Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

Secret Santa Gift Guide for When You Don’t Know What to Buy

The holidays are here which means it’s the season of gift giving! ... and all of the stress that comes along with it. Chances are that you might be involved in a gift exchange or Secret Santa with a group of friends, coworkers, or any other group of people. Sometimes you may get lucky and get that one person that you know super well and can easily think of a gift they would love. Other times, you may get paired with someone you don’t know too well and have no clue about what gift to get them. Fear not, we have compiled a few tips and gift suggestions for any Secret Santa gift exchange you may be struggling with!

1. Compile wish lists!

Image via Pinterest

Your secret santa exchange will most likely be helped immensely if all participants compile wish lists that are openly available for their gift-giver to view. You can do this through a shared Google Doc or through an app called Elfster. Elfster is an app exclusively dedicated to organizing secret santa exchanges that can automatically draw and assign names to participants and allows people to compile viewable wishlists. A ton of stress will be relieved when you at least have an idea of what your secret santa would want.

2. Do your research

​Image via Pinterest

If you don’t have a wish list at your disposal, it's best to do some research to gather some information on your secret santa’s field of interests. Maybe you noticed that they are really into beauty, love reading books, always working out or super into video games. Basing your gift on something that you know they are interested in is a surefire way to ensure that they will love your gift.

3. Cozy things

​Image via Pinterest

Another default gift to fall back on when you’re on a time-crunch is to give your secret santa some winter-themed goodies. Things like fuzzy socks, blankets, hot cocoa sets, slippers and scarves are sure to satisfy their winter/cuddle-weather needs. Chances are they will love any of these things or even a combination, because everyone loves getting fuzzy socks!

4. Gift baskets & stocking stuffers

​Image via Pinterest

Another alternative when you don’t want to risk getting them just one thing is to get multiple tiny things. Compiling a gift basket or filling a stocking with little knick knacks like chocolate, face masks, phone cases, mugs, jewelry and anything else you can think of will definitely warm your secret santa’s heart. Gifts like this come off as very heartfelt and thoughtful since you took the time to gather many little things that amount to an awesome gift.

5. Giftcards

​Image via Pinterest

If all else fails, getting a gift card from your secret santa’s favorite store or restaurant is a great gift as well. I personally really appreciate getting gift cards because I can spend it on something I’ll actually really love. Be sure to accompany the gift card with a nice handwritten card to give it a personal touch.


Leah is a 3rd year student attending the University of California, Santa Barbara pursuing a double major in Communication and Sociology. When she's not tagging her friends in memes, she enjoys watching YouTube makeup gurus and attending music festivals (when she can afford them). She hopes to pursue a career in the field of social marketing and/or public relations. Follow her on Instagram at @itsleaah!
Similar Reads👯‍♀️