The Best Secret Santa Ideas

secret santa Taking part in the annual Secret Santa gift exchange makes for somewhat of a favoured platform for notoriously bad gift-givers to get a little bit of a helping hand, but if your terrible gift-giving ability is the reason behind you looking forward to a Secret Santa exchange, you’re really going about it the wrong way. This very thin veil of anonymity effectively gives ample leeway for terrible gift-givers to carry on being horrible at gift-giving as they know their rather uncreative approach to picking out gifts will never really be traced directly back to them.

Upon closer look however, the whole Secret Santa gift exchange concept reveals itself to be a lot more complex than what one might have initially thought, complicated mostly by the fact that the value of the gifts to be contributed to the exchange is capped at a certain level. If you cheat and go above the value cap then you’re further setting yourself up for some serious disappointment because you’re likely going to get a gift that falls within the set out the value parameters, which is then obviously cheaper than the one you bought.

On the other hand, going far too cheap with the gift makes for that notorious “err, thanks…I guess minefield” which just brings about a level of awkwardness nobody ever even wants to witness. Keep in mind that at the end of all the camaraderie, you will know exactly who was allocated the responsibility to source your gift in the same way that you’re going to be revealed as the chosen gift-giver for the name you picked.

It really isn’t all that bad though — all you really have to do is just apply a set of gift-giving principles which will make sure you always hit the nail on the head and actually make someone’s day.

Start with the Basics

Don’t be too quick to dismiss what are otherwise known to be generic gifts like coffee mugs and the like — hear us out first! Obviously you’re not just going to pick up any old coffee mug that looks like the after-thought it is on the way to the gift-giving ceremony, but the so-called generic gifts make for a great base from which to start.

So if you’re perhaps running a search on an e-commerce site, don’t search for terms like “gifts under 10.” Rather search for something like “items under 10.”

From there you’re going to effectively “build” or create a gift through personalisation.


This is what makes up the gist of the spirit of gift-giving — demonstrating that you put some thought behind picking the gift out. If it’s an office colleague for example, you have all the clues you need to personalise the gift, even if that gift’s personalisation comes in the form of demonstrating how thoughtful you are of them.

Remember that generic mug? How about a message of appreciation printed on it in the style of a programming algorithm if it’s for someone working in the IT department? An example of such printed mugs can be one of the customised gifts one can consider giving to a programmer. For an additional touch, you may include their favorite quote or a candid picture with the code. Not so generic after all, is it?

Find something which you can just personalise in a manner which keeps the total price within the allocated price cap.

Work place gift exchange

Courtney Lee
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Courtney Lee

I'm Courtney Lee and I love nothing more than shopping around and finding the best deals. I like all things beautiful and live with my cats and partner in a leafy suburb - living the dream!

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