Have you been asked to participate in a Secret Santa gift exchange this year?
What was your response? Did you cheer and think, I can’t wait? Or was your first thought, please no?
As a kid, I used to love giving gifts in our family Secret Santa. Each of us chose one of our cousin’s names. Well, chose might be a bit stretching it. I’d say that we were assigned.
Then at our family celebration on Christmas Day, we exchanged the gifts as a Secret Santa. My favorite part at the time was picking out the gift. I loved walking down the toy aisle and thinking about the perfect thing that my beloved cousin would enjoy.
Things really do change once you become an adult. If you asked me today to participate in a Secret Santa Exchange, I probably would groan at first.
Who wants to figure out the perfect gift for someone they don’t know very well? At least that’s what my Grinch side might think at first.
If asked today what the hardest part of a Secret Santa gift exchange is, I would respond picking out a gift. Although some Secret Santa Gift Exchanges are held in families, a lot of times people have them at work, a classroom or a group. And, most likely, you don’t know everyone in the group very well.
And just because probability isn’t ever on my side, when I get my Secret Santa name it always seems to be someone that I don’t know. At least not very well.
Supposedly, I’m looking at this Secret Santa gift exchange completely the wrong way. Instead of hoping to get someone that I know, I should be crossing my fingers to get someone that I don’t. This way I can get to know a new person a little better. At least this is the optimist talking.
Unfortunately, not everyone is an optimist. It’s important that all participants feel comfortable. And don’t spend their entire day trying to think up a gift idea.
There is a solution, though. Don’t make your Secret Santa participants gift blindly. It’s important to help everyone get to know each other before they exchange gifts.
And this brings up the best part about doing a Secret Santa Gift Exchange. It’s getting to know other people better.
So if you do the exchange without letting people share some of their likes and dislikes, the gift giving will be less successful.
But how do you get people to share their interests and things that they like? Especially when everything has to be kept a secret?
That’s where this Free Printable Secret Santa Questionnaire comes in handy. When you assign names to each person for the Secret Santa Exchange, give them one of the Secret Santa questionnaire cards too.
Then, ask them to return or email the answers back to you. You can get distribute the information to the person who has that gift recipient. This will make it a lot easier to choose a gift (or multiple gifts, depending on the type of Secret Santa Exchange you’re hosting). It’s also a great way to get to know each other better.
What Kinds of Things Can the Questionnaire Help Me Find Out?
The Secret Santa Questionnaire has four simple questions that focus around traditional Secret Santa gifts. Depending on how much you want to spend, most popular Secret Santa gifts include gift cards, a favorite food or special sweet treat.
The questionnaire asks recipients to share a few tidbits about themselves. It asks what their favorite shop is, their favorite place to eat and their favorite candy. They can also include their favorite treat if they don’t eat candy. I find this question is helpful when you give multiple small gifts before the big Secret Santa gift. Candy and food treats make great little gifts throughout the week.
The final information is about gifts that the recipient would really enjoy. There is space for three.
When setting up your Secret Santa Gift Exchange, it’s important to remember the gift giver’s budget. Be clear in the guidelines how much each person should spend for the final gift. This amount should be kept in mind when recipients are coming up with gift ideas that they’d enjoy.
How Do I Make the Secret Santa Questionnaire?
To make your own Secret Santa Questionnaire, start by downloading our Free Printable Secret Santa Questionnaire. Print on medium white cardstock or white copy paper (affiliate). Trim each card using a paper trimmer or scissors (affiliate).
Once you have the questionnaires, hand them out when you assign names or even before you start the Secret Santa gift exchange. The sooner people have information about each other, the quicker the gift giving fun can begin.
What are Some Other Ways to Get to Know Your Gift Recipient?
Although the Secret Santa Questionnaire is a great tool to help figure out the perfect gift, there are other ways to get to know your gift recipient better. Encourage participants to observe their recipients during the days before the gift exchange. Make notes on their snacks, lunch choices, clothing and books they read.
You can also encourage participants to engage in conversation with their recipient. Ask some secretive questions to find out more information. This can be especially helpful if they have a gift idea and want to see if it’s something their recipient will enjoy.
Love this free printable, but not planning your Secret Santa yet? Be sure to pin it for later.
Looking for more ideas to host the perfect Secret Santa Gift Exchange? Check out these amazing tips and tricks for making your Secret Santa gift exchange the best one yet.
And if you’ve wrapped your Secret Santa gifts and want to add a fun tag, check out our Free Printable Secret Santa Tags.
As you plan this year’s Secret Santa Gift Exchange, don’t forget the most important rule… to have fun.