Secret Santa Gifts Tips and Advice

by Tracy · 0 comments

There are three types of people when it comes to Secret Santa exchanges. The first type goes all out and makes it their mission to learn everything there is to know about their giftee so as to get the best possible present possible. The second couldn’t be less enthusiastic and picks up the first thing under $15 that is in gift packaging at the drugstore on their way in to work that morning. However, the vast majority of us are somewhere in the middle: we want to make our recipients happy, but let’s be real, we’re busy enough during the holidays without having to pick out the perfect under $15 gift for Bob in accounting.

Here are a few tips and some advice to finding a nice gift on a budget for Secret Santa:

1. Don’t stress about it too much, this is secret Santa not a marriage proposal. If you can knock it out of the park, fine but if not, is it really going to matter a year from now? Or even two days from now?

2. That said, don’t be like Shirley of the infamous dollar store purple plastic deviled egg tray from a job I had a decade ago. People will remember if you go outrageously cheap and thoughtless. In general, the less you want/can spend on a gift, the more thought you’ll have to put into it.

3.  If you’ve no idea what your recipient likes or their personality, go safe.  Stay away from anything mildly risqué, religious in nature or giving alcohol.

4. Stick close to the spending limit! If you go over, you risk showing everyone up and if you go significantly under, you risk looking cheap and making your recipient feel cheated. Keep in mind, this is more to do with the perceived value of the gift so don’t worry if you find an awesome deal on something that normally costs around your spending limit.

5. Secret Santa gifts are notorious for being useless clutter, so try to choose things that are consumable or easily regiftable. A porcelain figure of a hippos dressed as elves ice skating is neither.

6. Gift cards might seem like a cop out, but I think there is nothing wrong with them for Secret Santa exchanges as long as you put some thought into it. Choose places that your recipient often patronizes and where a $10 or 15 card can actually buy something! A local coffee shop, deli or even a fast food restaurant would work well.

7.  Some good generic gifts are: coffee mugs/water bottles/travel mugs, small accessories for a car such as a cleaning kit or emergency flashlight, candles, candy that you know your recipient likes, gourmet cooking ingredients like fancy salt if your recipient cooks, board games and picture frames.

8.  Don’t spend too much on the gift wrap! It’s perfectly acceptable to recycle gift bags or if you don’t have any from last year, to buy gift wrap at the dollar store.

9.  A short, handwritten note in the card that says something nice about the person and why you enjoy working with them is a very nice and welcome touch.

10.  If your recipient seems disappointed, don’t sweat it. As long as you didn’t go out of your way to do a bad job, it’s fine. After all, how many of us have a hard time buying for our own parents or spouses? Don’t let it get to you, remember point one, it’s not going to matter a year from now.

11.  And if you’re disappointed by your gift, ditto. Don’t waste energy thinking about how much you put into the gift you gave only to get a Big Mouth Billy Bass or wonder why somebody would give another grown person reindeer antler earmuffs. Just find a way to give it to somebody who would enjoy it and let go because it’s not worth stewing over. Even if you did get a 99 cent purple plastic deviled egg tray.

Bonus Tip:

You can seriously cut your Internet and TV costs. Find a Verizon FiOS promotion code here and you might be able to spend less every month.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: