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How to Plan a Successful Secret Santa

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UVA chapter.

Everyone experiences the holidays differently, but I, for one, have enjoyed the season as long as I can remember. Such overt excitement is somewhat abnormal for me, so often I take advantage of the celebrations to… coerce… my friends into the spirit.


One of my favorite traditions is a Secret Santa gift exchange. Go ahead, roll your eyes; my friends did too. Secret Santa elicits images of hat pulling, gifts that are too expensive or obviously last minute, your friend Hayden forgetting (sorry Hayden)– but I have a solution to rid your friends of all excuses.


Photo by Ben White on Unsplash


    This year I took to the group chat and (somewhat aggressively) declared my excitement for the tradition, and had anyone who was interested in participating in the exchange to ‘like’ the message. My friend then organized all of our emails and entered them on…


DRAWNAMES.COM (not spons)


    I was disappointed that I would not be able to write my friends’ names on craft paper and ink pens to be drawn out of who-knows-what (we didn’t get that far), but drawnames.com took care of the whole process easily. We were all sent our matches so that no one got themselves– we could have even made it so certain people weren’t matched together– and we didn’t even have to be present to pick names. 


    After we were sorted, we were all prompted to make a wish list of items that were our set $20 and under from Amazon– no lame gifts with Prime shipping, even if they are last minute.


It just got a whole lot easier to convince your friends to join you in a jolly, wholesome yet consumerist, holiday exchange. Good luck, and merry gifting.

Peyton is a First Year at UVA, an intended Media Studies Major, and a caffeine addict
Shirley is a fourth year at the University of Virginia. She loves coffee, books, and plants. She also hopes that you'll enjoy her articles!