I can't be the only person struggling to buy secret Santa gifts. So lets form a drop in help desk

(134 Posts)
Arisbottle Sat 08-Dec-12 18:12:03

My secret Santa gift receiver is a man which immediately makes it hard for me.

We are supposed to spend about £10 and buy four small gifts any ideas

He is in his 50s and spends all his time doing sport

Gumby Sat 08-Dec-12 18:13:51

4 small gifts?

Sod that

I'd get a nice bottle of merlot

ChunkyTurkeywiththetrimmings Sat 08-Dec-12 18:16:22

Have you tried in M&S? I too have a secret Santa, £10, bloke, early 30s, hockey/cricket player, & have seen that they do lots of 'stocking filler' type gifts & thought I might find something appropriate... Not guaranteed though, as I haven't actually been yet!! grin

ggirl Sat 08-Dec-12 18:16:46

why 4 small gifts?

TheCountessOlenska Sat 08-Dec-12 18:17:09

Bloody Hell - why would you make an already difficult and onerous task even worse by dividing it into four!

I agree with above poster, just buy one thing!

Arisbottle Sat 08-Dec-12 18:23:33

I agree about making it more difficult, it is a gift a day which seems to be the norm in schools as it has been like that every at all the schools I have worked in.

Usually if I get a man I do different bottles of ale. I was trying to be a little more imaginative.

Oreocrumbs Sat 08-Dec-12 18:29:25

I was going to suggest 4 miniture spirits/bottles of beer - the ones with the festive names!

Socks with the manes of the week on? - mon-thur only, with a note saying it is free choice on friday!

I'm not very imaginative blush

nilbyname Sat 08-Dec-12 18:29:39

Day one- a bottle of lucozade, next some paracetamol, next an eye mask, lastly a bottle of prosecco/wine?

chicaguapa Sat 08-Dec-12 18:31:29

Not helpful for OP but Paperchase has a bendy straw kit to make a really long straw for a tenner which I thought would make a good Secret Santa present.

The stocking fillers in M&S would be suitable for OP so worth checking out.

Arisbottle Sat 08-Dec-12 18:33:19

Thanks, I am shopping online as you suggest ideas.

Some paracetamol the day after our Christmas do may be an idea!

aladdinsane Sat 08-Dec-12 18:35:41

Mine is £10 and a woman, 50ish. Dont really know her but she is married, has a dog, and wears tons of make up but is not feminine at all
Am really stuck
Do I get her make-up
For a sporty man you can get a nice base-layer top in sports direct for £9.99
Or running gloves, drinks bottle

OhYouMerryLittleKitten Sat 08-Dec-12 18:35:45

I need a present for £4 please. For people who have far more taste than me but are all on diets.

OhYouMerryLittleKitten Sat 08-Dec-12 18:36:57

Aladdin, what about a floaty scarf, or hand warmers for when she's walking the dog. Maybe a pair of mittens? Or a hip flask.

BertieBotts Sat 08-Dec-12 18:39:02

If anyone you're buying for has a dog this is great - just got it for my colleague after a tip off on another thread grin


I also saw a great "generic bloke gift" last night at the school christmas fair - get a pint glass, buy plain black socks, stuff into main part of glass. Buy plain white flannel and stuff into top of glass - pint of beer and socks!

BertieBotts Sat 08-Dec-12 18:40:30

There's also the old MN classic self-stirring mug! Robert Dyas have a glass one for a fiver, the steel one is (or was, anyway) in WHS for £10.

Arisbottle Sat 08-Dec-12 18:40:44

Lol at the description of your secret Santa as " wears tonnes of makeup but not feminine "

I have found some golf themed gifts, he does run as well. I tend to send about £4 a day so go over budget. Life is too short though to hunt for £1 or £2 gifts.

reastie Sat 08-Dec-12 18:41:28

We have a £5 limit on the present but in the week before we have to drop special 'things' into the secret santas post tray, which apparently should be non monetary value tokens hmm . Got really stuck with that one, I've bought some choc buttons and I have a mini Molton Brown free sample bottle I'm going to use, but any other ideas would be good.

