Family Secret Santa

As promised I bring you another Christmas preparation post. This time we have in hand the matter of gifts. I have three distinct gifting groups that I give to over the Christmas period –

1. Close friends are the group that I give homemade (knitted, crocheted, sewn, cooked),thrifted gifts or special gifts to (we usually enforce a price limit of £20).
2. Friends and family whom I only occasionally see – I tend to give small token gifts or small homemade food hampers.
3. Extremely close family that I’ll spend the Christmas period with who tend to get ‘special’, personal gifts costing a little bit more.

This year I’ll continue to give the first two groups their gifts as usual, I get such pleasure from making these gifts (and we’re making the foodie stuff for our own stocks anyway so it is easy to double up), but with the latter group things will be different. We’ll give to children as normal (although we never really indulge children too much) but the adults will be taking part in Secret Santa. Each name will be picked from a hat (yes, it’ll be a Santa hat) and we each give only to the one person we’ve drawn. There will of course be small stockings each too but we’re quite traditional in those stakes, they usually feature an orange, a coin, a silly toy and some chocolate – nothing fancy.

Do you do Secret Santa or similar with your family, friends or work colleagues?

I recently blogged about giving second hand gifts.


P.S. Just in case you’re after a catch up, here are rest of my Christmas posts.

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  1. Yes we do exactly that with boyfriend’s family – saves on money and time running around trying to find presents for everyone!

  2. I am crap at Christmas generally, always skint and never organised. I normally just give gifts to 1 or 2 close friends, my sister and my boyfriend.

    This year I am hoping to be different, homemade gifts are already being planned and prepped!

    These posts are acting as a great reminder

  3. We always do secret santa between the kids in the family, because there’s 5 of us! xx

  4. I used to do a last minute rush and ended up giving crap presents but in the past 2 years Ive made more of an effort and made little papier mâché figurines (!) photo albums, (simple) knitted items. I’d like to up the ante and start planning my gifts though as they take time. Maybe in future sect Santa will be a better option, but for now I enjoy giving to all joining on Christmas Day.

  5. We don’t do family secret Santas – altho sometimes I have been involved in one in the staffromm [I am a supply/substiture teacher]
    My gifts are in 3 groups-
    Immediate family [4 of us] who get something really special, and needed – we sometimes club together to be able to afford one big gift if they want soemthing expensive
    Wider family [16 people] usually handmade, personal.
    general friends, including church leadership team and church worship group [this is about 40 people] They get a small token gift, usually handmade, and if possible with a Christian/music theme. Last year, coffee mugs, with personalised handmade coasters.

    I start planning and making around MARCH!! That way I am free to enjoy the Christmas season and remember its true meaning
    blessings x

  6. awh im really loving these posts!i did an online secret Santa last year which was really fun!i have friends who aren’t really friends with each other which is annoying!live decided2really plan my homemade stuff this year so that I can make everything that I want to. Xxx

  7. Mel o Drama says:

    We do this at work but it isn’t something I thought of doing with family. Is it too late to start it up now?

  8. We do secret Santa with my siblings and partners and usually we spend £5-10. We actually stop buying for siblings as soon as they have children. Now we have 20+ nephews and nieces we ust can’t buy for all the adults too!

  9. Is it wrong to be planning the table decorations for Christmas lunch already?

  10. We call it a Round Robin as it’s not a secret who’s buying the presents.

    It’s something my husband’s family only started last year, so I’m not sure if we’re doing again this year yet.

    I used to do the same with a group of girl-friends, as it meant we could buy something more useful for the recipient and save money at the same time.

  11. Tina Of CAST FALL says:

    My girls at work organise a SS but I might find it hard to do it with family we go a little bit crazy with crimbo gifts.

  12. We started a family Secret Santa last year and it worked really well!
    We set a budget of £50 and had one adult to buy for.
    It worked as we only had to think about one person and concentrate on what they would REALLY like – plus with a £50 budget you can get something very decent!
    It also saved us all a fortune – instead of spending £30 ish on seven people, just the £50 on one person meant I had money left over to buy extra bits (mainly booze and shoes) for me!
    It was a big hit with the whole family and we’ll definitely be doing it again this year.

  13. In England I only have my mom, my brother and my boyfriend so Christmas the last few years has been pretty small. We normally have a budget of £10 for each person. Last year it had to be a homemade present except most of them ended up being a ‘make it yourself’ type stuff. I think this year I will continue to give second hand and homemade purely because it requires more thought and effort.

  14. We always do a secret santa at work, it stops it getting silly!

    X x

  15. I love doing Secret Santa – much more economical but also takes that massive stress out of buying for a seemingly endless list of people. Better to focus on getting just one really nice gift than panic buying at the petrol station on Christmas Even (just me?)

  16. We have a secret santa in my team at work (there’s 40 of us) and a budget limit of £7. It works really well. I make all my pressies, but sadly some of my family “only really like” shop bought gifts that they have requested (!) However, I don’t play that game, so I give what I can afford and when they ask what I’d like I ask for an Oxfam unwrapped gift – that way everyone is a winner!
    One thing we do every year at work is the shoebox appeal for Samaritan’s purse – this is a really worthwhile cause.

    Fostermummy X

  17. I’m planning homemade gifts for the adults/family food gifts. The children will get presents as normal. Usually I’d buy gifts, but on maternity leave means little spare cash for buying numerous presents this year.

  18. I only spend Christmas with my immediate family which is quite small (my parents and brother who’s also in his twenties) and the only major Christmas gifts we get are from each other so I tend to go all out. I do love to spoil them though.

    Sorcha x
    Bonfire Brunette

  19. me and my family do a secret santa. Have doen for the last 4 years. Seeing as though we are all older and dont want to spend masses. Have a limit of £40 and we send each lists in a group email so we actually get things we want. Mine always consist of baking books :OP

  20. Anonymous says:

    This isn’t new.

  21. This is such a good idea, I prefer home made gifts, both giving and recieving, it’s much more personal! xx
    Sirens and Bells

  22. This is a great idea. Do you set a budget? Sorry for not logging in I’ve forgotten my google password.

    Sandy xoxo

  23. Wow, what a good idea! We’ve never done a secret santa in my family before, though I have done them. We also make homemade goodies -christmas chutney, homemade jams, lavendar pouches and chunky scarves and mitts made by yours truly! Thank you for your lovely comment by the way!

    Pip x

  24. Secret Santa is a great idea, I’ve done it in the past with friends. Christmas can get so expensive so every saving comes in handy. I like hand made gifts too like food items, always seems much more personal! Am off to read the rest of your Christmas posts for more tips! x

  25. Now…. here’s a topic I know a little about!! I am the youngest of 5, we are all married and between us we have almost 12 children. Plusm, my parents of course! We have been doing a secret santa between us siblings for years but now my parents are in on it too cos they can’t afford to buy for us all anymore. Also, the kids do the same amongst themselves so my son will buy for one of his cousins this year, meaning us parents only have to buy for the number of kids we actually have. There is a limit of £5 per child and £20 oer adult. It totally takes the pressure off and means we each get one decent present rather than a load of cheap tat :) I have found that friends & family totally understand if you say that you can’t afford to go mad on gifts and if they don’t understand then they are missing the point of Christmas, surely?!

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