Office Christmas Party Games: Secret Santa game

Office Christmas Party Games: Secret Santa game

Nowadays, Christmas seems to begin in October, since that is when grocery and department stores start stocking up on Christmas foods and decor. You will already be sick of hearing Jingle Bells in elevators long before even Thanksgiving has arrived!

Chances are, if you are the coordinator of office events, you have already begun searching for a hall or restaurant, or catering company to host your Christmas office party. Whether you are hosting a large Christmas event or an intimate Christmas potluck for your office, why not incorporate the Secret Santa game to add to the holiday spirit.

The Secret Santa game is not so much a game, per se, as it is a series of gift-giving days between two anonymous gift-givers. Before beginning the Secret Santa game, it is essential to decide on two important things. First, you will want to get a list of all of the employees who are interested in participating in the Secret Santa game.

Second, you will want to choose a monetary amount that everybody in your office will feel comfortable with giving. For instance, if you work in an office of lawyers, chances are the entire office could commit to $25 to $40 each without batting an eye. If you work in an office with an array of different job positions from file clerk to CEO, you may want to limit the amount to, say, $15. For the sake of this Secret Santa scenario, we will use the $15 limit.

Once you have a list of interested participants, write out a series of probing gift questions. Examples of questions may be 1) What is your favorite type of sweet dessert? or 2) What are some of your favorite hobbies? Give copies of these questions to each participant to fill out. These will be used to hand out to the actual gift-giver so they have a sense of the different types of gifts the recipient likes to receive.

Once everybody has filled out their questionnaire, collect them, fold them into small squares and put them in a box. Have everybody randomly pick one of the questionnaires from the box, making sure nobody picks their own questionnaire. They will be a Secret Santa” to the person whose questionnaire they picked.

Most Secret Santa games last for four or five days. We will use a four day scenario in this example. On the first day, the Secret Santa will be responsible for getting a free gift for their recipient. For example, they can find something they currently own or that they can get for free to give to their recipients. You could give out an unread book, a homemade Christmas card or an e-card for your free Secret Santa gift. The key is to make sure that your recipient does not find out you are their Secret Santa.

On the second day, the Secret Santa will give a $1 gift to their recipient. This could be a cup of coffee or a candy bar, for instance. The third day will have the Secret Santas buying $4 gifts for their recipients while the fourth and final day will have the Secret Santas purchasing $10 gifts, using the questionnaire as a guide for a perfect gift.

At this point, people can guess who their Secret Santa was and have their Secret Santas reveal themselves. The best part of this game is that your recipient will be constantly guessing and attempting to figure out who their Secret Santa really is.

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