Browsed by
Category: Gift Exchanges

What to Look for in a Name-Drawing Randomizer

What to Look for in a Name-Drawing Randomizer

Years ago, when preparing for a Secret Santa, we were drawing names out of a hat in my parent’s house. My uncle had made a big deal out of printing everyone’s name on squares that were the exact same size so that there could be nothing out of place. His perfect scheme was foiled a bit when he drew his own name, and started to put it back. It turned out that everyone had drawn his name.  When making the…

Read More Read More

Elfster Group Supports Black-Owned Businesses for Juneteenth Gift Exchange

Elfster Group Supports Black-Owned Businesses for Juneteenth Gift Exchange

“If the cruelties of slavery could not stop us, the opposition we now face will surely fail. Because the goal of America is freedom, abused and scorned tho’ we may be, our destiny is tied up with America’s destiny.” – Martin Luther King Jr. Today, communities all over the nation will come together to celebrate an unofficial holiday — Juneteenth (also known as Freedom Day, Liberation Day and Jubilee Day) — to commemorate the abolition of slavery in the United…

Read More Read More

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…

Read More Read More

Disney Lovers Remind One Another They Are Never Alone

Disney Lovers Remind One Another They Are Never Alone

Relax. Take a deep breath. In. Out. Ahhh. Now think of your happy place and the people you’d love to be with in that place. I’m sure it is a moment filled with laughter, joy and a little sunshine. And these days, we could all use a little sunshine in our world. No doubt, the past few months have been a challenge. As we all faced the uncertainty of an unprecedented global pandemic and the challenges that come with that,…

Read More Read More

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…

Read More Read More

Secret Santa Tips to Help You Get Started with Your Gift Exchange

Secret Santa Tips to Help You Get Started with Your Gift Exchange

So, you’re running a gift exchange for your next party. That’s a great idea! Gift exchanges are an incredible way to bring people together, to engage in some light mystery, and to make a great party even better.  And here’s the best part: they can be really really really easy.  Running a Secret Santa doesn’t have to be complicated. You don’t have to jump through hoops or spend hours wrangling people. With the help of an online generator and these…

Read More Read More

How to Run a Gift Exchange From Home During Social Distancing

How to Run a Gift Exchange From Home During Social Distancing

When social distancing swept over the world, taking us away from our normal lives, a strange paradox took shape. We began to connect more than ever.  I now have weekly video calls with friends and family that I could easily go months without talking to before. We have a Sunday Zoom dinner with my wife’s parents. People are even… talking on the phone! This doesn’t negate the anxiety we all feel, but it does go to show that we are,…

Read More Read More

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…

Read More Read More

How to Socialize During Coronavirus With Long-Distance Games

How to Socialize During Coronavirus With Long-Distance Games

Every Saturday since social distancing started here in Illinois, my friends and I meet for an afternoon happy hour online. Some live a few blocks away, some in other cities. It’s great to connect, and it reminded us that we could have done this anytime. We don’t need a catastrophe to enjoy hanging out, even distantly.  Social distancing has, for millions of people, closed their physical world down to a handful of rooms. But what’s amazing—inspiring, beautiful, and deeply human—is…

Read More Read More

How Does a Name Pairing Generator Work?

How Does a Name Pairing Generator Work?

For someone who spends most of my professional time online, I used to be weirdly resistant to doing things on the computer. Maps? I was good with paper maps (even though it was super inconvenient). Finding a restaurant? Let’s drive around until we see something (even though we’d usually end up getting frustrated and grabbing fast food). Remembering the name of a movie? Instead of looking it up, have you tried not remembering and just going crazy?  Needless to say,…

Read More Read More

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…

Read More Read More

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…

Read More Read More

5 Gift Exchange Party Ideas to Get You Started

5 Gift Exchange Party Ideas to Get You Started

“Congratulations! You’re running the office gift exchange!”  I recently had the pleasure of telling that to a co-worker as we were planning a remote office party. We’d been working from home for a while, so we decided it would be a cool way to keep everyone together. And even though I was the pro, we decided Jess could take the reins on this one. She turned a bit pale at the thought, but I reassured her that it would be…

Read More Read More

How to Draw Names Randomly Online: A Guide

How to Draw Names Randomly Online: A Guide

“Random” is one of those words that carries an air of, well, chaos. If you do something randomly, it seems like you’re doing it without rhyme or reason. Even its old definition, which meant “rushing headlong” and “going too fast,” implied a certain level of helter-skelter. So while random might be fun, it doesn’t always seem… practical.  That can be a challenge when you’re doing things randomly, like drawing names for a gift exchange. There’s just a lot that can…

Read More Read More

5 Creative Gift Exchange Themes to Liven Up Any Party

5 Creative Gift Exchange Themes to Liven Up Any Party

Recently, some friends invited us to a Harry Potter-themed party. They were very excited about it! My wife was very excited about it! I was very excited about… seeing people! But here’s the thing: I’ve never read Harry Potter. I only saw the first movie. Without any negative feelings toward it, it just wasn’t part of my life.  So, I took a crash course. And you know what? I had a blast. I dressed as Sirius Black because I love…

Read More Read More

What are the Benefits of a Random Name Drawing App?

