Though Secret Santa is a fun and much-loved tradition at end of year office parties, in practice the chances of ending up with a cheap, useless gift that collects dust in your closet are pretty high.

It’s not necessary to spend a lot on Secret Santa gifts to give something special (and hopefully receive too), it just takes a little thought and this list of Secret Santa gift ideas will help.

We reviewed what to get a friend or coworker as a Secret Santa gift.

The Best Secret Santa Gift Ideas in 2020

The list of the best Secret Santa gift ideas are:

1. Hot Sauce Kit

Homemade hot sauce kit
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Get it at Amazon.

Seven bottles (three glass and four squeeze bottles), peppers, apple cider vinegar, spice blend, a two-inch funnel, five pH strips, two pairs of gloves, labels and instruction card are included in this authentic hot sauce kit.

The recipient of this gift must have a love for hot sauce, so this is one of the best Secret Santa gift ideas for friends swapping presents.

2. Logitech POWERED 3-in-1 Dock

Logitech POWERED 3-in-1 Dock
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This smart charging hub from Logitech will help you maximize outlet space. The dock station has a great look, is durable and can sit on the table beside their bed. It can charge the recipient’s three most important Apple devices (iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods) all at the same time, making it one of the most versatile Secret Santa gift ideas for coworkers, friends, family and anyone else who owns an Apple product.

3. Himalayan Glow Salt Lamp

Purify lamps made from himalayan glow salt
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Get it at Amazon.

Undoubtedly one of the trendiest Secret Santa gift ideas under $25, not only do these lamps purify the surrounding air, they are said to provide a calming atmosphere and encourage relaxation as well.

Whether the gift recipient believes in its health benefits or not, they are going to relish the warm glow and unique hand-carved aesthetic this lamp offers any room they place it in.

4. Rokono Bass+ Mini Speaker

Black electronics mini speaker
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Get it at Amazon.

You can safely assume that Secret Santa gift ideas guys will love may involve electronics and convenience.

This small speaker can fit right in their pocket and they can blast the soundtrack to their life throughout the house or down the street.

On a full charge, it’s capable of 10 hours of continuous playback, comes with the USB charging cable and a splash-proof travel bag.

5. United States Watercolor Scratch Off Map

Gorgeous watercolor of the US
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Get it at Amazon.

Not only is this one of the coolest $20 Secret Santa gift ideas, it is also one of the best for people who love to travel – especially if they have a goal to visit the entire country.

The map has beautiful foil gold that, when scratched away, reveals a gorgeous watercolor state beneath.

This Secret Santa gift is an elegant way to keep their memories of adventure alive.

6. Homesick Mini Scented Candle

Candle in the glass
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Get it at Amazon.

Memory and smell are closely tied, so it’s no surprise that just the smell of cinnamon and sugar can bring back childhood memories of French toast and One Saturday Morning cartoons.

This candle brand specializes in customized scents that embody the ethos of cities, states and experiences like summer in Chicago or taking a road trip to the Grand Canyon.

Sweet and sentimental, this is one of the best Secret Santa gift ideas for guys or girls close to your heart.

7. Slate Stone Coasters

Five coasters made from stone
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Get it at Amazon.

People may have water stains on their tables, but there is nobody who actually wants them there.

Asking company to use coasters without looking uptight is a hard move to pull off, but this 8-pack stone coaster set can do the talking for you. It includes a stand that holds them vertically, begging them to be touched.

Look no further for guy Secret Santa gift ideas.

Frequently Asked Questions

Fun and easy, Secret Santa is played in both personal and professional settings, but sometimes people can be disappointed by the gift they receive or give.

To keep that from happening, let these rules guide your group’s next exchange.

When it’s time to honor the sacred tradition of a Secret Santa gift exchange, you’ll all walk away with a great gift.

How to Play Secret Santa

These are the basic rules on how to organize and play a Secret Santa event:

  1. Step 1: Write down everyone’s names who are participating on a piece of paper.
  2. Step 2: Put the pieces of paper with the written down names into a hat (or a non-transparent container).
  3. Step 3: Get everyone playing to draw a name from the hat (that’s not theirs). The name they get is the person they must buy a Secret Santa present for.
  4. Step 4: Plan a date for the Secret Santa gift exchange party.
  5. Step 5: At the party keep it anonymous when people open their gifts. You’re not supposed to know who gave you the secret Santa gift and you have the satisfaction of watching your gift recipient open yours and left wondering who would have bought them such a funny gift.

Other Christmas Party Gift Ideas You Might Find Interesting:

Secret Santa Gift Exchange Tips

1. Make Sure Everyone Knows the Rules

It may sound ridiculous to say, but it’s the best place to start to let everyone involved what the rules are. Don’t assume that everyone knows how it works just because you do (it’s a terrible feeling).

2. Set a Gift Price Limit

Setting a budget is probably the most important part of Secret Santa. The holiday season is an expensive time of year, and this game is supposed to be fun, so a limit of $30 or less is pretty common.

The smaller the budget is, the more creative people will be choosing that perfect gift. Feel free to make the limit whatever you want, just make sure everyone is in agreement without feeling uncomfortable.

3. Focus on The Person You Are Giving the Gift

If you know the interests or personality of the person you’re buying for, get them a holiday gift that reflects that knowledge.

Don’t know them that well? Think about a time you two had a simple chat in the breakroom or shared a joke. For example, if they always have salad as part of their lunch, you can find a candle that smells like salad or their favorite dressing – get creative!

Sometimes you know nothing about them at all, in this case get something simple. A cool phone charger or a nice lamp are always welcome to most people.

4. Let Your Sense of Humour Shine

Secret Santa is supposed to be fun and, pro tip, the unwrapping ceremony is a good time to show off your funny side. Going the funny route? Keep the joke simple and if it makes sense to everyone participating you’re going to be a hit.

If the gift exchange is between friends, only you know how far you can go and how personal you can get. Just make sure you still have your friend by the end of the game!

5. Receive Your Gift with Grace

No whining or moaning! You may be a great gift giver or have more time to get a good gift, but you don’t know what anyone else is going through. Try to be polite even if you hate your gift.

Secret Santa has never been about what you receive, but what the activity is in itself. It’s meant to bring you and the people you are exchanging holiday gifts with closer together.