Kris Kringle Gift and Secret Santa Gift Traditions

Published: 04th October 2010
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Call it what you will, Secret Santa or Kris Kringle is an office and workplace tradition in which members of a group are randomly assigned other members to whom they anonymously give a gift. Often practised in workplaces, or amongst large families, participation in it is usually voluntary. It offers a way for many people to give and receive a gift and take part in the Christmas fun at low cost to those involved.

There are various traditions and ways in which a "Secret Santa" is run. In some variations, as Christmas approaches, names of participants are placed in a hat, and each person draws a name for whom they are to buy a gift. There is often a limit to how much can be spent on the present. Presents are then exchanged anonymously. Sometimes people leave hints in cards on desks, others create other special ways to make themselves known. Once the gifts have been opened, each person will try to guess who his Secret Santa was, usually if, the recipient fails to guess correctly, the gift giver will confess.

The gift-getting is practised with all the presents being placed on a table, marked with the name of the receiver but not the giver.

There are of course variations of the Secret Santa and Kris Kringle gift giving process. We thought a few of you might like to introduce the Thieving Secret Santa or Thieving Kris Kringle.

In this variation participants purchase a gift of general interest, not meant for one specific person. Players draw a number from a hat to determine who goes first. Each participant may choose to open a new gift or steal one that has already been opened. This Secret Santa variant is also known as a white elephant gift exchange, dirty Santa and the Grinch game.

If you are the person in charge of Kris Kringle or Secret Santa for the office this year you may want to visit the Secret Santa Workshop who has an online process to automate it and take away the hassles of organising the Secret Santa or office Kris Kringle.

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