Secret Santa is a fun gift exchange with friends, family and/or co-workers. In this gift swap, the gift-giver remains anonymous; therefore, the “secret” is that you don’t know the identity of your “Santa.”

Traditionally each participant writes his/her name on a slip of paper, folds it up, and drops the name into a bowl. Then each person randomly draws a name out of the bowl, and you shouldn’t tell anyone whose name you drew, as this is the person for whom you will buy a gift. When you wrap the gift, write only the name of the recipient on the gift tag. Remember, the fun is in keeping the identity of the giver a secret!

Some groups choose to set a spending limit for Secret Santa gifts: $10, $20, or whatever amount the participants agree upon. In addition to the names, some groups also choose to write a short wish list of items to assist the gift-giver in selecting a gift.

On the day of the gift exchange, each person puts their gift under a Christmas tree, or in a general area such as a table. Then each person can retrieve their gift and try to guess who his/her Santa is!

Now you can use the northpole.com Secret Santa generator to help organize your Secret Santa, secret pal, or other gift exchange—no more missing slips of paper or name mix-ups! All names are kept organized on northpole.com, and each participant will receive an email containing the name that he or she drew. And if a participant forgets the name drawn, the group administrator can resend the “name” email to that participant, all while still keeping everything a secret. All of the fun of a traditional Secret Santa gift exchange, but without the hassle of the paper slips!

Click here to get started!