In the Netherlands, Christmas is a wonderful family gathering. At Christmas time, Christians commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ, which is also the origin of the name of the holiday. Today it is also celebrated by many non-Christians around the world. It is an old Germanic tradition to celebrate the longest night of the year with a mid-winter feast.

Christmas Dinner

When is Christmas?

Christmas is celebrated worldwide on the 25th of December. In the Netherlands we celebrate the First Day of Christmas and the Second Day of Christmas. Many people also celebrate the evening before Christmas, which is called Christmas Eve.

Christmas celebrations

People celebrate Christmas in many different ways on these two days.

For example they often decorate a Christmas tree, and may set up a nativity scene or Christmas village. Many people enjoy listening to and singing Christmas songs, having Christmas dinner together, and giving each other presents. The latter is often done by drawing names and then buying nice gifts each other for, without knowing who the gift comes from. This is also known as Secret Santa in English. You can even set up a Secret Santa gift exchange without email on the App.

Decorating the tree

Drawing names

How does drawing names work? Read on to find out.

Step 1: First of all, the participants are linked to each other so that everyone has the name of one person for whom they are going to buy a gift. Often people write the names on pieces of paper and draw names from a hat, but nowadays you can use to do this simply and easily online.

Step 2: After the names are drawn, you can pick gifts for each other. You can fill in a wish list on and it will be visible to the person who drew your name. Our gift finder makes it easy for everyone to pick out a suitable gift.

Step 3: When all the gifts have been purchased for everyone, the only step left is to get together to exchange the gifts. Of course it is also possible to send the gifts by mail if you won't be able to get together for your gift exchange.

Start drawing names

Rules for Drawing Names

  1. Gift amount
    Agree a maximum amount for the gifts amongst yourselves.
  2. Select a date
    Agree with each other on what date you will exchange the gifts. Are you celebrating Christmas with a large group?
  3. Type of Gifts
    Make an agreement with each other on what type of gifts you are going to exchange.
  4. Surprise packaging or not
    Make an agreement with each other about whether you are going to packge the gifts in surprises or not.
  5. Does the gift giver remain anonymous or not?
    Will you end up revealing to each other who drew which name? Or will this Santa remain Secret forever? Agree on this with each other in advance.

Have we made you eager to start drawing names now? Go here to start drawing names for Christmas.

Drawing names remotely

We've been thinking about ways to celebrate Christmas remotely. Read all about it in this blog about organising a contactless celebration.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Christmas gifts