The Office Secret Santa Survival Guide

A Secret Santa can be a fantastic way to get people involved in a fun, low-cost festive activity at work. It can bring staff together to boost morale and can take away the pressure of who to buy for at Christmas. But to make sure it runs smoothly, you need to have a plan and good organisation skills. Here are some of our tips on how to make sure everybody has a good time!

Who’s in charge?

Make sure you have a volunteer to run the Secret Santa – including a couple of helpers. Once you have decided what you are doing and the rules for gift buying, communicate it clearly with the rest of the office to make sure everybody knows what’s going on. And don’t forget a quick reminder to everybody the day before so they don’t forget their gifts on the big day!

Choose a theme

You could ask everybody to buy a gift that is food or drink related, or bring gifts relating to a particular colour or letter of the alphabet. Agree and decide on your budget – £5 / £10 or whatever you think is appropriate and affordable for your colleagues. And don’t make the theme too hard to buy for – simple and fun is the key!

Set a date

Agree a date when everybody is going to be in the office to exchange gifts. You could even have an office fuddle at the same time and ask everybody to bring a food donation into work. Make sure you agree all of this with management first so that preparations can be made to cover phones, reception, etc.

Create a questionnaire

This is a good idea if you think people might struggle what to buy each other. You could get colleagues to write down a couple of their likes and dislikes for gift purposes. It’s also a really good way of getting to know each other.

Do it for charity

Many companies use their Secret Santa for a good cause and specify that gifts must be bought from a local charity shop. It’s a fantastic opportunity to give something back to the community and donate to a good cause to help others.

Make it fun

Remember, this is just a bit of fun. Don’t take it too seriously or people won’t want to be involved. You might also want to make it clear that your colleagues shouldn’t be buying anything that could offend somebody – you don’t want any upset on the day!

Don’t leave anybody out

Some people just aren’t into this kind of thing, so don’t force anybody into doing something they are not comfortable with. But try to involve everybody so that nobody feels left out. It might help to break the ice for new starters or people that work in an office by themselves.

So there you have it! The complete guide to pulling off the perfect office Secret Santa without upsetting anybody! We would love to hear your Secret Santa stories…..what’s the best or worst Secret Santa gift you’ve ever gotten? Email us at and we will share the best ones on our website!