How does Secret Santa work?

How does Secret Santa work?

What are the rules for Secret Santa?

  • The basic concept of the Secret Santa game is simple. All of the participants’ names are placed into a hat, box, etc. and mixed up. Each person then chooses one name from the box, but doesn’t tell anyone which name was picked. He/she is now responsible for buying a gift for the person selected.
  • When the Secret Santa wraps their gift, he/she just labels it with the recipients name but doesn’t indicate whom the present is from. (Remember, most of the fun is in the secrecy.)


  • All the gifts are then placed in a general area for opening at a designated time. When the gift-giving time arrives each recipient finds their gift and must guess who their Secret Santa is. If they can’t guess, their Secret Santa eventually confesses.
  • If an individual fails to buy a gift than the gift that was brought for them will be given to that person.
  • I normally have it where no chocolates gifts are allowed and the gift budget is £5 or £10
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One comment on “How does Secret Santa work?
  1. Ann Kaminski says:

    Rather than buy fun presents for each other we buy toiletries or toys for The Haven, a hostel for victims of domestic violence.

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