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Make the Most out of your Secret Santa

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Guelph chapter.

Whether it’s with a club, coworkers or even family, at least one Secret Santa always ends up being part of the annual gift-giving and receiving.  I’ve come up with some relatively fool-proof tips for being a top-notch Secret Santa and getting your person a great gift; even on a tight budget! Unfortunately, there is no way we can control the quality of the gift you’ll be receiving… so hopefully your Secret Santa reads this too and you get the gift you deserve!

  • “Discount” stores

    • For lack of a better term, I’m referring to places like Winners and Marshalls! Allow yourself a good amount of time to scour the shelves, but at these types of stores you can almost always find a nice lotion, soap/bath product or candle for very cheap! It’s an excellent way to put something they will (probably) enjoy and use in the present without breaking the budget on one item!
    • Don’t forget about stores like Claire’s or Ardene’s if you’re looking for “filler” like an inexpensive pair of fuzzy socks or some kind of silly accessory!
  • Don’t Underestimate a Gift Card!
    • Giving someone a gift card as a present usually gets a pretty bad reputation for being uncreative or lazy. But I think a gift card can be a great addition to a Secret Santa present! If you’ve got a little bit of money left in your present budget – a small gift card to a coffee shop or fast food chain would be a great way to finish it. LCBO, Gas Stations, grocery stores, virtually every chain establishment offers gift cards now. 
  • Homemade Touches
    • Making part or all of your Secret Santa gift is a great way of making it seem more thoughtful! All of Pinterest is waiting for you, so go nuts searching up cool DIY gift ideas!
    • Assuming baked goods don’t fall under the category of “DIY” – if you are a baker or have one awesome recipe up your sleeve – whip up a batch and include some in your gift!
    • If you and your assigned person are closer than the average co-worker – see if you can turn an inside joke into a gift! Make a funny T-Shirt or pick up something that would remind you two of a specific joke or memory. Secret Santa gift exchanges usually don’t include many overly personal gifts. If you’re able to make it more special and memorable for your assigned person – you should! It will feel way more gratifying for you, too.

It’s a Secret Santa exchange, not a game of White Elephant – make sure you’re giving a gift worth keeping!