1. Elfster Help
  2. Organizing a Gift Exchange

How do I start a new Gift Exchange?

Organizing a Gift Exchange is easy, fun, and free. The instructions are here to see how it's done.

Elfster is a FREE Gift Exchange website to make gift-giving easier. Our Secret Santa Generator makes Christmas, holidays, and other Gift Exchanges extra joyful so you can spend less time organizing and more time celebrating.

App instructions

Begin a Gift Exchange on Desktop or Mobile using the Elfster Secret Santa Generator.   

 

  • If you don’t have an Elfster account, you’ll be prompted for some basic information.
  • If you are already logged into your Elfster account, you'll be able to start creating the Gift Exchange right away.

If you are logged into Elfster, you can select EXCHANGES in the menu and select Start an  Exchange, but since you're reading this, just click the link.

  • Follow the setup wizard in the Secret Santa Generator to invite any number of people, including an odd number!

Elf Tip: To easily create a repeat Gift Exchange with the same people,  select Yes, start with an existing exchange and then choose a previous exchange from the drop-down menu under Choose an Exchange.

Create a Gift Exchange

 

 

 

 

On the next screens you'll:

  • Enter the Gift Exchange name and date and indicate if you are participating or just organizing
  • Choose if gifts will be exchanged by mail or in-person
  • Set your budget and add any special rules or notes for your guests
  • Choose a picture or upload your own
  • If you started with an existing exchange, the list of previous guests will be available to invite or edit.  If you started fresh, you'll be able to invite guests.

📝 Gift Exchanges through the mail will require participants to enter their mailing addresses so the person who draws them will know where to send their gift. 📝

Inviting Everyone to the Gift Exchange

Invitation screenInviting everyone is easy!  There are several ways to invite:

  • Enter names and email addresses.
  • Invite your Elfster friends.
Bonus of these two options: We keep track of the invitations and send your participants a reminder 📥 if they forget to RSVP.
  • Copy the invitation link to share on social media.
  • Send a text invite or share through any app on your phone if you're using the website on your phone or if you're using our iOS or Android app.

📝 Organizers are automatically included in each Gift Exchange. If you want to just organize and not be included in the draw check the No, I'm just organizing the fun box under Are you participating? when you create the Gift Exchange. You can also change your RSVP any time before names are drawn on the left-hand side of the Gift Exchange homepage. 📝

👍 One Final Note:

There's no limit to the number of Gift Exchanges you can host at once, but we do recommend updating the Gift Exchange picture so that each one is easily recognizable.

Begin a Gift Exchange in the Apps

  1. Tap the Gift Exchange icon in the Navigation bar.
  2. Tap Create in the top right.
  3. Select Yes, start with an existing exchange and choose the previous Gift Exchange name OR choose No, let's start fresh, just enter the Gift Exchange name.
  4. Enter the Gift Exchange name and date and indicate if you are participating or just organizing
  5. Choose if gifts will be exchanged by mail or in-person
  6. Set your budget and add any special rules or notes for your guests
  7. Choose a picture or upload your own
  8. Tap the Send Invitations button. If you started with an existing exchange, the list of previous guests will be available to invite or edit.  If you started fresh, you'll be able to invite guests.
  9. Congratulations 🎉 your Gift Exchange is created! 💫