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The best Secret Santa picker websites

The best Secret Santa picker websites

In big families and small offices across the country, "Secret Santa" is one of the great holiday traditions. By picking random recipients and covertly spying on each other, participants tend to learn a lot about their coworkers and loved ones.

But December is a busy month, and sometimes it’s hard to get everyone in one place long enough to pluck a name out of a hat. If your Secret Santa event is being held on the job, there’s also the challenge of a modern workplace: Jimmy is always stuck in the mailroom and Tanisha is always on the road. How can you figure out what they want if you never physically interact?

The solution: an app, of course. Believe it or not, there are numerous apps and websites designed solely for organizing Secret Santa events. Many of them will even help you figure out exactly what kinds of gifts to give. Remember: If Father Christmas can work remotely, so can you.

Here are some favorites:

Secret Santa Generator

This simple site is as grassroots as it gets: "I built this secret santa [sic] website to make picking names for your gift exchange a breeze," said the unnamed webmaster. "It’s easy and free and organized via e-mail. Don’t worry about spam. I hate it as much as you do."

Secret Santa Generator doesn’t have any bells and whistles, and its function is pretty limited. But you can put names in the virtual hat and randomly distribute them. You can also add "rules" to make sure that gift-givers are appropriately matched.

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