Secret Santa

So what is Secret Santa? Who is Secret Santa? Where did the tradition start from? If you have already googled something about Secret Santa you will know something about it. Here you can find an inside look into what Secret Santa is really about.

Secret Santa is a western tradition with no precise date of origin. However, I can guarantee that it has been popular for many years. So what is it? Well, I’ll explain.

With the growing difficulty in deciding what to buy for friends, colleagues and family members some bright spark invented a loophole for this dilemma. Buy a present which could be suitable for a man or a woman (choose pink or blue wrapping paper if you wish to have the option of male and female gifts), wrap it up and anonymously place it under the Christmas tree, in a sack similar to that of Santa’s, or a box positioned in part of the company premises. The idea is that the present has come from an anonymous source.

Sounds simple right? Well, there can be some complications. So let’s look at the idea a little closely.

Instructions for Use.

First, it’s very important that the number of presents to be bought are clear. The worst thing is if you have left someone out. The number should be even so that everyone in the Secret Santa group buys for someone else. If the number is odd then the extra present could be bought by all chipping in something. I will explain everything about money in the next section, but let’s go a little deeper into the idea first.

Once you have established the numbers in the group, it’s time to go shopping. This is where the fun starts. Remember that it is called Secret Santa? There is a reason for that which you can heavily exploit. The fun in this activity is that you could buy anything for someone and they won’t have a clue who bought it. I remember one year witnessing a series of presents which had obviously been purchased at a sex shop which happened to be near our office. Luckily, all the items were not so extreme and ranged from purchases such as a whip, a pair of fluffy handcuffs, a nurses outfit, an inflatable sheep, and some sexy dice. However, on a more serious note the possibilities of what you can buy for someone are endless. There could be something you know someone might really enjoy but feel embarrassed about giving it to them directly. On the other hand, it is also quite common for people to be a little silly when it comes to choosing something. Smelly socks, a piece of wood, and coffee mugs with humorous memes printed on them.

“So if it’s Secret Santa how do I give them the present without them knowing it’s from me?” You ask. Well, this does involve some ninja-like stealth if you work in an office. Although it is not impossible. One morning, try and come into work early and place the present in the designated Secret Santa box you have placed in the office or under the Christmas tree if you have one. What is important to remember is that if some smarty-pants in security is watching the CCTV cameras at the time all will be revealed. So one solution could be to set off the fire alarm, though I didn’t tell you to do that and accept no responsibility for any consequences. If you are doing this in your own home it simply requires that you get up early and place it under the tree before everyone wakes up or wait until they have all gone to bed.

How Much Should be Spent on Presents?

This is quite important to consider before you start shopping. Make sure you set a realistic price range so the presents that are purchased all have a similar value. For example, setting a limit of around ten euros could be realistic, though it would be better to tell people that they should try and spend as close to this amount as possible. This would avoid some poor soul getting a cheap present when they have spent €9.99 on a fantastic present.

How and When Should the Presents be distributed?

Well, if you are in an office the best time to do this is on the last working day of business. The presents should be distributed by someone. This is to avoid any sort of issue that could arise where people could try and guess the contents. The opening of the presents is really best when you are at home so it doesn’t become obvious who gave the present. Body language can be a dead giveaway in these situations, as I think back to the time when I saw someone opening a present containing a pair of fluffy handcuffs. However, if you all know each other well it could be fun to open them at the Christmas party.

If you are at home then I would suggest opening them together with the regular presents. In the end it is often obvious who bought the presents. This brings me on to talking about who is Secret Santa.


Who is Secret Santa?

More commonly found in the US, Secret Santa is an anonymous person with a heart of gold. He or she normally goes around town anonymously leaving money for people in their letterboxes, asking a third-party to distribute the money directly to people in need, or going to great lengths to pay off someone’s debt which they may have run up on a store card or credit card. Take a look at this video which shows an example of a Secret Santa project in action.


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