Want to liven up your gift-giving this year? Organize a Secret Santa gift exchange! You can participate in this popular holiday tradition with your friends, coworkers, or family. Everyone will appreciate the chance to give a truly memorable gift and go home with something special of their own.

The great part about a Secret Santa exchange is that the gift-giving is as much fun as the receiving. You may even get to know your gift recipient a little better as you brainstorm fun gifts to give them. If the idea of giving gifts to everyone you know feels too overwhelming or isn’t in your budget, creating a Secret Santa exchange is a great idea. It can alleviate some of the challenges of holiday shopping while ensuring that everyone gets a present selected with them in mind.

Keep reading and get all your Secret Santa questions answered so you can get busy organizing one!

What You Need to Organize a Secret Santa Gift Exchange

There are a few easy steps to take to organize a Secret Santa gift exchange. There aren’t many Secret Santa rules aside from making sure that the secret part stays in place.  Let everyone know that they shouldn’t talk about who they’re giving their gift to. You don’t want to ruin the surprise!

1. Invite people to participate

Decide who you want to invite, whether that’s a group of friends, your coworkers, family members, etc. This can be in-person or you can arrange to have the gifts sent.

2. Select your Secret Santa budget

Make sure you cap gifts at a certain price so everyone receives presents of comparable value. This makes gift-giving affordable for all involved. You can choose a cap, such as $25 or $50, depending on what people can afford and how much they’d like to spend. You may want to set a lower price for coworkers and a higher one if you’re organizing a Secret Santa with family.

3. Draw names

Once you have the participants confirmed, select names to match pairs of gift givers and receivers. You can either do this yourself by writing each name on a piece of paper, tossing them together and selecting them yourself, or use an online Secret Santa generator such as Elfster.

4. Decide on a deadline

Make a deadline for the exchange that gives everyone enough time to purchase their gifts. Make sure everyone is available on the selected date and send a calendar invitation so they won’t forget.

5. Have everyone create wish lists

This step is optional, but for people who may not know their recipient too well, they can create wish lists sharing a little bit of information about them, such as their pop culture faves, hobbies, and preferred colors. This will help the gift giver narrow down their choices. Let people know that they can use the wish lists as a guide, but can also use their intuition to give a gift that the person never would have thought of. If you’re doing a family Secret Santa, everyone may already know each other’s personalities well enough to not need wish lists.

6. Organize the Secret Santa event

If you’re doing an in-person Secret Santa gift exchange, decide when and where it will be held and what refreshments you’ll serve. If you’re doing it at the office, you might want to schedule it for the end of the day so everyone can simply relax and enjoy the fun. You can put on festive music, decorate, and serve food and drinks to create a truly merry mood. If you’re doing a virtual party, you can have everyone coordinate their refreshments.

7. Open your Secret Santa gifts!

For an in-person exchange, you can place all the gifts in one spot, with the recipients’ names prominently on the packages. Once they open their gift, each person can guess who gave it to them. You can even give out a small prize such as candy or a funny gag gift if someone gets it right on the first guess! For a virtual Secret Santa, you can also have them guess. The most important thing to remember is to have fun and laugh!

Now that you know how to organize things, here are some Secret Santa gift ideas that are sure to be popular!

Secret Santa Gifts

South Park Humble Folks Fleece Blanket

If they’ve got a great sense of humor and love to cozy up, this South Park fleece blanket makes a perfect gift.  It’s sure to make them smile every time they use it!

Playboy Plaid Fleece Blanket – Playboy

Does your Secret Santa recipient love to party? This reversible Playboy fleece blanket is a great way for them to stay warm when they’re at home in between adventures.

Black Skull Crystal Planter

For the person who always wears black and has a dark sense of style, this black skull crystal planter will make an on-point addition to their home décor.

Smiling Green Mushroom Planter

For the person who always has a smile on their face, this smiling mushroom planter while make an awesome addition to their décor collection. It’s the perfect pop of cuteness that will brighten any room.

Baby Baphomet Pentagram Pillow

Has the dark side ever been cuter? This baby Baphomet pentagram pillow will be a hit for Goth fans who also appreciate the twee side of life.

Relax Bud Pot Leaf Pillow

What’s the perfect Secret Santa gift for any stoner? This fun pot leaf pillow that’s sure to help them get even more chill.

Angry Rick Cloud Pillow – Rick and Morty

Because Angry Rick is the best Rick! Any Rick and Morty fan will be overjoyed to receive this pillow.

Cartman Plush – South Park

For the person who loves Cartman’s attitude, this South Park plush toy is a funny gift that’ll look great on their couch in front of their TV.

Cat Collage Lava Lamp – 14.5 Inch

Any cat lover will find this feline lava lamp a purrfect accompaniment to their home!

’70s Retro Orange Swirl Lava Lamp – 17 Inch

Give them the gift of groovy décor with this fun retro orange swirl lava lamp! It’s sure to be a centerpiece of their bedroom or living room and provide hours of entertainment.

Maruchan Feed Me Takeout Carton Bowl with Chopsticks – 14 oz.

Any food lover will adore eating their meals with chopsticks from this Maruchan takeout carton bowl! Every meal  will be livened up when served in this fun bowl.

Ghost Face ® Molded Coffee Mug – 17 oz.

If they love horror and staying caffeinated, this Ghost Face ® coffee mug will have them savoring every spooky sip!

We hope this Secret Santa 101 inspires you this holiday season! Check out Spencer’s online store for all your holiday gift ideas, and read The Inspo Spot for gift-giving tips and suggestions!