What to ask for in Secret Santa?

What to ask for in Secret Santa?
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

Secret Santa is a fun way to celebrate the holiday season. The game adds a touch of mystery to the Christmas gift exchange, as nobody knows who buys a present for whom! It is also a good way to save on your gifts – instead of preparing a bulk of generic presents, you can bring a thoughtful, personalized gift for your friend or coworker. 

Another advantage of Secret Santa is that you can get the exact present you want. But what if you have no idea what you want for Christmas? If this sounds like you, worry not. We have prepared a list of useful, fun, and unique gift ideas just for you. 

Table of Contents

  1. What are the origins of the gift exchange? 
  2. What to ask for this Christmas: Ultimate gift ideas 
  3. Practical gifts 
  4. Christmas-themed gifts 
  5. Surprise gifts with clues 
  6. Subscription-related gifts
  7. Gift cards 
  8. Family gifts
  9. Food and candy 
  10. Make the world a better place 
  11. How to tell your Santa what you want for Christmas? 
  12. Tips for a seamless gift exchange 

What are the origins of the gift exchange? 

The Secret Santa tradition is rooted in centuries. Some believe that St. Nicholas, the 4th-century bishop, started it. He discretely sent gifts to those in need at night as he didn’t want to reveal himself. 

In Scandinavia, there is also an old tradition of gift-giving named Julklapp. On Christmas day, Secret Santa would knock on neighbor’s doors, open them, and throw the gift into the room before anyone saw him. A similar tradition exists in German folklore, where a fairy helps Santa Claus deliver his gifts. 

What to ask for this Christmas: Ultimate gift ideas 

Practical gifts 

If you need a planner for the next year, a mind journal, new earbuds, or a nice kitchen towel, why not ask your Santa to buy it for you? Such as gift will not be a surprise, but at least you will receive something helpful that you will actually use. 

For gift ideas, take a look at your favorites on marketplaces. There’s probably something that you wanted to buy but haven’t for some reason, and receiving it from your Santa will make you happier. 

Here are some more practical gift ideas to consider: 

·      Well-designed planner

·      Portable phone charger 

·      Electric blanket 

·      Fabric steamer

·      Instant camera 

·      Battery pack   

·      Dish cloths 

·       Sleep mask 

·       Travel mug 

·       Umbrella

·       Large piece puzzle 

·       Scented candles 

·       Coconut oil 

·       Electric lighter 

Christmas-themed gifts 

Christmas is a magical time of the year, so why not make the holiday mood last? Ask your Santa for a holiday-themed present. Such gifts as Christmas socks, a blanket with Christmas prints, a warm sweater, or a box of vanilla biscuits may seem trivial to some. But if this is what you want, do ask your Santa to bring you a themed present. 

Surprise gifts with clues 

You don’t have to ask your Santa to get something specific for you. If you give them some clues, this will make the game more exciting for both of you! Your Santa can get creative, and you will receive a surprise gift. Here are some ideas of clues: 

Dear Santa, please give me: 

·      Something that you’d be happy to get for Christmas 

·      Something that fascinates you 

·      Something that makes you laugh 

·      One thing that you cannot do without in winter

·      One thing useful for travel 

·      Something that you cannot live a day without 

·      Something that will remind me about you. 

We live in a remote world and use a lot of subscriptions. You can ask your Santa to pay the subscription for your favorite streaming service for six months or a year. Or, you can try a new online service or one of those subscription boxes – the choice is yours! Here are some popular subscriptions you can ask for this Christmas: 

·      Streaming services – if you cannot imagine your life without Spotify, Apple Music, Netflix, Max, or Disney+, ask your Santa to pay it for you. 

·      Mediation and mindfulness apps – prioritizing self-care has become popular, so it is perfectly reasonable to ask for a helpful present for your mental health. Shine, Headspace, and Calm are the most popular options. 

·      Food delivery subscription – cooking is not for everyone, and if you are not excited about it too, ask for a food subscription service as a gift. 

·      Book box or audiobook subscription – for traditional bookworms, a subscription to Book of the Month of OwlCrate might be the perfect gift. If you prefer audiobooks, ask for the Audible Plus subscription. 

