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How do you make your Secret Santa gift look so much more?

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  • edited 4 December 2019 at 2:43PM
    ginger_chocolateginger_chocolate Forumite
    135 posts
    100 Posts Third Anniversary
    edited 4 December 2019 at 2:43PM
    Don’t buy tat. Buy the biggest bar of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk you can for the money.

    But check that they aren't vegan/diabetic/allergic/on a diet/hate chocolate first...

    It's not so hard to do a bit of research into what someone might like even if you barely know them. Ideas:
    - look at what they wear every day, do they have a preferred "colour scheme"? If so - a pair of gloves, a scarf, a tie in those colours is a safe--ish plan (I almost always do this)
    - Have a nose at their desk. Is there hand cream there? A plant? Photos of pets? A calendar? Travel photos? A cafetiere? herbal teabags? This can be a good insight into interests and preferred brands.
    - start a conversation about Christmas food and drink. You'll soon find out if someone has anything they really love or really hate (and you get a chance to shoehorn in your own preferences!)
    - However, if no evidence to contrary assume everyone is vegan, diabetic,gluten free, allergic to nuts and teetotal. It saves you wasting money on something someone can't enjoy.
    - houseplants or seeds and a nice pot are a good present for a wide range of people. Herbs and chilli plants are good for keen cooks. Cacti make pretty cool desk buddies for all genders.
    - nice notebooks and stationery are a safe bet. Everyone needs a pen and paper at some point, so why not give them a nice one?
    - Unless you know for certain someone loves a particular brand, scent or product, avoid toiletries. Most people are quite fussy about what they put on their skin!
    - Unless you know the person really well and are sure they'll find it hilarious, forget "joke" presents. They are almost always embarrassing and just end up as landfill.

    The best secret santa I ever got was a vegan recipe book. Thoughtful and useful.
  • Qtipps44Qtipps44 Forumite
    34 posts
    10 Posts
    My work usually do a secret santa but this year are donating to the local food bank instead.

    Wonderful idea.
  • od244051od244051 Forumite
    672 posts
    500 Posts First Anniversary Name Dropper I've been Money Tipped!
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    My work's SS is £10. Most years, I have been given alcohol. The worst one I had was a Boots gift card, It was wrapped inside a box.

    Giving gift cards is a no no for secret santa. Esp if you work for a retailer and the gc is for your work. Yes, your spending power has increased but its still no.

    One year, I selected one of my Asian colleagues and I was hopeless in what to get. Another Asian colleague - not doing secret santa said her family love sweet things. Got a chocolate chip panettone, biscuits and some chocolates. Some of the things I bought were on Iceland's deals.
  • sillyvixensillyvixen Forumite
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    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Photogenic Name Dropper
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    Several years ago we rolled a dice for our secret santa budget and it landed on 1 meaning a £1 budget. All my workmates headed to poundland ... I made homemade shortbread cut with my Christmas tree cutter, spending my pound on ingredients, and using a pretty box that I had kept from a chocolate gift I had recieved the previous year and a gift tag from a previous years Christmas card labled 'hand made shortbread'. I won the secret santa that year!!
    Dogs return to eat their vomit, just as fools repeat their foolishness. There is no more hope for a fool than for someone who says, "i am really clever!"
  • MurphybearMurphybear Forumite
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    A nice Baylis & Harding gift set from a charity shop is easily less than a fiver.

    Or five items from Poundshop - pens, chocolate, santa hat, smelly, calendar/diary.

    I bought some Lancôme perfume in a charity shop recently. It was new and unopened. It cost £5. Bargain I thought. There’s lots of weird and wonderful things in TKMaxx/Homesense.
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