That time of year again, when someone in the office/friend group/extended family decides the best thing to do is pick random names out of a hat and allocate someone you barely know to be the one you’ve to pick a perfect present for. Oh yeah, and ridiculously small budget to do it in. Sometimes this can be brilliant – if you know the person well, if theres a running joke or you know they have a particular interest. Other times, this spells one thing and one thing only: absolute hell. In that vein, here are some ideas for epic Secret Santa gifts within a fifteen euro budget (the average from what I’ve seen) – these could also be good for those gifts for people you don’t really know but have to have something small for anyway.
This one initially seems easy – girls are presented with a million and one sets of makeup, bath stuff and general smell-nice things at this time of year. However, not only can it feel slightly like people are trying to give you a message when you’ve gotten 20 soap sets for Christmas, but theres also the element of not knowing if they’ve got sensitive skin/can’t stand the smell of Lavender/don’t have a bath to use those bath bombs in. So, in lieu of the obvious girly sets, here are some suggestions that will appease most people, while also appeasing your budget.
For your tea loving friend, this really cute tea for one set might be just the ticket – it comes with English Breakfast tea, but with change from 15 euros, you can probably splash out on the packet of Barry’s to go with it. It’ll look cute in any kitchen!
For the shopaholic in your life who may be a tad in denial (if you don’t know one, it may just be you), there’s a place to stash all those receipts which “don’t exist if you don’t think about them”.
There’s nothing quite like a girly night in with wine and chat, so a gift suggestion list would be nothing if it didn’t at least refer to that in one way or another. Everyone knows it’s important to keep wine constantly cool so give this glass a try – it should be a hit!
This mug might be ideal for the friend who has a good sense of humour – and a mug drawer preferably where his Mammy won’t come across it. It’s bound to get a laugh (and potentially lead to slagging) and will definitely be something different to add to their kitchen.
If you know someone who loves to create controversy (not in a mean way, rather just to poke a bit of fun), then this small gift may be for them – this one is definitely not suitable for most workplaces, but makes a great novelty giggle. It’s also functional as a wooden spoon if the recipient hasn’t gotten it hung in pride of place at home. As it’s a bit of a cheap one (I found it in one gift shop in town for 3 euro), it might make a nice add-on to a small gift.
I myself am a self-confessed stationary fiend. Back in the heady days where A-Wear took pride of place in Cork, myself and a college friend were often found lounging around their Paperchase department, admiring all of the pretty notebooks, the pens, the cases, the everything. It’s loss is mourned to this day, but my stationary obsession hasn’t abated, despite having feck all reason for it these days. If you’ve got similar friends though, this list may give you a few hints towards things that will make them joyous.
These scented markers are something a little different for the stationary lover in your life. Bright colours and lovely scents, who could ask for more? Better still, they’re part of the Boots 3 for 2 so you can pick up a few other bits and get a bargain!
For that friend who loves stationary but could maybe do with getting their busy life under control, try This Diary – the lovely people at Busy B have created a diary which allows you to keep two parts of life separately organised but all in one place, with a double page spread per week which allows you to keep track of two things at once; work and family, personal life and blogging, your double identity – the possibilities are endless.
I discovered the Happy Jackson range a year or two ago, and it always tends to make me smile, while also being really affordable stationery. For the organised friend in your life, this book of sticky notes may stir up a smile, perhaps combined with this funny pencil case or this notebook with great aspirations. You can even combine two and still be under budget, while filling a friend with all of the stationary joy!
The music fan can be hard to buy for on a budget – they’ve likely got the music stuff they love, concert tickets aren’t exactly cheap, and some tastes can be harder to cater to than others. Let’s not even start on the potential music snobbery which can exist.. This lot might get you out of a pickle within budget however!
Know a Beyonce fan? This wall print of Single Ladies – showing you exactly how to shake it to the dance – may be cherished in their home! If nothing else, it is a definite talking point for anyone who comes to visit!
Cuff links can be a good go to present for guys who feel like getting a bit dapper from time to time. These vinyl record cuff links should put a smile on your music fans face, as they’re something quirky but matching their tastes without breaking the bank.
In a similar vein, this music note scarf can be worn all year long, allowing the wearer to express their personality while not being overbearing about it (the rest is up to them). The colours pretty much go with everything, and should make someone very happy this Christmas (as well as your bank balance).
Ah, the Chocoholic. Every office has at least one, as does every friend group. Normally found with a few squares of dairy milk, and is always the one to grab the chocolate biccies on the way over for a tea and chat session. Nonetheless, it’s a little unimaginative to just fling a selection box their way (though, it IS the season), so here are some different ideas for the chocolate lover who you’re trying to figure out a gift for this year.
I found these Chocolate Pizzas last year when I was looking for something different for OH on his birthday, they were on sale in Brown Thomas at the time and I thought they were ingenious as well as delicious! Definitely something different even if there is a bit of effort involved from the recipient, in particular with the make your own variety!
If your chocolate lover also loves to bake, then this recipe mug for chocolate brownies might be right up their alley! These come in a variety of different recipes, but the chocolate brownie one looks divine and is an absolute bargain!
I spotted this Nutella Recipe Book in the shop the other day and could instantly think of a few friends who would make great use of it – lots of Nutella chocolatey recipes to try out for all the yummy goodness! In addition, Nutella have followed in the footsteps of Coca Cola in personalising their packaging (available at the moment in Brown Thomas for €5.50, or by sending off to Nutella online for one free of charge to add to your jar), so this combined with a named jar might make the perfect present for a Nutella fan!
So, there we have it – a guide to some not-run-of-the-mill secret santa gifts, which will hopefully help you as you plan your gift buying this festive season!
Whats the best present you’ve ever gotten from a Secret Santa or a small present exchange, and what’s the worst? Let me know in the comments below!
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