Fri. Mar 5th, 2021

All is not calm this year. That’s why we all deserve a break. And with the holidays fast approaching, it’s time to bring some much-needed Christmas cheer.

What better way to celebrate than exchanging gifts!

Traditionally, Secret Santa takes place during Christmas. Almost everyone has participated in one at least once in their life. But with quarantine restrictions, how do you successfully organize a Secret Santa gift exchange?

Quarantine Secret Santa Party: Out With the Old, in With the New

Gathering in-person to open gifts may be out of the question. Unless you’re living in the same household, a Christmas party is still not a safe option. Inviting relatives and friends over can lead to unnecessary health risks.

But don’t worry! Secret Santa can still be done virtually.

Your family, friends, or co-workers can still have fun, let loose, and create unforgettable memories.

But before that, let’s review how Secret Santa works.

Traditionally, each participant is randomly assigned to be someone else’s Secret Santa. Then the group will decide the budget so everyone will receive a gift of similar value. Lastly, participants usually create a wish list. This helps in gift selection.

So how do you implement this virtually? To help jumpstart your planning, we’ve come up with an easy to follow guide.

Step-by-Step Guide to Setting up a Quarantine Secret Santa

1. Choose your group.

It could be your closest friends. Or your colleagues. Or relatives you haven’t seen in a while.

Know who and how many will be participating in the Secret Santa gift exchange. It’s best to have people who know each other be in the group. Additionally, it’s best if the participants are all living in the same time zone. This makes scheduling a virtual party much easier.

2. Schedule Your Quarantine Secret Santa Gift Exchange

Set up the best time and date for your virtual gift exchange. This step shouldn’t be too hard if most participants are staying home due to quarantine guidelines.

3. Set a Theme and Budget

Before you proceed to draw names, it’s best to set a theme and budget first. This will keep participants from going overboard. Plus, it makes sure that all of you will receive gifts of similar value.

Need a few unique theme ideas? We got you!

Food: This is a pretty unique gift exchange theme. But very doable for a quarantine Secret Santa. With the availability of food delivery apps like Food Panda and Grab, it’s easy to order food for someone else. But before ordering food, make sure to check for allergens!

For this to work, order the food around 30 minutes before your virtual gift exchange.

Favorite Things: Spice up your gift exchange by giving someone your favorite things. For example, send them a copy of your favorite book. Or your favorite chocolate. Or a skincare product you can’t do without. So instead of fulfilling someone else’s wish list, you’ll be giving them something much more personal.

“Experience” Gifts: Instead of looking for material things, you can send someone a gift certificate to experience something. For example, you can gift them a facial at a spa. Or a whole-body massage!

This is very easy to do while on quarantine. All you have to do is send them a code or mail them the gift certificate.

Cash: Did you know that 60% of people prefer to receive something cash-equivalent? A more personal gift is always preferable. But with the pandemic economy, you can’t go wrong with giving something equivalent to money.

Credit to @eugenezhyvchik via unsplash

4. Draw Names Using An Online Secret Santa Generator

For this step, you’ll need an online Secret Santa Generator. There are plenty of free options online. The important thing is that it will take care of your needs.

For example, you can go to

All you have to do is input the names of the participants. Then add rules or constraints – something like, “Marie can’t get David (who is her direct boss). This part is completely optional though.

There are also Secret Santa generators with an integrated wish list section. And some even have the option for adding addresses which is great for sending gifts via mail.

5. Host A Fun, Interactive Virtual Party

A virtual party doesn’t have to be awkward. Break the ice with a few fun games. Here are a few ideas.

Talent Contest: Ask each person in your group to come prepared with a talent. They can sing, dance, or whatever talent they feel like sharing. Take turns sharing your talent.

Virtual Karaoke: The karaoke bars may be closed and having friends over may not possible, but no one can stop you from belting it out! Have a night full of laughter and memories. Watch your closest family and friends sing some of your go-to Karaoke hits.

All you’ll need is Watch2Gether and YouTube lyric videos. You can even use karaoke-themed apps.

These are just a few ideas to spread Christmas cheer. A quarantine Secret Santa gift exchange will help you and your loved ones take your mind off your worries. Experience joy and the spirit of Christmas.

By using our step-by-step guide, you’ll have a memorable time with family and friends. Stay connected and continue to find reasons to be grateful. Turn these difficult circumstances into something worthwhile and unforgettable.