When you have a large group of people, the game Secret Santa is a great way to exchange gifts without breaking everyone’s budget.
The first thing you need to do is determine the number of people involved and write each of their names on a small strip of paper. Put the small strips into the container.
After you’re done, go around to each person and have them draw out a name–making sure that they do not draw their own or anyone in their immediate family such as a spouse or child. As you’re doing this, record who has each name on the other sheet of paper. Hang on to this sheet. It will be important later.
Explain to each of your guests any limitations you have on the gifts–dollar limit, theme, etc. This will ensure people do not overspend that everyone is getting something nice. Also, request that they only put the name of the recipient on the packages, not who it’s from
On the day of the exchange, try to keep the gifts all in one place. Don’t let anyone linger to see who has brought each package.
When ready, pass out everyone’s gifts and allow them to open them. Go around and let everyone try to guess the identity of their Secret Santa and have small prizes for correct guesses.
Another option is after opening the gifts, let guests go around and talk to people until they figure out their Secret Santa. Both options are fine and are just based on your personal decision.
Tips and Warnings
One of the nicest themes I’ve seen done was Christmas ornaments at an office party. We had a limit of $10 and everyone loved them.
If you are giving out prizes for correct guesses, there’s nothing wrong with giving young children a few hints.
About The Author
I’m the author of the sci-fi novels The Hannaria Series: Out of the Gray (April 2009) and Legacy (Nov. 2009). I’ve been writing articles online with eHow and other websites since 2007. My wonderful husband Cory and I live in Knoxville, TN. Outside of writing, I operate a broadcast camera for our church and am involved in freelance media projects in the Knoxville area.