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How to Host a Sustainable Secret Santa

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

Giving gifts at Christmas is a tradition and a wonderful way to show our love for the people around us. Through our choice of present, we can express our affection, inside jokes and our general appreciation to have these people in our lives.

However, the pressure to buy gifts each year often results in one of two things. It puts a major toll on our wallets or, in order to keep costs down, we compromise on quality, buying gifts that aren’t well made and quickly end up being disposed of, ending up in a landfill.

Students often choose to participate in a Secret Santa to reduce costs, however this sustainable edition aims to also combat unnecessary waste by offering gifts that are either secondhand, handmade or otherwise sustainably sourced.

  • Give someone a book you loved and think they will too. If the likelihood of you reading it again is slim, you may as well share the joy you once got from it.
  • Buy something from a charity shop or thrift store. Shopping secondhand is the perfect way to find something they’ll love sustainably. And, with so many great thrift stores around Manchester, you’ll be spoiled for choice.
  • For the creative giver, make someone a drawing, painting or collage. It’s incredibly affordable and the perfect opportunity to give something that will truly be treasured by the recipient.
  • Make some baked goods. Brownies, Christmas cookies, etc – the possibilities are endless and everybody loves a sweet treat. Choose their preferred treat and, guaranteed, nothing will go to waste.
  • Buy something that supports the enterprises of a marginalised community. 
  • Donate to their favourite charity, giving them a wonderful gift and giving back, all at the same time.

So, keep your Secret Santa both affordable and sustainable and have a positive impact this Christmas! Happy holidays!

Her Campus at Manchester would like to thank Jenny Rogal, whose wonderful idea inspired this article.

Bec Oakes

Manchester '20

A third-year English Language student and Campus Correspondent / Editor-in-Chief for Her Campus at University of Manchester with a love for clothes, cats and crime documentaries. In my spare time I enjoy blogging, skiing in a mediocre manner and putting things in online shopping baskets before hastily abandoning them.