How does secret santa work?

Edward Fleming


work friends secret santa


Secret santa is a gift exchange programe that is popular in workplaces and between friends but how does secret santa work?

Secret santa is when a group of people, often in a workplace, anonymously give each other gifts within a certain value range, for instance £15.

To start with, each person in the group is assigned somebody to buy a gift for.  This is supposed to be random and often names will be pulled out of a hat or other such vessel.  You can also turn to technology to help you out in the form of a random name generator.

Once you have been assigned your person, you must buy them a gift up to the value that has been decided upon, to be given on a certain date. It is very important to keep it a secret who you have to buy a gift for.  At the same time, somebody else in the group has been assigned to buy you a gift also up to the value of £15.

Then at a time when everybody is all together, normally an office Christmas party or meal, the gifts are exchanged.  Once the gifts have been exchanged it is up to the group whether the gift givers identities are made known.  In the strictest sense, it is against the rules of secret santa to discuss whom has given gifts to whom, even after they have been exchanged.

In practice it almost always becomes apparent whom has given a gift to whom, often after a few drinks.

secret santa for work


No cheating

In a recent press statement Santa Clause made it very clear that he takes a very dim view of people who cheat at Secret santa.  ‘’It takes all the awkward fun out of it if people ask the people that they have been assigned to, what they want’’ the bearded gift giver said.

how does secret santa work

Often if people are really stuck for ideas for what to get somebody as a secret santa gift they turn to a list of secret santa gift ideas.

Rules to secret santa
Set a limit for spending
Choose randomly who gives who gifts
Exchange gifts at a party or gathering

Can I take my secret santa gift back?

If you are buying a gift for somebody who you don't know very well then it might be a good idea to keep the receipt so that they can take it back.

This being said, if you have been given a gift as a secret santa present and it is not something you will use and the receipt has not been included in the gift, it may cause offense or upset someone if you make it known that you would like to bring the gift back.  It may also mean you have to break the anonymity that is such an integral part of the office secret santa experience.


What makes a great secret santa gift?

The best type of secret santa gift is one that shows that you care about the other person enough to find out what they like and can be bothered to search for a gift that matches preferences.

Often, a gift that aligns with a person's sense of humour is a good bet and as a result joke presents and novelty gifts are a popular choice.

What should the spending limit be?

The limit set for most secret santa’s is between £5 - £15 though higher limits have been known.  The point of secret santa is to have fun and, in a small way, show the people in your group that you have even a slight interest in their lives, their likes and their dislikes etc, and not to demonstrate how much disposable income you have.

It is important to bear in mind the financial pressures that people might be under and to set a limit that is comfortable for everyone. Limits of £5, £10 or £15 are the most common spending limits.


how does seret santa work

Should I get an offensive secret santa gift?

Sometimes a slightly offensive gift can be funny however if your secret santa is work related then you may want to tread carefully.  This being said, it depends on how well you know the person who you have been assigned to.  If you know them very well and frequently chat about things that could be considered NSFW then go for it.  If its somebody you dont know super well then a safer gift, maybe chocolates or something else neutral or cliche could be a better choice.


Secret santa gift for under £10

If you are looking for a gently offensive and flipping hilarious seret santa gift then why not check out our comfortable classic novelty cotton socks or on trend tie dye socks?

Secret santa gift under £15

Our bamboo two pack includes two pairs of our subtly humours works for just £12.99


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