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Secret Santa Gifts for Every Kind of Friend in Your Life

'Tis the season for gift-giving—and heightened excitement for Secret Santa! I’ve partaken in one with the same group of friends since my freshman year. It’s a special way to gather your friends to celebrate, catch up and laugh together. In case you need an extra push in the right gift-giving direction, I’ve considered some of the friends in my life and what they would like. Perhaps your friends’ habits, quirks or extracurricular activities will inspire some of these gifts. On the flip side, maybe you’ll find a little something for yourself (don’t worry, we won’t tell).

The Décor Queen

As college students, this is the time where we begin to navigate how to furnish our dorms and apartments. However, maybe you know someone who has an eye for design and an obsession with Pinterest already. My one stop shop for affordable pieces would definitely be Target. With Chip and Joanna Gaines’ new line Hearth & Hand, they’re always releasing new items for each season. Aside from that, another affordable option would be Homegoods and Bed, Bath & Beyond. Whenever I visit a friend’s apartment I hear about the good deals they got on pillows, kitchenware, candles, and more.

The Gym Junkie

Whether your friend has been playing every sport on the planet since they were a child or have recently found their knack for exercising at the ARC, think of the accessories or clothing they would enjoy. Kate Hudson’s company Fablethics has been a reigning champ for athleisure; however, brands like Gymshark and Lulu’s create clothing that’s just as comfortable and well worth your money. If you’re looking for a smaller gift, look out for bottles, cell phone arm bands, or yoga mats.

The Organizer

If your Secret Santa tends to have a jaw dropping planner or a perfectly organized closet, they will already have more than enough supplies and organizers, but they will go crazy over your new gift. If you don’t live by a Container Store or Ikea (for larger items), decide what unique accessory you can find online. If they enjoy beautifying their notes, look up Micron pens or felt tip markers. If their space is well organized, look for cute pencil cups, file organizers, or the next best 2019 planner!

The Homebody

This may or may not have been inspired by my own habit of enjoying a night in (or several), but we love a thoughtful gift considering our love of the… indoors. A clever community called Girls’ Night In sends you a newsletter every Friday morning regarding wellness tips, interviews with influential women, books to read, and has a shop for shirts, mugs and tote bags. Beyond that, your Secret Santa will definitely appreciate a cozy blanket, a fluffy pair of socks, a soothing mask or a box set of their favorite show.

The Beauty Guru

There are so many brands to choose from, I’m sure your gift would please your beauty savvy Secret Santa. However, there a few up-and-comers your Secret Santa will be itching to get their hands on. For instance, Glossier is a prime example of exciting new products with beautiful packaging. If you’re not sure where to begin, consider making up a little goodie bag of different travel-sized products. Target just released new products from Kristin Ess, such as her new hair styling tools.


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Hi there, I'm studying Painting and Graphic Design at the University of Illinois! I'm also an alum of the University of Leeds study abroad program (spring 2019). I'm interested in making illustrations and social media content, reading for fun, and love bike riding. I'm staying a fifth year to complete both of my degrees. I also enjoy taking Advertising, Business, and History classes too.
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