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Christmas Shopping: Secret Santa Gifts

Updated on October 21, 2008

Christmas time means Christmas shopping--crowded stores, long lines and frazzled salespeople. However, the worst of Christmas shopping is when you have to buy a gift for someone you don't know well. Or if you do know the person well you are hampered by a price limit. That's right I'm talking about shopping for a Secret Santa gift. So if you are a little stumped for gift ideas here are twenty-five ideas to get you started. Good luck!

1. Spa Gift Basket

Lotions, body scrubs, scented candles, aromatherapy, nail care kits or any other spa item is a good choice as long as your choose scents that are not too exotic. Also, a gift basket makes it easier to stay in the price range as you can mix and match items to fit your budget.

2. Starbucks Gift Card

A gift card to Starbucks or your local coffee house is a wonderfully generic gift. Even if the recipient is not a coffee drinker most coffee houses also service other beverages as well as a variety of pastries.

3. Candy

A selection of candy or cookies is another generic gift. There is, however, the potential problem that your recipient is diabetic or watching their weight.

4. Book(s)

You could choose from the current popular fiction or one of the millions of gift books that seem to appear around the holidays. Anything in a humorous vein is usually a good bet (as long as the humor isn't too racy). Another choice would be an inspirational choice like one of the chicken soup books.

5. DVD and Popcorn

Depending on your budget and DVD choices you could choose one or two DVDs for your recipient. If that doesn't come close enough to your budgeted amount you could add microwavable popcorn, a large popcorn bowl and even some popcorn toppings (which can be found in the baking section of your local grocery store). Comedies are usually a good choice for the movie, after all, who doesn't like to laugh.

6. Movie Gift Certificate

If you're just not sure of the popularity of your movie choices you can always purchase gift certificates to your local movie theater.

7. Hot Chocolate, Tea or Coffee and Christmas Mugs

If you happen to know their drinking preference you can buy a gourmet variety and wrap it with a couple of festive Christmas mugs. Or if you are unsure just purchase gourmet hot chocolate and add a couple of candy canes.

8. Gift Certificate to Local Restaurant

If you happen to know your recipient's favorite restaurant or you have a favorite place you want to share a gift certificate is always an easy option as you won't have to worry about staying within the budget.

9. Travel Mug and Coffee

A nice travel mug and gourmet coffee is a gift that can be used all year. A travel mug also goes well paired with a gift card to your local coffee house.

10. Gift Card to Photo Studio

During the holidays people are often concerned about taking family photographs. Even if your budget only allows you to cover the sitting fee, if your recipient was planning to get pictures anyway it will be much appreciated.

11. Gift Card to Art Lesson(s)

As the New Year approaches people often want to try new things. Therefore, an art class couldn't come at a better time. Craft stores often have aft classes or you could look for a ceramic shop (where you pick a ceramic, paint it and the store personnel fire it for you). Alternatively, you could pick an art project and buy the supplies.

12. Music Player

A portable music player is always useful. However, given the budget of most Secret Santas you will probably have to buy a cheaper model.

13. CDs

It is difficult to choose music unless you already know the person's preferences, so I would probably stick with a gift card or wrap the gift receipt with the CDs.

14. Gardening Gift Basket

If your Secret Santa recipient has a green thumb then a gardening gift basket is the obvious choice. You could include gardening gloves, shovel and trowel, pruning sheers, seeds and/or a gift card to your local nursery.

15. Pizza Stone and Pizza Cutter

Who doesn't like pizza?

16. Sunday Bowls and Ice Cream Toppings

Fancy ice cream bowls, sprinkles and sauces are a fun indulgence. However, you could run into the same problem as I mentioned with the candy option. If your recipient has diabetes or is watching their weight this gift wont be too useful.

17. Video Game

If you know what gaming system your recipient uses, a video game is a good choice. Of if you are unsure what system they use you could always opt for a gift card.

18. Board Game(s)

The nice thing about this option is if you are handing the gifts out at a party you can all play the game when you are done opening presents. Cranium and Pit both make excellent party games.

19. Picture Frame(s)

Again, people take family photographs around the holidays. So if you give a picture frame it's just waiting to display that new holiday picture.

20. Sports Memorabilia

If your recipient is a sports fan odds are you know his favorite team. As they print sports logos on everything now you only have to decide what to give: shirts, bags, pencils, notepads, hats, and the list goes on.

21. Puzzle Book(s)

Sudoku is the latest puzzle craze. However, there are a variety of other puzzle options: crosswords, logic puzzles, word searches, etc. A couple of puzzle books should keep your puzzle fanatic busy through the holidays.

22. Flower or Plant

A potted plant or flower brightens up a person's environment. However, it would probably be best to choose something low maintenance unless you know your recipient has a green thumb.

23. Christmas Ornaments

As most Secret Santa gifts are exchanged before Christmas, Christmas ornaments or other Christmas decorations are always an option.

24. Sports Items

There are a variety of sports items that fall within the Secret Santa budget: golf balls and tees, baseballs, tennis balls. A Nerf basketball and hoop is a good choice for the reclining chair sports fan.

25. Nerf Dart Tag Guns

If you'd like to instill a juvenile spirit of fun, a couple of Nerf guns make a great gift, especially if your party location has plenty of room to run.

Whatever your choice, enjoy your holidays and don't waste the opportunity to dive into the spirit of Christmas. And again, good luck with your holiday shopping.


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      Budget Golf 7 years ago

      This is a great list. Wish I had read this hub before Christmas! Oh well, I will bookmark it for next year.