• Tracy Bottiglieri

Secret Valentine



I am fortunate to have amazing friends. One group of friends has known each other since our kids were little, most from Kindergarten. A couple of the women have been added along the way, not because their kids are the same age, but just because we love them! And for some reason, we refer to ourselves as The Second Grade Moms. We group text about all important things in our lives - where to find more Lysol wipes (Katie); what new vote is coming before our state legislature (Lynn); how we should be better protecting ourselves from COVID-19 (Carol); and so on. When we have good news to share (Janice's new puppy) or could use some cheering up via funny memes (Abby, Helene, Gail), we have a safe place to reach 13 of our dearest friends with one simple text.


Another important part of this group is our need for Socializing! We love to have virtual get-togethers, parking lot Happy Hours, and will find any way to celebrate each other! Our latest excuse to give each other small gifts and share some laughs and smiles is by holding a Secret Valentine Gift Exchange. I am sure you and your friends will enjoy doing this, too. Don't worry. It is very easy to execute. You definitely have enough time to make it happen before Valentine's Day.



First, reach out to some friends to see who wants to participate. I recommend you have at least 5 people involved to create some sense of anonymity and keep the "secret" in your Secret Valentine gift exchange. It is way too easy to guess who your Valentine is with a smaller group, and the secrecy makes the exchange more special.


Next, one person in the group needs to be the Organizer. The Organizer will go to DrawNames.com to set up the Secret Valentine gift exhange for your group.

DrawNames does nearly all the work for you, but you do need to set it up first.


I have created Steps 1 - 13 below to show you exactly how to make your Secret Valentine gift exchange a success...with very little effort or time from you. Have fun! 💝


Starting from DrawNames.com

DrawNames.com homepage
Step 1: Select Valentine's Day (in blue)

Secret Valentine name exchange
Step 2: Press "Start Drawing Names" button

Step 3: Enter names of participants

Step 4: Set up exclusions (if needed)

Step 5: Set up gift exchange details

Step 6: Go to your email for further instructions

Step 7: Press "Confirm group" button

Step 8: Decide how to send invitations

Step 9: Copy invitation and share with all participants

Step 10: Each Secret Valentine participant will receive the text/email invitation. They will be responsible to join the group, simply by clicking on the link included in the text/email.


Step 11: The Organizer will receive notification of whom has NOT joined the group yet, so you can send them an additional encouraging message.


Step 12: When all group members have joined the group, the Organizer will be alerted via email. The organizer will then select to Choose Names. Each participant will receive a message with the name of their assigned Secret Valentine. They will not know who has received their name. Nor will the Organizer know who has whose name.


Step 13: On the designated date (or during an agreed-upon time period), each participant will deliver their gift to their Secret Valentine. Be sneaky, but not scary! Don't go at night and freak your SV out! Maybe you arrange for someone else to deliver to their home. Or if your SV does not live close to you, you can mail the gift.



Very easy. Very fun. Very special.



Here are some gift ideas to help get your creative gift exchange juices flowing!


Instead of things, consider sending your Secret Valentine a letter.

You can enclose things you admire about your SV. Special memories you have with them. Maybe even include some pictures.


And now a special Secret Valentine gift from me to you...💝


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