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What is Kris Kringle? A Guide to Anonymous Gift Exchanges

The holiday season is fast approaching! If you’re spending Christmas in Australia, you might have been asked to take part in Kris Kringle at work or university, or with your new friends.

But what is Kris Kringle? And how does it work? Read on as we dive into the fun and excitement of this holiday tradition.

What is Kris Kringle?

Kris Kringle is a popular holiday game where participants exchange gifts anonymously. Also known as Secret Santa, it’s a fun and interactive activity that can add a bit of excitement to a holiday party.

The origin of Kris Kringle traces back to various cultural and historical influences. The name “Kris Kringle” is derived from the German “Christkindl,” meaning “Christ Child.” In parts of Europe, especially in Germany and Switzerland, Kris Kringle referred to an angelic figure who delivered gifts to children.

In Australia and other countries that celebrate Christmas, the term “Kris Kringle” gained popularity and became the name for the gift-giver in anonymous gift exchanges during the holiday season.  

How does Kris Kringle work?

Kris Kringle involves a group of people who draw names randomly to determine whom they will buy a gift for. The identities of the gift-givers are kept secret until the exchange. Once you open your gift, you’ll guess which member of the group was your ‘Kris Kringle’.

There are a couple of popular ways to exchange gifts and find out who your Kris Kringle is. Gifts can be given individually to the person whose name you chose, or you can add a bit of extra fun by placing all the gifts into a pile in the middle of the room. One by one, participants choose a gift until all of them have been chosen. Sometimes, there are rules about stealing gifts from others during the game, adding an element of surprise and strategy.

Sound like a lot of work? Take a look at online platforms like Elfster or Draw Names to make the Kris Kringle process easy. These websites help organise and manage gift exchanges by allowing you to create wish lists, draw names for the exchange, send anonymous messages, and track gifts.

Using these platforms, you can make sure certain people don’t draw specific names, set a spending limit for gifts, and get notified when your recipient adds something to their wish list.

Kris Kringle is perfect for big families, workplaces or any group where it’s difficult to buy a personalised gift for everyone. Just try not to steal a gift from your boss!

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Kris Kringle gift ideas

Kris Kringle gift ideas can vary widely depending on the preferences of the person you’re buying for and any guidelines set for the exchange. Here are some general ideas that could work well:

  1. Homewares – a coffee table book, decorative bowl or indoor plant
  2. Self-care items – a bath bomb, face mask or candle
  3. Gift cards – to a local restaurant, bookstore or cinema
  4. Card games or puzzles – these can provide hours of entertainment
  5. Food and drink – some tea and a cute mug, cheese and a bottle of wine or some homemade baked goods.

The idea of Kris Kringle is to give a gift that could make anyone happy! You might not know who you’ll be gifting to, so it’s best to choose something that will work for any recipient.

There you have it – the ultimate guide to Kris Kringle. Enjoy the fun, and make sure to keep your gift a surprise. Happy gifting!