This is an easy way for your employees to get to know each other better and foster teamwork.

#6 Don’t Host A Gift Exchange late on Friday Afternoons

Pick a time during the day that most employees will be around. Ideally, choose a time when there aren’t a lot of phone calls or meetings.

Try to avoid times like Friday afternoons to host the Secret Santa Gift Exchange  At this hour everybody just wants to get their work finished and go home.

Much better if you choose to host your Secret Santa Gift Exchange before or after lunch when your staff has had a chance to get some work done but hasn’t mentally checked out.

Use these tips and you’ll surely have a successful gift exchange!

What’s your favorite gift you’ve ever received during a secret Santa gift exchange? Have you ever played the Secret Santa game with your friends and family? Please leave your comments below and connect on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.

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Maike, founder of Creative & Practical

About The Author


Hi There, I’m Maike! I love to create, rediscover, and share simple recipes. My goal is to help you find confidence and joy in the kitchen.

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