Secret Santa Gift Ideas & Presents for Work Friends and Family

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Sharing is caring!

If you’ve signed up for a secret Santa gift exchange but can’t think of gift ideas, you’ve come to the right place. Finding Secret Santa gifts that you can give anonymously can be hard – sometimes you don’t really know the person you’re giving to, and you’re often on a budget. 

As fun as these exchanges can be, they can also cause some stress in the shops – which is the last thing you want during the Christmas season. This is why we’ve compiled this list of some great secret Santa ideas from which you can gain inspiration. 

We have budget-friendly options, secret Santa gifts for work colleagues, and even gag gifts. These might even inspire you as the perfect Christmas gift for your child’s teacher. So take a look and enjoy the sparks of inspiration that you’ll receive as you check out these secret Santa presents.

Gifts under $25

Secret Santa Christmas gifts would ideally fit into a budget so that everyone can afford to join in the fun. But affordable can still be amazing – if you shop right. Here are a few great options that cost less than $25.

Keychain multitool

Simple and small, but incredibly useful – a multitool is always a good gift for anyone. It’s also quite affordable and actually offers multiple gifts in one. 

This specific one offers you a flint metal match lighter, a beer bottle opener, and a mini flashlight. It fits neatly onto a keychain and can be taken everywhere because no one ever really knows when they’ll need it. 

If you have the time, you could get this engraved with a special quote or message, making it even more special. 

Shop for this keychain multitool here. 

Wreck This Journal paperback

If you’re familiar with the ‘Wreck This Journal’ books, you’ll know how much fun they are! And since they offer fun entertainment for all ages, these journals make very good secret Santa gifts. It won’t matter who you end up with as your recipient, they’re bound to love this book. 

This specific edition is in colour – which differs from the plain black and white versions. Help your secret Santa get creative with this interactive gift that will bring joy long after Christmas is over. 

Shop for Wreck This Journal paperback here. 

A personalised Christmas book

From Christmas books for kids or a version of the classic A Christmas Carol book to tales that tell of the life and adventures of Santa Claus or snowmen at night, a well-chosen tome is something to be treasured – often long after toys and technology have been outgrown.

A book is a great buy for any budget too. Whether you want to buy a single, simple paperback, want to purchase a personalised Christmas story book or to invest in a hardback Harry Potter box set, books featuring fabulous stories, their favourite characters or a hobby will always go down well as gifts.

Read our article about the huge range of personalised Christmas books here

DIY Scratchboard Art

If creative secret Santa ideas are what you’re here for, this is the best present for an artsy exchange. The gift offers the recipient a chance to dig into their creative side, and they get stunning decor once they’ve completed it. 

Choose from a range of cityscape options, including Venice/Florence, Berlin/Hamburg, and New York/Canada. The packs come with two scratchboards (each with its own image on them), a scratch pen, a dusting brush, and two wood stylus sticks. Check this article for more artist ideas, if it is an arty gift you are are after!

Shop for this scratchboard art here.

Unisex secret Santa ideas 

If you don’t know who you’re buying for, it can be tricky to get the right gift. These unisex secret Santa gifts work for ladies and men and will be loved by whoever is lucky enough to get them. 

Baby Groot flower pot

Baby Groot makes it very hard not to smile every time you see him, and we all know that plants brighten up a room. So this gift is an all-round joy-bringer. The flower pot is in the shape of little Groot’s cute face and holds a plant of your choice. 

You can choose to leave the pot empty for the receiver to fill with their favourite plant, fill it with sweets, or plant something in it and watch your gift grow with its new owner. 

Shop for a Baby Groot flower pot here. 

Kalimba thumb piano

Have you ever heard the sounds of an African thumb piano? If not, here’s your chance. This Kalimba thumb piano is made from high-quality acacia wood and carbon steel keys. It’s a compact gift that offers musical entertainment for everyone. 

To play the thumb piano, you simply need to adjust the pitch with the tuning hammer, look through the user manual, and give it a try. Not only is this a unique gift but for anyone musically inclined, it’s a fantastic instrument to add to a collection.

Shop for a Kalimba thumb piano here. 

Holdsworth chocolates

There aren’t many people who will complain about opening up a box of decadent chocolates, and we’re sure your secret Santa will love these. Not only are Holdsworth truffles scrumptious, they’re also sustainable and handmade – so they’re really a wonderful gift. 

This box offers 8 – 9 chocolate truffles, all made with ethically farmed cocoa from sustainable sources and natural flavours. The box is recyclable, but also beautiful and can be kept as a keepsake. Inside are decadent delights like salted caramel cups, milk chocolate dipped fudge, rum truffles, and more. 

Shop for Holdsworth chocolates here. 

Funny secret Santa ideas

Let your funny side out and keep things light-hearted with these gag gifts. These also work perfectly if you’re not too sure who’s getting your gift – they’re quirky and offer some entertainment for anyone.

Novelty cotton socks drink up grinches

Socks may seem like a basic gift, but these are fun, cosy, and useful. The unisex socks come in a range of options, so you can pick according to personality or simply get a universal one. We really like the ‘Drink up Grinches’ option – they’re fun and festive. 

You can also get socks that say ‘If you can read this bring me…’ ending with things like coffee, beer, books, etc. This makes it easier to pick an option that fits with the setting of your exchange, if it’s a friend group you may all enjoy the same drinks. And if it’s a book club, the ‘Do Not Disturb Me I’m Reading’ socks are perfect. 

Shop for novelty socks here. 

