Secret Pal Ideas from Author Chelly Wood

Need an idea for your secret pal's next gift? Here you go!

Anyone up for a game? Here’s my “How to Reveal Your #SecretSanta #Game”!

It’s December 18, and a lot of office parties and Secret Santa groups are going to be ready to reveal their Secret Santas. So I thought I’d post my Secret Santa game for all to see and share.

As part of the party, have everyone bring a couple of old Christmas cards. Provide everyone with tape and scissors. Then have them make the following “Christmas Card box”:

Create a gift box from my easy pattern and your old Christmas cards!

What’s needed? Two Christmas cards, scissors, and tape… That’s all!

Next, have everyone put three hints about themselves on strips of paper and slip these inside an envelope with their name on the outside of the envelope. The hints should be things we might not know about each other. For example, one person might be able to say: a.) I’ve never flown in an airplane, b.) I’m allergic to kiwi fruit, and c.) for Halloween this year, I dressed up as a witch.

Make sure the envelope is very small — small enough to fit inside the box. Here’s a link to various envelope templates you can use (that template link is found on

Next, have the Secret Santa reveal party’s host take all the card boxes and envelopes into a separate room to put together the game. You’ll need to know which Secret Santa was assigned to whom, so bring your sign-up paperwork with you. Meanwhile your co-host can entertain everyone with another game while you prepare the reveal game.

Here’s what you do:

1.) Choose a random card box. (Not necessarily the one made by the person’s Secret Santa.) It needs to be random to avoid having the players guess their Secret Santas based on who brought which cards.

2.) Pick up an envelope and make a mental note (or sticky note) of the name on the outside of the envelope. Pull the hints out of the envelope and place the envelope name-side-down inside the card box. Tape the envelope in the box so the name cannot be seen.

3.) On top of the taped envelope, place the strips of paper which list the hints given by this Secret Santa. Set the lid back on top of the box.

4.) Look through your sign-up sheets to see who that person’s partner was, and write the partner’s name on the outside of the box.

5.) Complete steps 1-4 for each player. Return to the party and give each player the card box with his/her name on the outside.

6.) Players take turns opening their card box, reading the strips of paper, and guessing who their Secret Santa might be. Do not allow anyone to look at the name on the other side of their envelope until everybody has made a guess.

7.) Simultaneously, every player lifts the envelope from the bottom of their card box to see who their Secret Santa was.

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#Patterns and Tutorials for #Hanukkah #Crafts

Image of many chanukah objects including a dreidel, six-pointed star, menorah, etc.

Image: iClipart

I realize this is a “Secret Santa” website, but some families celebrate both Hanukkah (sometimes spelled Chanukah) and Christmas. So why not include a little list of ideas for Hanukkah crafts and gifts?

Here are some links to other websites I’ve found that offer tutorials, patterns, and ideas for Hanukkah gifts:

For anyone who doesn’t know, the first day of Hanukkah is December 17 this year (2014). The last day of Hanukkah is December 24.

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#Patterns and Ideas for #Felt #ChristmasOrnaments to Sew

Image of 15 different Christmas ornament shapes

Image: iClipart

You don’t really have to know how to sew to create simple Christmas ornaments out of felt. A lot of times glue works just as well as stitches to hold it all together. And let’s face it, felt is an inexpensive and easy-to-find textile to work with. You can buy felt at WalMart, JoAnn’s Fabrics, Michael’s, and even some grocery stores.

Here are links to some of the cutest, most easy-to-make felt ornaments I’ve found on Pinterest:

And here’s a link to my Pinterest DIY/Crafts page, where you can download patterns to print for making various Christmas ornaments.

These make great gift toppers, but they can also be wonderful gifts on their own.


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Hot Cocoa #Poem for #Christmas for Your #SecretSanta

Image of man in Santa hat drinking a warm beverage from a ceramic coffee mug

Image: iClipart

Hot cocoa is an inexpensive gift to give your secret Santa, and you can have a lot of fun with it. Just check out the links I’ve offered below to various hot cocoa gift ideas on Pinterest:

And here’s a little poem to add to your gift:


When winter takes its toll

And staying warm is your goal

They say cocoa warms the soul

Place your hands on a mug

And chug-a-lug-lug

It’s like getting a nice warm hug!


Secret Santa Reveal #HolidayPoem for the Last Day of #SecretSanta/ #SillySanta

If you’re new to Secret Santa/Silly Santa, you may not know what people are talking about when they say, “We’re going to meet for our big REVEAL” on Friday this week” (or whenever). Some Secret Santa or Silly Santa groups will go whole-hog on the big reveal, offering a gift of $20 each or more. For other groups, it’s more important that you be clever about your “reveal” rather than spendy.

Either way, the poem I’ve posted below could be just what you need the day of the big reveal, although if your final gift is supposed to be a spendy one, you’ll need to attach the poem to a nice gift (like a CD of Christmas music or a Hickory Farms treat box or something like that).

What most groups do for their big reveal is meet somewhere (like a break room, staff room, or downtown at a coffee shop) to reveal who had whose name all through the Secret Santa / Silly Santa event. This means it’s the end of your Secret Santa / Silly Santa exchange, but it’s exciting to finally meet the person who was your Secret Santa / Silly Santa.

With that explained, here’s the poem I recommend for your big reveal gift:

Secret Santa Reveal Poem

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What does my DIY Christmas card gift bag look like when completed? Here it is…

Just take a look. This image shows the DIY Christmas card gift bag in all its stages of creation:

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Make Christmas Gift Bags Out of Old Christmas Cards–an Easy DIY Secret Santa Project

Every year I post my gift bag pattern, and every year it gets lots of hits. So here it is once again.

You just place the pattern over the top of a colorful old Christmas card from last year, trace, cut, and tape. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3!

gift bag for Silly Santa presents that are inexpensive

Image: iClipart

Next week I’ll post a picture of a finished DIY gift bag, so you know how it should look when it’s all done.

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#Craft Box for Your #SecretSanta Gift

I found this image on Pinterest, but it redirects back to a website called Craft and Creativity. Please give credit to if you pin, like, or tweet.

Wouldn’t this be a cute box to put your Secret Santa gift in?

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Sign-up Sheet for #SecretSanta (Or #SecretPal)

Absolutely free and easy to download, here’s the sign-up sheet I designed for Secret Santa. You could also use it for a secret pal or office buddy program:

Printable Sign-up Sheet for Secret Pal or Secret Santa

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Summer Funny/Comical/Silly DIY Project for Your Secret Pal or Office Buddy

Check out this fun and silly DIY project I found on Pinterest! How easy is this to make for your secret pal or office buddy?

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