Ah, Secret Santa! For many of us, we share Secret Santa Gift Exchanges with our family, friends, and even our coworkers. As true fans of Secret Santa, we’ve found ourselves involved in (more so coordinating) several gift exchanges among our various circles. How do we do it and manage all of the other tasks that come with the holiday season? We’ll show you how!

Starting with the guidelines is the best way to get everyone involved on the same page. While it may sound a bit stuffy to start off with the ‘rules’, keep in mind that it’s all in the purpose of having fun in the end!

We suggest to begin by agreeing on a date for the exchange. Make it a soirée by planning to have a pitch-in of appetizers and refreshments at your home, or keep it simple by meeting at your favorite restaurant for dinner (or brunch!). If you are exchanging with your coworkers, plan to have the exchange the same day as your Christmas Party or try setting time aside at the end of the day to avoid disruption in the workday.

After setting plans with your group, it’s time to decide on a price point. This will depend on your group and how much everyone is comfortable spending, but a typical range is $25 to $40.

Remind everyone to only write who the gift is to on the tag! For smaller groups, we suggest having the tag typed to avoid anyone recognizing hand-writing.

Drawing Names is where the real fun begins! If you’re able to get together to do this, write everyone’s name on a piece of paper, fold them, and mix them up in a bowl. Be sure to have everyone check their name once they’ve drawn to make sure they didn’t draw their own name. If you’re unable to draw names in person, Elfster is a great online tool to assist with drawing names for gift exchanges. And remember the most important thing, keep the name you draw a secret!

Time to shop! Of course the most fun part (besides the exchange itself) is shopping! If you find yourself coming up short with ideas, check out the Holiday Gift sections on your favorite shopping sites. Nearly everyone has them, and some of our favorites include Nordstrom, Neiman MarcusSaks Fifth Avenue, Sephora, and Target.

Exchange Day! Once the date of your exchange arrives, have everyone bring their gift in a concealed bag. Brown paper grocery bags tend to work best, as shopping bags are typically too recognizable. Enjoy spending time with your group, and when it’s time for the exchange open gifts one at a time. Once everyone’s opened their gift, take turns guessing who it’s from!

Most of all remember that whether your gift exchange is among friends, family, or your coworkers – have fun!

Cheers,
Debbie