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5 fun alternatives to Secret Santa

Written by Love Energy Savings at 11:39

‘Tis the season for that workplace favourite – the annual round of Secret Santa. While it’s one of the most popular Christmas office games, it can fill some people with worry. What if we spend too much? Or too little? What if the gift gets misinterpreted? How do we buy for a colleague we barely know?

For anyone who doesn’t feel comfortable with regular Secret Santa, we’ve come up with some straightforward and engaging alternatives that take the anxiety out of Yuletide gift-giving.

Kari Shea 177424

  1. Guess The Gift

How to play:

•         Everyone buys a gift under a set value, on the condition that it must be unusually shaped.

•         The gift is wrapped and placed in a pile.

•         Players pick numbers out of a bag to decide the order of play.

•         The first player tries to guess what the gift is. If they can’t, the next player has a try.

•         The player who guesses correctly keeps the gift and is excluded from the game.

•         If nobody guesses correctly, a clue is given and the cycle begins again.

2. Christmas cook-off

How to play:

•         Everyone decides on a maximum spend amount.

•         Each player finds a Christmas-themed recipe and buys the ingredients for it.

•         The ingredients and recipe are wrapped up together and placed in a pile, with a number being allocated to each.

•         Players draw numbers out of a bag to see which recipe they’ve got.

3. Pirate Santa

How to play:

•         Everyone buys a funny or novelty gift below a certain price.

•         All gifts are wrapped and placed in a pile.

•         Everyone picks a numbered piece of paper out of a bag to decide who goes first.

•         The person with the lowest number starts by selecting a gift and unwrapping it.

•         The next person has the option of choosing a gift from the pile or ‘stealing’ the previous person’s gift.

•         If they opt for ‘stealing’, then the previous person can choose a new unwrapped gift or ‘steal’ from someone else.

•         The game lasts until everyone has a present.

•         When everyone has had a turn, the first player has the option of ‘stealing’ a gift from another player. If they decline, the game ends. If not, the game continues until someone keeps their gift.

4. Yuletide auction

How to play:

•         Everyone brings in an item of entertainment that they’re happy to give away, such as a book, a DVD or a board game.

•         Each item is then auctioned off.

•         Players are allocated 50 tokens to bid with. The highest bidder wins the item.

•         The game ends when there are no more items to bid on, or where players have run out of tokens.

•         In the event of two or more players bidding the maximum amount, the auctioneer asks a series of trivia questions. The player who gets the most correct answers wins.

5. Conspiracy Santa

How to play: 

•         Everyone decides on a maximum spend limit.

•         Each player is given the name of someone they work with, and must secretly ask that person’s colleagues what sort of present they’d like.

•         Using the gathered information, players come up with a few possible present options.

•         The final choice should be collaboratively agreed upon (a secret vote is the easiest method), taking the pressure off one person.

Which alternative Secret Santa game do you fancy trying out this Christmas? At Love Energy Savings we’re all about making work fun. Voted best SME to work for in 2016, take a look our latest vacancies and join our team.


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