For a decent proportion of us, Christmas means it’s Secret Santa season. Like a lottery of giving that almost inevitably disappoints. Given that I’ve been the victim of really disappointing Secret Santa rounds (I’ve been forgotten about once!) I’ve decided to take the hard work out of it by providing you guys with a fool-proof guide to awesome Secret Santa gifts for under £10.
As you’re no doubt aware, I’m an office-based employee so a lot of my experience of Secret Santa is with co-workers but I’ve tried to include all eventualities in this list. You should be able to find a present suitable out of the six best (and most interesting) that we’ve picked below.
THE PICKY TEA DRINKER
You know the ones. You dutifully go on your brew run and every other bugger is perfectly satisfied with the beverage you’ve served up. Except this one. This is the person who is very particular about their tea. Precisely one teaspoon’s worth of milk in a full mug, make it the same colour as the table and only fill it to a certain level. You know the one and you remember how your face dropped when you got them in the Secret Santa raffle.
The My Cuppa Tea Mug (£9.95 from Prezzybox) is the answer to your woes. It has a colour chart to allow you to accurately understand how they like their brew. It’s a classy, unoffensive number which plays to the lifeblood of any office. Caffeine.
THE OLD SCHOOL GAMER
This Plug and Play Retro TV Games Console from IWOOT has over 200 games on it – now if that isn’t enough bang for your buck (£8.95), then I don’t know what is. Pong, Space Invaders, and 198 other ways for your lucky giftee to re-live the 80s in all their glory. It’s an sure-fire winner if your Secret Santa nominee is male and over the age of 35, even if you don’t know them all too well. Would be great for others if you know that they’re into this sort of thing too.
That and you can also lump in a £1.00 scratchcard with it and have change from your tenner! Bonus.
THE APPOINTMENT MAKER
My mum is an appointment maker. She doesn’t actually make appointments, she just writes EVERYTHING in her diary. I’m trying to get into the habit because it’s handy, but I have two glaring flaws in my plan. The first is that I forget to bring the diary with me anywhere and the second is that when I’ve written things in the diary, I then forget to look at it. So whilst I go in with the best of intentions, this present is not one for me.
However if you do have a diary fiend in your life, then you can’t possibly go wrong with this beautiful A5 2017 Diary from Paperchase. An absolute steal at £8 and definitely a well-received present from the planners in your group. It’s just so pretty…
THE HARRY POTTER NERD
I don’t need to tell you how to spot these people. You know who they are because they won’t bleedin’ shut up about Harry Potter. It turns out, it’s not just for eleven year olds anymore. Adults are more into this than ever, and with the new spin-off film having just been released, they’re all showing their true colours again.
Whilst the Harry Potter fans will almost certainly have a lot of merchandise from their Wizarding World, I’ll bet they haven’t got a set of Hogwarts Playing Cards. Priced at under £6 from Truffle Shuffle, there’s no excuse to avoid indulging in their favourite past time. You’ve still got almost half your budget for a real present!
THE LADY YOU DON’T KNOW THAT WELL
The ultimate in short straw Secret Santa, you get the new girl. You had to ask who she was when you drew her name from the Santa hat. The one you speak to very infrequently (she’s probably part time and works in some obscure area of the office that you don’t really go) and BAM, you’re tasked with finding her a Christmas gift.
This is a fact of life: ladies love smellies. Nobody, ever, thinks you are saying they smell if you get them bathroom products and even if they can’t use them (some allergy to the ingredients) everyone will appreciate it. FACT. So this wonderful Shower Yourself in Happiness Gift Set from Boots is ideal. Under budget at £8, doesn’t preclude people based on whether they have a bath or a shower and it’s from the Sanctuary range, so you know it’s good stuff.
THE BIG KID (OR ACTUAL KID)
Finally, we have a present for the big kids. Or the little kids (though I think it’s weird to include children in Secret Santa!) if necessary. Bean Boozled has long been established as tonnes of fun for people of all ages who dare have a bash. A mixture of really nice and god awful jelly beans with a spinner dictating which ones you have to try. It’s simple, it’s fun and it’s sure to get a lot of laughs along the way.
The Bean Boozled Spinner Game (£9 from Next) is clearly aimed at children, but I have seen groups of adults go nuts for this. Respectable professionals trying jelly beans that taste of vomit. You can’t possibly lose with this as a Secret Santa gift for younger people or anyone you know who has a family. Just make sure you request a video of your recipient having a go!