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Thought LeadersLast-Minute Secret Santa Gifts that Are Friendly to the Wallet

Last-Minute Secret Santa Gifts that Are Friendly to the Wallet


As Christmas swings around once more, people across the country are once again scrabbling to secure their Christmas gifts before the rush and inevitable ‘sold out’ signs on high streets and websites alike. It can be easy to fall behind on the preparations, and Secret Santas are no different – sharing events which creep up out of the blue, and can leave you rushing around looking for the perfect gift below the spending limit with hours to go. What are the best gift ideas for a last-minute Secret Santa shop? Here are just a few tips:


What better gift than the gift of life? Houseplants have become a cultural phenomenon in recent years, as Gen X, millennials and Gen Z alike adorn their homes with flora for a bright touch and a sense of light responsibility. Of course, not everyone is suited to the houseplant life, and some are harder to look after than others. Succulents and cacti are beautiful and very difficult to kill, making them a brilliant Secret Santa gift for even the most disorganised of friends and colleagues.

Board Games

Board games are an excellent, inexpensive choice for a Secret Santa gift. Everyone loves a good board game, and gifting one gives your group the opportunity to play it together once all the gifts have been unwrapped. There are more board games available now than ever before, in a range of niches and difficulties. You can’t go wrong with a good game of Travel Scrabble, but if your Secret Santa giftee is a little nerdier, small independent board games are easy to find and will get you endless kudos.


Chocolates are the perennial Christmas gift, especially for last-minute shoppers: ever-giving, near-universally loved and diverse enough to meet specific tastes for a thoughtful touch. For those with a penchant for luxury, gift them a box of chocolate truffles; for those with an even sweeter tooth, raid a traditional sweet shop for a jar of bon-bons or even a pick-n-mix selection. And for those with a more refined taste, lean into artisanal dark chocolates, and gift a bar or two of 80% cocoa. And for those with a more refined taste, why not indulge them with an exquisite chocolate and wine hamper? With a carefully curated assortment of artisanal dark chocolates and a selection of fine wines, this hamper is sure to delight their sophisticated palate and create a truly indulgent Christmas experience.

DIY Gifts

You cannot get much more heartfelt than a gift you have made with your own two hands, and putting something together from scratch can also be light on your wallet. If you and your Secret Santa recipient go back a while, you can draw upon years of good memories and experiences to put something personal together, such as a photo album populated with pictures from your last year together, or a scrapbook of memories including pictures, ticket stubs and written entries. The DIY approach can work even with recipients you’re less familiar with; put a mini kit together like a mug with some tea sachets or hot chocolate inside, or make an ornamental light out of a mason jar and battery-powered fairy-lights. Creativity is key!

Comedy Gifts

If all else fails, comedy is a sure-fire thing to fall back on when approaching Secret Santa with a tight budget. Whether your Secret Santa is with work colleagues or old friends, you will have years of in-jokes and humour between you – something you can leverage to buy something truly unique for your given Secret Santa. If a specific in-joke doesn’t jump out at you, or you don’t know the recipient too well, a safe bet can be found in the novelty section of most stationers and toy shops, from humorous printed mugs to workplace classics like the expanding foam “grow-your-own” series.

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