The festive season is upon us, and that means it's time for a bit of fun and Christmas cheer in the workplace! One of the most popular traditions during the Yuletide season and the day of the Christmas party is the Secret Santa gift exchange. It's a fun and exciting event that brings colleagues together in the spirit of giving and generosity.

Secret Santa exchanges are a great way to build connections with your colleagues and get to know one another better. But let's be real, it can also be a bit nerve-wracking and stressful sometimes. After all, who hasn't worried about finding the perfect gift for their fellow team member?

When it comes to the workplace Secret Santa, it's important to approach it with some thought and sensitivity. You don't want to accidentally offend someone or create any awkward moments. Take the time to consider your gift choices and keep in mind the office environment.

In this blog, we'll explore the ins and outs of workplace Secret Santa exchanges, sharing some tips and best practices for a successful and enjoyable experience. Whether you're a seasoned veteran or a Secret Santa newbie, keep reading to find out how to make the most of this fun company tradition! And yes, you will find out whether you bring the gift along to the work Christmas party or not!


What is a Secret Santa gift exchange?

Ah, the Secret Santa gift exchange! If you've not heard of it before, then here it is in a nutshell for you; It's a super fun tradition where everyone in a group or workplace draws names to determine who they will be secretly buying a gift for. The real twist is that the person receiving the gift doesn't know who their Secret Santa is until it's time to open the presents. It adds an exciting element of surprise to the whole affair!

So, let's say you participate in a Secret Santa exchange at work. You'll draw a name from a hat or use an online generator to get your gift recipient. Then, you become their Secret Santa and start brainstorming the perfect gift. A budget will be set that works for everyone, so each person can enjoy a gift of the same value. The key is to keep your identity hidden until the big reveal. It's like being a secret agent of holiday cheer! 

How does a workplace Secret Santa usually work?

During a workplace Secret Santa, team members wanting to take part will  randomly selecting a name, either from a hat or by using an online generator. Once each person has their assigned name, they proceed to purchase or create a gift specifically for that individual. A budget will be set to ensure that everyone receives a gift of roughly the same value. The exciting part happens when the gifts are exchanged, which will usually take place in the office or workplace on the day of the party, or at the Christmas party itself. 

Do I bring a gift to the work christmas party

Do I bring a gift to the work Christmas party?

This all depends on when your company has agreed on doing the Secret Santa gift exchange. Much of the time, the exchange will take place in the office or workplace on the day of your Christmas party. However, if your company are opting for a private or exclusive Christmas event, it may be a nice idea to do it during the party. If this is the case, then yes, you will need to bring along a gift for your recipient on the night. In addition, you may find that you are particularly close to a couple of your colleagues and wish to treat them to a Christmas gift. This is entirely optional, but if this is something you'd like to do, then the Edinburgh Christmas party (or wherever else you might be celebrating) may be a good time to gift this to them. 

What’s normally the budget for a Secret Santa gift?

With a workplace Secret Santa, a budget will usually be stated, so that everyone taking part receives a gift of around the same value. Usually, the budget is around £5-£10 per gift, however this is all dependent on your workplace's preferences. Generally, the budget will be something that's affordable for everyone, so there's no financial pressure - Christmas time is expensive enough after all! If you would like to spend more than the allocation budget on your recipient, then that is completely up to you. Do bear in mind though, that you may only receive a gift within the stated value from your Secret Santa. An alternative, fun idea is to set a pound shop Secret Santa for your whole company to ease any kind of financial pressure. Remember, taking part in the workplace Secret Santa is entirely optional, and if you're struggling financially and can't take part, we're sure your company will understand. 

Do I bring a gift to the work christmas party

Should I reveal my identity when giving the Secret Santa gift?

No! Don’t let your Secret Santa know that you’re the one who bought their gift for them - that totally spoils the fun. Definitely don’t write your name on the tag - either say that it’s from Santa or write a question mark…ooh the mystery! If after the gift exchange has taken place and you’d like to make yourself known, you can always strike up a conversation with the recipient and have a chat. 

What kind of gift should I get for my workplace Secret Santa?

When choosing a gift for your Secret Santa, it's important to consider their interests, preferences, and the workplace setting. Here's a few ideas to get you started:

- Personalised or unique office supplies: Consider getting them a stylish notebook, a fun desk organizer, or a quirky pen set. Practical yet thoughtful!

