Hacking The Holidays For Lifehack Bootcamp Alums — post 2 of 7

The holiday season is approaching at warp speed this year, and will be here soon whether you’re ready or not! But no need to worry — with the tips and tricks you’ll glean from our Hacking the Holidays series, you’ll be more ready for this holiday season than you’ve ever been before.

There are FOUR main issues you’ll be met with over the holidays: DIET, EXERCISE, TRAVEL and GIFT GIVING. Individually, these are all major stressors; together, they can drain your brain and your wallet in no time flat.

In this series, we are going to help you combat each of these problems in fun, resourceful ways that will leave you much more time to enjoy — and we mean actually enjoy — all of your family gatherings.

So keep reading for our latest hack!


How many times have you found yourself passing out a hefty handful of Target gift cards to all of your friends and family because you don’t have the time, money or energy to give everyone exactly what they want or need? Probably many, many times. What if, instead, you could be forever known as the best gift-giver in the family, notorious for returning CHARM to the holiday season, and all the while actually saving money?

Yes, really. Brace yourself. The holidays are about to get fun again.

Hack — “Secret Clan-ta”: A Guide For How To Do Secret Santa With The Family.

Don’t freak out. We’ve all been a part of a failed Secret Santa party before — two people accidentally getting the same person a gift, someone not receiving a gift, someone hating their gift, someone not showing up and throwing the whole balance of the delicate Secret Santa philosophy into a tail spin.

We know. That’s why we’ve done all the work for you!

Presenting the Lifehack Labs Secret Clan-ta. Our template (click here) includes a crystal-clear explanation that is already pre-packaged into an email you can send to all of your family members! And it’s fool-proof: everyone lists what they want (with a maximum price of $100) in advance. There is no guessing game. There is no over-spending. No gift cards necessary (unless that’s what your recipient wants)!

How this benefits you

Let’s be honest, you don’t have the budget, the energy, or the time to rack your brain to get the perfect gifts for everyone. Secret Clan-ta is a hack that requires <$100 TOTAL for ALL your Christmas presents, only about half an hour of set-up, and zero cognitive load to execute flawlessly.

So let’s do the math: say you usually spend $30 per person on average and you have 10 people to buy for. That’s $300. It takes you half an hour on average to just determine what to buy for each person. That’s 5 hours. If you make $20 per hour, that’s $100 in lost time. Total cost = $400.

Secret Clan-ta cost? <$100 in gifts and a half hour spent on set-up = $110, or almost 1/4 the cost of a normal gift process. Not only is this saving you almost $300, but multiply this savings across each of your 10 family members, and your family is saving almost $3k in total.

Secret Santas are usually lame. What makes this different?

Glad you asked. Usually they’re lame because there’s a high likelihood you’re going to get a really crap present. Secret Clan-ta, on the other hand, involves each family member creating a “wish list” of items under $100 in advance. This means no matter what, you’re getting one or several of the items you actually really want!

While that might seem like it takes the fun out of it, our family ended up “competing” for who composed the coolest, raddest wish list (a hummingbird nest and swim flippers were actual items from our Clan-ta last year). And let’s be honest, your family would have asked you what you wanted anyway so at least this way it’s part of a fun, secret game!

It’s only Thanksgiving. Isn’t it too early to be thinking about Christmas?

Thanksgiving is the PERFECT TIME to kick off your Secret Clan-ta because your family is all together.

After Thanksgiving dinner, all participating family members should draw names from a hat to determine who’s getting who.

How do I get started?

The first step is to read the instructions in this document. Then, you’ll create a master list of your family’s names, emails and addresses and send them an email with Secret Clan-ta info. It’s really that simple. If your family is into this hack, this has the potential to be the most fun you’ve had at Christmas since you were a kid!

Now jump into the conversation! Share your holiday hacks with the group in the comments or ask for support from the community on your holiday problems.

Already stumped for what Christmas presents to get this year? Click here to refer friends & family for our next Bootcamp starting Jan 3, 2016. Don’t forget that your alumni referral rate of $499 is in effect until December, after which it will go up to $795.