Secret Santa 101: Getting Into the Spirit!

Rashmi Daryanani , 04 Dec 2012
Secret Santa
Secret Santa

If there’s one thing I love most about Christmas, then it would have to be Secret Santa – nothing gets you into the spirit for the holidays quite like this does. :) The main idea behind Secret Santa is that you anonymously send your “Santee” a gift for Christmas – but I, for one, get super into the Secret Santa spirit and can’t resist doing things above and beyond just the main gift exchange. So if you’ve got a Secret Santa exchange going on in your college, office, or on Twitter (thanks to @MumbaiSanta and @ChennaiSanta), read on for some ideas on how to make this Christmas a little extra special for your Santee!

How it Works
Secret Santa
Secret Santa

For college/office settings, the easiest way to do this is to toss chits with everyone’s names into a bowl, and then have people pick. The person whose name you end up with is your “Santee” – that is, the person who you will be giving a gift to this year. That also means that someone else will end up with your name, and you should expect a gift as well! Of course, the entire point of this is that it’s a secret, so you shouldn’t let your Santee know that you’ve picked them – but, if you’re so inclined, you can drop some vague hints to get your Santee thinking! Before picking, be sure to decide on a minimum/maximum limit on the amount that should be spent on gifts.

The Twitter version worked a little differently – people submitted forms with their names and addresses on it, and the “Super Secret Secret Santa Santee Sorter” allotted a Santee to everyone!

How to Find Out More About Your Santee
Secret Santa
Secret Santa

Sometimes, you may end up with a Santee that you don’t know too much about, and therefore don’t know what to get for them. Your best bet, in my opinion, would be to check out their Twitter. It’s probably the easist place to get some ideas about what your Santee likes, so if he/she has a Twitter account (that’s unprotected), feel free to check it out to find out more about the things your Santee likes – or wants! For example, if your Santee tweets often about a certain show, you can consider getting them a DVD of  past seasons. Or if he/she mentions needing to go shopping for something soon, you can probably try picking that up.

You can also search them on Facebook to see if you’ve got mutual friends, and then bug said mutual friends (if any) for ideas on what that person may like.

Ideas
Secret Santa
Secret Santa

Like I said, your main task is to get a gift for your Santee, which you will exchange on a decided date – but I tend to get so much into the spirit that I can’t resist doing a few extra things for my Santee before I give them a gift. Here are some ideas:

1) Give them “mini” gifts before the main one – these don’t need to be expensive at all, so you can keep your budget for your main gift. Feel free to leave chocolates, candy, Christmas ornaments, accessories, CDs, and other little trinkets on their desk – or give them to someone else to hand over, if you think you may be spotted.

2) Buy them lunch! For one of my Secret Santas, my Santa had my favourite pizza delivered to me, which made for a very yummy lunch indeed. Or if you’re not sure about your Santee’s choice of food, get them dessert instead – chancing upon a cupcake, a cookie or even just a bar of chocolate can make someone’s day that much sweeter. :)

3) Send them notes. You can always drop off a cute note on your Santee’s desk, probably with hints as to who you are so it bugs them for the entire day. ;) If you’re doing the Twitter exchange, there are other options – you can always create an anonymous Twitter/e-mail account to send some notes over to your Santee. Or, if you’ve got a friend in common, they can pass on the message for you – once they promise not to reveal your identity! Alternatively, if you have a picture of your Santee, you can always go the Jib Jab route and send them an animated e-card – this never gets old; I always smile, no matter how many times I see my face on one of those elves!

Are you taking part in Secret Santa this year? If you’ve got ideas, leave them in the comments below! :)

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