What’s a Secret Santa?

Secret Santa is a holiday tradition where people in a group are assigned a random member to get a gift for.

The “Secret” aspect comes from the fact that only the person giving the gift knows who they are giving to. The person receiving may get clues or smaller gifts, leading up to a larger one, that may help the giftee figure out who the giftor is. Meanwhile, the usage of the word “Santa” is a result of one person acting like Santa (giver) for the receiver.

Other names for Secret Santa include:

Kris Kringle
Kris Kindle
Monito-monita
Chris Kindle
Amigo Secreto
Pollyanna

Sometimes, in addition to being assigned a person to gift to, the Secret Santa may be given a wish list. Presents are often exchanged anonymously, although, at the end, each Santa’s identity may be revealed.

For more about how to put together your own Secret Santa Gift Exchange, click here.