Paperstone – Office life, work and fun

Unwrapping joy: Paperstone’s guide to running a successful Secret Santa at work

By Paperstone on December 11, 2023 in Uncategorized

It’s that time of the year again; the season of joy, laughter, and the annual office Christmas Party. Why not spread a bit of extra joy to your colleagues by planning an office Secret Santa?

Get everyone on board

Before planning the Secret Santa event, make sure your team mates are up for it. Chat to them during coffee breaks, send out an email, or you could even put up some posters to spark excitement. The more people that join in, the merrier!

Festive mug

Online draw tools

Gone are the days of picking names from a hat. Embrace technology with online Secret Santa generators. We’ve used DrawNames a few times in our office. It lets you create a virtual hat where each participant can draw a name without leaving their comfy office chair. Also great for those being eco-conscious as there’s no need for paper.


Let’s face it, we all have different spending habits. This is an expensive, stressful time of year for people, so set a budget that won’t break the bank. Whether it’s £10 or £20, make sure everyone is on the same sleigh when it comes to spending.

Elf-approved wish lists

If you work in a small, close-knit team, you may know each other well enough to know exactly what you’ll get them for Secret Santa.

Christmas list

However, for bigger teams or trickier colleagues, eliminate the guesswork by having participants create wish lists. Online draw tools like DrawNames allow participants to create virtual wishlists through companies like Amazon, which even include items that fall within the agreed budget, complete with links to add the items directly to your basket. This makes sure everyone gets a gift they’ll love.

Wrapping and storing

Most of us lead busy lives, so finding time to buy and wrap our gifts can be tricky. Why not provide wrapping paper and named labels in the office for people who are short on time, or aren’t able to prep their gifts at home?

When it comes to keeping the gifts safe before reveal day, how about a big Santa sack where the gifts can be kept, or putting them under your office Christmas tree if you have one. It makes sure the gifts are all in one place, and adds to the festive feel in the office.


The big reveal

Choose a day for the gift exchange, preferably when everyone can take a break from their busy schedules. We tend to do ours on the day of our Christmas Party, as everyone is already in such a fun, festive mood, and it just adds to the excitement of the day.

Santa choc

Throw in some snacks and a glass of bubbly, and everyone is sure to feel the Christmas spirit. It’s not just about the gifts; it’s about creating lasting memories! If you have people who work remotely and can’t make it into the office, try posting their gifts to them, and dial into a video call to watch them open their gift.

Naughty or nice: Alternatives to regular Secret Santa

If you want to switch things up a bit, try a different Secret Santa game where you will be able to steal (if you’re lucky) your opponent’s gift, or potentially end up with nothing at all! These usually utilise a deck of cards, and it helps if you have someone in charge to make sure the game is played fairly. Here are some alternatives.

Boxing gloves


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