|See also:||gift exchange, challenge, Holiday Hats, Advent Calendar, Holidayfic|
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A Secret Santa is a gift exchange held around Christmas. Most common in fandom are fanfic exchanges, but there are also fanart exchanges such as the SGA Art Santa or the multifandom Yuletart, and exchanges that accept a variety of fanworks akin to non-seasonal thingathons. Secret Santas can be fandom wide, pairing specific, or limited to subgenres such as het or slash exchanges or exchanges specifically for smut fic. Some are multifandom, notably the large rare-fandoms gift exchange Yuletide. In the Spanish fandom they're called "Amigo Invisible" which means 'invisible friend', referring to the secret nature of the giver.
Secret Santas have sometimes caused controversy as a symptom of Christian dominance in fandom, not least because the extensive organisational and administrative effort needed for popular gift exchanges extends the "Christmas season" in fandom to almost half the year, as sign-ups for some Secret Santas start during the summer. Many people in media fandom, especially if they are multifannish or interested in multiple pairings will see a constant succession of sign-up, reminder, organisation, and pinch-hit posts, deadline freakouts, and finally fanwork posts and reveals for the various Secret Santas from July well into January, making the fandom Christmas season even longer than the commercial one.