Written By Lauren Pinkney

With Christmas fast approaching, the stress of buying your loved ones (and everyone else!) the perfect present may slowly be becoming a nagging voice in the back of your head. The perfect present doesn’t just have to be something they’d like, but also something you can afford! Secret Santa has made it at least a bit more affordable to treat your friends, but it can still be difficult picking out the prefect prezzie. 

Unifresher has got your back. Here are some secret Santa gift ideas that will get you on the ‘nice’ list in time for Christmas.

1. Photos!

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Trust me, this one is always a winner. Photos of your lucky secret Santa gift receiver with their friends or having a great time is literally the most perfect present to give. Nobody ever has the time or the inclination to print out photos, so when someone makes the effort to do it for you, it makes it all the more special. Plus, photos are visuals mementos of someone’s life, how can anyone dislike their own life?! See, it’s smart!

If you want extra extra brownie points, maybe get a nice photo frame, or get photos printed on magnets, or in a scrap book. There are a great many companies that offer these services for reasonable prices.

2. A hamper of their favourite food

Ok, this one is perfect for the foodies in your life. Make a note of some of their favourite snacks and treats. Collect them all into a little gift box or hamper and present it with a cute festive ribbon or sprinkles or confetti and ta dah!

Food is truly the way to anyone’s heart. Depending on their standards for food, this can be a cheap present to organise, but it’s also very personal and shows how much you care about them.

Plus, t’is the season of sharing and caring – you might get to have a bit of a nibble yourself!

3. Out with material possessions, in with experiences

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Depending on the financial restraints of your secret Santa and depending on the interests of the person you’re buying for, organising an experience for someone could be the perfect secret Santa gift.

Maybe your science geek friend would love a couple of tickets to the local museum or to a lecture going on. Maybe your sports-mad bestie would love a ticket to a football or ice hockey or boxing match. Or maybe even tickets to the cinema to see a film you know they’d love.

It’s the little personal touches that really make a perfect secret Santa gift. Not only will this show you listen to and appreciate their niche interests, but it also means you can make memories together, as opposed to just buying each other more stuff!

4. Vouchers

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If your secret Santa is hard to buy for, gift vouchers can be an easy affordable way to give them a personalised gift that they’ll love. What shops do they visit most often? Where do they get their clothes from? Is there a homeware store they’re obsessed with? What’s their favourite restaurant?

A voucher to a place you know they love shows you are aware of their interests, and also gives them freedom to spend their credit as they wish. It’s a lot more festive that just giving cash!

5. Go old school

Go old school - secret santa ideas

Right, this secret Santa gift idea requires a bit of flair to pull off but, if done right, it’s a cost-effective and personalised way of spreading festive cheer – make a playlist or mixtape!

This idea is particularly good if the cost limit for gifts is really low. Go retro and make a list of all you friends favourite songs, or songs they have memories attached to, or songs from the years of their life, or all of the above, and make it into either a playlist or a physical CD or cassette (if they have the ability to play it!)

This is a great secret Santa idea if you don’t just want to give your friend a material possession but still want to show them you care. Knowing you invested time and thought into creating a playlist personal to them is sure to put you in their good books!

So, there’s five pretty tasty secret Santa gift ideas to mull over. The important thing is that the present you give is meaningful and demonstrates you’ve put some effort in. If you’re the type of lazy gift buyer that just picks up a box of chocolates and calls it a day, you have no excuse now not to give a cheap and cute present for your friend!