Short breaks | Christmas breaks | Secret Santa

Be a Secret Santa

Too many friends and family to buy for? More and more of us are planning a Secret Santa style Christmas this year, to help keep the cost of Christmas down. After all, Christmas is about spending time together, not spending money!

So how does it work? The idea is that you anonymously choose one friend or member of the family, set a maximum spend and buy a present they’ll love. What’s the best way to organise Secret Santa for your family, friends or colleagues? Read on for our guide to help keep everyone happy this Christmas.

Secret Santa Step 1

Write down the names of everyone taking part

If the group’s large and some people don't know each other that well (e.g. a large group of work colleagues), it’s a good idea to get people to write down their own names and interests, e.g. ‘male jazz lover, 35’ or ‘female marathon runner, 28’. It helps make present-buying easier!

Secret Santa Step 2

Cut out the names out and put them into a hat

Fold the pieces of paper in half once or twice, then put them into a bowl or hat and give them a good shuffle.

Secret Santa Step 3

Set a price limit

Choose one in a range you know everyone in the group can afford. 

Secret Santa Step 4

Draw the names

You can do this as a group, so that everyone has the chance to draw a name randomly out of the hat – or, if that’s not possible, choose a ‘designated drawer’ to do the honours. If anyone pulls out their own name, no problem – they simply draw again.

Secret Santa Step 5

Agree when – and how – the gifts will be exchanged

If you’re all getting together over Christmas, great – you can open them then. If not, agree to send them in the post so they can go under the tree, ready for the big day.

Secret Santa Step 6

Hit the shops! 

The next step is purchasing a prezzie (within your price range) for the person whose name you drew. Try to make it as personal to them as you can.

And remember, if you’re staying with Premier Inn over Christmas this year and find yourself stuck for ideas – just ask one of our friendly team members. With bags of local knowledge, they can give you a heads-up on the best shopping spots, Christmas markets and maybe even a few gift suggestions too!