Kris Kringle is a variation of Santa Claus’s name. Santa Claus is renowned for his secret giving. So it’s not surprising that a game for the festive season has been created called Kris Kringle. A way of secretly giving in families or in the workplace that is fun, playful and keeps costs to a minimal.


Here are some fun variations on Kris Kringle that can be done even on a tight budget:

– ‘Secret Casino Santa’ is a tradition where each participant purchases a gift as well as putting an agreed amount of money into a prized pot. For example, the total for a gift could be $12 made up of $6 for a gift and $6 for the combined money pot. The money pot can soon add up to large sums if the group is a large one. For this variation, when a name is pulled from the hat, the person may choose to take a gift, or choose to take the gamble to possibly win all the money in the prized pot or put their name into another pot with the hope of possibly wining all the gifts left over from those who chose not to take a gift and go for the prized money pot. There is lots of fun and anticipation while awaiting the winner of the money pot to be drawn.

– ‘Secret Friend’ a tradition from Brazil. At the beginning of December participants write their name on a piece of paper and places it in a Santa hat. Each participant takes it in turn to take a paper from the hat. However, no reveals the name of the person on it. There is communication between picked partners over the month leading up to Christmas. The partners use fake names during correspondence for added fun and they send each other uplifting words, fun Christmas jokes, positive quotes, encouragement and acknowledgment. Once Christmas arrives and the Christmas party begins, secret friends are revealed upon the exchange of a small gift between the ‘Secret Friends’.

– Holland has another fun variation. The tradition here calls for a verse to be written and attached to each gift. While the giver must remain anonymous, he or she must sign the gift Sinterklass. An element of surprise is part of the Dutch tradition. They love to have fun and camouflage gifts. For example, wrap a small gift in a huge box or hide a gift in an unexpected place and conceal clues in shoes or bowls of fruit.

– Another version is called ‘Thieving Secret Santa’ which also known in other countries by the name of the grinch game, snatchy Christmas and the white elephant gift exchange.. This is a fun and playful game where you get to choose to take a gift from the gift pile or mischievously thieve a gift that has already been opened by another participant.