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Author: 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!
4 Secret Santa Party Themes to Up the Creativity

4 Secret Santa Party Themes to Up the Creativity

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…

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3 Fun Gift Exchange Games for Family Gatherings

3 Fun Gift Exchange Games for Family Gatherings

My great-grandmother Irene set up games for us to play as a family during every birthday, anniversary, or holiday gift exchange. In the summer and fall, it was croquet in the backyard. The winner received their gift first, followed by those who came in second and third place. For birthdays, we’d play Dominoes or Uno. Only, she would pronounce it “You Know!” That winner would always be first for a white elephant gift exchange. She’d offer lemonade, cookies, and joy…

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5 Children’s Gift Exchange Ideas to Get Everyone Involved

5 Children’s Gift Exchange Ideas to Get Everyone Involved

As an adult, you probably look back over your childhood and remember how you received so many gifts. Now, as a parent, you’re likely the one giving them. But, whether you’re on the receiving end or the one giving the gifts, there’s one thing that has likely remained the same: the excitement. Nothing beats the feeling of opening a gift or seeing the joy on your child’s face when they open a gift.   And, while you might be a pro…

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Top 10 Church Gift Exchange Ideas

Top 10 Church Gift Exchange Ideas

Church: it’s one of my favorite places to be. Over the years, I’ve realized more and more the importance of faith for my family. In the process, I’ve participated in many church social groups that still connect today, only sometimes on a virtual basis. From quilting ladies’ groups and Women of Hope to prayer teams and adoption ministry, I’ve enjoyed it. I can always rely on my connections to be there for me through thick and thin, without judgment. What…

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How to Do a Secret Santa Name Drawing with Exclusions

How to Do a Secret Santa Name Drawing with Exclusions

There’s a secret sauce to everything meaningful. Back in the day, the secret sauce for me was the ever-popular Big Mac sauce. There was nothing like it, and I ate it too often. Otherwise, secret sauce represents a unique feature or special quality that ensures a successful process. So, for a gift exchange, the secret sauce could be how you draw names or ways to set up everything just right to make your event special. Sometimes the most special moments…

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Small Secret Santa Gift Ideas for a Budget-Friendly Gift Exchange

Small Secret Santa Gift Ideas for a Budget-Friendly Gift Exchange

While many remember the pink piggy banks we had as children, I recall a big white elephant bank with a blue suit and a yellow cap. Not your traditional piggy bank, but I treasure it because my Mom made it in a ceramics class.  Today’s children may or may not know what it means to drop coins into the slot of an old-fashioned piggy bank, but there are still reasons to keep an eye on your spending. Maybe you have…

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How to Make a Wish List for Tweens

How to Make a Wish List for Tweens

Remember when you were approaching the teen years and had a regular pattern of calling out, “I’m bored!” I do! It’s just something about that age. While we can’t always entertain our kids, we can use helpful tools to fight boredom. I refer to them as “boredom busters.” It’s a tip I give to my friends who are parents of tweens. A “boredom buster plan” for you, your kids, and their friends can help you all survive downtime. Let’s start…

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4 Fourth of July Party Games to Add a Unique Twist

4 Fourth of July Party Games to Add a Unique Twist

Summer, summer, summer! There’s no better time to celebrate freedom, family, friends, and fun. But how do you throw a unique party everyone will love?  Fourth of July party games are joyful, engaging, and provide excitement whether you’re gathering online or in-person for a midsummer holiday celebration. You can even host a Secret Santa gift exchange with Fourth of July gifts as part of your patriotic tribute. Then, you’re sure to make this the best holiday yet.  4 Fourth of…

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Gift Exchange Etiquette You Should Know

Gift Exchange Etiquette You Should Know

I love hosting parties. Yet in the midst of planning, there are multiple balls in the air to juggle. Let’s face it—as a party planner, gift exchanges can be overwhelming. Without the right tools to get everything accomplished, it can feel like a lot!  Still, there are ways to make it much easier, including keeping gift exchange etiquette in mind. As trends come and go, basic gift exchange etiquette remains a critical part of the party planning process. The way…

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How to Have Fun During Quarantine with Secret Santa

How to Have Fun During Quarantine with Secret Santa

It all started with DJ D-Nice hosting Instagram Live dance parties weekly. Then GRiZ, an up-and-coming Detroit DJ, and 23 other artists hosted a 24-hour dance and reconnect party online. While that might not be the norm for reconnecting with friends and may or may not be your thing, it’s definitely an exciting way to unite during a difficult time. Regardless, you, your friends, family, and social network deserve to have fun, let loose, and enjoy some laughs together! When…

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5 Ways to Connect During Social Distancing with a Secret Santa Generator

5 Ways to Connect During Social Distancing with a Secret Santa Generator

When I was a kid, my friend, Dawn, moved to California. It happened when long-distance phone calls and snail mail were the only options to stay in touch. Still, we would mail trivia and fun paper games and activities to one another and so kept an entertaining connection. She became one of my best pen pals. And I still believe she was my Secret Santa for that top Secret Santa gift exchange in fifth grade! Nowadays, with the convenience of…

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Wish List Suggestions for Making Everything Simple

Wish List Suggestions for Making Everything Simple

When I was a child, I had a simple wish for a holiday gift exchange. I asked for a calligraphy set so I could begin learning the craft and sharing homemade cards with others. My heart was set on it, and soon, my wish came true as the gift I asked for arrived packaged with a red bow. When it comes to wish list suggestions and gift exchanges, things aren’t always so simple. In fact, sometimes you have multiple events…

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Coronavirus: How to Stay Positive and Connected with a Gift Exchange

Coronavirus: How to Stay Positive and Connected with a Gift Exchange

For some reason, most of my family members have birthdays over the same two-month period. Some even share the exact same birthday! So, for over a decade, we celebrated all birthdays together as a family. But in recent years, we moved to Texas, my brother moved to Nebraska, and family is here, there and everywhere. Plus, we’ve experienced some trying times and realized that what matters is to remain connected and celebrate even if we can’t physically be together. The…

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Top Gift Exchange Ideas for All Ages

Top Gift Exchange Ideas for All Ages

One of the best events we’ve hosted involved numerous family members and friends honoring a newly-engaged coworker. With a Caribbean-themed party and gift exchange, we went all out. My parents didn’t even know the couple getting married, but because we worked with them and the grandchildren were part of the fun, they were all in on the activities. With participants of all ages from various circles of life, it was one of the most joyous parties we ever hosted.  You…

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