Does planning Secret Santa seem like a huge bother? Take a deep breath. Smile. We’ve got ideas. We covered the rules of Secret Santa here and now we have more ideas to make your Secret Santa even better. Getting people together to draw names and keeping track of all the matches can be a pain. Ditto making sure no one gives coffee beans to the tea drinker. We’ve made a list of iPhone apps that will help make your gift exchange hassle free and a lot more fun.

Top 4 Secret Santa iPhone apps:

1. Elfster 2.0

Here’s our star app of the list. Elfster 2.0 runs your party from your pocket and helps you get the Secret Santa gifts you want. Pop into the app the names of everyone participating in the gift exchange and Elfster will randomly make the gift matches for you. No more messing around with paper!

Our favourite feature of Elfster is the wish list manager. Make a wish list on Elfster and share it with everyone on your gift exchange list. Surf online for gift ideas, or take photos and scan the barcode of anything cool you come across in a store.

2. Secret Santa by ZWorkbench

Here’s an app so simple even Grandma Gertrude will love it. Enter everyone’s name into the iPhone, designate matches to avoid, and pass the phone around so each person can draw a name. Our favourite feature of the app? The nifty trick that makes sure spouses don’t draw each other.

3. Secret Santa Generator

Can’t get everyone together before the party to draw names? Here’s an app that will save your office gift exchange. Add the Secret Santa participants to the app by selecting from your contact list (or entering them manually) and touching ‘submit’. The app automatically emails each participant the name of their gift receiver. The matches aren’t even shown in the app so only each giver knows who their recipient is. Now that’s secret!

4. Secret Santa by Elfmo

Simple and beautiful. Add your friends, touch the big yellow “Secret Santa” button, and find out who’s buying for which person. This app is great for setting a recommended gift value and sharing the results of the draw via email, Facebook or Twitter. If you want a super-simple app that keeps a record of the Secret Santa matches, this is your next download.

5. Bonus: Video Calls with Santa!

This app isn’t technically Secret Santa-related, but it’s so cute we couldn’t resist including it on the list. Here’s the modern alternative to waiting weeks for Santa to write back. Want Santa to tell your kids how nice they’ve been all year? How about having the jolly guy himself tell your kids that they’ve been naughty? This app lets your kids have a Facetime video chat with Santa. Choose one of two pre-recorded interactive calls to reward nice children or discipline naughty kids. They can even leave Santa a video message.

Looking a little more forward to the office gift exchange? For an even better event, easily decorate the office, keep the conversation flowing on the big day, and maybe even make your event zero-waste. Pat yourself on the back and prepare for compliments on a fun and stress-free Secret Santa!

Want more advice from our experts? Check out how Eventsage can help make your event exceptional. Eventsage – event planning made easy!

Kimberly Rohachuk

Kimberly Rohachuk

Over my career I've had the honor of working on some major events, including the World AIDS Conference in Vancouver, G8 Foreign Ministers meeting, and the Vancouver 2010 Olympics bid delegation to Prague. I’ve also worked with a number of corporate clients all over the world delivering hundreds of events for groups ranging from 50 to 1,500 people.

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