May 25, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

"Secret Santa" is already coming to you…

Created by DALL·E 3

Playing Secret Santa has already been included in the list of good traditions on New Year’s Eve. Most often it is played within a group, but recently the game is also gaining popularity among family, friends and even strangers. The essence of Secret Santa is the anonymous exchange of gifts.

Let’s look at the origin of “Secret Santa” (Κρυφός Άγιος Βασίλης), how to play and what to give.

What is Secret Santa (Christkind), world famous Christmas game

The most wonderful time of the year is approaching – Christmas and New Year holidays. This period of winter, which almost everyone young and old looks forward to, is a holiday full of magic, filled with love, happiness and joy. Christmas is a holiday for children and adults associated with Santa Claus (Ai Vasilis, Father Frost) and the gifts he brings us. The list of Christmas gifts is long, and, alas, The financial crisis reminds us of the need to be frugal.

However, none of us wants to deprive our children of the joy they will experience after receiving at least one gift, watching them unpack the box with a burning look. For the little ones, we put the gift we buy for them under the tree because Santa Claus brought it.


In general, the list is usually long… Gifts for relatives, friends, children’s friends, etc. And somehow it suddenly turns out that All Christmas gifts and salaries go to gifts for others.

An original and creative idea, which began to be implemented abroad, gradually began to be implemented in Greece. It’s a Christmas game”Secret Santa”, known throughout the world as “Secret Santa”. It has it all: mystery, surprise and lots of fun! In other words, everything our children and loved ones need to make them happy and enjoy the whole process. The logic behind Secret Santa is simple: instead of everyone giving everyone gifts, everyone becomes one person’s secret Santa. So we buy a gift for everyone.

There are two ways to play Secret Santa.

The first way is to hold a drawing in advance to find out who you will be for Secret Santa. In this case, the good thing is that you know who you are giving the gift to and can buy something personal. The second way is to ask everyone to buy a gift in advance and at that time hold a drawing to find out who you will be the secret Santa for. The hardest part is that the gift you receive should be more general because you don’t know who it’s for. The whole game process forces participants to use their imagination, think about what they want to buy, and try to get information from the unsuspecting gift recipient. Because Christmas is a holiday of giving, generosity and love.


How to play

First you need to make a list of participants, then determine the value of the gift and the date of exchange. Often, secret gift exchanges take place after the 20th of December, on Christmas or New Year’s Eve. At the same time, you need to keep secret who you are giving the gift to. You can traditionally decide who will give a gift to whom by writing down your name and wishes on a piece of paper. Then carefully mix the participants in the basket and draw out one name at a time. We recommend printing names in advance because handwriting may sometimes be illegible. For example, create a team chat for writing to Secret Santa, where everyone already knows the name of the person to whom he or she is giving a gift.

You can also conduct an online draw among participants. You can use the frequently used service via the Secret Santa link ( After the drawing is done, some participants will want to know who Secret Santa is. To make the game more interesting, it is recommended to keep the recipient’s name secret.

Universal gifts for “Secret Santa”:

  • Mug
  • Writing pen (a decent option, not a cheap one)
  • Plaid
  • Scarf
  • Christmas decorations
  • Notepad, diary or calendar
  • Gloves or socks
  • New Year’s sweater/T-shirt with a corresponding “winter” image (oversized).

This a small list of gifts that could probably be useful to everyone. Of course it would be more interesting if the gift was a surprise. To do this, you need to study what hobbies and what the person you are giving the gift likes. No wonder they say that playing Secret Santa helps people get to know each other better. It also allows you to please your loved ones, colleagues and yourself before the holidays, create a good mood during everyday work and return to the magic of magic and childhood.

Secret Santa: history of creation

There are several versions of the origin of Secret Santa. The first Secret Santa is Larry Stewart, a Missouri millionaire who secretly gave money to people in need on Christmas Eve. Only when the millionaire found out that he was ill, he revealed his identity and offered to continue his business.

Another story of the game, called Julklapp, refers to the Scandinavian traditions, which is translated from Swedish as “knocking Christmas”. According to the game, Secret Santa must quickly drop a gift on or inside a house without being noticed.

In the USA, Canada and Great Britain, this game is known as Secret Santa, and in Germany they play a similar game, Chris Kindle, or Christkind, translated as “Baby Jesus”. In Brazil the game is called “Secret Friend”, and in Spain – “Invisible Friend”, etc. Moreover, now there are different options for playing Secret Santa. Since the creation of the game, the number of participants has increased significantly and spread throughout the world.

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