The Board Game Geek Secret Santa Experience

If you have Googled a board game—any board game—for research purposes and whatnot, you have likely visited the Board Game Geek website. BGG is the number one resource for all things board games on the Internet today. From gamer-made rules summaries, to advice on card sleeve brands and sizes, to foam core insert schematics, they have got you covered.

Yearly, BGG holds a Secret Santa event, where thousands of board gamers from around the world exchange gifts. Board game gifts, of course!


Mechanics are simple:

  • Register for the event
  • Choose countries you are willing to ship gifts to
  • Receive a target board gamer from one of the countries you have chosen
  • Ship your target one or more board games from his or her wishlist (here is a sample BGG wishlist)

The total cost of the game/s you send (including shipping) must be at least USD 50.

In Cebu, avid board gamers have been joining Board Game Geek Secret Santa for years.

Ballista Games and Dice Kong Board Game Cafe co-founder Poy has been joining BGG Secret Santa for four years now. This year he received the Euro game Village and its expansion, Village Port.


2016 is Cebu Board Gaming Society co-founder Mark Jusef Julio’s sixth year joining the event. This year, Santa shipped him a copy of Civilization-style game The Golden Ages.

Shipping to the Philippines can sometimes be an ordeal. Some local Secret Santa participants have experienced receiving gifts in the first quarter of the following year instead of in December. Other times, they get lucky.

This year is Verne’s first time joining BGG Secret Santa. He bought his target living in the USA a copy of Viticulture: Essential Edition from Amazon.


Verne received his gift in November, less than two weeks after participants were informed of their targets.

He got a copy of Legendary Encounters: Firefly, a game very difficult to find in the Philippines today. His game was delivered not via courier, but by a mystery lady. It was also beautifully wrapped in Christmas packaging.

Who is his Secret Santa? How did she ship the gift to Cebu so quickly? How much did she spend on shipping? Does she have friends and relatives in Cebu? The mystery remains.

Registration for BGG Secret Santa 2016 is already closed. In the meantime, here is the 2016 edition of Look What My Secret Santa Sent Me…, where you can drool over the board games you could get in Christmas 2017!

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