Secret Santa Rules

Quick Overview

You may think that a silly gift exchange such as Secret Santa does not require any rules. “Who wants to follow rules when having fun anyway”, you may say. But just like with every other game, whether you are a hard working elf, or a lazy grinch that does not take rules too kindly, the process of giving Secret Santa gifts involves certain rules that all participants must follow, some of which are mandatory while others are optional.

If you are wondering what the number one rules is, what is one rule you may never break and must absolutely follow when playing Secret Santa, it’s this:

“Noone Should Know Who Their Secret Santa Is!”

Bellow are some of the most common mandatory rules as well as optional variations for the Secret Santa gift exchange:

Rules in Detail

Rule #1: (Mandatory) Same Number Of Gifts For Everyone.

Secret Santa differs from most gift exchanges in number of ways. One of the differences is ability to give multiple gifts. The only general rule is to have everyone receive equal amount of gifts. Usually everyone will agree to just bring one gift each, but it is not uncommon for the participants to be receiveing 2 or more presents from their Secret Santas as long as everyone does the same.

Rule #2: (Mandatory) Secret Santa Must Remain Secret!

Just as the name implies, the Santa bringing the gift must remain a secret. You should never know who was the person giving you the present and you should never tell anyone about being their Secret Santa. You may be tempted to try and find out who gave you your Secret Santa present, or may be wanting to tell your giftee about the gift you gave them, but resist the urge and make sure to follow this rule, otherwise Secret Santa would not be secret after all.

Rule #3: (Optional) Gift Must Be Within Preagreed Price Range.

If you are organizing a Secret Santa, make sure to set a rule for how much everyone should spend on the gift that they buy. The number does not have to be set in stone, you may even have a range, say $15 to $20, but it’s important to set and follow some sort of pricing guideline. Most popular amount spent for Secret Santa gift exchange is about 20 to 25 dollars, but that number may vary depending on the rules set by the party organizer. In order for everyone to get a gift of comparable value, it’s important to set and follow a rule for how much should be the gifts budget.

Rule #4: (Optional) Gift Must Be Within Preagreed Theme.

It is possible to agree on the gift theme so that every gift brought to the Secret Santa party fall into same category. If you are organizing a Secret Santa Gift Exchange, you may set a theme that each Secret Santa must follow. There are lot’s of themes to choose from, including alcohol, GAG gifts, desserts and treats and more. Setting a theme helps make the whole process of choosing a gift easy, avoid questionnaires and ensures that everyone ends up with as good of a gift as everybody else.

Rule #5: (Mandatory) Everyone Must Have A Good Time!

Last but not least, one of the most important rules for a Christmas gift exchange that is NOT for negotiation and NOT for debate and must be absolutely followed is to have a great time! The whole idea of the gift exchange is to elevate mood, get in the Christmas spirit and enjoy a wonderful time with friends, family or people you have been working with for the past year, so always remember to lighten up, relax and have a good old jolly time!