How to Successfully Run a Secret Santa

If you’re the organised type, you may already be thinking about the Secret Santa for your office or friend group. But you might be looking for tips to help your Secret Santa plans go off without a hitch – which is why we are here. The following is a brief step-by-step on running your own festive gift-giving session, to save you the headache of organising alone.

Create a Sign-Up Sheet

How to Successfully Run a Secret Santa

The first and most important step to your Secret Santa plans should be to create a sign-up sheet for prospective participants. With this, you can know exactly how many people are on board for your Secret Santa, and also keep solid details on who receives who in your Secret Santa draw.

Make sure to get your participants to drop some simple gift ideas in their entry form as well – this way, if anyone receives someone they don’t know too well, they can use the suggestion as a crib to get something their recipient might actually want.

Keep your participants on an Excel spreadsheet for ease – you can use the same spreadsheet to randomise the selections in lieu of a paper-in-hat situation; an especially useful utility if your participants are spread across the country or working from home.

Set a Spend Limit

Some of your participants may not be as cash-rich as others – so it is important to set a spending limit for gifts. It can be very awkward when a gift appears that outclasses all others in value – and also obvious who it’s come from!

Various online retailers offer separate sections for Christmas gifts under £5, making it easy for folks to narrow down the kind of gift they can give.

Finalise a Date

How to Successfully Run a Secret Santa

A deadline is important for your Secret Santa, for more than one reason. Members of your group might be the procrastinatory type, and having a solid date on which to exchange gifts will ensure all presents are bought, wrapped and ready to swap in time.

It’s also nice to have a solid date on which you might get to see each other in person if you’ve decided to swap and open gifts together. If that’s sadly not possible for your group, having a final date of entry allows you to gather all gifts for postage to each of their intended recipients, and means you can organise opening them on the same day, even if you are apart.

Don’t Forget to Give Thanks

How to Successfully Run a Secret Santa

Lastly, be sure to give your thanks to everyone that participated. This is not only an opportunity to make sure everyone received their gifts well (if received remotely) but also a chance to check in with everybody individually.

Christmas is not only a time for giving but a time for love – and your organisation of a Secret Santa is sure-fire proof of your commitment to your group.

Going around the group to say thank you for their participation is the final piece of the puzzle and a beautiful way to round off a feel-good festive game.