15 People Share Their Secret Santa Horror Stories So You Don't Make The Same Mistakes

List Rules
Secret Santas: vote up the worst gifts nobody should ever receive and the worst stories nobody should ever repeat.

Secret Santa always sounds like such a good idea when you are part of a big group. The intent is to take the pressures off of gift giving and make the holiday cheaper and easier. Well, nothing is that easy. Especially at Christmastime. People tend to make a lot of mistakes while playing this gift-exchange game and they are sharing their worst stories so you can avoid doing the same. Check out the list and vote up the worst stories.


  • 1
    112 VOTES

    A 5-Year-Old Had To Watch The Other Kids Play With Their New Toys

    From Redditor u/domcobbstotem:

    When I was around age 5, our babysitter did a Secret Santa for all of the kids. I gifted my Secret Santa a Barbie doll. Mine gave me coupons for Hardee’s, which is a fast food restaurant, where her mom was the manager. Not even for a free burger, it was like $1 off of a burger. At 5 years old, I was not buying my own food. I cried while watching the others play with their cool toys. This was the worst gift in my history of receiving gifts.

  • 2
    84 VOTES

    Didn't Get Even Close To What They Asked For

    From Redditor u/Wontonnoodles98:

    It was a $20 budget and my recipient asked for earrings. I spent the day in my downtown area looking at shops before settling on a pair I was cut a good deal on. It cost me $19.99 before tax.

    I asked for a set of pens. Nothing fancy, just a set of pens I needed for school. I got a $2 Daiso turkey Christmas hat I wouldn’t be caught dead in and a package of toilet paper my Secret Santa probably just straight up got from her bathroom cupboard.

  • 3
    76 VOTES

    Uncle Didn't Feel Like Participating

    From Redditor u/simplyatomic:

    My ex-husband's family always pulled names. His uncle got me and decided to not buy me anything. I had to sit while everyone else opened their gifts and try not to cry.

  • 4
    84 VOTES

    Got A Takeout Box Full Of Old Cookie Leftovers

    From Redditor u/Ninjanese:

    I did a secret Santa with a club at my school. The budget was around $35. For my person, I went all out and basically got them a bunch of items they wanted and listed them down on their paper. The person who had me gave me a takeout box filled with broken cookies. The worst part, those cookies were leftovers that she took back home from our Thanksgiving party we had a few weeks ago...

  • 5
    83 VOTES

    The Gifter Didn't Show Up And Never Sent The Promised Present

    From Redditor u/Rogue_Squadron:

    We had a gift exchange several years ago between my wife's cousins and all of their significant others. The guy I was gifting for is a lot like me and is into board games and beer (among other things). I was able to find a game that normally ran for $75+ dollars on sale for $50 ($50 limit for our exchange). In addition, I made him a double growler carrier using my woodworking tools and spare lumber in my garage, so practically free aside from my time investment of about eight hours or so. It turned out pretty nice and professional looking and I was really proud of the overall gifts.

    The person who was supposed to bring a gift for me ended up not showing up to the Xmas celebration and promised to send me a gift. After five years, I am beginning to think I won't be seeing that gift.

  • 6
    77 VOTES

    A Handmade Ornament Got Shattered In The Chaos

    From Redditor u/BoredPony:

    I remember it being a Secret Santa for the swim team back when I was 11 or 10. Instead of making each person pick a gift one at a time, they decided it was best if everyone rushed at the table at the same time and whoever grabs what first gets that gift.

    Unknown to everyone else, one girl hand made an ornament for the Secret Santa and it was shattered in the chaos of kids grabbing gifts. I remember her crying, holding her broken gift. To be honest, if the people in charge made us grab a gift one at the time that would have never happened.

    I do remember getting a big tub of candy, which was awesome for me cause my parents rarely allowed me to have candy.