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Secret Santa Guidelines

Plan a holiday party this year for family and friends or for the office, and follow helpful secret Santa guidelines and secret Santa rules. Explain how to play secret Santa and the rules for secret Santa to all the participants ahead of time. Secret Santa is an affordable way for a group of people to exchange holiday presents. Put the names of the participants into a hat and ask everyone to draw one name. Whichever name you receive is the person you will purchase a gift for. Keep the name a secret until the party!

Here are a few tips for how to secret Santa:

  • Set a dollar limit for the total amount of each gift. Follow this rule to avoid an awkward experience with a combination of expensive and inexpensive gifts.
  • Make sure that the people who participate in the secret Santa exchange know one another to some extent. In other words, make sure the people are familiar enough with one another to know the other's likes and dislikes. This will help keep the secret Santa exchange intimate and thoughtful.
  • Get familiar with some safe gift options in case the recipient is a stranger. Popular gift options include: a gift certificate to a store like Best Buy, Target, or iTunes; a massage at a local spa; or a prepaid card to a local coffee shop.
  • Add a new rule for secret Santa and ask everyone to include a gift receipt with the secret Santa present in case someone needs to exchange the gift.
  • Lastly, plan other activities during the secret Santa party to avoid the “dine and dash” atmosphere. Plan dancing, karaoke, or a silly competition such as speed gift wrapping to keep the party upbeat and fun.

Choose a few favorite holiday CDs, break out the cookies and punch, and have fun at the secret Santa party!

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