Secret Santa Gift Exchange

For a fantastic festive-themed group game for all ages, why not organize a Secret Santa Gift Exchange? This will get your kids in the holiday spirit and everyone in the group gets a gift.

This is also a great team-building game that can improve communication, morale, and motivation in the company.

Features of Secret Santa Gift Exchange Game

 ★  Game Name Secret Santa Gift Exchange
 ★  Group size any
 ★  Age any
 ★  Type active
 ★  Skill creativity
 ★  Place indoor
 ★  Time no limits
 ★  Preparation yes
 ★  Materials yes

Aim of the Game

In the Secret Santa Gift Exchange game, every person buys a gift for a randomly allocated group member. Once all the gifts have been exchanged, the aim is to correctly guess who your Secret Santa was!

Group Size

This is a great game for all ages as everybody enjoys receiving gifts over the holiday season. It is also ideal for a range of different group sizes, as long as there are at least 3 players, otherwise it will be obvious who brought who each gift.

Preparation and Materials

This game does require a bit of preparation. These are the materials you’ll need to get started:

  • Pen
  • Slips of paper
  • Hat or bowl (to randomly draw names from)

Hand out a slip of paper to each person and get them to write their name along with one or two low-cost gift items that they’d love to receive. Collect everyone’s slips in and put all the pieces of paper in the hat ready to play.

How to Play Secret Santa Gift Exchange

Get everybody in the group to come up to the hat, close their eyes, and draw out a slip of paper at random. If they choose the piece of paper with their own name on, they have to put it back and draw another. The name of the person on the card is who that person will be buying gifts for.

Throughout the next week, everybody has to secretly and anonymously hand out gifts to the person they each received. This can be anything such as sweets, Christmas cards, and an item or two from their lists. We recommend putting a cap on the spending so that all participants receive gifts of equal worth, for example, such as $15 to $20.

After the week is up, gather everybody together again and get them to sit in a circle. One by one, they have to try to correctly identify who their Secret Santa was! At the end, everyone can reveal who was who’s Secret Santa. Did you get it right?

Alternative Variations

If you want, you can mix up the rules a little.

Instead of participants bringing in gifts all week long, allow a week for each person to purchase a present. They can then all bring their gifts in on a designated day and everyone can open their presents in front of one another.

This is a great alternative as it means everyone gets the same amount of gifts and you can see the joy as people open the presents you’ve bought them.

You could also extend the duration of the game from one week up to one month towards the lead up to Christmas. This gives more time to buy their gifts and extends the fun!

Also, if you want to keep the Secret Santa identities a secret, that’s fine! It just keeps the mystery going.

As a game loved by all ages, the Secret Santa Gift Exchange is a great group game for the holidays.