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eBay Secret Santa

A New Twist on the Traditional Secret Santa

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Looking for a new twist on the traditional Secret Santa? As a Secret Santa, employees draw the name of a secret pal. Depending on the rules, participants either bring in frequent small gifts or bring in one gift for the secret pal on a selected day. A price limit of $25.00 or so, ensures that gift giving is comparable. Frequently, the Secret Santa gift exchange takes place as part of a potluck lunch or cookie exchange. In a new twist to the annual Secret Santa pal, the gift is purchased on eBay.

1. Pick the Pal

Each participant picks a secret pal and never tells anybody whose name they picked.

2. Shop on eBay

Each participant then shops on eBay for something they think their pal will like. Gag gifts such as a reindeer's nose or cheap gifts such as a pencil are not allowed. The goal is to really find a true gift the secret pal will use and enjoy.

3. Purchase the Gift

Each Secret Santa purchases the item by participating in the eBay auction or using the "Buy it Now" option. Participants may spend no more than $15.00 including all shipping and handling charges.

4. Creatively Wrap the Gift

Gifts Wrapped Creatively
Copyright Kelly Mullins
Upon receiving the eBay purchased package in the mail, the secret pal creatively wraps the gift over its original, unopened packaging. You cannot open the gift when it comes to you in the mail. The gift must remain sealed and in the original wrapping. (This proves that the gift met the agreed upon guidelines.)

5. Hold the Potluck Lunch

The Potluck Feast
Copyright Kelly Mullins
Hold a potluck luncheon. All participants bring a dish to pass for the feast.

6. Make a Dessert Table

Dessert Table
Copyright Kelly Mullins
Top off the feast with a cookie and dessert table. Even include a cookie exchange.

7. Reveal Secret Santa

Exclaim Over Gifts
Copyright Kelly Mullins
Exchange gifts. One person goes first and tells their eBay story - there is always a story when shopping on eBay or picking a gift for your secret pal. They then hand their gift to their secret pal who opens the gift. Luncheon attendees then exclaim wildly over the gift each pal receives.

8. Pick the Winners

Gifts for the Winners
Copyright Kelly Mullins
Gifts are then given to the participant with the most creative wrapping and to the participant who obtained the "best" deal for their $15.00. All participants vote for the winners.

9. Unbreakable Rule

Unbreakable Rule
Copyright Kelly Mullins
The one unbreakable rule is that, if an employee signs up to participate, they must follow through or there will be a disappointed and sad secret pal at the potluck luncheon. Substitutions are okay in an emergency, but you must find a substitute if you find you can't participate.

Thanks to Kelly Mullins of TechSmith Corporation for sharing their process and their fun.

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