Participating in a Gift Exchange Event

SecretSanta.com gift exchanges are now powered by the Elfster Secret Santa Generator! Join a gift exchange — by email invitation or using a link shared by the organizer — to get started with the fun!

Invitation Email: The invitation email lets you know you have been invited to join in a gift exchange event and who invited you. Also included is a brief message from the organizer of the event and details for the gift exchange.

To view more details about the gift exchange event and to reply to the invitation, just click to RSVP. You may then register your Elfster account or log in to an existing account.

Invitation Link:  If an organizer has posted an invitation link on a social media page or by shared in an email they generate, click on the link to see more details about the exchange, RSVP and register or log in to an existing account.

As a registered member of Elfster, you can manage all of your gift exchange events by clicking on the Gift Exchanges tab on the top of your homepage, or create a Wish List to share your wishes with your exchange group.

Gift Exchange Page: As a participant the gift exchange page includes the following:

  1. Event information: All the event information (type of gift exchange, time, date, location, price range, etc.)

  2. Participants: View who is participating, who is not and who is undecided.

  3. Activity: On this page, you may chat with your group to send along any fun, interesting or informative comments, which may be made anonymously for an added twist, view wishes made by members of the group and see Secret Q&A activity for other participants.

  4. Gallery: Once names have been drawn you can come back here to see thank you messages and gift pictures that have been shared with the group.

Be Sure to Create a Wish List:  Wish Lists can be viewed by other participants in your exchange and is a great way to share gift ideas. Gifts may be added by Wishing for any item found on our Shop pages, copying the URL for an item from any website, or by using the Text option to write in your own wish.

TIP: Submitting wish lists is a great way to make sure all the participants receive a gift they will enjoy as well as assisting the Secret Santas in the gift buying process.

Number Assignment: The organizer of your gift exchange assigns you a number for the White Elephant gift exchange. This number designates when your turn will come. For example, if you are assigned number 3, you will be the third person to take a turn in the game.

Before you start planning a White Elephant Gift Exchange of your own, you may want to consider these factors:

Guidelines: Make sure the rules are clear to everyone before starting the exchange.

You can create variations of the game by adjusting the number of times a gift can be stolen within one turn or a whole game, or how many “owners” a gift can have before it is retired. Some limits must be set though, to avoid a chaotic and overly lengthy game.

The Gifts: It is important to set up ahead of time the type of gifts that will be involved in the game.

If your game will consist of “white elephant” gifts (as per the definition) they should still be in good condition, appropriate to your group and above all, fun. In the event this game becomes a tradition, you will see some gifts return to the swap year after year in hilarious, desperate efforts to get rid of them.

Remember that what makes an appropriate gift is different from group to group and from setting to setting so make sure all participants are aware of your definition of good taste (or bad taste if you so desire).

Above all you want to have a good mix of gifts – some desirable, some in the “undesirable” or gag gift category. Part of the fun is watching players try to conceal their “good” gifts or encourage players to take their “bad” gifts.

Each gift should be attractively wrapped with no nametag. There’s no fun in getting a gift you can’t unwrap (cheap gift bags are frowned upon).

Secrecy: It is important that the gifts be placed in an area where few people can see guests dropping off gifts. All efforts should be made to hide who brought which gift.

Happy Gifting!