Secret Santa Online

Are you planning a Secret Santa celebration? Then organise your Secret Santa online on DrawNames. Enter the names of the people you’re celebrating with and let our Secret Santa organiser do the rest of the work.

Start Drawing Names

Secret Santa History


How did Secret Santa start in Australia?

Christmas was brought to Australia by the English colonists and was first celebrated in 1788. Santa Claus in Australia is largely based on the Dutch Sinterklaas. Both bring gifts to children and adults alike. Christmas is usually celebrated with the family and everyone gets each other a present. Secret Santa or Kris Kringle, as it is also often called in Australia, was invented to simplify the gift-giving process and to have a little fun.

How did Secret Santa work before the internet?

A group of people would put their names into a hat and then secretly pick a name out of the hat. They would buy a gift for the person whom they drew.

Why organise your secret santa online?

When family members and friends live far apart, the hat process can become tricky. This is why DrawNames offers a free online Secret Santa generator.

Each group chooses one member to become the organiser. The organiser enters every member’s name and email address and sends an email with information regarding the celebration. Then the Secret Santa generator draws names and sends everyone their drawn name.

Each member makes their own wish list and can ask their giftee questions anonymously. Unlike other services, DrawNames does not require logins and passwords. It’s fast, fun and free!

Traditions


Santa Claus, Sinterklaas and the Christmas man

In the Netherlands the character of Santa Claus is distinct from Sinterklaas, known instead as de Kerstman (the Christmas man). Although Sinterklaas is the predominant gift-giver in the Netherlands in December (36% of the population buy each other gifts), 21% of the Dutch population exchange gifts during Christmas and 26% exchange gifts on both days.

Sinterklaas is traditionally celebrated on the 5th of December, with songs, chocolate letters, pepernoten (ginger nuts), speculaas (spiced biscuits), marzipan and hot chocolate.

A gift, a poem and funny gift wrappings

In the Netherlands the gift is often accompanied by a Sinterklaas rhyme in which jokes are made about things that happened the past year, relating to the person drawn. It’s a good opportunity to legitimately make fun of your family, friends or colleagues in a humorous way.

The gifts themselves may be just an excuse for the wrapping, which can be quite elaborate. The Dutch go all out and use paper mache and coloured paper to make creative gift wrappings. In both the Netherlands and Australia, the gift is given anonymously and the drawn person must guess who their giver is.

Our Dutch Heritage

The Secret Santa gift exchange is also very popular in the Netherlands and other countries. Lootjestrekken.nl is the most popular online Secret Santa generator in the Netherlands. DrawNames is the English sister website of Lootjestrekken.nl.

Mission

Our mission is to simplify your holiday gift-giving and give you more quality time with your family and friends. Our service to you is free.

Did you create a password? Sign in