How To Run The Perfect Secret Santa For Your Club


Christmas is both a wonderful and stressful time of the year. As much as it’s loved ones, presents, good weather, cricket and Paul Kelly’s How To Make Gravy, it is also commuting to different families' houses, unbearably hot, ungodly amounts of time in the car and massively expensive. It tends to be a real mixed bag of a holiday. 

At the end of the day, despite all the stresses, Christmas is still more than worth it. Running a Secret Santa for your office, club, or committee is much the same. It can be a stressful time trying to organise everything, but at the end of the day, just like Christmas, running a Secret Santa is well worth it. 

So today, let’s talk about some tips and tricks to run the best Secret Santa for your club and ensure it is more Secret Santa than Secret Krampus. 


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What Is Secret Santa?

For those who don’t know Secret Santa, Secret Santa is a game traditionally played in a month or two leading up to Christmas for casual fun between friends, colleagues and club members. Though, some people do use Secret Santa as a way to organise their family's Christmas. 

Everyone participating draws names to find out who they'll buy a gift for. The key part is that the gift giver's identity is kept secret until the gift is exchanged, adding some surprise to the gift-giving experience. Usually, trying to guess who bought the gift is a part of the game. It's very common for a fair budget to be set for everyone to keep things affordable and to ensure everyone's presents are of the same quality. The gifts can be heartfelt, funny, completely random or whatever your group wants. No matter how you organise it, it is an inexpensive and fun way to celebrate the holidays. 

Establish Who Is And Isn’t Interested In Being A Part Of Secret Santa

The first step of organising your Secret Santa is determining who is and isn’t willing to participate. If you have a very small club, you may get away with running a Secret Santa with your entire club. For most clubs, running a Secret Santa for all your members will probably be a bridge too far. In that case, running Secret Santa for just your club’s committee or subgroups within your club may probably be the best idea.  

Using The Member Jungle System To Help With Your Club’s Secret Santa

Generally speaking, this article isn’t about the Member Jungle system. However, there is one way the system can help you here. That is by setting up an event in the Member Jungle system with all the details of your Secret Santa that your members can register to attend. 


How To Run The Perfect Secret Santa For Your Club


Organising a Secret Santa can be a hassle, but using the Member Jungle event module can make it much more manageable. In fact, using this tool can simplify the entire process of planning and executing your Secret Santa event, just as it would with any other club event. Although it is not mandatory to use this tool when organising a Secret Santa, it can be surprisingly helpful.

Making your Secret Santa an official event in your Member Jungle system has a lot of benefits, including: 

  • Only members who want to participate in the Secret Santa will be included, as members need to register for the event. 
  • Track how many members have signed up. 
  • Set limits on how many members can take part in the Secret Santa. 
  • Provide information on the price limit of gifts.
  • Provide details of when and where the exchange will take place. 
  • Provide a meeting link if it will be a virtual exchange of gifts. 
  • Send out reminder emails to participating members. 
  • Set registrations to close at a specific date to ensure no latecomers join too late for anyone to buy the presents. 

Use A Secret Santa Service Like Draw Names 

Draw Names is an entirely free service that makes running your Secret Santa super easy. Drawn Names is actually what we at Member Jungle use to run our office Secret Santa.   

Draw Names is a platform that simplifies the organisation of Secret Santa. One person sets up the event and invites everyone else. Drawn Names, then randomly assigns each person a gift recipient. The platform also allows everyone to create a wishlist of items that fall under the set price limit with the help of its integrated Amazon shopping feature. People can purchase gifts via Amazon or any other service they prefer. The event creator can also send email reminders to ensure everyone has their wishlists ready and presents sorted in time.

Honestly, I’ve never wanted to run a Secret Santa because it always seemed like way too much work. However, after using Draw Names for the last few years as an invitee and setting one up for this article, I would happily volunteer to run Secret Santas from now on.  

How To Use Draw Names


  1. You simply need to enter your name and the names of all the people taking part in your Secret Santa, something that’s very easy if all the names are already in your Member Jungle Event. 
  2. Decide if you want to have exclusions. Basically, decide if particular people can’t buy presents for other specific individuals. This a great tool to ensure that no one gets given a gift by the same person two years in a row. If you used Draw Names for the previous year's Secret Santa, it will remember who bought what last year and automatically set these exclusions with a click of a button. 
  3. You then have to choose what event you’re celebrating. The options include Secret Santa, Hanukkah, Christmas, Goth Christmas, a.k.a Halloween, and much more. 
  4. Then you must choose when you’re celebrating and the price limit. Setting a reasonable price limit is a good idea; besides making it more affordable for more people to join in, there is something much more entertaining in everyone getting weird, funny presents that cost less than $20 than everyone getting fancy $150 gifts. 
  5. You will then need to enter your email address into draw names, which will send you an email confirming the event. 
  6. Drawn Names will then give you a customisable email you can use to invite all of your participants. Again, if you’ve set this up through a Member Jungle event, all participants' email addresses will be in one place, ready to go. 
  7. Enter your wishlist and postal address if needed, and sit back and wait for Santa to come.  


How To Run The Perfect Secret Santa For Your Club


Variations Of Secret Santa 

Of course, the traditional Secret Santa is where everyone buys a particular person a secret gift. Then, upon opening it, each person has to try and guess who bought them said gift. There usually isn’t more on the line than bragging rights, but honestly, bragging rights might be the best gift of all. 

Secret Santa can be played in countless ways, including Stealing Secret Santa or the Yankee Swap. In this version, participants purchase a random gift for no specific person. During the game, players can either unwrap a present that has yet to be opened or steal an already opened one from someone else; if you are looking for more ways to shake up how you run Secret Santa, why not check out this article from Secret, 10 Fun Ways to Play Secret Santa

Go Enjoy Christmas With Your Club

That’s about all you need to start planning your club’s Secret Santa and make it both super easy and lots of fun. If you decide to run a Secret Santa, we at Member Jungle hope its goes excellent and everyone has an awesome time.


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