A simple script to email secret Santa participants.
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2.4 KiB


secret-santa can help you manage a list of secret santa participants by randomly assigning pairings and sending emails. It can avoid pairing couples to their significant other, allows the addition of each participant suggestions for gifts and custom email messages to be specified.
Fork of secret_santa repository.


pytz pyyaml


Copy config.yml.template to config.yml and enter in the connection details for your outgoing mail server. Modify the participants and couples lists and the email message if you wish.

cd secret-santa/
cp config.yml.template config.yml

Here is the example configuration unchanged:

# Required to connect to your outgoing mail server. Example for using gmail:
# gmail
SMTP_SERVER: smtp.gmail.com
USERNAME: you@gmail.com
PASSWORD: "your password"

TIMEZONE: "Europe/Dublin"

  - Chad chad@somewhere.net Chad's suggestions
  - Jen jen@gmail.net Jen's suggestions
  - Bill Bill@somedomain.net Bill's suggestions
  - Sharon Sharon@hi.org Sharon's suggestions

# Warning -- if you mess this up you could get an infinite loop
  - Chad, Jen    # Chad and Jen are married
  - Chad, Bill   # Chad and Bill are best friends
  - Bill, Sharon

# From address should be the organizer in case participants have any questions
FROM: You <you@gmail.net>

# Both SUBJECT and MESSAGE can include variable substitution for the 
# "santa" and "santee"
SUBJECT: Your secret santa recipient is {santee}
  Dear {santa},

  This year you are {santee}'s Secret Santa!. Ho Ho Ho!

  The maximum spending limit is 50.00

  This message was automagically generated from a computer. 

  Nothing could possibly go wrong...


Once configured, call secret-santa:

python3 secret_santa.py

Calling secret-santa without arguments will output a test pairing of participants.

    Test pairings:

    Chad ---> Bill
    Jen ---> Sharon
    Bill ---> Chad
    Sharon ---> Jen

    To send out emails with new pairings,
    call with the --send argument:

        $ python3 secret_santa.py --send

To send the emails, call using the --send argument

python3 secret_santa.py --send