How to Participate in a Secret Santa
During the festival of Christmas, Secret Santa, or as we Irish often say, Kris Krindle, comes into play in many countries throughout the Western world.
A tradition that goes back many years, it is the art of giving a gift, usually of small value within large groups of people, anonymously.
Well, that’s the simplified version and like many traditions, over time and when used in different countries, additional elements to add interest are thrown into the pot to spice things up a bit.
Christmas is not only a time for giving gifts but for creating special Christmas memories that will be remembered and treasured. A time for simple pleasures like a meal with loved ones or a walk in the countryside on a crisp winter's day.
Secret Santa For Families
Secret Santa is something our family decided to do a few years ago for the festive season.
As the family grew with partners and children, it was proving a very costly time of year that quite frankly was crazy.
Yes we love giving each other gifts but the reality was we were spending way too much that we paid for in the New Year. Bills had to be paid and Mr credit card would come a knocking looking for his monthly contribution.
Instead we opted to do Kris Krindle between the adults individually or more recently between couples which made even more sense financially.
We would set a limit of the amount to spend and we pulled names out of a hat. Unfortunately for some members of the family, staying incognito, anonymous or secret proved impossible with the temptation to find out who was giving to whom too great.
I have been part of doing secret santa in workplaces too which has always proved a fun thing to do with everyone receiving and giving a token gift that invariably has had a humorous theme rather than an actual practical side!
Thieving Santa Is Also Known As
- White Elephant Gift Exchange
- Nasty Christmas
- Dirty Santa
- Yankee Swap
- Snatchy Christmas Rat
- Devil’s Santa
- The Grinch Game
Different Versions of Secret Santa
Throughout time the rules of this game have been tweaked and changed like a game of Chinese whispers. Whilst the bones of the original idea is there, some flexible rule additions make for interesting participation in gift giving.
- Pulling Names Out Of A Hat: Normally done well before Christmas time, this version is where all the participants take it in turn to pull a name out of the hat. The name you pull out is the recipient of your gift. An amount to spend is decided on and can obviously vary considerably. The gift should be given anonymously (as is tradition) or what many people do is to hand their gift to their recipient, thereby revealing their identity.
- An additional idea is to write down some wish-list gift suggestions with your name before putting it into the hat. This is particularly useful for families so you purchase something that they actually need as opposed to wasting money on a gift they don’t want or need. If you have decided on a mid to high limit to spend, this is definitely worth considering. Great for large groups such as schools and places of work. A token amount is often set and the presents are all put onto a table with the recipient’s name on each but never the name of their secret santa. For young school children putting the gifts under a rug and having each child pick one is something kids will love. Our family does this for the kids and they love pulling gifts out and seeing who it is for!
- Thieving Secret Santa: In this version everyone buys a gift that is suitable for anyone participating. Wrapped in a way so as to hide the true nature of the present, it is put with all the other gifts with no receiver name attached. Each person then takes turns in selecting a gift or may steal a previously opened gift. What a riot that would be!
- Casino Santa: Everyone participating buys a gift of a pre-determined amount that may be suitable for anyone in the secret santa. All the group additionally agree on a cash amount to put into a pot. To determine who goes first, pull names out of a hat for the order.
There are three different choices you can make here:
A) You pick a gift.
B) You don’t take a gift but opt to go into a draw for the money.
C) You decide to go into a draw for all the unclaimed gifts that were not chosen.
Online Secret Santa
It was only a matter of time until Santa also turned to the technological world of online business.
The Secret Santa Generator is something new to me.
If your group is very large and pulling names out of a hat is impractical and too time consuming, this sounds an ideal option for those busy secret santa’s amongst us.
Basically any one of different websites offer to contact all the gift recipients telling them who they need to buy their gift for (computer generated).
They contact everyone on the list you provide by email or sms messaging and is a free of charge service on the sites I checked out.
These are definitely worth checking out.