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Secret Santa and White Elephant Office Gift Guide

Posted by Lyssa Test on Dec 13, 2016 12:12:00 PM
Lyssa Test

Secret Santa and White Elephant are classic office-friendly gift giving games. They can help bring your team together or encourage cross-departmental bonding. Plus, no one will complain about buying one gift instead of ten--just be sure to set spending caps so no one under or over buys! We’ve assembled the rules of both games and some gift ideas to get you into the holiday mindset!

Secret Santa Gift Exchange

Secret Santa is simple, every participant is assigned a specific person to shop for. Sites like Elfster and Secret Santa Generator make set-up easy, just enter in your group’s emails and they’ll shoot everyone an email with the person they need to buy for. You can set price limits, send an event invite, and Secret Santa Generator even lets you set rules so certain participants can’t end up with others--perfect for spouses or to avoid office drama! You can either throw a party and encourage everyone to give their gifts at the same time or you can skip the party and leave it up to individuals to exchange presents--but I suggest a 30 minute hot chocolate and holiday cookie break!

Under $15

Coffee and Tea Best Selling BooksA Customizable Coffee Tumbler

Coffee and Tea, a Favorite Book, or a Customized Coffee Mug

Under $25
A Grey Corkcicle CanteenA Pink Corkcicle Tumbler
A Corkcicle Canteen or Tumbler

Under $50

A monthly mail subscription that sends healthy snacksBirchbox is a monthly subscription that mails makeup samplesA monthly mail subscription that sends discounted razors

A Monthly Mail Subscription--Try Graze, BirchBox, or Dollar Shave Club 


White Elephant

You might know White Elephant by one of its other names: Yankee Swap, Dirty Santa, Rob Your Neighbor, etc. It doesn’t matter what you call it, it’s a fun gift swap game that can make you laugh...or cry! Everyone anonymously brings a gift and puts it in the center. With everyone sitting in a circle, the first person picks any gift from the center and unwraps it. Whoever’s turn it is next then has two options: open a new present from the center or steal the first person’s gift! If they steal person 1’s gift, person 1 gets to pick another from the center and the game continues. The third person can take a gift from anyone or pick a wrapped gift from the center. This continues until everyone has a gift.

Some rules state that the first person, who could only pick a gift from the center at the game’s start, can steal anyone else’s gift at the end of the game--but that’s up to you and your guests to determine before you start. Just be sure to set rules at the beginning, so everyone understands how to play and no friendships are destroyed in the process!

Under $15

 Socks that say "If you can read this, bring me a glass of wine" on the bottomA shower curtain that looks like a FaceBook Profile Page

A Pair of Funny Socks or a Silly Shower Curtain

Under $25

 A hat with a knitted beard attachedYellow Golf Balls with Emoji faces on them

A Beard Hat, Emoji Golfballs, or Keep it Simple and Grab a Bottle of Wine

Under $50

A Holiday Sweatshirt featuring Drake and his "Hotline Bling" songA Mini Version of Flip Cup

A Funky Holiday Sweater or Mini Table-top Flip Cup


Here are some sneaky tips to liven up any game:

A Mason Jar filled with chocolate candies with money hidden in the centerA deceptive box designed to disguise your real gift

Confuse other players by hiding money in a candyfilled jar or conceal your real gift in this fake "NapSack" box!


Have fun and be creative!

The VenueBook Team

Topics: Life, Corporate Events