It’s come to that time of year where talking about Christmas is socially acceptable, and buying gifts is already becoming frantic as the final deadline for online ordering approaches. On top of your regular gift buying, you may have decided to participate in a group Secret Santa—whether to lessen the amount you need to buy or just for some fun—and there are always certain people in that group you don’t want to get stuck with; I’m part of three this year, trust me, I know. So, for these awkward-to-buy-for individuals, whether it’s because you barely know them or because they don’t seem to like anything, here are some tips!

Go for the funny factor.

This is perhaps my favourite approach to Secret Santa. With the protection of anonymity, you can be risky with something humorous, or buy something connected to an inside joke (although if the joke is connected to you it may reveal your identity!). Look in your local gift shops for the perfect joke gift, or go for a book such as Crap Colouring In for something that will definitely receive a laugh, even if it’s not fully appreciated.

It’s the thought that counts.

Christmas is a time for thinking of others, so getting a thoughtful gift is fitting. Chances are, if you’re able to do this in a Secret Santa, you haven’t been stuck with that person you didn’t want to get, but in any case it’s worth considering. What does the recipient love or want from their future? Have they mentioned offhand that there’s something they want or need? This is your opportunity to make their day, particularly as they’re probably expecting the aforementioned joke gift.

Chocolate and toiletries: blessing or curse?

Chocolate, while appreciated by many, is a lazy Secret Santa gift and not something I recommend buying even if you know nothing about the person you’re buying for. Yes, it will be appreciated, but where’s the fun factor? The same goes for toiletries: unless your gift recipient has a deep-professed love for bath bombs or other similar products, the gift may not be appreciated and can imply that they smell. If in doubt, don’t do it.

Once you’ve bought the gift, all there’s left to do is wrap the present and wait to see if the group has been just as thoughtful as you. There’s nothing worse than putting effort into your gift-buying only to find the person who got you only bought some chocolate, and it’s not even your favourite kind. Be the person others want to get them in the draw.


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