How To Organize A Virtual Secret Santa And Make It Exciting

How To Organize A Virtual Secret Santa And Make It Exciting

It’s that time of the year again. With Christmas coming around, it’s the time of celebration and enjoying winter with freshly baked cookies. It’s also the time for employees to plan their vacation to enjoy the year-end. A cherry on the top would be virtual Secret Santa at work.

Secret Santa tradition brings a community closer by making people take time to know each other’s interests and buying gifts. 

Let’s look at how to organise the event and also get six tips to make it enjoyable. There is a bonus too. Get three tips to help your team members pick the right gift.

Also read: Steps to Plan a Perfect Secret Santa Event for Hybrid/Remote Workforce

How to Organize the Event?

Secret Santa is a very exhilarating experience. But it may take some preparations to carry it smoothly. These tips should help:

1. Find Santa

Traditionally, this is picking chits with a name. But for an online event, you can use an online Secret Santa Generator like Drawnames or Secret Santa organiser. Participants can enter their name and email id. And the application finds Santa.

2. Finalise Budget 

Gifting can be confusing. Deciding on a budget in advance will make it simple for participants to find the gift. So, set a budget and inform the participants.

For example, if you give a budget of 1000 INR, participants can buy one or more gifts in that budget. To make it even simpler for participants, you can also offer a stipend for the gift from the employee funds, if available.

3. Gifting Time 

The fun part begins here. Participants can buy the gift and send it directly to the teammate’s address. The shipping time has to be considered before planning the final event. All the participants must receive their gifts before the party.

4. Time for Party

The day finally arrives, for which all the planning went so far. Here participants can show their gifts on a video conference call and guess who could have given them the gift. This old school guessing game never goes out of fashion.

Six Tips to Make Secret Santa Interesting


Now that you’ve known the nuances of arranging a Secret Santa, here’re some tips to make it exciting:

1. Decide a Theme

A theme will add much-needed spice to a usual Secret Santa event. For example, If your company is a sports brand, the event could be on a sports theme. All the mailers and even gifts can follow this theme.

2. Make Them Guess More 

Why not increase the suspense? Before the final party, send a clue to every participant about their Santa. Get them confused and make them guess harder about who sent the gift.

3. Add a Twist to Party 

The party can be much more than a virtual gift exchange. If you have a theme, there can be games around the theme. Even if there is no theme, the team can play games,  have music or mimicry performances. Find some hidden talent in the team.

4. Colour Code 

Who minds dressing up for a party? Decide a colour code, and all participants can wear that colour dress for the final event.

5. Unboxing Videos 

The happiness of getting a gift is surreal and seeing that happiness on team members’ faces would be a perfect gift for Santa. Tell participants to share gift unboxing videos and play a combined video on the event.

6. Play Some Music 

Find the perfect Christmas playlist which adds the right vibe to the party. Christmas songs are full of celebration and nostalgia. It will make the event even more ‘Christmassy’.

BONUS: How to Pick the Right Secret Santa Gift?

This is a bonus and makes you even more considerate towards the participants. Follow the below tips to help the participants find the right gift –

1. Snoop Socials

Ask participants also to share social media handles while filling the form. Social media pages are the easiest way to find someone’s interests.

So, participants can buy a gift that suits their teammate’s personality and interests.

2. Have a Questionnaire

Add a questionnaire having basic questions like favourite colour, hobbies, sports, music to the initial form. These answers can be shared with Santa, which will help them decide on the right gift.

3. Get a Wishlist

Every participant can share their wishlist while participating, which Santa can see. It cuts down a bit of surprise but makes sure people get what they want.

Also read: Create Happy People, Not Just Successful People @ Workplace

Secret Santa is a beautiful tradition that can end the year on a positive note for the team. The team who worked hard all around the year deserves some fun and a small break.

Platforms like Drawnames and Secret Santa organisers have made organising this event simpler. However, a touch of company essence or theme will take it to another level.

We hope you have fun planning the event. Enjoy the month of muffins, candies and hot chocolate.

At All Things Talent, we post valuable resources on HR Challenges, Talent Management, HR Trends, Improving Employee Experience, and more.


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