7 Secret Santa Gift Ideas That Won’t Break The Bank

secret santa gift ideas

Christmas is almost here! And with it comes time to give Secret Santa presents. More and more workplaces, social groups, sporting teams, and other groups are taking the opportunity to gather together during the holiday season and give gifts. Luckily, we’ve come up with a collection of Secret Santa gift ideas that won’t burn a hole in your wallet!

The highlight of any Christmas party is the Secret Santa game, also known as Kris Kringle. New versions of the game are being invented all the time, so it’s hard to keep up. That’s why we created the ultimate Secret Santa gift guide, with plenty of Secret Santa gifts to impress your friends, work colleagues and vague acquaintances. Read on to get our favourite Secret Santa gift ideas!

What is The Secret Santa Game?

The Secret Santa game usually involves people opening Secret Santa presents in front of a group. In the “traditional” Secret Santa routine, everyone draws someone else’s name out of a hat and is tasked with purchasing a gift for that person. Some new Secret Santa games involve having the opportunity to “steal” or swap gifts. Raucous laughter usually ensues, and everyone comes away with something.

Whichever way it pans out, you will still inevitably be looking for Secret Santa gift ideas, and usually you will need more than one. It is not uncommon for people to attend a few Christmas parties during each silly season, and spending up to $30 on each Secret Santa gift will really start to add up. That’s why we’ve prepared this list of fun, clever Secret Santa gift ideas that won’t cost the earth and are guaranteed to be enjoyed.

1. Battery: Gifts Not Included

Secret Santa Gift Ideas - Batteries Not Included

From DigiCrumbs

We’ve all experienced that moment when we receive a gift and eagerly tear it open, only to find that it won’t work because printed in tiny letters somewhere on the packaging it says “batteries not included.”

This gag gift is a play on that moment of disappointment when you give those precious batteries you wished you’d had as a child, but this time with the disclaimer “gift not included!”

2. Chocolate Money

Secret Santa Gift Ideas - Chocolate Money

By Life as Mom

Sometimes it’s just easier to give money as a Secret Santa present. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do it in a creative way! You may not know the other guests very well, or you’re unsure what would be an appropriate gift.

No matter the reason, everyone needs money! If you’ve decided to give money, disguise your gift in a chocolate box for the added element of surprise when your recipient opens the gift.

3. A Surprise Gift Jar

Secret Santa Gift Ideas - Jar

By A Girl and a Glue Gun

Your gift recipient will have to hide their disappointment when they think they’ve unwrapped a Mason jar full of chocolates. But when they open the jar they’ll find a cardboard tube inside! Inside the tube, they’ll find something a little more interesting than chocolates: money, for example.

4. A Stunning Canvas Print

Secret Santa Gift Ideas - Canvas Print

If you know who your Secret Santa gift recipient will be (in other words, you know the exact person you’re buying for and that the gifts won’t be swapped or exchanged as part of a game) and you have access to that person’s social media accounts, do a little Facebook stalking and choose a photo that you think they’d like.

As a guide, look for a recent photo that has had a lot of likes and comments; or you could go in another direction and scroll through their social media archives and choose a photo that they may have forgotten about. Turn that photo into an inexpensive professional canvas print and you’ve got a fantastic, personalised Secret Santa present that is sure to impress.

5. Exercise Block

Secret Santa Gift Ideas - Exercise Block

By Somewhat Simple

This DIY secret Santa gift is quick and simple to make, that is sure to get a laugh if given to someone who is notorious for promising to exercise but never following through. The directions on the side of the box read:
1. Place block on the floor.
2. Walk in a circle around the block, then repeat once more.
3. Sit down.
4. Relax. You just walked around the block twice!

6. Pretzel Hugs

Secret Santa Gift Ideas - Pretzel Hugs

By I Heart Naptime

If baking is your thing, or you like to think of yourself as handy in the kitchen, you’re incredibly fortunate because you can whip up your own Secret Santa presents that are sure to be appreciated, at a fraction of the cost of a store-bought equivalent. This particular tutorial also includes ready-made printable gift tags, so all the work is done for you (except for the work that needs to happen in the kitchen, of course).

7. A Photo Mug

Mother's Day Gift Ideas - Mug

It’s hard to find a Secret Santa gift idea for under $30, or even under $20, especially when you don’t know the recipient that well. Canvas Factory’s Photo Mugs are the perfect Secret Santa gift.

You can customise your Photo Mug with any image you like. You can even make it a fun novelty mug or create a collage. Maybe it’s for a work colleague and you want to add a number of work pics? Or maybe you want to add a funny photo or pictures of your sports team? There are so many options.

So this year, instead of dreading the next Secret Santa gift exchange, get excited with these awesome gifts. Secret Santa doesn’t have to break the bank or stress you out in that busy pre-Christmas period. Simply grab one of our Secret Santa gift ideas and get organised!


Eli is Canvas Factory's resident blogger and social media buff. She has a passion for art, craft, design, fashion and photography. She loves to explore the joys and challenges of family life, relationships, motherhood and pet ownership. Eli finds it's more funny to poke fun at herself than others. She's travelled extensively and considers herself a citizen of the world.

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