A cheat’s guide to Secret Santa

Secret Santa Gift Guide
secret santa gift selection

If you think office politics can be bad, it’s nothing on Secret Santa. December rolls around, you get given someone’s name who you may or may not have actually heard of and you need to get them a present. Whilst it’s all a bit of Christmas fun, sometimes, the presents you get are a bit shit. In fact, those with little faith my office can request that their present giver donates to charity instead. Luckily for me, our Secret Santa is within teams and with about 15 of us, it makes it a lot easier to work with as we all know each other quite well.

Here are a few things that are cheap, easy and not entirely shit to get your Secret Santa.

A mug
You can never have too many mugs in the office, right? Whilst I’m not a massive fan of being given mugs as a present when I actually have to have them in my own flat (my cupboards are now full and literally none of them match), you can actually buy a thoughtful mug knowing they never actually have to take it home. Whether it’s something marginally garish or one which will make an excellent storage solution for their pens, you can’t really go wrong.

A nice notebook
You know the type, the one where it’s *almost* too nice to write in and this one from Zabby Allen is always going to be that little bit jazzier than the one your office provides, right? Also, it’s a great chance to purchase from an independent retailer and spread the love this Christmas. If you’re from Leeds, hit up John Lewis as they have a section for local businesses too.

Fancy coffee or tea
We all know someone who’s a bit of a hot drinks snob, right? My work is struggling at the moment as we used to have a Costa over the road which has now relocated so caffeine cravings are at an all time high. Rombouts* do single cup filters which are ideal for those who regularly need a caffeine fix but aren’t a fan of instant, or for when everyone is skint after Christmas and decides that cutting out buying take out hot drinks is a money saver. They do them in different levels of roastiness (definitely the technical term) and in decaf. If your Secret Santa isn’t a coffee drinker however, a pug in a mug tea infuser and some loose leaf tea is the way forward – my best friend gave me my pug well over a year ago and it’s honestly the best thing she’s ever bought me.

Desk snacks
If your Secret Santa is prone to the mid-afternoon munchies (oh hello there, that would be me), putting together a box of snacks is both thoughtful and will most likely benefit the entire team at some point or another – adding value right there. A mix of healthy bits (Nakd bars, those weird fruit crisp things) and some treats (like the kind of biscuits your mum put in your pack up at school and Christmas chocolate), is perfect.

Something with comedy value
Everyone likes to poke fun when it’s anonymous, right? Working in social media, I’m a pretty easy target (‘Oh you work in social media, you tweet for a living, right?’) so any form of ‘motivational’ postcards, funny book or whatever is pretty easy to pick up for someone. Something that’s a bit relevant to the person can stop you heading over to the gift section of a department store and raiding the ‘joke’ presents that are all under a tenner.

A charitable donation
Even if your company doesn’t offer this straight up as an option, donating to a charity that you know is close to the heart of your colleague is one hell of a lot better when you’re seriously at a loss of what to buy them. That, or make a hefty donation to a food bank or homeless shelter.

So that’s my not so shit Secret Santa present gift guide. What would you suggest?

*I got sent some Rombouts coffee to include in this, that was nice of them, wasn't it?

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