Gift-giving hacks: Fun ways to play Secret Santa

Your friends, family and colleagues will love these great twists on the festive season tradition. We’ve got the gifts sorted.

Searching high and low for the perfect present can turn your festive season spirit into holiday stress. Whether you’re shopping for friends or family, we’re here to take the guesswork out of gift-giving and help you find something wonderful for everyone on your list. Our Holiday Guide is here to help you find a gift for everyone on your list. And when you check out with Amazon Pay, it’s always fast and easy, so you can focus on the festive cheer — and never the holiday hassle.

One of our favourite traditions at Amazon Pay is Secret Santa, the anonymous gift-giving game that’s become a staple among families and friends. You know the rules: Each person draws a name from a hat to find out who their secret recipient will be, without telling anyone whose name they picked. But while the classic version is plenty of fun, these jolly twists on Secret Santa can make the festive season even merrier. Give one a try this year — we’ve got the gifts covered.

The Yankee Swap

To play Yankee Swap, each participant contributes a gift that would appeal to anyone, usually within a set price range. Taking turns one by one, each player can then either select a wrapped gift from the pile or take one that a previous player has already chosen. The last player always has the pick of the litter! Here are some great gift ideas guaranteed to make yours the one everyone wants.

PowerCore Essential 20000 | Anker

This portable high-capacity charger packs a lot of power in a deceptively small package — perfect for a good old-fashioned Yankee Swap! Anker’s PowerIQ and VoltageBoost technology combine to deliver an optimised charge for mobile phones and tablets, and the twin USB ports allow you to charge two devices simultaneously, making it an ideal companion for long trips with friends.

Aramid Fibre AirPods Pro Case | Mous

Apple’s AirPods Pro are sure to be one of the hottest gifts of the year, and this Aramid Fibre case from Mous makes for the season’s most coveted accessory. Reinforced with durable polycarbonate and impact-absorbing AiroShock technology, the cases are rigorously tested to provide maximum protection.

Sunderland Vancouver Pro Waterproof Golf Jacket | Snainton Golf

Golfers will swap everything for this lightweight waterproof jacket from Vancouver Pro, ergonomically designed with mechanical stretch specifically for golf swings. Finely crafted from premium two-layer performance fabric, it can withstand the harshest Scottish downpours, with a waterproof rating of over 8,000mm — and a lifetime waterproof warranty.

Grab Bag

The traditional Grab Bag game is simple to play, but don’t be fooled. Players each wrap a gift and place it with the others on a table or in a box. One by one, the participants choose a gift. The trick to playing Grab Bag is wrapping the gifts in silly and deceiving shapes so their contents remain a mystery until they’re opened.

Happy Socks Pride Colour Socks | UnderU

Celebrate pride with these funky-fun socks from Swedish designer Happy Socks. Knitted from fine-combed cotton, these soft, snug socks feature colourful rainbow stripe and heart designs — let there be colour!

Left, Right, Left

It may sound like a military march, but Left, Right, Left is actually a version of Secret Santa that’s great for kids — and grown-ups will get a kick out of playing along. Everyone brings a wrapped gift and sits in a circle while a story is read aloud. Every time the word “left” or “right” is spoken, the gifts are passed in that direction. Like musical chairs, when the story ends, the players get to keep the gift they are holding. Almost any story will do, especially a festive season tale, just make sure there are enough “lefts” and “rights” in the text to play the game — or add a few of your own.

Playmobil Christmas Three Wise Kings | Jac in a Box

Packed with fun accessories, this Christmas set from kids’ favourite Playmobil features three festively dressed wise kings, who all come bearing gifts! The little ones will love loading up their camel with Christmas treasures, or they can let one of the kings hop a ride, too.

Bubble Fidget Rainbow Popping Game | The Entertainer

With this Bubble Fidget Rainbow Popping Game, it’s as easy as pressing and popping for hours of entertaining fun. The brightly coloured fidget toy makes satisfying popping sounds just like real bubble wrap. It’s a huge hit with the kids — and the adults love that it’s reusable and washable.

Custom Design Minifigure Workshop Santa | Firestar Toys

Armed with his trusty paintbrush, this miniature Santa toy is ready to put the finishing touches on all the presents in his workshop. And his buddy Teddy is happy to lend a hand. Makes a great Left, Right stocking stuffer.

Scavenger Hunt

In this extra-secret twist on Secret Santa, players must find the gifts themselves. Hide the wrapped gifts around the office, house or garden, provide a few clues to their location, and let the hunt begin! Players drop out once they find a gift to make sure everyone gets one.

Initial and Birthstone Personalised Necklace | Bloom Boutique

Finders, keepers. This stunning, personalised name necklace is a keepsake they’ll always cherish. Fully customisable with your special someone’s initials and a Swarovski crystal birthstone charm, Bloom Boutique’s signature piece is available in rose gold, champagne gold or silver, and comes beautifully packaged along with a personalised gift card.

Nura Pearl Wire Earrings | Monica Vinader

They’ll be thrilled when your clues lead them to these timeless Nura Pearl Wire Earrings. Keshi pearls are known for their incredible all-over mother-of-pearl lustre, and the thick layer of 18-carat-gold-plated vermeil provides the highest-quality precious metal without the hefty price tag. Handcrafted from sustainably sourced materials, these instantly wearable earrings are everyday pieces that will last a lifetime.

Olivia Burton 3D Bee Charity Watch with Silver Mesh Bracelet | First Class Watches

The ultimate prize at the end of a truly great scavenger hunt, this vintage-inspired bee watch from Olivia Burton is equal parts fashion statement and timepiece. Crafted from stainless steel, the watch runs on reliable, battery-powered quartz with a silver-on-silver design that’s worth buzzing about.

Find the perfect gift for everyone on your list with the Holiday Guide. Who says you can’t please everyone? From the hard-to-shop-for family member to close friends, these gift-giving hacks will get you on everyone’s good side and fill the season with joy. Ready to make some festive season wishes come true? Between us, you don’t even need to check your list twice — buying gifts with Amazon Pay is so quick, easy and hassle-free, you can be sure you made the right choice.