How to host a Secret Santa party

How to host a Secret Santa party

The secret to a successful secret santa party is more than just the gifts. CW / Abbie Collins

It's finally the Christmas season which means it's time to shower your friends and loved ones with gifts. But what if there was a way to celebrate with your friends all in one night and to purchase only one gift? A Secret Santa party might be your solution. We have laid out everything you'll need to host the merriest party of the season. 

Drawing of the Names

The first thing you must do when you host a Secret Santa party is have all the attendees draw names out of a hat. Write down each attendee’s name onto a small strip of paper and put all the names into a hat (a Santa hat, if you're feeling festive). Distribute the names a few weeks early so as to give everyone time to select the perfect gift. If you want to take a quicker route, you can also use sites like which will randomly select your match for you. 

Setting the Limits

If you draw your best friend's name out of that bright red Santa hat, chances are you'll be willing to spring for a nicer gift. To ensure fairness, set a price limit of about $30 and a price minimum of about $20. This price range allows for a wide array of gift options and will decrease tension among the group members.

Set the Date and Make It a Party

Decide on a date that works for everyone and then get ready to turn your apartment into the North Pole. Decorating can be as easy as purchasing a string of lights or putting a bowl of candy on the table.  For added holiday atmosphere, check out Netflix for fireplace videos to screen on your television if you do not have a fireplace. Some fireplace videos have holiday music playing in the background, or find the perfect Spotify Christmas playlist to compliment your night. 

Create Holiday Snacks

Ask your guests to bring their favorite holiday snack and your Secret Santa party becomes a potluck. A good grab-and-go party snack is Puppy Chow, which mixes cereal with powdered sugar, chocolate, and peanut butter. A favorite festive drink is Hard Apple Cider Sangria, which includes a mixture of Fireball Whiskey, pinot grigio, soda water, and apple cider. Research snacks and beverages beforehand to find what best compliments the tastes of the group.

Mix it up with White Elephant

One way to make your Secret Santa Party intense is to add the White Elephant – instead of drawing names, attendees simply purchase a gift within the limits stated and gifts are opened in order of a drawn number. But, there is a catch. Starting with the second gift-opener, guests have the option to steal a gift from someone who has already opened one. White Elephant transforms your party into a game and adds a competitive element to the evening. 

Establish a Theme

Another way to add an interesting element to your Secret Santa party is to establish a theme for all the gifts. If you want to have a little more fun, try gag gifts. Guests bring gifts they would not want to receive, either out of pointlessness or embarrassment. Other themes could include movies or Alabama football. Choosing a theme that applies to all your guests is important, and can add another interesting element to your Secret Santa party to make it more exciting.

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