We blinked and it’s somehow the end of 2020. Honestly, you guys – has this been the quickest year ever or the longest year ever? We cannot decide. Let us know your thoughts on that one. But either way, it’s already time to think about your annual holiday gift exchange.
As you begin to plan this season’s festivities, you may be feeling a bit discouraged by the lack of in-person connection. Yes, we too thought the pandemic would be over by now. But the sad and harsh reality is that cases are still rising and we’re simply safer at home.
We know virtual events are not your first choice. However, don’t skip out on the holidays altogether because things are going to look different. One of our favorite recommendations is a virtual Secret Santa gift exchange. Why? First, it takes the pressure off purchasing for everyone on your list. Next, it’s fun. We all need a little gamification in our lives right now!
So select a group of family, friends, neighbors, or your co-workers to host an evening that will go down in holiday history. You can make the rules on this one… but just in case, we’ve compiled a list of suggestions to make your virtual event as successful as possible.
Follow these easy steps to have the best Zoom Secret Santa reveal party:
It’s as straightforward as it sounds, the first step is to invite your people. We promise this doesn’t have to be a big production! You can create a Facebook group or group text in a matter of minutes. If you want something a bit more festive and formal, send a Paperless Post invite to kick things off.
Stating the obvious… you’ll need to assign names to your group. Thankfully, there are tools to help you organize a virtual Secret Santa gift exchange. Websites like https://www.secretsantaorganizer.com/ and https://www.drawnames.com/secret-santa-generator will disperse everyone’s recipient accordingly. This way, no one has to sit out (or have their surprise ruined!). You can even include details like your mailing address. Even easier, post a wish-list to inspire your Secret Santa.
Organize the Reveal.
Again, we promise we’re trying to make this easy on you! Rest assured, this part is also not difficult. In fact, it’s so much easier than dusting the tippy-tops of your cabinets for company to come. Why we do that, we do not know. When has ANY guest ever come near our ceilings?
To organize, set up a Zoom event or Google Hangout. If you used a Facebook group, drop the link onto the page. So easy, a caveman could do it.
Send a gift via Snail Mail.
Deliver your gifts in the mail and hold onto your packages until your virtual event. Be sure to think about the details (like a return or billing address!) and keep your identity as untraceable as possible. If applicable, be sure you’re clicking “this is a gift” at checkout. That way, the surprise is not spoiled!
Need help selecting Secret Santa gifts your people will love? There’s always the tried and true gift card, which can be made special and personalized in a Greetabl gift. As an added bonus, Greetabl gifts do not come with any identifying information (unless you sign your card!). This makes anonymous gift-giving a breeze.
Make it Engaging!
Before having your gift exchange, break the ice with something fun to do. If your group is 21+, have a holiday drink-making contest. Whoever creates the prettiest and most festive mixed drink wins. It’s like a trip to your favorite Santa bar… without the drink or atmosphere. 😂
There are a million things you could do with your group, but here are a few of our favorite ideas:
- Watch a holiday movie on the Netflix Party extension
- Host a contest
- Play a game
- Share your favorite memories of holidays past
- Karaoke to Christmas Classics (or Christmas Trap!)
- Make a group recipe “together”
Swap and Exchange 🎁
Now here is the crowning jewel of the evening – open your gifts and guess one another’s Secret Santa. You can even make this into more of a game, depending on your group’s preferences.
A Note on Zoom Secret Santa Etiquette:
Set a budget.
This is a good rule of thumb for every year, but especially now when people’s finances have been impacted by the pandemic. Make sure to set a price range that is within everyone’s comfort level. If you’re unsure, aim lower to be safe. You don’t want anyone to be executed based on financial strain.
Jazz it up.
One of the most common complaints of quarantine is that you move from big screen to medium screen to little screen. Even worse, we do it while wearing a pair of baggy sweats and blue light glasses. Create a dress-up theme for your people and show up BIG. Maybe every wears an ugly Christmas sweater. Maybe you all dress up as the Whos down in Whoville (we are partial to this one!).
Build in a grace period for mail delays.
It’s a good idea to advise your people to add in a little buffer time to send their gifts. Due to Post Office delays and an unprecedented amount of mail, you want to ensure no one is left without a gift. Be sure to send sooner rather than later!
Remember to have fun.
If things go wrong, don’t sweat it. This year has been hard on people and a poor internet connection isn’t going to be the end of us. Your attendees will just be thankful you put in the effort to host a virtual event! So sit back and let it happen. With or without technical difficulties, this holiday season will be one to remember. Remember to enjoy quality time with your people, even if it is through a screen!