Organising a secret santa

(Daniel Hollands) #1

I was wondering if anyone had any experience organising a secret santa via a forum?

I’m thinking of doing one for my community, and wondered if anyone had any ideas or suggestions on how best to manage it all?


(Tobias Eigen) #2

Love this idea. And timely too!

how can discourse be used to do this? What ideas do you have? Our geographically distributed team would really appreciate a way to give each other computer transmittable “gifts” like poems, cards, photos etc. And to be assigned the person to send it to. Last year we assigned the task of organizing this to one staff member and it was very time consuming. Also getting the gifts circulated was also hard.

(Daniel Hollands) #3


I do hope I’ve left enough time to make this a reality for this year.

No idea, and none right now.

I guess a plugin could be created which lets people join the secret santa exchange, and at a set date have it automatically assign people their target. This could also also be used to report when the gift has been purchased, etc…

But that’s all beyond my abilities to build - so I’d be happy with a more low tech solution (or even being pointed at a pre-made script which does all of this external to Discourse).

That’s a cute idea.

I’ve got the benefit that our community is geographically based in Birmingham, UK, and a lot of the members see each other at various meetups on a regular basis.

(cpradio) #4

Could you simply create a topic, have people reply to it if they wish to participate, and then put the name of each participant in a spreadsheet and use a randomizer to assign them their target?

You could then PM each person with their target, which also makes it easy for you to know who has who, so if someone forgets, you can be update them.


Yeah, it sounds like a “low tech” solution is the best here. This sounds like a job for a simple script, not a Discourse plugin.

Just export all of the participant usernames to a file and shuffle them. Person 1 gets Person 2 a gift, Person 2 gets Person 3 a gift, etc. Last person gets Person 1 a gift.

Then just PM everybody the details for their secret santa. If you were feeling particularly crafty, you could probably use the API to do this right from the script. But doing it manually probably isn’t that painful either, depending on how many participants you have.

(Daniel Hollands) #6

This is the bit which is concerning me. My community isn’t huge (coming up to 400 members), but I know if it’s any more than 20 people, it’ll start to become a hassle to keep track of it all, which I think is what @tobiaseigen was getting at.

(Gerhard Schlager) #7

This looks promising: GitHub - Intracto/SecretSanta: Secret santa is the #1 online gift exchange organizer.


I understand the appeal of a Discourse plugin that does all of this for you- I wish my community was big enough for a secret santa! But waiting for a plugin (that has been tested!) is at odds with your other concern:

I do hope I’ve left enough time to make this a reality for this year.

I think your safest bet is to do it manually this year, and put a plugin that handles it for you on your wish list for next year.

(Régis Hanol) #9

I don’t believe you actually need to install it yourself. Just use and have fun :christmas_tree: :gift:

(Daniel Hollands) #10

I agree, this is looking like a nice solution.

Alas, I started a poll, and out of the three votes registered so far, two answered no, so this might be all for nothing.

(Gerhard Schlager) #11

Yeah, I know, but I think it would be easier to add lots of users when you host it yourself. :wink: