A Secret Santa is a holiday tradition, with different names in numerous countries. In it, there's a system of secret picks, where a group of people pick names of someone else in the group and give each other gifts without saying who it came from (at least at first).

It's often played straight, but there have been a number of times where someone sneaks their name in as the only one for the group. HilarityEnsues. May result in one or more characters engaging in ConvenienceStoreGiftShopping.

In some cases, the exchange itself is still the same but with a different name, like "Holiday Helper" or "White Elephant," to try to be more respectful to non-Christians, since SantaClaus [[CaptainObvious is traditionally only associated with Christmas]], which is still technically a Christian holiday, despite becoming very secular (basically meaning "non-religious") in recent years.

Another common Christmas-affiliated name for it is "Kris Kringle"; while this is another name for Santa Claus, if it's used it's normally in the context of a Secret Santa arrangement.


* Junie B. and her class are assigned to do this in ''[[JunieBJones Junie B., First Grader: Jingle Bells, Batman Smells (P.S.: So Does May)]]'' and Junie B. is less than thrilled when she's assigned be one to her nemesis, May.
* In ''Literature/PlanetTad'', Tad's class participates in one of these, with Tad as a secret Santa to a girl that he likes. It bombs badly when he chooses chocolate as his gift and she thinks that her [=Secret Santa=]'s trying to make her fat.
* ''Secret Santa'', a teen romance novel by Sabrina James, is all about this. It's about a high school in a small suburb of [[BigApplesauce New York City]] called North Ridge that does a school-wide gift exchange. There's tons of mishaps but everything is solved by the night of the school's Winter Wonderland-dance.

* Done in ''Series/{{House}}'', where he slips his name as the only one to mess with his team. They figure it out quickly, but he ends up getting gifts from all of them anyways.
* Also in the 2012 Christmas episode of ''Series/PawnStars'', when Chumlee, who is organizing the company party, puts only his name in the Secret Santa hat. The others figure it out, call him out on it at the party, and do a proper Secret Santa.
* In ''Series/TheSuiteLifeOfZackAndCody'', Maddie organizes the Tipton staff Secret Santa and makes sure that London picks her name, hoping for an expensive gift.
* ''Series/{{Monk}}'' had an episode called "Mr. Monk and the Secret Santa". Stottlemeyer forgets to buy a gift for his Secret Santa, so he regifts a bottle of port someone had sent him. Then the bottle turns out to be poisoned...
* Happens in a Christmas episode of ''TheOffice''.
** And again, though not as a major plot point.
* Happens in season four of ''Series/{{Friends}}''. By the end of the episode, pretty much everyone knows who got who.
* In ''Series/{{Glee}}'', Sue slips her name in as the only one.
* ''TheBabySittersClub'' has the club play this in one TV episode. At one point, they all go to the same store.
* Done in ''Series/{{Victorious}}'' where Sikowitz assigns everyone in his class Secret Santas and makes a rule that the gifts have to be meaningful, otherwise they would have to do "Christmas yodeling."
* Tony in ''Series/{{NCIS}}'' once participated in an office Secret Santa and got a grumpy administrator's name. He winds up ([[FridgeLogic somehow]]) figuring out she always wanted one specific doll from her childhood and melting her icy heart with it.

* Organized by [=DiV=], of all people/electronics, in ''PennyArcade''...except that the only name in the hat is DiV.

* ''WebVideo/HardlyWorking'' created a BlackComedy version called "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQIQCDND9ZE Kovert Krampus]]," named for TheKrampus, a holy jolly goat beast of Alpine folklore, who travels alongside Santa, maiming and punishing the naughty children. Rather than buying gifts for each other, the staff punish each other for their lies and transgressions, with a $20 spending limit.

* The ''WesternAnimation/HeyArnold'' ChristmasEpisode focuses on [[WiseBeyondTheirYears Arnold]] trying to reunite [[FunnyForeigner Mr. Hyunh]] with his [[LongLostRelative long-lost daughter]] after drawing his name for the boarding house's Secret Santa.
* This is a plot point in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Braceface}}''. [[TheProtagonist Sharon]] pulls out [[AlphaBitch Nina Harper]]'s name, and is morally torn between actually getting her a present and not getting anything at all--which is understandable, given how mean Nina generally is to people.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'': In "'Tis the Fifteenth Seasons", Homer gets an extravagant present from his secret Santa (Carl). Homer forgets to bring something for Lenny, since he's Lenny's [=Secret Santa=], so he goes to a snack machine and [[ConvenienceStoreGiftShopping buys him some Certs]]. Later on he makes up for it by getting Lenny a photo cube with pictures of the two of them and Carl.
* ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'' has the O.W.C.A. members do a Secret Santa; Perry gets a CD of someone called Sal Tuscany. [[ChekhovsGun This winds up being a plot point]] for a BatmanGambit done by [[spoiler:SantaClaus himself]].
* In ''WesternAnimation/PrepAndLanding,'' Magee, one of the ChristmasElves, mentions that she's [[SantaClaus Santa]]'s Secret Santa and seems to be having a hard time with it.
** The second special is actually called ''Prep and Landing: Secret Santa," but isn't really an example. (It's about the protagonists trying to help MrsClaus get something from Santa's office.)