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6 Secret Santa Gift Ideas

Updated on October 21, 2012

What is 'Secret Santa'?

Secret Santa is the name given to a holiday gift exchange amongst friends or co-workers. Usually everyone's name is put into a bowl and members draw out a name one at a time. The name you draw is the person you must purchase a gift for and you must not tell that person or ask them what they want. Sometimes a limit will be set on the amount you can spend on the gift. The purpose of this gift exchange is to get to know others better and to add some fun to the workplace. Friends who know each other may have an easier time picking out gifts, but co-workers likely experience some difficulty. This article will list a few gifts that can be given to someone you may not know as well.

Food Basket

A food basket is a classic gift to give someone any time of year. You can buy one in a store that is already made, or you can make one at home filling it with the newest snacks or imported items. If you’ve seen your Secret Santa eating certain foods at lunch, try filling the basket with things that you think they’ll like. A food basket is a great gift to give because not only does everyone like to eat, but you can also control how much you spend on it. This is ideal if your workplace or friends have set a budget on how much you can spend on the gift. Many of these items are available at either Ebay or Amazon and links on the right-hand side are suggested items.

A Thick Blanket or Throw

A blanket or throw isn’t an obvious gift to give someone, but it is something that everyone can use. This won’t be one of those gifts that someone will end up ‘re-gifting’ or leaving behind at the party. Choose a neutral colour (ivory, white, gray, black, etc) that can work with almost any décor or if you know what colour they like, choose something that goes well with it. Find a blanket or throw that is nice and soft so it looks and feels luxurious. This is a great gift to give around this time of year because it will contrast with the cold weather outside. If you’re under budget or want to enhance this gift, pair it with a book or hot chocolate set.

Stylish Storage

Everyone needs some extra storage. You don’t have to buy a set of shelves or large piece of furniture, but you can get them some decorative storage boxes or a a set of baskets. A more masculine approach would be a desktop organizer that’s small yet efficient. You want to give something that is useful but not something that says “I think you’re messy and disorganized”. If you find something with a bold print or design that you think they might like, that’s probably good. If you’re not sure what their style is like, or if they like the clean and crisp look, find something in white, ivory or black.

A Cookbook

A cookbook can be a nice gift to give someone who likes to cook. If you’re not sure whether he/she likes cooking, this gift can give them some ideas or be used as a coffee table book. Look for something with a great cover. Choose a cuisine that is new and different. Most people like the idea of cooking extravagant meals, even if they don’t have the time or confidence to do so. A cookbook is great to give around this time of year because it’s when people try out a lot of recipes.

Gift Cards on Amazon

A Unique Gift Card

Some say that gift cards are the lazy way out, but it might be your only choice if you have to get a gift for someone you’ve only met a couple of times. Rather than grabbing a standard Chapters or Starbucks gift card (unless you know they like those places), try getting him/her a gift card to someplace unexpected or new. Online stores like Etsy (handmade goods) and Amazon sell gift cards. They both sell a variety of items so he/she will likely be able to get some use out of it. Your local mall may sell gift cards that work at any store in the mall, so that is an option as well. You could also pair it with an iTunes gift card if they like music or a magazine.

A Sampler Pack of Beer

Sometimes liquor or beer stores will bundle different types of beers together. This is often called a ‘sampler’ pack. This can be a good gift to give someone if all you know about them is that they sometimes drink beer. These sampler packs come in all sizes and price ranges, so you should be able to find something in your price range. If you can’t find something or if sampler packs don’t exist in your area, you can make one yourself, much like the food basket idea above. Simply gather a few cans of unique beers (plus a few that you think are good) and place them in a basket. Add a few ‘party’ snacks like chips, peanuts or crackers if you need to fill up some space. If you want to make a more classy gift, try bundling some small bottles of wine and adding crackers and cheese to the basket. Wrap it in some clear gift wrap and tie it with a bow and you’re good to go!

Good Luck!

Hopefully this article gave you some ideas, or will lead you to some ideas of your own. Buying something for someone you don't know very well (or someone you know too well!) can be difficult. Try to find out something about them from other co-workers or friends and that should give you an idea of what they might like. Here are some other Hubs you can check out about gift ideas:

Top 10 Gift Ideas for Teenage Girls

Top 10 Gift Ideas for Women

Top 10 Gift Ideas for Teenage Boys

Top 10 Gift Ideas for Men

Coffee Mug Gift Basket


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    • PaigSr profile image

      PaigSr 3 years ago from State of Confussion

      I would vote for the gift cards. An easy gift for those that are hard to shop for.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 5 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      I sure hope someone will give me a cookbook this christmas. Thanks for the great gifts ideas. Merry christmas in advance. Voted up and useful