- Desk décor or accessories: Help spruce up their workspace with items like a cute plant, a small desktop calendar, or a fun desk toy. These can add a touch of personality to their workspace.

- Books or journals: If you know your Secret Santa enjoys reading, consider a popular book or a journal to jot down thoughts or ideas. Choose a genre that aligns with their interests.

- Gift cards: If you're uncertain about their preferences, a gift card to a popular store or restaurant can be a safe and practical option. It allows them to choose something they'll truly enjoy.

Remember, it's important to keep your gift idea professional and appropriate for the workplace. Avoid overly personal or extravagant gifts, as well as anything that could be considered offensive - you don't want HR getting involved! 

At the end of the day, the best gift is one that reflects thoughtfulness and shows that you've taken the time to consider the interests of your recipient. Happy gifting!

How do you choose a Secret Santa gift for a colleague you don’t know well?

Now this is where the fun begins and you can play detective! You can very subtly ask other colleagues about them (try not to be too obvious that you're their Secret Santa!), trying to find out little snippets of info about their interests and hobbies. Alternatively, if your workplace has used an online generator to assign names to the team, you might find that you can ask your recipient for a hint. But don't worry it won't reveal it's you! Usually, there's the option for everyone taking part to select a wish list of ideas within a set budget, so if anyone does ask for a hint, you'll be shown items from the wish list. Clever huh? 

Do I bring a gift to the work christmas party

Workplace Secret Santa Do's and Don'ts


1.  Do Make Sure You Stick To The Budget:  Your workplace will have decided on a max budget for the office Secret Santa exchange, which will normally be around £5-£10. There's no need to exceed the budget and put pressure on yourself to spend more - at the end of the day, it's all about being creative with your budget and making someone smile! 

2. Do consider the recipient: Have a really good think about who you're buying for this year. Even if you don't know them well, there's always subtle ways to find out about them, their personalities and hobbies. This could be through conversations on your company's teams or slack channels, or by donning your detective's hat and chatting to one of their close colleagues. 

3. Keep it professional: Remember, this is a workplace Secret Santa exchange, so steer clear of anything that could be considered inappropriate, offensive or embarrassing for that person. Choose something fun and relevant for that person, that's suitable for a work-place setting. 

4. Do Have Fun: The company Christmas party and workplace Secret Santa gift exchanges are meant to be enjoyable - so just have a blast! Seeking a gift for one of your colleagues is all part of the fun, so get creative with your budget and put some thought into your present.  


1. Don't be too specific: Avoid gifts that might be overly personal, inappropriate or cause offence. Clothing, for example is a risky gift for a colleague, as it may not be the right size and could be taken the wrong way. Alcohol is another gift to be wary of - especially if you don't know if that person drinks alcohol or not. Try and find a gift that aligns with their hobbies or interests, without being too specific. 

2. Don't choose a generic gift: This is the complete opposite of the previous don't! While it's okay to choose a gift that has broad appeal, try to avoid gifts that are too generic or that could have been given to anyone. Put a little thought into your selection to make it more personal and don't just grab a box of chocolate on offer at the supermarket - you know you can do better than that!

3. Don't cook or bake homemade food: While the idea of making Christmas biscuits or other treats are a lovely thought, they're not the best choice for a workplace Secret Santa. There could be concerns around food allergies, dietary requirements and hygiene, so better to be safe and completely avoid. 

4. Don't Stress: The goal of a workplace Secret Santa is to have fun and bring people together. Absolutely don't stress about choosing the "perfect" gift or compare your gift to others. Enjoy the process and get into the festive cheer!

Do I bring a gift to the work christmas party

There's still time to book your Christmas party night!

If you're looking for some top Christmas party themes this year, then you're in luck, because we've got plenty in our top, UK destinations. Whether you're looking for a traditional celebration or looking for an all out spectacular such as The Roaring Twenties or Christmas in Paris, we're confident that you'll find the perfect theme for you and your team. So what are you waiting for? Take a look at our incredible range of Christmas parties now! 

Which Christmas party destinations are available?

We offer festive events in some of the UKs biggest cities and most popular destinations. So whether it's Newcastle office Christmas parties or Leicester Christmas parties you're looking for (amongst many others!) you can be sure of a wide range of choice here at Fizzbox, that'll be sure to equip you and your colleagues with the most memorable Christmas party night!