No matter how many times you’ve done it, shopping for your Secret Santa’s gift never gets any easier, but hopefully these ideas will inspire you.
It’s that time of year again, and thanks to office politics you’ve found yourself in the position of having to buy a present for someone you’ve had a couple of awkward encounters in the café with and that’s about it. Oh, and there’s a £10 spending limit.
Buy something too naff and you’ll get dirty looks over the desk, go too overboard and you’re worried you’ll be the topic of office gossip. But worry not, because we come bearing Christmas cheer with our guide to the best secret Santa gifts for under £10.
If you don’t know the person at all
If you don’t know where to begin, let’s start with some ideas that would work for just about anybody.
A great idea for someone you’re unsure about is a gift card. It doesn’t have to be for a specific shop, because even that could be tricky for some people, but something like a ‘Love to shop’ voucher - which can be used in loads of different stores – would work.
This one’s a bit of a win-win too. A) you don’t have to trawl the high street for some unknown gift, and b) your secret Santa can spend the voucher on something they actually want.
Practical, useful, universal, how can you go wrong? Something like this is bound to come in handy, even if it’s just kept at work. Who knows, you might even get some credit for helping to keep them organised on the job. Bonus!
With your £10 you should be able to find something a little bit more special than your bog-standard pen or notebook, you might even be able to stretch to something personalised with their name, giving it that special touch and making you look extra thoughtful.
We’ve all got to eat, right? And with the colder weather and extra layers, we can all afford to indulge in our guilty pleasures that little bit more. A fancy box of chocolates or an extra-large selection box could really hit the sweet spot.
Plus, at this time of year, something from the drinks aisle is bound to go down a treat. Even if you end up buying something that’s not your secret Santa's favourite, they’re bound to know someone who enjoys it, so it won’t go to waste.
If you’ve hit the jackpot and pulled out the name of someone you know a little bit more from work, then present-buying might be easier for you, or it might just be your worst nightmare full stop. Panic not, let our ideas be your inspiration.
If you happen to know your secret Santa’s favourite sports team then why not buy them something with the logo on? It could be a mug, notebook, cushion or something as simple as a keyring, but the fact you’ve considered what they’re actually into will really make your gift stand out.
Maybe you sit opposite someone who re-applies their lipstick five times a day, then you know this is something they’ll definitely use. Do a bit of digging and try and find out what brand or shade they prefer. If you can’t, then a gift card for Boots or Superdrug along with a note should do the trick.
On the other hand, you might be clueless when it comes to names, shades or brands but you know someone is really into their beauty products or goes to the gym every morning before work. The gift card and note would still do the same job and could really make someone’s day.
Have you pulled the office joker’s name out of the hat? If you know your secret Santa is up for a laugh and won’t take offence, your £10 might be well spent on something to give the office a laugh.
On gift-buying sites like Firebox and FindMeAGift.com you can filter your search according to both price and genre of gift. You’ll find all sorts ranging from ‘miracle hair growth soap’ to ‘toilet football’, so let your inner comedian run wild. Better still, the novelty gift market is usually pretty cheap!
Yes, this works for the more general gift, but also for people you know fairly well. If you know what your secret Santa’s favourite chocolate bar is, you could spend the whole £10 on as many of them as you can afford. You’ll keep their snack tin full for a while and you know they’ll get pleasure out of it.
The same goes for any food or drink within budget. Maybe it’s a running joke that Mike from accounts has a pot noodle every day for lunch, then £10’s worth will save him his lunch money and is bound to get a laugh from your colleagues.
Why not help the environment while you’re at it?
Whether you know the person you’re buying for or not, something like a special bag for life or a fancy water bottle/flask is a great gift idea. You know it will get used, and at the same time you’re doing your bit for the environment.
There are so many options to choose from and there are plenty that fall under your £10 limit, and you could even stretch to a personalised bottle within your budget. Personalised, useful, and good for the environment, what more can you ask for?