Gift cards 

Some believe that gift cards are impersonal. But let’s look at this differently – a gift certificate gives you the opportunity to choose a Christmas gift yourself! If you want to buy something from a particular brand or online store, do not hesitate to ask your Secret Santa for such a present. Indulge yourself this holiday season! 

The most popular gift cards are: 

·      Amazon

·      Girlfriend Collective

·      Airbnb

·      Wine.com

·      Starbucks

·      Sephora 

·      Esty 

Family gifts

If you are married with kids, ask for a present that all family will enjoy. Ask for a holiday-themed family gift to put your loved ones in a holiday mood or a practical one. A chocolate fondue machine, a board game, paintable pictures, movie tickets, or a popcorn maker will make the quality time with your loved ones more fun. 

Food and candy 

Another thing you can do when you don’t know what you want is to ask your Santa give you food, drinks, or sweets. Why not indulge yourself to your favorite sweet treats or wine for a holiday? Think Christmas cracker candy, gingerbread syrup, truffles, wine, cheese collection, or chocolates.  

Ask your Santa to bring your favorite food or sweet treats. Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

Make the world a better place 

If you don’t want anything special for Christmas, ask your Santa to donate the money they planned to spend on your gift. They can donate to a specific charity project or to send money to the organization of their choice. Christmas is the perfect time for acts of kindness, and both you and your Santa will enjoy doing something good for others. 

How to tell your Santa what you want for Christmas? 

If our guide inspired you to choose a present, your next step is to inform your Santa about your gift wishes. There are three ways to do it: 

·      Write it on paper. If you draw names in person, you can write your dream gifts next to your name, i.e. Iron Flame by Rebecca Yarros, kitchen towel set, Harry Potter puzzle, or dry red wine. The downside is, your recipient might misunderstand you and buy a different brand or product type than you expect. 

·      Use a wishlist. Make a wishlist and share it with your Santa. Thus, they will see exactly what to buy for you, and you will receive the present you want and avoid getting stuff you don’t need. Our MySanta app lets each player create a wishlist and gives each Santa personalized recommendations about what to buy. 

Add items to your Wishlist and get exactly what you want for Christmas. Image: MySanta

·      Chat with your Santa. In our MySanta app, you can also talk to your Santa anonymously, which is next to impossible if you draw papers from the box or use free online generators. You can give your Santa subtle hints or share links to your target gifts, whichever you prefer. 

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Did you know? The MySanta app has many great features for a successful gift exchange. Our service has personal wishlists, anonymous chats, and allows you to track who has bought a present and who hasn’t. Try it with your colleagues or family this year and see how easy and smooth your gift exchange can be! 

Tips for a seamless gift exchange experience 

Keep the budget in mind

Before drawing names, Secret Santa participants usually agree on the gift budget. Keep the budget in mind when asking your Santa for a particular present. If all players plan to exchange gifts worth around $25, do not ask your Santa to get you a cookware set worth $80. Even if they are perfectly comfortable giving an expensive gift, other players might be confused. It’s best to keep the exchange equal. 

Remember who you play with

If you play Secret Santa in the workplace and many colleagues don’t know each other, communicate your gift wishes directly (i.e. Toblerone milk chocolate, yellow umbrella, etc.). If you ask them to give you a funny or a creative gift, you may end up receiving a sweater of the wrong size, a toilet roll with sudoku printed on it, or even a bag of weed (these are real gifts that Reddit users received). 

Be grateful 

Even if your Santa doesn’t give you a present you wanted, do not act disappointed. A simple “thank you” is the best response. Your Santa has spent time and effort to choose you a present, so be grateful even if it is not exactly what you wanted.

If you are doing Secret Santa with coworkers, check out our Secret Santa guide for the office to choose work-appropriate gifts and avoid confusing situations.

To make gift exchange easier and more enjoyable for everyone, try our MySanta gift exchange organizer. All players can share their gift wishes and get reminders. The game host can see who has bought their gifts, ensuring that all participants will get a present. You can play in person or organize the remote gift exchange if your family or friends live far away from you.