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Secret Santa Gift Ideas

Updated on June 8, 2016

Holiday Gift Exchanges

Hand Dipped Candy Is Always Welcome!
Hand Dipped Candy Is Always Welcome!

Office Gift Exhanges


The Secret Santa gift exchange is fun and takes a lot of stress off shoppers too. Each person in the game places their name on a piece of paper and folds it so the name is not visible. Then the participants draw a name and purchase a gift for the person who's name they drew. The names are not disclosed, so nobody knows who's buying for who (whom?). There are variations on this game.

Price: Usually a price limit is set. Five or ten dollars is the norm. However, I once participated in one where the object was to spend the least amount - and it was amazing what bargains people came up with, including a garden swing which the gift giver found on the side of the road with a "FREE" sign on it!

Theme: I've participated in several Secret Santa drawings for various groups. In my writer's group we bought a gift appropriate to a writing theme and the price limit was five dollars. Items such as books on writing, book lights, pens, journals, etc. were exchanged. In my gardening group, garden items were the theme, so gardening gloves, seed packets, gardening books, soil testers and even a sack of potting soil were exchanged. There are also ‘tree ornament' themes as well as wine, candy, golf, and just about any interest you can come up with. That's part of the fun.

Etiquette: It's important for people to play by the ‘rules' set at the beginning of the swap. Stick to the price range, this is very important. Don't disclose who's name you have or grill people about if they drew yours. Try to choose a gift appropriate to the group. No edible undies for the Bible study group please! Be a good sport if you get a stinker of a gift (although this rarely happens).

The Secret Santa gift exchange is lots of fun and takes some of the stress out of gift giving as you don't have to worry about how much to spend or shopping for a specific person. You also don't have to figure out who to shop for in your office, etc. as you only have to buy one all-purpose item.

Try to pick something that is suitable for men or women if it is a mixed group. One year I bought a small five-dollar box of Godiva chocolates, which made the one gentleman in our group very happy. If alcohol is acceptable choice, bring a bottle of wine or several of those little sample bottles of gin, vodka or liquor in a decorative basket. Crossword or Suduko books and a package of quality pencils, a jigsaw puzzle, a tape measure or flashlight for a key chain, all will work for men or women. Also, fairly good quality pens or mechanical pencils are available for five to ten dollars. Give some thought to what the group as a whole is interested in and have fun with it!


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