Have Yourself A Merry Little Cocktail book

This book includes 80 cocktail recipes that are themed for a ‘winter Christmas’ but will do just fine for a sunny Australian festive season as well. Slip this hardcover book into a stocking or wrap it up for your secret Santa and maybe stick around to help try out a few of the cocktails. 

The book is quite affordable, so if you have a higher budget you could always pair the gift with some of the ingredients. Depending on how much you’re looking to spend, choose from smaller ingredients like cherries and lemons or go all out and include a bottle of gin. 

Shop for Have Yourself A Merry Little Cocktail book here. 

What Do You Meme? Card game

This is a great adult party game, especially for the younger generations who use memes in their daily lives. It’s sure to bring laughs to any group of friends, even if you’re not really sure what a meme is. 

The game comes with two groups of cards – one has meme images and the other group has captions for these memes. The aim of the game is to come up with the best caption for the memes. One meme card gets drawn each round, everyone adds their caption from the caption cards that they have in their hand, and the funniest choice wins. 

Try it, you’ll love it.  

Shop for What Do You Meme? here. 

Secret Santa gift ideas for coworkers

Office secret Santa is a great way to get all of your colleagues into the festive spirit. But it can also be hard to think of gifts to give those you work with. So we found some of the best options. 

Self-stirring mug

Help your favourite office buddy enjoy their morning coffee even more with this self-stirring mug. This is sure to be envied by everyone who doesn’t unwrap it as their gift. It’s a reusable travel mug as well, so eco-conscious coffee (or tea) lovers will appreciate the value it brings. 

To add to this gift, you can add sachets of coffee or hot chocolate, tiny marshmallows, and even biscuits. There are plenty of ways to dress up this functional secret Santa present and there’s no doubt your colleague, employee, or even boss will appreciate it. 

Shop for a self-stirring mug here.

T2 Eggnog tea

T2 Tea creates divine teas that are loved by everyone – even if you’re not a fully-fledged tea lover. Their holiday collections are especially exciting, with a variety of fun and interesting flavours available. 

Grab this eggnog flavour to add a very Christmas-y taste to your secret Santa gift bag. The pack contains 500g of loose black tea (flavoured of course). You can also add a tea strainer to your gift – just in case the recipient doesn’t have one. 

Shop for Eggnog tea here. 

Parker IM duo gift set

For a more professional Christmas gift for colleagues, Parker pens are always a safe bet. And this sleek gift box containing a ballpoint and a fountain pen is a great choice. Just wrap up the gift set box and you’re all set for your exchange. 

These IM pens hold all of the known Parker quality. They’re made with gloss black lacquer and have high-shine golden trims. So they look professional and stylish as they write. 

Shop for this Parker pen gift set here. 

Thoughtful gift ideas for secret Santa exchanges

Gifts don’t all have to be bought or costly to be appreciated. Sometimes when you put a bit more thought into the gift, it turns out to be so much better than anything you could get from a shop. So if you have the time and creativity during the festive rush, try your hand at making or compiling a secret Santa gift with a personal touch. 

And if you’re looking for more personal secret Santa present ideas, why not put together one of the following:

  • A picnic basket – this can include wine, preservatives, a blanket, and cutlery and crockery. You could even include a list of great picnic spots near you. 
  • A Christmas food hamper – we have a great list of ideas here.
  • A recipe book – collect a few of your favourite recipes, get friends and family to join in, and then leave space for the recipient to add their own as well. 
  • Reading day survival kit – put together a book you love (or a really popular one), add a note, throw in some snacks and maybe a blanket as well to create a cosy holiday reading hamper. 
  • Bake or make something – whether a jar of your famous gingerbread cookies, homemade fudge, or perhaps a bottle of eggnog, a gift made with love is always a winner. 
  • Gift experiences – put together a ‘must-do’ list of activities during Christmas in your city. Then add vouchers and an itinerary so that your recipient can enjoy a day out exploring. 
  • Movie night basket – much like the picnic, except think at-home movie night. Add microwave popcorn, snacks, cool drink, and perhaps even a DVD of your favourite Christmas movie – or a voucher for them to get their own. 
  • Gift cards – if you’re really stuck for ideas (although you should have plenty by now) and you’re running out of time, a gift card is a safe bet always. Add it to a gift bag with some sweets or a Christmas T-shirt to make it a bit more festive, and let your recipient find their own perfect gift. 

Find the best secret Santa gifts

Did you know that the idea of Secret Santa came from a businessman named Larry Dean Stewart, who handed out anonymous gifts one Christmas? The tradition has continued through many years, and it’s tons of fun. 

Read more Christmas trivia here

Whether you’re doing it as a big family to save money, with a large group of friends, or in an office, Secret Santa is something everyone can enjoy. And the gifts don’t have to be big and expensive. You can select affordable but useful items, funny gag gifts, or thoughtful presents. 

Whatever you decide to go with, just remember to have fun – and to keep the giving spirit alive. 

Join our Facebook group to jumpstart your Christmas planning all year long!

Sharing is caring!

Photo of author

Janine Mergler

Janine has a Bachelor of Education (Secondary) from the Queensland University of Technology and works as an editor of the popular Families Magazine. Janine owns the Christmas in Australia website because she is a huge fan of Christmas and everything about the festive season and she wants to share it all with you! Travelling the country to find all the best Christmas experiences in Australia, she can be found celebrating Christmas in July and getting more and more excited as 25th December approaches! Join my Christmas in Australia Facebook group too!

Leave a comment