18 gifts that will make you the star of Secret Santa
Save the deep thinking for 2023 and pick up one of these options
At the best of times, the office Christmas party raises as many questions as an episode of KBC. How much should I drink to take the edge off and mingle with the accounts team? At what point should I stop drinking, lest I mistakenly tell my boss what I really think of him? Is this finally my big chance to talk to my office crush, or should I continue to creepily stare at them from a corner?
For most of these personal and professional dilemmas, all we can do is wish you the best, and recommend you phone a friend. However, there is one question we can answer: What the hell should I buy for Secret Santa? Computer ji, lock kiya jaye.
When you draw a name from the Secret Santa hat, the universe has a way of ensuring that you never get your work spouse. But even if you’ve never exchanged two words with your Secret Santa pick, we’ve rounded up a Christmas tree’s worth of gifts to make your life easier. A thoughtful gift will score you brownie points all year round, and you might even strike up a new camaraderie with a colleague.
And if you’re doing a Secret Santa with friends and family? Instead of racking your brains, save the deep thinking for 2023 and pick up one of these Secret Santa options — guaranteed to be a hit with anyone, as long as they’re not a grinch. (Here are our personalised gift recommendations for your kids this Christmas.)
Secret Santa gifts that will come to your rescue
Countless studies have proven the productivity-enhancing, stress-reducing benefits of integrating plants into office decor. Make those long hours hunched before a deadline a little more tolerable with this desk-friendly terrarium. And just in case your Secret Santa giftee turns out to be a plant murderer, direct them towards Twinkle Khanna’s rehabilitation programme.
DIY acrylic paint-by-numbers kit
Nothing could be as simple and satisfying as painting by the numbers to create your very own masterpiece. This canvas kit includes brushes and acrylic paints, so it’s perfect for the creative dabbler or complete novice whose name you pulled for Secret Santa. It’s high time Ravi from IT got in touch with his artistic side.
Gwyneth Paltrow believes that having a salt lamp in the room can cleanse your aura and remove negative ions from the air. The science may not hold up to scrutiny, but there’s no denying the warm glow from this plug-in lamp can, at the very least, set the mood.
Farmhouse 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle
Putting together this mammoth puzzle is a great way to spend the holidays with family, and to give your Secret Santa recipient a mental break from work and screens. This charming farmhouse scene isn’t quite the same as taking a vacation, but it’ll bring some holiday cheer nonetheless.
Okhai hand-embroidered Christmas ornament –
An adorable star-shaped decoration made from block-printed fabric and tassels. This handmade ornament can be hung on top of the Christmas tree, on your car rear view mirror, or anywhere in the house to add festive flair. There’s even a tiny mirror embroidered on each side for a touch of desi glamour.
These are lifesavers when you’re living in cramped city apartments that attract musty smells like ants to gulab jamun crumbs. Hang the orange peony tablet up in your wardrobe or pop the rose-scented one into the shoe cabinet and give your gag reflex a break.
A colourful and sustainable gift for the chai fanatic in your office, this natural cork box from a homegrown Kolkata brand is full of exciting types of tea. They’re packaged in biodegradable paper bags and include familiar flavours like Assam masala chai and sweet ginger, as well as a wildcard tomato mint variety.
A trio of gourmet chocolate bars with flavours for the festive season, including dark chocolate orange, dark chocolate cranberry, and milk chocolate with fruit and nuts. The assortment calls to mind a box of chocolates, without the expense or fuss of a big tin.
Odd Giraffe personalised notebook
Get their year off to a fresh start with one of these whimsical notebook designs. There’s a cover to suit everyone, like these sober stripes, as well as pretty florals and botanical illustrations. Their name emblazoned on the cover is the cherry on top of the plum cake.
An exclusive collection of soaps with heady fragrances and regal packaging, this gift set is bound to make your Secret Santa recipient feel – and smell – special. Made with natural ingredients, these exotic bathing bars include jasmine and mogra, neroli vanilla with goat milk, and smoky rose geranium.
A vegan, cruelty-free bath set truly embodies the spirit of Christmas. Inside this cute pouch is a travel-size body wash, lotion, and bathing bar with a fresh citrus scent that will appeal to all genders and age groups. There’s also vanilla hand sanitiser and a loofah, plus a Christmas card.
Art Attic mini tiffin fridge magnet
For once, it’s a fridge magnet that’s sure to delight. This tiny meal set, complete with vada-dosa, sambhar, and chutneys, is the cutest snack we’ve ever seen. Give it to the colleague who knows their way around the canteen and be rewarded with tidbits from their tiffin in the new year.
Tweak x Faraway Tree Spice Market candle
The rich, cosy scent of spices like clove and cardamom – it’s like the holiday season in a jar. When you have no idea of your Secret Santa recipient’s interests, you can be sure this festive candle will warm their hearts. These candles last and last, so the memory of your gift will linger on.
Nothing screams Christmas like these soft cotton socks in colourful patterns. This trio is for men’s socks, but they can just as easily be worn by women, too. The penguins, snowmen, and candy canes will transport your toes to the North Pole while keeping them toasty.
Santa Claus himself would be jealous of this candy apple red shawl. Made with warm wool and pashmina, it’s a beautiful seasonal gift. It’s as suitable for a holiday party as an evening spent on the couch watching Christmas movies. Plus, it’s a good way to beat the freezing office AC all year round.
This jazzy water bottle is so hard to miss that you can’t help but drink water whenever you notice it, which is often. It has a convenient sipper straw and carry strap. One of our colleagues is already obsessed with this BPA-free bottle with encouraging time markings, and yours will be too. Make dehydration a 2022 problem.
Boat Rockerz wireless bluetooth headset
For the work friend who keeps losing his earpods and then asks to borrow yours. The vibrant blue will ensure this wireless headset won’t disappear amidst the clutter on his desk, and they’re currently available for 63% off.
Every office has that one snob who poopoos your Starbucks membership and won’t be caught dead lurking near the instant coffee machine in the cafeteria. Earn their respect (and get them to stop whining) with this Borosilicate class carafe that can make five cups at one go.