The Ultimate Secret Santa Gift Guide

Hi everyone! Welcome back to A Teen Called Tara, or hello if you’re new! I hope you’re having a good weekend. It was meant to snow here, but no luck so far 😭

For the 7th day of Blogmas, I’m going to be sharing some Secret Santa gift ideas. I know how hard it is to buy for someone, especially if you don’t know them too well – maybe it’s a coworker, or a friend-of-a-friend you’re not very close with. Not to worry!

Here are some gift ideas I’ve come up with for if you have no idea what to get someone – and they’re all roughly under the £20 budget, but can easily be adapted for a slightly higher or lower price point. Without further ado, let’s get started!


1. Stuffed Stocking

This is something I used to do for all of my friends (before we started doing our Secret Santa instead). I’d make some DIY stockings, fill them with candy canes, nail polish, cute pens, maybe some makeup, and lots of other trinkets and small things. This way, you can give someone lots of little things that they will enjoy and/or use, but still keep it affordable. It also means you don’t have to only choose one perfect present – these stockings can have many things that people would love to receive for Christmas.

The benefits of doing this for more than one person is that you can buy in bulk. Buying a 6 pack of everything is definitely cheaper than many individual items. However, you can still totally make this work even if it’s just for one friend!

You can buy a stocking pretty cheaply in the supermarket, but something that’s even cheaper is making your own. Find some fabric, cut out two symmetrical shapes, and either hot-glue-gun or sew them together (there are dozens of tutorials on YouTube or elsewhere that will show you how to do this). You can add some white fluff at the top, and any other decoration you’d like.

Next, you just have to find some things to put in this stocking. These can be tailored to the person, but you can also stick with some general ideas:

  • Food – chocolate coins, homemade brownies/cookies, candy canes, etc.
  • Drink – hot chocolate packages, tea bags, marshmallows, or even a Starbucks gift card if you have a little more to spend
  • Beauty – you can find some good deals in Boots with their 3 for 2 – makeup, skincare, body wash, hand sanitizer, perfume, face masks, and other things are always good
  • As a teen girl, some of the things my friends would love to receive include lip balm, scrunchies, nail files, highlighters, keyrings, etc.

You can really go to town with this. It depends on your budget, but this can be a small-scale with a few cute items or a big thing if you have a lot more money.

I decided to put together an example for something I might give one of my friends, so here’s what it includes and the rough cost of it!

Estimated cost: £20

~ £5 for the Body Shop Rich Plum hand cream

~ £2 for the Topshop necklace (on sale)

~ £4 for the S letter from Marks & Spencers

~ £1.50 for the Cadburys Caramel Bar

~ £6.29 for the Yankee candle (on sale right now!)

~ extra for stocking fabric, tissue for any fragile gifts, and anything else (extra small chocolates to fill space, confetti, etc.)

2. Useful Gifts

There are some things that every person will need, no matter who they are. Here are some ideas of practical things you might want to pick up for someone:

  • Power bank – these are so useful, and you really can never have too many. If your phone runs out of juice, having one of these with you will give you some extra charge so you can enjoy your day/night out and still get home safely. Even if you don’t know what kind of phone they have, these are pretty universal and will work on almost any phone (even if they need some kind of adapter).
  • Phone case – if you do know what kind of phone they have, you might want to consider buying a phone case. This can sometimes be a bit of a personal thing, and people are often picky about their cases, but if you know the person’s favourite colour or you see a print you know they’ll love, this is always a good bet.
  • Hot water bottle – I don’t know a single person who wouldn’t want this! These are fairly cheap and come in a lot of different designs. If you prefer, you could buy a microwavable heat pad (I have an owl one and I love it) or even some microwavable hand warmers if they’re out and about in the cold often.
  • Room diffuser – not sure about you, but I don’t think this is something most people would buy for themselves. So go and do it for them! Everyone loves a nice-smelling room or office. There are some lovely scents out there, and depending on where you look these can be pretty affordable. Christmas scents are always nice, whether you go with gingerbread, pine, cranberry, etc.
  • Apron – again, not something people would probably buy for themselves. But these make you feel so fancy and special, so it’s a great gift idea. There are tons of funny ones out there too, or beautiful patterns but still for very good prices.

