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5 Best Secret Santa Gifts to Give to Your Friends

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

The holidays are a time for gift-giving! One of the best ways to save money with friends and family is to participate in a Secret Santa, but with holiday planning crowding your mind, it’s easy for Secret Santa gift ideas to be placed on the back burner. Everyone enjoys a gift that shows you put a lot of thought into it, and no one enjoys the constant fear that the person may never use it. Here are five easy and inexpensive gift ideas to help you along your Secret Santa gift journey.


The thing about candles is that they are very customizable. Some have intense smells, like cinnamon, and others have natural smells, like tree pines. You can gift candles that also come in design-neutral, perfect to match any type of home décor and are super practical! This is the time of year when most people are cozying up in their homes and can help warm up any room. A National Library of Medicine study also suggests that certain scents can improve your mood!


Mugs are not only inexpensive, but they are very versatile and can be used at home, work and on the go (if you buy a travel mug!) Like candles, they are a gift that shows consideration and thought, especially if the individual drinks a lot of hot drinks. Mugs can be tailored to the individual, ranging from plain, neutral-colored mugs to fun designs and sayings. Due to the many designs, mugs can also reference an inside joke between the two of you, adding that special, personal touch.

Cool Merch!

If you want to take a different approach, a grand idea is to gift someone specialized merchandise for one of their interests. With fandoms becoming increasingly more popular, it’s easy to find at least one item from a TV show or movie they love! Some very popular fandoms include The Hunger Games, Stranger Things, Star Wars, Game of Thrones, and more. Cute and decorative objects can be found in stores and on Etsy. Etsy has many more personalized items, such as pins, buttons and stickers.

Artificial Plants

With winter well on its way, it’s a tough time to be a plant lover. Artificial plants require no maintenance. They offer a bit of greenery during the winter when there is none. An artificial plant can be a personal gift or a gift for a co-worker. The great thing about them is that they come in many different types and sizes, perfect for someone who doesn’t have a lot of space in their room. Succulents are another great choice and require little maintenance. They can be kept inside and won’t die during the colder months. A little greenery can also help lift the person’s spirits into a jolly mood!


Many use the upcoming New Year to pursue new goals and aspirations, and what better way to keep track of them than a journal? Journals are versatile and can be used for jotting down thoughts, lists or even doodles. Depending on the person, some journals include pre-made calendars and others have DYI ones! Journaling can also help with creative energy and stress. They have different types of journals, such as leather-bound or recycled ones.

Secret Santa is a great bonding experience with friends and family! It can be nerve-racking trying to find the perfect gift, especially if you draw a person you aren’t close to. But, hopefully, these easy Secret Santa ideas are a great starting point to find your perfect present!

Dorothea Armijos is a journalism major with a fine arts minor. They are currently a student at Hofstra University and is a part of the graduating class 0f 2023.