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4 Secret Santa Party Themes to Up the Creativity

4 Secret Santa Party Themes to Up the Creativity

secret santa party themes

Getting into a festive party mood is rarely difficult if you’re a party planner like me. I’m always ready to see family, friends, neighbors, and college pals in person, online, or a combination of both. And I’m still particularly fond of Secret Santa parties especially when the theme is exciting and engaging for everyone involved.

Sir Isaac Newton once said, “Truth is ever to be found in the simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things.” And I agree! The true, most genuine parties are meant to be simple as long as you have the right people, theme, and method of coordinating it in a very organized way.

An online Secret Santa generator combined with the right party themes will offer you a clever way to plan for and enjoy your party. Here is an overview of the Secret Santa process, as well as four Secret Santa Party themes your friends and family will enjoy.

The Secret Santa Rules and Process

The Secret Santa rules are simple, especially when you set them up online via a free Secret Santa online generator. You no longer need to write names on a piece of paper or do everything manually. You can easily orchestrate everything online via a Secret Santa online generator where you can input the details of your event, invite participants via email or text, include links to RSVP, and form a wish list for any gift exchanges. A Secret Santa generator will also provide a way to remind participants about your event and do a random name drawing for pairing.

Planning the exchange this way isn’t as task-heavy as the old fashioned way of having Secret Santa parties—it’s so much easier. Before you know it, you’ll be hosting an exciting themed event.

4 Creative and Fun Secret Santa Party Themes

Creative and fun Secret Santa party themes begin and end with creativity. Not only do you start off with a theme that is engaging like one of the four below but you also get to end with a fun gift exchange that you can coordinate with the theme of the party if you like.

Here are four gift exchange themes for your next party.

You’ve Been Tagged

“You’ve Been Tagged” is a great theme for friends and neighbors who live close by. It’s easy to play. First, choose a theme for gift giving. When you register with an online generator, you can choose as a host to randomly pair your participants, ensuring they are all local and within walking or driving distance.

Once everyone has submitted their RSVP and is paired for Secret Santa:

  • Participants go online to view the wish list of their paired person. 
  • The host will take a gift to their paired participant first.
  • Secretly leave the gift with a note from the Secret Santa explaining that they’ve been tagged, and now, it’s their turn to take a gift to their paired recipient along with the note.
  • Ring the doorbell or knock, and run! What fun and excitement! 
  • Participants pass around the “You’ve been tagged” note and their gift to the individual they’ve been paired with.
  • Go along until everyone is finished gift-giving.

In your online Secret Santa generator set up, you may want to include a full Saturday or a date range for gift drop-offs so there’s some inkling of the timing of the gift-giving.

Spread cheer around your neighborhood or city. Now, you’ve been tagged to get this theme started with an online generator or consider one of the next three themes.

Carnival Night Family Secret Santa Party

carnival night family secret santa party

Remember the days of going to a carnival, playing games, and eating popcorn, and cotton candy? This is a great theme for a family event, incorporating a variety of activities, snacks, and prizes.

Step right up to enjoyment as you plan a few carnival games with your event such as:

  • Pick a duck: This is great for parties with small children where you have a small kiddie pool and plastic ducks (or fish or frogs) with numbers on the bottom for choosing prizes.
  • Water coin drop: Place a small jar at the bottom of a fish aquarium full of water and ask participants to drop coins and whoever lands their coin in the jar wins a prize.
  • Ping pong ball toss: Ask participants to land a ping pong or plastic, lightweight ball in one of the cups that are placed on a table a few feet from the starting point. Or, if you want the real, carnival-like booth, consider a Carnival Toss game with accompanying bean bags.
  • Basketball shooting contest: This is something simple you can do in your own yard or at a neighborhood park as a part of your carnival games. 
  • Virtual or in-person family trivia: Games like Family Feud and I Should Have Known are great to play virtually or in-person. Have a host who asks the questions. The person who answers the most questions correctly wins a prize.

Wrap up your carnival games with a carnival-themed family gift exchange.

Australian Outback Party

You could also do an Australian Outback party with a Secret Santa gift exchange of Outback-themed gifts like stuffed kangaroos and animals or apparel and backpacks that remind participants of The Outback.

Serve alligator green punch (Gatorade Thirst Quencher – green apple will do!) and include decor reminiscent of The Outback. For activities, consider an Australian adventure scavenger hunt with clues pointing to either areas in your neighborhood or online if you have remote participants.

Disco Secret Santa Party

Here’s one of the more creative gift exchange themes as it can be used for just about any age group. Ask everyone to dress within a Disco 70s theme with silk, bright neon, and metallic colors.

Whether you’re in person or on video, you’ll appreciate the creativity of your friends, family, and even co-workers as they join this party. Play the top music hits from that time, as well as enjoy drinks and snacks that remind participants of years past such as Hawaiian Punch, Twinkies, Hostess Cakes, and CheddarMate with crackers.

The Secret Santa gift part of the party can be Disco or 70s themed, or you can ask participants to complete an online wish list and use a Secret Santa Name Picker to pair up names online.

Enjoying Your Themed Gift Exchange

You can do a budget-friendly gift exchange with any of these Secret Santa party themes or a gift exchange game for larger groups. A simple online Secret Santa generator allows you to coordinate the details of your event, no matter the size or the budget with ease and grace. You can pair names randomly and anonymously, create online wish lists, view themed gift guides, and host your event with simple online coordination.

Your themed gift exchange should be carried out with joy from planning to inviting and hosting, welcoming your guests in person, online, or a combination of both.

If you want to set up any of these exciting Secret Santa Party themes with ease, you can use a Secret Santa generator. With Elfster, you can easily pair people up, shop for gifts, and start a Wish List. Plus, you can access it all from an iPhone app or Android app.

Teresa H

Teresa is an adoptive mom of three kids. She’s an author of many family and children’s books and has a Bachelor of Science in Journalism with a minor in Mass Communications from the University of Central Missouri. She has led family, community, and regional adoption events for over 15 years and now lives with her husband, kids, and pets in southern Texas. Elfster’s Secret Santa generator is Teresa’s preferred approach to gift giving as one of her favorite childhood memories is of a Secret Santa gift exchange. She believes Elfster makes everything so much easier, more accessible, and joyful year around!
Teresa H
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