Don’t Let Covid-19 Steal Christmas: Host Your Annual Gift Exchange Safely Online With Virtual Events

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DrawNames Introduces New Feature and Live, Virtual Name Drawing and “Unwrap Live” Events to Its Free Gift Exchange

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The whole idea of DrawNames is to bring people together at the holidays and provide some cheer...To give people the ability to see one another and participate ‘in person’, safely.

For more than 10 years, millions have relied on DrawNames to help make their gift exchanges easier and faster all for free. In light of Covid-19, the online company added a new feature – the ability to include a mailing address for gifts and inviting people to create their own virtual events with family and friends for a safe, engaging gift exchange while social distancing – Live Name Drawing and “Unwrap Live” events via video conferencing. The company says that not only allows companies with employees all over the U.S. and world participate, but friends and families distanced by Covid-19.

This year, more than ever people need a reason to celebrate and find joy during the holidays…together. A tradition made digital for a social distanced holiday season, DrawNames’ 100% touchless, virtual and free Secret Santa gift exchange experience is bringing people distanced by Covid-19 together this Christmas. The DrawNames platform offers a smoother user experience with a more streamlined gift exchange process that is easy, fast, reliable and free.

DrawNames found popularity with its Name Generator – a virtual pulling names out of a hat – the ability to create a wish list and use a gift finder, which typically led to an in-person event or unwrapping at a holiday party. With people encouraged to social distance for health safety, the company created a new option for adding a recipients mailing address to have the gift mailed, and encourage people to connect by creating their own Live Name Drawing and “Unwrap Live” events using video calling platforms, because watching the unwrapping is the best part.

“The whole idea of DrawNames is to bring people together at the holidays and provide some cheer, but we needed to ensure our gift exchanges keep participants safe,” said Arjan Kuiper of “To give people the ability to see one another and participate ‘in person’, safely, we are encouraging organizers to host a video conference or call for a ‘live’ event feel. It’s our way of helping people come together this Christmas.”

Kuiper adds that the company already offered an online gift shopping feature, which now has become crucial as it reduces the concern of in-store shopping for gifts. Allowing people to send the gift directly was another major factor to DrawNames’ 2020 holiday strategy to keep participants safe, especially now that holiday parties, where exchanges normally occur, are discouraged or canceled altogether.

“Going virtual also allows more people to participate in a gift exchange. Now, group organizers can invite colleagues, friends and family from around the world to participate, bringing everyone together live through video, and bring your own cocktail and snacks,” said Kuiper.

How it Works

100% touchless, virtual, free Secret Santa gift exchange in minutes

1. Set up your group. Each group chooses one member to be the organizer.
2. Send out invitations. Enter the names and email addresses of each participating group member. Set your gift exchange settings and write an email message to the group. The organizer will receive an email to authorize sending out group email invitations.
3. Everyone responds to their email invitation to join the group. They may now complete their gift wish list. No account or login needed!
4. Draw Names! The Secret Santa generator draws names from a virtual hat. Each member will receive another email directing them to their drawn name. A Live Name Drawing event can also be held virtually.
5. Ask questions anonymously. Find the perfect gift by accessing your recipient’s wish list, you can exchange lists or send questions and receive the answers anonymously to help you choose the perfect gift, or let the gift finder to pick a gift for you.
6. Secure. DrawNames does not sell any personal consumer data.

About DrawNames
For more than 10 years, DrawNames has helped millions of people – companies, friends and families – organize their free online gift exchanges. The service allows groups to create a gift exchange for any occasion, drawing names without the hassle of a hat. The 100% touchless virtual gift exchange includes an Auto Name Generator or choice to hold a Live Name Drawing event, ability to create an online wish list, an gift finder or the ability to exchange wish lists or find the perfect gift through anonymous questions. In 2020, the company introduced the option to send gifts via mail directly to recipients and hold virtual “Unwrap Live” events. Millions of people rely on DrawNames to simplify their Secret Santa gift exchange whether it be for Christmas, Hannukah, Eid al-Fitr (Secret Eid), marking the end of Ramadan, or Valentine’s Day.


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Jennifer Fortney
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