Secret Santa is the ingenious method that saves everybody money, avoids stress and means everyone gets a decent present that's really had some thought put into it.
A few weeks ago Christmas seemed like a lifetime away - you had all the time in the world to save up your money, buy your presents, wrap them, post them, before kicking back with a nice mug of mulled wine, tucking into your Christmas dinner and opening all your presents.
Suddenly it’s just over two weeks away, you haven’t bought a thing, you’re social calendar is busier than an elf on Christmas eve and you’re perilously close to your overdraft limit.
The solution? Secret Santa.
If you’re unfamiliar with the concept a secret Santa is when you and a group of friends (or colleagues, or course mates, or even your family) are randomly assigned a person to whom you must anonymously give a gift.
The benefits of this are clear - first and foremost by buying just one present you’ll be saving yourself a fortune, particularly as there is normally a relatively modest limit to how much you can spend.
Thanks to the fact you’re only buying one present you can spend more time and energy on picking out the perfect gift as opposed to rushing it and buying your Dad the same old novelty socks you get him every year.
And while it may seem that getting only one present in return might leave you feeling short changed, if you’re anything like us most years you end up with mountains of stuff that you don’t need and then spend the rest of the year pretending you have a use for it so as not to offend your nearest and dearest.
So how does it work? Follow our step by step guide:
Step 1) Make sure everyone is up for it, and get them to agree to a limit - £10 is pretty common, anything less and you’ll struggle to find a half decent present.
Step 2) Put all the names into a hat and make each participant pick out a name - if anyone picks out their own name they should replace it and try again.
Step 3) DON’T TELL PEOPLE WHO YOU PICKED OUT, no matter how tempting it may be.
Step 4) Once your presents are bought put them all in a big sack with the recipient's name clearly visible - nominate someone to pass out the gifts.
Step 5) The present was bought for you and you alone, so be happy with what you were given - no swapsies!
If you’re struggling for gift ideas sites such as iwantoneofthose.com, GAME and Amazon have dedicated sections for people looking for Christmas gift ideas. Play.com also have a whole page of Christmas gifts for only £5!
To get great deals on all things festive be sure to visit our dedicated Christmas offers section.
If the whole ‘name out of a hat’ thing is a little stone age for your tastes then why next check out sites such as elfster.com that do all the hard work for you.