3. Personalized Gifts

There’s nothing like a personalized gift, and these can be achievable even if you don’t know the person at all. Here are some ideas…

  • Bookmarks – if you’ve ever bumped into them in Waterstones, or you saw them with their nose in a book at lunchtime, this is something very affordable but also thoughtful. You can personalize it with their name, or buy one themed around their favourite fandom (maybe you happened to catch which book they were reading!).
  • Mugs – a timeless classic. People think these are boring but in reality everyone would love their initial on a mug to drink from every morning. If you have the budget, fill it with some tea bags or other hot drink of their choice, and you’ll be good to go.
  • Wrapping paper – seems weird, but I actually received a roll of wrapping paper with my name all over it once and I was so happy!! If you’re doing your Secret Santa early enough in the month then they can wrap all of their gifts for others in paper with their own name on it! Alternatively, you can wrap their other gifts in it 😂 This one is definitely bound to be popular with any joker.
  • Sheet music – if they’re a musician, this is a great option. You can find sheet music very cheaply from places in your local area, or you can order some online. I’d recommend Christmas music as a good place to start, as it’s appropriate to the season but also something that everyone will love!
  • Ask their friends – if you’re buying for a friend-of-a-friend, simply ask them. Give them a hint in conversation, and they’ll most likely supply you with some great ideas. Maybe they want a gift card to their favourite cafe, or they’re really into Harry Potter and would love some themed items. No doubt they’ll be very happy, and pleasantly surprised, to receive something so accurate from you!
  • Cameo – this website basically lets you ask an actor to send you a personalized video message! If you know your recipient’s favourite TV show, have a look on Cameo to see if any of the actors from that show are offering their services. If they are, you just pay the given price and tell them what you’d like them to say! Then, on the day of the Secret Santa, load up the video and hit play. They’ll be delighted! ❤ (y’all, just found Eden Cupid from The Umbrella Academy for $5 on Cameo!!)

4. Gift Hamper

If the Stuffed Stocking from earlier isn’t up your alley, don’t worry. You can always make a good old-fashioned hamper! There are so many different types of hamper, but here are some themes you might want to consider:

  • Movie Night – this has to be one of my favourites! Find a basket, and load it with every movie snack you can think of – popcorn, sweets/candy, gummies, drinks, etc. You’re also going to want some DVDs to put in here, and you can find these for great prices in supermarkets (second-hand is also fab!). If you don’t know what films they enjoy, stick some Christmas classics in there – Home Alone and Miracle on 34th Street are good ones, and my all-time favourite would have to be Nativity (and Nativity 2… because David Tennant).
  • Colours – pick a colour, any colour. If you happen to know their favourite colour, that’s always a good place to start, but if not it really doesn’t matter! Find any item you can in this colour – for example, green sweets, green crisps, green shower gel, green gum… you get the idea. You get an awesome effect at the end by seeing all these colour-coordinated items together in the hamper.
  • Favourite Chocolate – imagine having a gift basket full of your favourite chocolate… I’m thinking an Oreo one is the way to go here. Oreos (in every flavour), mini Oreos, Oreo thins, Cadburys Oreo bars… (just found out Tesco has an Oreo Christmas Tin and I’m very happy)

5. Miscellaneous

Finally, here is a rapid-fire list of a bunch of miscellaneous items that might catch your eye:

  • Metal straws
  • Jigsaws (or other games! I just love jigsaws ahaha)
  • Gift cards
  • Books, book sleeves or even book ends
  • Slippers or warm socks
  • Tea lights
  • Notebooks, planners and diaries
  • Hats, scarves, earmuffs, gloves…
  • Room decor – cushions, trinkets, posters, etc.
  • Makeup brush cleaner
  • Grand Ferrero Rocher – just because 😍 (make sure they don’t have any nut allergies though!)

And there we have it! Dozens of ideas for your Secret Santa this year. I really hope you found this post helpful, and that you’re now fully prepared with gift ideas! If you have any other budget suggestions be sure to leave them in the comments below 😄

Thank you so much for reading! Have a brilliant evening, and I will see you all soon. Bye for now!

Tara x

7 thoughts on “The Ultimate Secret Santa Gift Guide

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