A Different Secret Santa

woman showing a piece of paper
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We all love a good Secret Santa. And as we approach the festive season, more and more friendship groups may begin to discuss this age-old tradition. But I’ve had an idea for a different Secret Santa, and you’re invited to partake! Keep reading for more information.

As we approach the festive season, and I begin to panic we are getting closer and closer to the Big Day, I had an idea. We’ve all taken part in Secret Santa events in the past. They’re good fun, especially amongst friends who know you well. However, what if I were to suggest a Secret Santa with a difference?

First up, I considered running a Secret Santa a bit like the old Amazon Wish List threads on Twitter. It would certainly be the easiest way to do it, in that everyone is responsible for purchasing or looking after it all themselves. However, the more I thought about it the less I was sure it would be fair. In fact, thinking about it, I once took part in a Blogger Secret Santa that ran worldwide. I mean, it was great! I was given a girl in Australia, and the site the Secret Santa was organised through took me direct to Australian websites so I didn’t have to pay insane postage. Except I never received a Secret Santa gift from the thing. So I was slightly miffed.

Santa being told a secret by a little girl

Then I began to think about my Christmas Card Swap. Would a similar type of form work? And could that be slightly more fair? I know I would have no way of policing the swap… once I gave out the names, it would be up to the individual to be fair with their swap. And how would people know what to buy? So I went back to the drawing board.

shh secret santa with a difference

Hence, my Different Secret Santa Plan!

Step 1 of the plan was to research. It sounds daft, but I wanted to make sure I could do this in a fun and fair way. So one damp and dreary Sunday in September I set to finding out what Secret Santa options were available online. They all were great for drawing names from a hat, but I wanted us to be able to create wish lists, set price limits, and all that jazz. It took a few days of searching online and playing about, but I eventually got my Secret Santa With A Difference sorted! I even went as far as creating multiple different accounts across many different platforms, all in an attempt to organise this Secret Santa as best as possible.

santa pointing up the chimney with a child

The Different Secret Santa

Eventually I settled on using JotForm and a random generator using numbers to match us all up, and you are invited to join!

secret santa with a difference gifts

You will be asked for your name, email address, shipping address, and for your Amazon Wish List link or further information on what you would like from your Secret Santa. The spending limit is going to be capped at £15, so if you need to create a new wish list you can do this! Please also use this section of the form to let your Secret Santa know if they need to send to a different address if delivery is going to be around a certain date. For example, if you’re going away for Christmas please either give a latest delivery date for your address or an alternative shipping address for these dates. This way no one misses out on a present from being returned to sender!

christmas gifts

Sign-up will close on 30th November at 11:59pm GMT. I will then assign all participants a number, and use a random number generator to link you up to your partner. Now I know the general fun of Secret Santa is that you will be given one person to buy for and someone else will buy for you. However I think for honesty and simplicity, I will match you with one other person. They will buy for you and you will buy for them. Your details will only be shared with each other, and it means then you can contact either me or your partner if you find Santa misses you on his stops. If you would like more information on what I do to keep your personal information safe, please read my privacy policy. But it also means you can maybe try and link up with your Secret Santa to make a new friend!

Sign up here to participate in my Secret Santa With A Difference!

But what’s the “different” bit about?

The final part of my Different Secret Santa is this. I’m going to price match. If you decide to take part, and have bought your present, I’m going to ask you to email me a screen-shot of what you’ve spent. You can block out the name of the person, what you’ve bought them, or any other details you might not wish to share. However the key thing is to please share with me what you have spent. Then I’m going to total up all the money spent on this Different Secret Santa and make a donation of the same amount to charity. You’ll have seen this in the above form possibly already.

secret santa behind gifts

The charity I have chosen to support is MindOut, a mental health service run by and for lesbians, gay, bisexual, trans and queer people with  experience of mental health issues. They welcome all LGBTQ people and those who may not identify as LGBTQ including men who have sex with men, women who have sex with women, intersex people, people who previously identified as trans and people who are questioning their sexual and/or gender identities.

same sex couple exchanging christmas gifts

While I personally have never had to contact MindOut, it is very much a charity close to my heart, and I hope you will help me support a charity that is pivotal especially during the hardships of the festive period. If you would like to support them without signing up for the Different Secret Santa, you can donate directly here. Alternatively, I understand money is tight for a lot of people at this time of year. If you would like to donate but know your budget cannot stretch, you can send me a confidential email at lifewithktkinnes@outlook.com using the subject line “Christmas Charity Donation” and I will add your wished contribution to my donation.

couple exchanging christmas gifts

So what are you waiting for? Join my Different Secret Santa today and let’s spread some festive cheer! Sign up here to participate in my different Secret Santa!

girl excitedly holding christmas gift.

Don’t forget, you still have time to sign up to my Christmas Card Swap for 2021! Alternatively, if you’re beginning to look at what presents you need to buy, check out my Couples gift guide! The one present everyone should have in either their Christmas Eve box or Christmas Day Stockings is Calm By The Christmas Tree. Written for reading before bed, on your travels, or during a brief moment of peace with a comforting drink, these tales whisk you away to a world where Christmas is as magical and important as it was during your childhood. 

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