I have a female secret santa and I've got her a pair of socks and I've hand sewn a felt christmas decoration for her. I know it's boring but there's a limit what you can do with £5.

OP I would get one big present worth £10 and since you have to give one present a day for 4 days, the first 3 days I'd wrap an empty box up or a few layers of wrapping paper and just put a note inside saying something about it'll be worth the wait wink

Arisbottle Sat 08-Dec-12 18:41:32

I am hoping that my buyer gets me the texts from a dog book, I love it.

BertieBotts Sat 08-Dec-12 18:41:54

Looks like it is still on offer - they have some quite funny things in their "gadget shop" which seems to be new this year? Well done and not too overpriced, which is unusual for them. grin


Day One - crackers
Day 2 - chutney
Day 3 - small bottle wine
Day 4 - stilton

AuntieMaggie Sat 08-Dec-12 22:49:26

Sainsburys have money off their xmas stuff and I picked up some reduced gifts today...

TaffyandTeenyTaffy Sat 08-Dec-12 22:52:21

No good for you but I bought a £2.99 santa cookie jar from the range and filled it with packs of mini cookies/oreos/animals/iced gems etc. Went down very well at our party as we were waiting ages for our meal and getting quickly sloshed on the free wine!!!

franticallyjugglinglife Sat 08-Dec-12 22:57:10

I bought [[ http://www.johnlewis.com/231801111/Product.aspx?SearchTerm=Champagne+stopper this]] for my £5 secret Santa today. We have one, and it is a very useful gadget!

birthdaypanic Sat 08-Dec-12 22:57:39

So glad we don't do secret santa. This year my dgs nursery are doing it, I have never heard of this.
Every child asked to take in one present each year group told what gift must be e.g. chocs, smellies etc. Children can then choose up to 5 gifts for family members at a cost of £2 each gift. Parents have to send pre-written gift tags with the money, the children will then be allowed to choose the gifts which will be wrapped for them and given to the children to hide at home and give out on Christmas day. WTF the children are 3 and 4 years - difficult for them to choose gifts. Also asking a child of 3 to hide a present until Christmas day is asking a lot and what about Santa wont the children wonder why they have to hide them and hand them out and not Santa. Find it all very strange.

franticallyjugglinglife Sat 08-Dec-12 22:57:42

Gah! try again!

GreatCongas Sat 08-Dec-12 23:24:27

4 things?

BadIdeaGenes Sat 08-Dec-12 23:33:23

I'd love help with mine!

She's my flat mate, 24 y/o and a midwifery student who likes owls. Our budget is £7.50 (there was a disagreement between whether it should be £5 or £10)

Any ideas would be greatly received smile

Arisbottle Sat 08-Dec-12 23:56:02

lol Great congas.

Have now got my gifts, hope others get the help they need.

cityangel Sun 09-Dec-12 00:26:19
cityangel Sun 09-Dec-12 00:35:10
ByTheWay1 Sun 09-Dec-12 08:25:29

we had our meal last night and my Secret Santa gift was loved - and coveted - and I wanted it myself....

Just a jar of smiles from Thorntons (was even free 'cos I bought 2 presents for family there) - in a fabric bag I made with loads of sparkle and ribbons and a big lush bow..

That jar sounds lovely.

I bought my recipient bed socks from Matalan. They have lots of lovely socks, pjs etc. and a mug with hot chocolate, marshmallows all tied up in cellophane - truth be told I won that in a raffle last week but I think she will like it.

SamsGoldilocks Sun 09-Dec-12 08:52:42

We did a pound shop secret Santa - I gave 2pairs of false eyelashes. (poundland had lots of sally hansen nail varnish and nail art bits too)

Best gift given was an led coaster for 99p from store 21. When you put a drink on the coaster it lights up your drink and changes colour. Brilliant.

parsnipcake Sun 09-Dec-12 11:33:10

Anyone got any ideas for me? We are doing a family secret Santa with a 'homemade' theme, where you are allowed to spend £10 on materials. Somehow the baby was included and he has to produce a gift for dd (12) who has ASD and learning difficulties. I am thinking along the lines of homemade play dough, because he could help stir it etc and they could lay with it together, but does anyone have a better idea? ( she is more like a 5 year old than 12 yr old).

Homemade playdough sounds an excellent idea! Or maybe a mixing bowl and the stuff to make fairy cakes, sprinkles, writing icing etc. Ok it's not homemade but it WILL be homemade when she makes the fairy cakes!

pinkpinkeverywhere Sun 09-Dec-12 16:31:25

If anyone has ideas for a £1 secret santa i'd be appreciative. I'm quite good with ideas normally but not for £1. Male and female recipients..... Looking forward to hearing from more imaginative people than me!

icclebabyjesusheave Sun 09-Dec-12 16:34:36

Every year I cheat. As I always buy some stuff from Boots for the family, I always get my secret santa in the 3 for 2 section so it costs me nowt.


SamsGoldilocks Sun 09-Dec-12 18:27:45

Pink see my post above. One of the other recipients got a make up bag and another a snow globe -all from 99p shops.

UniS Sun 09-Dec-12 18:59:14

4 modest boxes of chocs.

I have a student on placement as my SS this year. I'm getting them one large box of chocs.

UniS Sun 09-Dec-12 19:00:21

£1 ideas... poundland is your friend, and chocolate. A big toberone looks more impressive than most.

PenguinBear Sun 09-Dec-12 19:26:39

I have to buy for a young girl at work. She's 18 and loves leopard print. Budget is £8, any ideas? smile

Arisbottle Sun 09-Dec-12 19:29:49

I bet you could get a set of lip glossed for £8. I bet the Boots 3 for 2 will be your friend

DPs 19 year old cousin is our family secret santa this year. HELP! I have only met her twice!

Shes studying civil engineering at uni and is a regular church goer so I dont really want to get her a silly present. The budget is £15!

Mutt Sun 09-Dec-12 19:55:07

PenguinBear - get her the MN scarf.


LoganMummy Sun 09-Dec-12 21:25:48

I always find scratchcards work well, especially if you have just £1 or so to stick to.

I hate secret santas; this year when I plunged my hand into the sack, the name I drew out was .................

...... my own.

And I still don't know what to get. confused

Is anybody any good at candles or incense? I have a slightly older hippy-esque lady, she is single, lives with her older son and is into all things mysterious and dark - like an older goth ha ha

It's a £10 limit and I'd like it to be relatively thoughtful - but have no ideas about oils or candles or incense, nothing tacky

Arisbottle Sun 09-Dec-12 22:09:23

TK Maxx is the place to go for candles.

19 year old: 15 pounds -

Topshop voucher
Starbucks voucher in a mug with a chocolate coin and a candy cane
PJs - can never have too many PJs and fluffy socks as a teenager!
Waterstones voucher and a bookmark
Knickers and socks from Topshop or Dotty P's
Hamper of cotton wool, hairspray, cleansing wipes, nail varnish remover etc

Tigresswoods Sun 09-Dec-12 22:19:02

2 words: scratch cards

Not Secret Santa but I need a couple of really cheap 'token gesture' presents for:

- 18 month old boy
- 6 year old boy
- man into jogging
- woman - clever and glam

UniS Sun 09-Dec-12 22:20:53

19 year old church going civil engineer.
-Body shop ( or similar ) hand cream/ body butter & similar bits.
- Fair trade snacky hamper.

UniS Sun 09-Dec-12 22:22:02

small "token pressie for 6 yr old boy - LEGO. from a mini figure ( £1.99) upwards , most 6 yr olds will be delighted.

Thanks Uni. He has loads of Lego though and I don't know which sets he's got.

DillyTante Sun 09-Dec-12 22:28:45

Story Cubes £10. Great for you kids. Apparently great for adults when drunk too!

DillyTante Sun 09-Dec-12 22:29:19

young kids

Anifrangapani Sun 09-Dec-12 22:30:53

Manchester Art gallery has some great things in the £5-10 range. Iwas spoilt for choice. Obviously no good if you are not near Manchester.
MOSI also has some fab bits.

FlojoHoHoHo Sun 09-Dec-12 22:32:21

Marks place as I know this is coming up soon.

Thanks remus and UniS. smile

Carpediem2007 Sun 09-Dec-12 22:37:51

I have a 5 1/2 y DS, and any pen (angry bird) or stationery items is 'awesome' apparently. Bought angry bird stationery set and an angry bird pen for a atoken present for his friends and he was very envious so had to go back and get him one too, they had cost £1.29 each in a bargain home shop. Also loves glitery pens, any sticky tape, and pencils sharpeners. these are cheapand lots of nice choice.
We have lots of lego and he still loves getting extra lego stes of any size or theme.
18 m, maybe a bath toy or chunky book?
Man into jogging: running gloves/sport bottle/running socks/hat/shower gel/headphones
Woman: hand cream, body lotion, bath bomb/salt- Boots/Sainsburys/Tescos all have cheap sets

Carpediem2007 Sun 09-Dec-12 22:39:24

Cath Kidson cups cost £5 in Waitrose, I got this for my secret santa at work a woman in her 50s. Exceptionally I staid within budget (£5)

Thank you. Bath toy a great idea - will do that.
Running man - bought him nearly all of those things last year, but I suppose you can never have too much shower gel!

thegreylady Sun 09-Dec-12 22:52:24

paperchase has some gorgeous owl themed stuff

toomuch2young Sun 09-Dec-12 22:59:03

I have a 50 year old guy nice chap, only real hobby seems to be drinking as is a workaholic!
Do I just buy vodka? Or is that naff?
Budget £10 'ish'

owlface Mon 10-Dec-12 12:18:21

I have a 50 year old lady who is lovely, glamorous and if it wasn't over the £5 budget I'd be getting her SwarowskI jewellery as I know she loves it. Does anyone have any ideas please? She also likes history, family, healthy food.

Thank you for the TK Maxx heads up!

Idocrazythings Mon 10-Dec-12 17:45:36

You could get the sporty/ joggy people a box of jelly babies or some of the fancy energy gels? A little jar of Vaseline for mens chafed nipples from running? A quick dry micro fibre towel, little light you put on your arm for visibility, hi-vis beanie, special shoelaces that you don't have to tie up…

devonsmummy Mon 10-Dec-12 17:57:33

Any ideas please for a 40year old golf a holic?
I've done the joke golf ball, towel & novelty chicks before?
Am totally stuck
Budget 10-15£

devonsmummy Mon 10-Dec-12 17:58:31

Novelty chocs - not chicks!

mumzy Mon 10-Dec-12 18:03:49

Lidl do a nicely packaged mini panettone for 99p, primark do fun gloves/ socks for £1 and poundland do good diaries for £1

mumzy Mon 10-Dec-12 18:05:20

Saw an owl shaped lip balm in Accessorize recently

GlaikitFizzogTheChristmasElf Mon 10-Dec-12 18:10:04

When I got the Italian man at my work the organiser looked at my sympathetically, but he has been the easiest SS I have ever had! I got him a herb garden window box and a set of herb chopping scissors! He loves to cook and lives in a flat!

Great ideas for The Running Man. Thanks, Crazy. smile

Kelly281 Mon 10-Dec-12 19:32:40

I'm beginning to panic about my SS this year. We had to buy 'a mug for a mug', limit around £5. We were all buying these from Amazon at lunchtime, and my colleagues convinced me this monstrosity was excellent for my SS.

I'm now fretting that the lady will be completely offended! It looks awful blush. Would you be mortified opening this? Everyone else will be opening similarly 'humorous' mugs....

Please, please tell me that you are joking.

reastie Mon 10-Dec-12 19:47:07

Thanks Kelly now next time DH goes on amazon he'll see that in my recently viewed things the shove pictures up of and wonder what on earth I've been thinking wink

scottishmummy Mon 10-Dec-12 20:17:26

Kelly that mug is really vile.I simply couldn't give that to someone

Kelly281 Mon 10-Dec-12 20:20:42

I know, it really is! I would absolutely never have bought that of my own accord, my initial thought was Cath Kidston or Disney! I was caught up the hilarity of it all, I'm afraid.

I really don't think I could watch her open that, but what on earth do I do with it now? I don't want to keep it either! confused

carlywurly Mon 10-Dec-12 20:34:28

I have just bought my bah humbug recipient (who made it clear he just wanted the cash) 4 tins of half price Pringles from Tesco. I've gift wrapped them in a presentation box.
For him, food is the next best thing to cash, so I reckon I'm on to a winner grin

detoxdiva Mon 10-Dec-12 20:38:28

Agh help. I've been in my new job 6 days. I've met the girl I'm buying for once. Now that's a challenge grin

gail734 Mon 10-Dec-12 20:51:30

Can't believe there's actually a support thread for this. Every year, my husband's Secret Santa stress just about gives him a nervous breakdown. He's an anxious person and is convinced that everyone finds out who their "Santa" is and judges them brutally. He's dead paranoid so if I suggest, say, chocolates, he'll say "No, she's a bit tubby. She'll think I'm saying she's fat." Some nice bubble bath? Bath products? I might as well just tell her she smells, or that I'm the office perv and think about her in the bath! Bottle of wine = alcoholic and so on!

Catmint Mon 10-Dec-12 21:42:25

We did home made secret santa gifts, budget up to £5. Lots of lovely cookies, jams, christmas decorations etc...it was so exciting!

TeamSledward Mon 10-Dec-12 21:53:21

I got a plaket of Ann Summers white chocolate sperm in my Secret Santa sad

Chottie Mon 10-Dec-12 21:58:50

Kelly, please don't give that mug, it's just gross.

There are loads of cheap mugs in TKMax. I had to buy a SS and I bought a pretty china mug and put a Christmas tree decoration and a Santa chocolate inside.

lilibet Mon 10-Dec-12 22:05:09

Is this morally wrong?

My secret santa is a £5 budget and I have drawn a lovely woman at work who has recently become a gran. I have looked up her daughter on facebook and sent a message asking for a photo of her ds to put on a mug. The daughter knows me by sight from when she has been in work with the baby so we could all admire.

She hasn't replied to me but her status is open, would it be wrong to copy a photo from there without asking?

It would, wouldn't it?

TiaMariaandEggnog Mon 10-Dec-12 22:28:03

I wouldn't lilibet it's a really lovely idea, but if the daughter doesn't give permission I would try to think of something else

BonzoDooDah Mon 10-Dec-12 23:26:23

parsnipcake for baby to give DD -how about the ingredients to make a gingerbread house?
Recipe for gingerbread was on here somewhere, can buy icing, and loads and loads of different kinds of sweeties to decorate it with.
Then if you need to make something you can part make the house with the "help" of baby to giver DD a "kit" - walls and roof etc ready made - she just needs to assemble it with icing or something then decorate the walls - you can buy tubes of different coloured icing for about a quid in sainsb's etc.

WhenAChildIsBawnTigga Tue 11-Dec-12 09:06:39

I wrote a blog about bad/good depending on your pov gifts here - might give you some ideas.

shameless blog link

I hasten to add I have nothing to do with any of the companies link to and encourage you to price check before purchasing any of them should you be 'tempted' to buy!


zenaprincesswarrior Tue 11-Dec-12 10:34:37

Try this page for stocking fillers / secret santa ideas, has quite a few random gadgets and gizmo's - there's a chilli shaped bottle stopper from john lewis for £6?!

Hobbitation Tue 11-Dec-12 10:56:45

Ours was £10 - among friends not work people. I bought some M&S earmuffs for £9.50, they are quite fun but very wearable.

Madmog Tue 11-Dec-12 11:13:26

What a pain, having to get four gifts - Secret Santa is hard enough anyway. Maybe go with some of the suggestions here. Perhaps, buy a bottle beer or small one of wine, asprin can be the fun jokey gift to follow it. My Man would like the suggestion of four bottles of the alcoholic stuff.

I've got a £5 secret santa for a lady. I know she loves a bath so got her some nice bubble bath on offer and was going to get her some chocolate to make it up, but I've found out she doesn't like chocolate. Need to think of something else for £3 quick.

Madmog Tue 11-Dec-12 11:42:07

Kelly281, sat here with the flu and have to say you've lightened my spirits and I've had a good laugh at the mug. Not knowing the recipient it's hard to know how she will take it - I know just the man at work who would love it though.

MRSJWRTWR Tue 11-Dec-12 12:26:20

Help for DS1 (13) please. He has drawn the prettiest, most popular girl in the class. £5 and I have to meet him in town after school to get it (has to be handed in tomorrow). I am (he is) quite anxious to get it right.

owlface Tue 11-Dec-12 13:19:13

Lip gloss for the 13yo girl? Could also go round the beauty counters and get some perfume samples etc to make a little package.

Goldenjubilee10 Tue 11-Dec-12 13:21:50

Madmog I'm sitting here recovering from a stomach bug so can sympathise. How about a small bottle of wine to make it up.

MRS my teenage ds's are 17 and 15 so a little bit older but swear by anything from lush. They get something from there for every birthday, Christmas, or other party they are invited to.

My best buy has been book lights from m&s. ds3 (6) has one and sits for hours reading with it whether it's dark or not. They were £4 each and 3 for the price of 2.

TinTinsSexySister Tue 11-Dec-12 13:55:33

I've a £40 year-old single woman to buy for.

She likes going out and having a good time and is quite girly I'd say. She's quite secretive about her age and acts a lot younger (not in a bad way!).


TinTinsSexySister Tue 11-Dec-12 14:22:29


Just 40-years-old.

It's a £10 limit and it needs to be funny rather than nice, 'cos that's the sort of office I work in...

Madmog Tue 11-Dec-12 14:51:23

MRSJWRTWR, I have a daughter and so I'd say the suggestions of Lush (bath bombs) or lip gloss are ones - and what girl doesn't like chocolate.

MRSJWRTWR Tue 11-Dec-12 15:03:08

Great! Will suggest visiting Lush or/and Thorntons shop then.

Thanks all.

fridgepants Tue 11-Dec-12 15:14:14

I don't like 'novelty' things that are made especially for the Secret Santa dilemma - they're usually crap and a bit wasteful as they go to the charity shop come Boxing Day. 'Gift books' are usually the worst.

ethelb Tue 11-Dec-12 15:16:21

four beers surely?

You can get craft beers for around £2 each at Waitrose

13 year old girl - a yard of Jaffa Cakes, or a nice tin filled with Haribo.

3 pounds to go with bubble bath - hand cream? Oil for hair? Face mask?

ZumbaZara Tue 11-Dec-12 18:29:36

I received a really good gift that might inspire you. It was a jar with all the ingredients for Christmas cookies in it layered to look pretty and the recipe stuck to the outside. I think in would have been under a £5 and I was very pleased with it. I guess you could put the recipe and ingredients to any simple bake.

MoleRat Tue 11-Dec-12 19:07:51

For the 13 yo girl I would agree with Lush, or my cousins of the same sort of age LOVE getting anything from Topshop, for that price some socks or hair stuff?

queribus Tue 11-Dec-12 19:09:07

Today I received this in the secret santa. Someone must really hate me.


Oh also for the 13 year old girl - Dorothy Perkins have lots of silly printed socks at 3 pairs for 6 pounds. Teenage girls seem to love silly socks! I've got my dds lots of pairs including 'I love sushi' and 'Pug Rock' which I'm sure they will be amused by (or maybe my daughters are just daft!).

CarnivorousPanda Tue 11-Dec-12 21:22:07

Mine is for a new person at work.


50 Shades of Grey-I know she hasn't read it

or something like a giant tube of English Rose type hand cream....................

what do you think I should give?!

AndiMac Tue 11-Dec-12 21:40:30

Parsnipcake my immediate thought for your DD's gift was a lovely layered jar of cookie mix. See here: allrecipes.com/recipe/cowboy-cookie-mix-in-a-jar/ It looks nice in the jar (especially if you use Smarties rather than chocolate chips) and the baby can help gently tip the ingredients in the jar. It looks nice until you use it and they are only seconds away from being ready to put in the oven when you want to bake them, so not much effort at the cooking end, but still a fun activity.

CarnivorousPanda, does the new woman at your work want to read 50 Shades? If so, maybe, but if it was just a comment about her not having read it, she might be slightly creeped out to get that from an unknown person in her office...

Mine is a friend who is very crafty and clever, into doing funky cool things like the Tweed bicycle ride through London, etc. I would make her something, but she's far more clever and talented than I am when it comes to being crafty, so probably already has made it for herself, so am thinking something to purchase. £10 limit.

I wouldn't buy 50 Shades for anybody. If she hasn't read it, it's probably because she's got more taste! And unless you know her v v well, it could be read as quite a strange thing to give. But English Rose type handcream might say 'old lady.' Have you bought these two things already, or are you looking for ideas?

flowersfortea Tue 11-Dec-12 22:30:25

remuslupin - had to delurk just to say, if only I could ever be described as "woman: clever and glam"
Never going to happen though!

Back to business, thanks for all the ideas everyone. I'm finding that typing the name of someone's hobby into amazon can bring up lots of little gifts - e.g. 'sailing' for my dad brought up some of those small cartoon/anecdote books.

Smudgerbabe Tue 11-Dec-12 22:42:50

Hi slightly radical idea for those with £10 - £15 to spend - how about adopting an animal? either from a rescue centre (better as it's personalised to the animal and you get specific photos and updates and can visit etc and get a history - I've seen donkeys, horses, ducks, sheep, owls etc etc!!) or you can adopt wild animals check out Amazon - everything from Meerkats to Penguins!

Good if you know they're an animal lover! Otherwise maybe not!

Or just a cute cuddly animal - one year I gave a girl in her 20's a really cute cuddly dog who barked or something - it was under £10 from the supermarket and it was the 'hit' Secret Santa present of the day - she loved it!!

CarnivorousPanda Tue 11-Dec-12 22:53:01

Really awkward, as I said, I don't know her that well, just that she told me she enjoyed reading and hadn't read 50 Shades yet............

The handcream idea was only for the totally safe/non offensive option. I've only worked with her once, don't know her at all.................

AndiMac Tue 11-Dec-12 23:03:16

Cinema vouchers are usually a safe bet too. A bit of a cop-out, but at least reasonably likely to get used.

Goldenjubilee10 Wed 12-Dec-12 06:31:25

I got the vintage velvet bomb cosmetic set from amazon for my secret Santa at work. (New year resolution is to learn to link). The budget was £5 to £10 and I got it for £7.50 in the Black Friday deals. We each had to pull the name of one of Santa's reindeer out of the hat and get something starting with the first letter of their name. I got Vixen!

chimchar Wed 12-Dec-12 06:55:12

some great ideas on here.

I'm stuck for a pressie for another new girl! she's about 30. two young kids, breastfeeding (so no alcohol type gifts) looks like she's losing baby weight so don't want to get chocolates. think she has a wicked sense of humour, quirky dresser (in a good way!) wears make up....and an English teacher if it helps!

£5 limit.


reastie Wed 12-Dec-12 07:46:15

queri grin that's hillarious (although not for you!)

Is rose hand cream really old ladyish? I've got MIL a lovely L'occitaine rose set for her bday - shower gel, hand wash and body lotion. I really like rose scented products maybe I'm old before my time so thought it would be a nice gift.

We have to give mini token gifts to our secret santas for the week before christmas and amongst my things for my secret santa is some mistletoe. I only did this as we have loads in the garden. I'm hoping she doesn't think she has a secret admirer for a secret santa confused

I have to buy for a 25 year old drummer in a punk band! We need to spend roughly a fiver a head. I got him http://www.menkind.co.uk/gifts-gadgets-c112/gifts-novelty-c3/kitsch-funny-gifts-c28/make-your-own-zombie-movie-kit-p114242?gclid=CJzdwbzalLQCFaTMtAodeg0AWA#114521 this]]! grin

There's some good gifts for men on that Menkind website btw. Another good one is the 5 giftshop which has loads of cool officey secret santa type gifts for..err..a fiver lol grin

milk Wed 12-Dec-12 11:18:38
racingheart Wed 12-Dec-12 11:34:47

OP - I got my DC a washbag stuffed with Adidas shower gel and deo etc for about £7 on Amazon. That might go down well with your sporty man, along with £3 sports socks, so he doesn't think you are hinting he has BO!

alarkaspree Wed 12-Dec-12 15:28:07

Just in case this is a helpful idea, I went into the library at the children's school today and the technology teacher was telling everybody about how her non-denominational-secret-santa-equivalent had hung snowflake ornaments from the ceiling in her office. She was really, really thrilled.

CointreauVersial Wed 12-Dec-12 17:37:02

DH and I both pulled men's names out of the hat (different workplaces, though). £10 limit.

I bought a scarf for my SS (I know him well, and he will definitely be happy with that).

DH bought this from Debenhams, which is quite good for £10 (and is now in the sale!).

I find women much easier to buy for generally, but alas they are rare as hen's teeth where I work.

LittenTree Wed 12-Dec-12 19:06:49

Great thing about ours: the gift has to be unusual or funny- so no Body Shop smellys, thanks.

This year I'm giving my secret santa person Butt Head.

I admit it's been sitting unopened for a couple of years at home... but last year, I got an inspired pressie. They're distributed at our Xmas party (there are about 60 of us). I'm the departmental Elf'n'Safety warden, and our uniform in burgundy- so someone got me a burgundy hi-viz vest... all the pictures of us dancing drunkenly at the 'do' have this bright flash through them which is the reflective tape on my hi-viz vest. As I dance like a loon. grin

eviekingston Wed 12-Dec-12 19:31:18

I like doing a 'chillax pack' - can be adapted according to budget ( haven't tried it for a man though....) Gift bag containing magazine (quite easy to find one to suit), big bar choc, miniature bottle wine (asda do 99p ones), face/hair treatment sachet. Even though Secret Santa is an almighty pain, I'm quite sad that we aren't doing one this year as it feels quite indicative of the sense of pervading misery and gloom that infests my workplace these days...

falalalalagirl Wed 12-Dec-12 20:54:27

I really struggled to do a nice £5 present for my 40-something slightly hippy-ish SS recipient so I made her a bottle of homemade baileys and a bottle of mulled wine syrup, both of which are a piece of piss to make and look good in pretty bottles that I have saved up. I've bought a couple of nice little porcelain christmas tree ornaments for pence (made by my mum) and hung them around the bottles. I reckon that's pretty good for a fiver.

DillyTante Wed 12-Dec-12 20:56:20

60 second hand fix is fab and these story cubes are great for kids & adults too.

falalalalagirl Wed 12-Dec-12 20:59:32

Chimchar, I work in an English dept (am also a 30-something BFing teacher, two small kids, lost some weight; shit, you're not my secret santa are you?!) and I know from my cheating colleagues that there will be a lot of stationery gifts being given (we like nice pens smile). Also I found some really pretty glass bird tree decs on Not On the High Street for about a fiver but they wouldn't have been delivered on time for my SS.

iwantanafternoonnap Wed 12-Dec-12 21:53:11

I organised my secret santa for the A and E department I work in for all those working on Christmas Day and I have bloody lost the letter that I wrote myself that tells me who I am buying for...now that is crap!! Bottle of vino it will be then x

ilovesooty Thu 13-Dec-12 00:55:33

I had a £10 limit and bought some luggage cubes from Amazon for my younger colleague who loves going on holiday and as soon as she's been is planning the next one. She uses Ryanair a lot so organising packing efficiently is important to her. I think it will be well received - at least I hope so.

chimchar Thu 13-Dec-12 07:10:35


ooh. if I am your ss. what would you like?!!!! wink

might raid paperchase!

Goldenjubilee - it is easy to link. Paste your link into your message and then put [[ at the start and ]] at the end. That it it. If you want to name the link with a word such as lovely top then all you do is leave a space between the last letter of your link and the ]] at the end.

Goldenjubilee10 Thu 13-Dec-12 14:05:27

Thank you gregssausageroll I'm looking after dsd's ds at the moment but will practice later.

falalalalagirl Thu 13-Dec-12 19:41:24

Chimchar, the fruits of your Paperchase raid would've been awesome but I don't think we were a match because mine was today and I got a very suitable book!

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