What is Christmas?

Christmas is the annual Christian holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, which explains the origin of the name of the holiday. Christmas is widely celebrated by non-Christians worldwide. In the Philippines Christmas is also known as Pasko.

Planning to celebrate Christmas with your friends or family? Invite them to draw names online for a Secret Santa gift exchange.
Draw Names Online

Read more about how to draw names online in our online bunutan article.

Christmas in the Philippines

When is Christmas?

Christmas Day is celebrated on 25 December; this day is called Christmas Day. Formal Christmas celebrations start on 16 December with the first of nine early morning masses. The last mass is on Christmas Day. However, people in the Philippines enjoy celebrating Christmas for as long as possible. You can hear Christmas songs playing in stores as early as September. Most Filipinos also celebrate the evening before Christmas, which is called Christmas Eve.

Celebrating Christmas

Christmas is the most important holiday in the Philippines. Most Filipinos are Christian, and roughly 80% are Catholic. It's the only Asian country with so many Christians. Traditionally, people attend masses, and spend time with family, neighbors and friends. Traditions in the Philippines include decorating the Christmas tree, sending Christmas cards and singing Christmas carols.

Christmas Eve is equally important in the Philippines. Many Filipinos stay awake until Christmas Day. After the Christmas Eve Mass, it is time for the Noche Buena midnight feast. During Noche Buena, families, friends and neighbors visit each other to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. Most households will have several dishes ready such as lechon, salads, rice cakes, steamed rice, and many different types of drinks.

For kids, Santa is one of the highlights of Christmas Eve. He piles all the gifts on his sleigh and rides across the evening sky with his reindeer to deliver presents. A Christmas gift-giving tradition that many adults take part in during Christmas is a Secret Santa gift exchange. Secret Santa is also known as a Monito Monita in the Philippines.

Celebrating Christmas

Secret Santa gift exchange

Exchanging gifts and having fun is what Secret Santa is all about! Secret Santa involves drawing names from a hat and secretly buying a gift for the person whose name you’ve drawn. A Secret Santa gift exchange is an excellent way to celebrate Christmas with friends, family or co-workers. You're guaranteed to have a great time filled with fun and laughter. Did you know that Secret Santa originates from early Christmas traditions? The original ‘Secret Santas’ were the gift-bearing helpers of Santa Claus. You can even set up a Secret Santa gift exchange without email on the drawnames Secret Santa App.

Ready to invite your group for a Secret Santa or Monito Monita gift exchange?
Draw Names Online

Secret Santa rules

The first step in a Secret Santa gift exchange is to invite participants, and then draw names. You can draw names from a hat, but it's much easier and more convenient to draw names online. After the names have been drawn, it is time to buy each other gifts. On each participant can create their own wish list. This makes it easy to buy a gift for your giftee. Finally, the last step is to get together and exchange the gifts.

Read more about the various ways of celebrating Secret Santa in this blog.

Christmas gifts

The best Christmas gifts

Christmas isn't complete without giving and receiving Christmas gifts. Whether you are hosting a Secret Santa gift exchange or looking for Christmas gift ideas, you can find the best Christmas gifts in our popular Gift Finder.
Browse Christmas Gifts