If you are looking to run your secret santa game online (with a secret santa generator), this is the place to start. Gift exchanges are a fun tradition for the holidays and having some mystery involved brings it to another level. Traditionally, secret santa names are picked out of a hat in-person but nowadays, it's often difficult to get all players in the same room at the same time, so moving it to an online secret santa generator is a great idea.
During a Secret Santa setup, you may have to deal with pairing exclusions where two players should not be paired. For example, married players will gift each other anyway and should be split. You might also have some players who are notoriously bad at checking emails and should be forced to acknowledge their participation. Navigating these situations an be a headache but that’s exactly what our secret santa generator is for! We'll help navigate you through a fun and effective (and fully anonymous) gift exchange generator setup, step-by-step.
p.s. Secret Santa can be a lot of fun but after some time you might want to shake it up. There are many variations of fun gift exchanges that also double as party games such as Yankee Swap, White Elephant, and Mystery Maccabee.
To set up your gift exchange generator, follow these steps:
When organizing a Secret Santa game by hand, your players typically write names on tickets and drop them into a hat. They then draw those tickets from a hat to determine whom they're gifting to. If they find their giftee is someone they shouldn't be paired with (their spouse, themselves, or maybe someone they're not on good terms with), they'll return the ticket to the hat and re-draw. Unfortunately, without a moderator, this can lead to people being a bit choosy when it comes to difficult-to-gift people (perhaps they're not honest about why they've returned the ticket). It's also entirely possible that the final draw in an odd player game, as the solitary option, may be the drawer themselves. In this case, the entire game must be re-drawn.
In a remote game or in an in-person game where a player is absent, a moderator would generator the pairings and notify players of their giftees accordingly. For both in-person and remote games, however, the moderator's opportunity to be surprised is ruined, which isn't particularly fun for them. In a remote game, as well, you run the risk of your remote players never receiving their pairing.
With an online Secret Santa generator, you eliminate these risks and your moderator can remain an anonymous player. Using the Skipwish grab bag tool, you can set rules for whom someone should or should not be assigned. You can also ensure that players who are not actively checking their email are not participants by requiring an RSVP (or override the RSVPs yourself if you don't want to wait). Players do not have to be Skipwish users, you can add players by email just as well. The assignments will remain a secret to all parties, including the game creator, just as if they were drawn randomly out of a hat. No moderator is required because our algorithm addresses the moderator's responsibilities itself and that's the beauty of a secret santa generator.
Secret Santa is a Western Christmas tradition thought to have been started by millionaire philanthropist, Larry Dean Stewart. Stewart is rumored to have roamed the streets every December, anonymously handing out money to people. It’s estimated that over 26 years, he gave away $1.3 million to people in need and kept his identity a secret until 2006, earning himself the nickname “Secret Santa”.
Not everyone agrees that the Secret Santa tradition originated with Stewart. Some believe that the tradition comes from a 300-year-old Scandinavian tradition referred to as “Julklapp” where the gifter leaves the gifts at someone’s house, knocks on the door and then runs away. As for the first online secret santa generator, that history isn't quite clear either and it's unlikely we'll ever have an exact answer.
Of course, if your giftee is a Skipwish user, you can probably find their christmas wish lists by searching for them by name on the top left corner of your account under "search everything..." or from our homepage's search bar. Most users choose to make their lists public, so you likely won't have to reveal your secret santa identity, to find their lists. That's one major benefit to the Skipwish secret santa generator.
If your giftee is not on Skipwish and maybe you don't even know them all that well, take a look at what other members of our community list on their christmas lists by visiting our "popular gift ideas" module and selecting "Christmas". You can even filter by age range, gender, and location to drill down the results even more. Who knows, you might even find some deals while you're doing it.