When I worked in an office, Secret Santa was one of my absolute favourite things to do. Secret Santa makes you get on with people who you absolutely loathe throughout the whole year. At least for that one evening. Secret Santa makes people nice to each other. At least for that one evening. Secret Santa makes you feel like people care. At least for that one beautiful Christmas-filled evening. Saying this there’s no bigger disappointment than a really, really but really crappy Secret Santa present. I’m talking Christmas socks. I’m talking sausages from the Christmas market you bought on the way to the pub where you’re having your Secret Santa dinner. I’m talking Santa beards & hats. Let me introduce you to 5 fool-proof Secret Santa rules & 5 shops where I guarantee you’ll find some incredibly enviable & classy Secret Santa gifts.
So the rules go…
🌟 Secret Santa gifts can be classy. In fact they ought to be. Impress the people you work with. Isn’t that the whole point?
🌟 The 6 Ps. Proper Planning & Preparation Prevents Poor Performance. This doesn’t mean you have to work up a whole Secret Santa strategy plan & shop for your present days in advance – doing your shopping on lunch break on the day is perfectly acceptable as long as you stick to the 6 Ps. Who are you buying for? Find out what they like. Ask another colleague. Ask a colleague to ask a colleague to ask the person you’re buying for. C’mon, you’re grown ups!
🌟 Don’t go BELOW the set budget. Just don’t.
🌟 Remember that jokey presents are not always funny. Just keep in mind that your gift will be presented to a whole table of people who spend about 40 hours a week together. Giving someone a boob cupcake or a set of weener straws is just not acceptable. Keep it for your mate’s stag do, ta.
🌟 Don’t do a no-show. One of the most depressing things that can happen at the Secret Santa table. You give a present to someone, yet get nothing back. Nada, zilch. Absolute nothing. Even the next day. Or the day after. Because the person didn’t show up just because they can’t be bothered. They might even quite the job just so they don’t have to do this Secret Santa shebang. Sigh.
And now to the 5 shops that will provide you with a selection of Secret Santa presents that will impress
🎁 Urban Outfitters: Get your favourite cat lady the most beautiful cat mug (see here), pick from a range of gorgeous dainty jewellery that cannot possibly offend even the biggest of jewellery snobs (like this one). They also have a ton of little cacti (for the colleague who’s a little prickly; buy here) and fun self-help books (including the Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F***) which won’t break the bank.
🎁 TK Maxx: Perhaps my most favourite Christmas destination, you can find absolutely anything in TK Maxx. From Burberry bronzer (70% off, yes please) to the fanciest of candles and deer cufflinks.
🎁 Waterstones: You could play it extra smart and instead of getting one bigger book you can split your budget and get a ton of the 80p Penguin classics. It ultimately decreases the margin of error – what are the chances that the person already has all 15 of the books you’ve picked, right?
🎁 HMV: Nothing beats a movie night – DVDs are still cool. Instead of getting a random film off the charts, search for a vintage classic that reminds you of your colleague (browse here). Get The Big Sleep (right here) for the one who’s always late or 12 Angry Men (buy here) for the one who makes meetings a living hell.
🎁 Debenhams, House of Fraser or John Lewis: Buying for a female colleague is the easiest thing – grab a nice natural coloured lipstick, the latest eye shadow palette or a bunch of pampering bath products. Affordable, thoughtful & won’t disappoint.