Here’s a refresher for those who haven’t played Secret Santa in a while. These are the basic rules. The basic rules are simple. Each participant puts their name into a container, such as a hat, box or similar container. WWS.com offers an online organizer that makes it easy to keep track of details for gift exchanges. The names are then mixed together and each person chooses a gift from the container. No one else will know who they chose. The secret responsibility for buying a gift for their recipient is shared by each person.
These games can be used to have fun and laugh, as well as build a sense of camaraderie and fellowship.
There are many variations of the theme.
1. Left, Right and Left – This is the ultimate game for kids. Each child brings a gift that is suitable for boys or girls, which they then pass around while someone reads a short story. The gifts are given in the direction indicated by the letter LEFT or RIGHT. Each child receives a gift at the end of the story. You can either write your own story, or borrow one from White Elephant Rules.
2. Santa’s Casino – This one is for the big kids. The players can bring cash and gifts. A $10 gift for the table or a $5 bill to win the jackpot. Each child gets one of the following options:
Option A: Pick a gift from the table
Option B: Enter their name into a hat for a chance to win the lottery
Option C: To win the gift not chosen, put their name in a separate bowl
3. Scavenger Hunt: A fun office game. Collect gifts from staff members and place them around the office. Give clues about where they are located. The office entrance is where everyone starts the game. Everyone keeps their gift and then drops it out at the end of the game.
4. Who Votes Wins? – This is a great idea for office parties. Choose three stores that are easily accessible. Each person will tell you what three items they would like to receive under their gift amount. On a voting slip, list the names of all the people and the three gifts that they chose. Each person votes for the gift that they think their coworker would most like. The most popular gift is the one you choose to give this person.
5. Hot Potato – Hot Potato is a variation of the children’s game. Everyone brings a gift. The group forms a circle and each person is given one gift. After the host sets a timer, they pass the gift around. The timer ends and the gift is given to the person who holds it. Continue the game until everyone has received a gift.
6. Gift auction – Each person trades his or her gift for money. Each person receives the exact same amount. It is not real money, but Monopoly currency. As an auctioneer, the host can also serve as the host. The gift goes to the bidder with the highest total. The game goes on until everyone has a gift.
7. Pick a Number Game – As guests arrive, the host writes a number on their gifts, then gives them a piece paper with the same number. The guests write a strange fact about themselves, and then put the paper in an envelope. The host takes out the paper and reads it, but not the number. The host reads the number but not the fact. The gift goes to the first person to guess correctly. The game continues until all gifts have been claimed.