What are the Benefits of a Random Name Drawing App?

A few years ago, we were doing an office Secret Santa and were pulling names out of a hat. When my friend Hedda reached in to pull the last name, she fished through it before announcing that there weren’t any names left. We couldn’t find it and had to start over.  A few days later, the owner of the hat said it had been caught in a flap. He found it when it finally fell out.  I’m not trying to…

Read More Read More

A Guide to Secret Santas for Teens

A Guide to Secret Santas for Teens

Are you planning a party? They can get boring if you don’t have a theme or any games. Have you ever had a Secret Santa gift swap? They’re a lot of fun and a great way to get people into a party mood. Holding a Secret Santa for teens is easy to plan, doesn’t have to mean buying expensive gifts, and can be organized right from your phone. Whether you’re the one planning the party for your friends or if…

Read More Read More

How to use a Draw Names from a Hat App for Your Next Gift Exchange

How to use a Draw Names from a Hat App for Your Next Gift Exchange

Trading gifts with friends, family, and coworkers is so much fun that it’s hard to imagine how it could get any better. But surprisingly, it can!  You can make your next gift exchange party more fun by using a draw names from a hat app. Sure, there’s an app for everything these days. But a gift exchange app really does solve a lot of problems and can make your next party go a lot smoother.  How Does a Draw Names…

Read More Read More

The Top 5 Secret Santa Variations

The Top 5 Secret Santa Variations

I talk about the holidays a lot. It’s a magical time of year, as we all know. It’s not about the gifts (really!) and it’s not even about the parties per se. The holidays are about people bringing light and happiness to the darkest days and longest nights of the year.  And then? December turns in January, which slogs on into February, and the joy of the season slips behind you. But it doesn’t have to. You can bring that…

Read More Read More

Can I Draw Names Out of a Hat Online for Secret Santa?

Can I Draw Names Out of a Hat Online for Secret Santa?

One Thanksgiving, when I was just a kid—so a very, very long time ago—we were drawing names out of a hat for our Christmas gift exchange. My uncle, with great fanfare, reached in… and immediately drew his own name. He laughed, made a corny uncle joke, and picked again. It was his wife. He made another joke, but you could see his eyebrow start twitching. He reached in again…  He picked one of his kids. Three draws, three people he…

Read More Read More

Top Secret Santa Ideas for College Students

Top Secret Santa Ideas for College Students

When I went to college—and yes, I can remember that far back, albeit dimly—it was both exciting and terrifying. I was exhilarated: I was going to get to meet new people! I was terrified: I was going to meet new people.  A lot has changed for college students since then, but that particular experience is universal. We always want to meet new people, but it can be scary and awkward. Whether it’s the first day in the dorms, the first…

Read More Read More

Secret Santa for Eid: Tips for Celebrating with a Gift Exchange

Secret Santa for Eid: Tips for Celebrating with a Gift Exchange

There are few religious observations in the world with the solemnity and consecrating power of Ramadan, with its month of fasting, observance, and dedication. Consequently, there are few celebrations with as much joy and happiness as Eid al-Fitr, held at the end of Ramadan. It’s a time of cheer, joy, and gratitude.  And while that’s the basic outline—fasting during Ramadan, celebrating at Eid—there is no one way to recognize Eid. How could there be? Islam is a global religion that…

Read More Read More

15 Secret Santa Options to Add Variety to the Game

15 Secret Santa Options to Add Variety to the Game

If there’s one thing I love, it’s variety. If there’s another thing I love, it’s giving and receiving gifts. Oh, and I also love my friends and family and music and parties. Turns out I love a lot of things, and celebrating them all requires that first thing: variety.  That’s why I love to do gift exchanges for different occasions. They don’t have to just be during the holidays and they don’t have to all be the same. There are…

Read More Read More

How to Figure out What to Buy for a Gift Exchange

How to Figure out What to Buy for a Gift Exchange

I love giving people presents. When you pick the right present, it isn’t about buying. It isn’t about the person getting a “thing.” It’s about them being seen. Picking the right gift is a signal that you truly care about a person.  But when you’re in a Secret Santa, knowing what to buy for a gift exchange can be tricky. You may be extremely close to them, or you may not really know them at all. They could be coworkers,…

Read More Read More