‘Santa baby, slip a sabel under the tree for me…’
That inescapable routine, the undefinable quest, when it comes to keeping secrets, Santa will always know best.
The age old charade of the Secret Santa exchange, where one soul gives a heartfelt gift to another, with a grin on their face, and pretends not to sweat as the recipient opens it and guesses it was from somebody else. The art of the Secret Santa can be a magical time, if you’re partaking in it with those you love, and know well, and could buy the perfect gift for in a second. But when it comes to shopping for the unknown masses, and for those you don’t quite know, Secret Santa can be that star on your Christmas tree of stress this holiday season.
So this year, as part of Blogmas, I thought I’d share a couple of my top tips on shopping for your Secret Santa victim – and hopefully finding that perfectly neutral and impersonal pressie.
Let’s face it. When it comes to Secret Santa, everyone will forgive the generic buyer. Whether it’s a bath bomb (everyone bathes, right?), a bobble hat (she has hair, therefore hat?), or a box of luxury liquor chocolates to drown their Santa-less sorrows in, as long as you turn up with something beautifully wrapped and tangible, you’re safe for this year.
And if all you know about the poor person on the other end of your gift wrap is their name, then go for an initialed mug. Because no one throws a mug with a letter on it.
Go for the personal touch
Everyone has something. Something that makes them unique, and that everyone knows them for. Take me, for example. In my group of friends, I’m the blogger. The make up guru who never gets her essays in on time, and instead writes blog posts throughout her longest lecture periods. If I am ever anyone’s Secret Santa buddy, look up a blogger, look at their blog props, and buy me something cheaper. Simple!
Before buying that special personalised gift, it’s always better to have a bit of a Facebook stalk first – are they allergic to anything, what’s their star sign, do they like Star Wars? The more you find out, the more personal the gift.
Go for the contextual gift
Say your Secret Santa recipient is someone you know through school. Or university? Or the office? Beautiful stationary is one of those gifts that works for almost every setting you meet someone in – run their own business? Give them a planner. Full time mum? Give them a notebook. Both? Give them both. A pretty pen to accompany it and some decorative wrapping paper and you’re sorted once again.
Go for the family friendly gift
If it’s a family event, or perhaps an in-law tradition that has dragged you kicking and screaming into this Secret Santa circle, then always stick with the sweet family friendly presents. A cooking instrument for the chef, an apron for the assistant, a phone charm for the moody teenager, perhaps some hand cream or a pet themed book? They don’t have to be exciting or massively enthusiastically bought presents – just as long as they’re under the tree.
And for everyone else – alcohol. Always go with the alcohol.
I hope this has inspired you to come up with some hopelessly generic secret santa ideas this year, and has settled this festive social anxiety that creeps upon us every year. If it helps, I can’t remember a single Secret Santa present I’ve ever received – and by this time next year, neither will your gift-receiver.
Have a good night, and here’s to Blogmas Day 10!
Gingerbread Man Bath Bomb – Poundland
Forever Gold Bath Salts – Poundland
Initial Mug – Wilko
Vases – H&M Home
Radley Weekly Planner – John Lewis
Christmas Milk Jug – Little Christmas Pop Up Shop
Hen-keeping Book – The Worm That Turned
Plum & Ashby Gardeners Hand Scrub – Le Chein et Moi