Secret Santa Saved My Family Gift Exchange
My family isn't great at gift exchanges. We tend to buy
For the last few years, we've solved all this with a
If you're together all the time, you can pull names out of a hat. If not, there are plenty of sites that will randomly assign gifters and keep track of wish lists. We use DrawNames , but you can use the slightly slicker Elfster or the bright and friendly SecretSanta.com . They all get the job done.
Some simple rules to follow:
- Pick a responsible person to oversee the exchange. My family's exchange would fall apart if my brother didn't keep texting us to sign up already . And if anyone doesn't follow through, their recipient is going to feel terrible.
- Set a budget limit that everyone can meet. Ours is $40.
- Encourage everyone to fill out a wish list on the site. I like to list a half-dozen options, including some easy purchases like a favorite book, and some that might take more effort. Then my secret Santa gets to choose their comfort level.
- But also encourage people to depart from the wish list if they want. It's more fun that way.
- If you don't know what to get someone, ask around. Your recipient is only getting one gift, so don't half-ass it.
- If some people really want to opt out and buy everyone gifts, let them.
- Skip the Yankee swap thing (where everyone gets a chance to steal each other's gifts). It's so inevitably awkward that there's an Office episode about it: