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Not-So Secret Santa Gift Ideas

By Katy-Ann McDonald

Finding the perfect Christmas gift is a subjective and complex task to master - it depends on your budget and who the gift receiver is. This is what makes Secret Santa shopping so tricky. Not only is the assigned recipient usually merely an acquaintance (if that), but you're also only working with a £20 budget.

Well, luckily for us, it's that time of year again! But don’t stress, think of me as your little elf... here are my top 10 Secret Santa gift recommendations.

  • Socks. Functionality is key. While knickers, boxers and bras might be a bit personal, you can't go wrong with a pair of socks. A £20 budget is pretty impressive, so go all out! Think Lululemon, not Primark. Barefoot Dreams Cozychic Heathered Socks are my favorite winter warmers, so those are a great option, too, if you want to eat up the festive spirit.

  • Candles. This might seem like a straightforward, ideal gift -- until you get onto the aisle. Lavender or vanilla? Pumpkin or fresh-linen? Rose or cedarwood? There are so many options, and no two scent preferences are alike. So, don't go in blind. I would recommend you check out this list and go from there.

  • A portable charger. There have been so many instances where I've needed a portable charger, but I can count on one hand the number of times I've actually considered buying myself one.

  • Planner/Diary. Moleskine weekly planners are my go-to when shopping for myself, family and friends. They make a wonderful gift, especially if you don't know your recipient too well.

  • Plant stuff. Soil, seeds, cute pots. This might seem like a niche, but it's not. Who doesn’t like plants? If they're already into plants, they'll be super grateful. If they're not yet a plant parent, maybe this will be the gift that begins their journey. It's a win-win. I would recommend Etsy to find plant pots and local, organic, eco-friendly seeds and soil. Ornament Plant Pots on Etsy, are my favorites.

  • A personalized gift with meaning. This is best if the person you're buying your gift for is someone you know at least a little bit about. Do you know their favorite tea? Do they have pets? What's their favorite color? Are they into astrology? Having the answer to any of these questions opens up an array of possible meaningful gift options that fit into a small budget.

  • Charity. Donate to a charity or non-profit organization in their name. Your recipient may not know about the charity, so it would be a good idea to do some research on it and make a leaflet that you could give to them.

  • Gift card. Easy choice!

  • Weighted blanket. Ahh. I never considered this a gift option until someone mentioned it to me. They are on the pricier side but this one has really good reviews if you don’t mind going a bit outside the budget.

  • Puzzles. The best, most underrated gift. A book of Sudoku, crosswords, word finders, or jigsaw puzzles. All of these make a great gift. I've recently been getting into Sudoku, courtesy of my roommate, and it's great. It keeps me off my phone, stimulates a part of my brain I often neglect and is the perfect time passer.

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