The festive season is upon us and with the decorating of Christmas trees and the opening of advent calendars, comes the exchanging of secret Santa gifts. Whether you’re buying for a distant flatmate or somebody on your course, this can get a little stressful. To help you get crowd-pleasing gifts for everybody, here are our last minute secret Santa ideas for every budget and every personality.
Food and Drink
First and foremost, an essential thing a student can receive is life’s necessities. Edible gifts are the best kind of gifts, as you know they won’t be gathering dust in the cupboard. A small bottle of something or a box of treats can go a long way for your secret Santa. To make it a little more personal, collect their favourite goodies and present them in a jar with a ribbon.
Another thing guaranteed to get used and within budget is a mug. Especially helpful when the coffee cravings come in during a last-minute revision session. Find Me A Gift do a range of novelty mugs for a fiver. Failing that, you can get personalised mugs from Vistaprint if you fancy printing their nickname or a photo on the front.
There’s sometimes a stigma attached to receiving socks for Christmas. However, with the cold chill of an English December and the constant threat of socks going missing, socks are a welcome gift for students, especially within a £5 budget. You can get as creative as you like with socks, think cosy slipper socks or bright colours if you want to stand out a little. You’ll find these pretty much anywhere, but the Sock Shop does a range of fiver socks.
With a bigger budget comes a little more wiggling room. As said before, mugs are a student essential and what’s more helpful than a mug that you can take with you on the go? If your flatmate is a last minute person that can’t fit in a coffee before lectures, this may be the gift for them. Again you can customise these to fit their style. Asos does a range of travel mugs for £10.
Juggling cooking and studies isn’t the easiest of tasks and searching for recipes can waste a lot of precious time. An easy to follow student cookbook may not be the most exciting gift, but it’s one that will get used. Books such as The Student Cookbook or 5 Ingredients by Jamie Oliver are sure to go down a treat, and they are both under £10.
If there’s one thing a student misses, it’s the comfort of home. If a flatmate appears to be homesick, a thoughtful gift could be to get them something that reminds them of their hometown. This could be a photo frame with memories in or something to make them a little cosier, such as a hot water bottle. Think of a simple luxury item that they wouldn’t add to their student budget. Boots can also offer you bathing and skin care products should they need a pamper.
Related: London Christmas Market Tube Map
Finally the £20 budget, which covers a lot of secret Santa gift ideas. One of which could be certain lighting to personalise their room (as long as it fits in with your student accommodation rules!). For example, this Make Your Own Neon Sign allows them to have whatever they want to be written on their wall and is under £15!
While not the most exciting idea, it’s possibly the most useful. Small kitchen appliances are not to go amiss! Whether your flatmate is more of a toastie or a waffle fan, you can cater to their needs. Argos offers sandwich toasters under £20.
Last, but not least, on the list of secret Santa ideas is décor to help personalise a student room. This could include anything from pillowcases to ornaments. If you need some more specific ideas, you can get a doodle pillowcase from the Present Finder. This is pretty useful if the person you’re buying for can be forgetful. Also, this photo display from John Lewis is only £20 and can jazz up student accommodation.
Who are you buying for?
Now that you’ve got your budget sorted, you need to decide what type of gift your secret Santa pick will like. See which description best fits them from the list below and you’ll find the perfect gift in no time.
This person won’t even say the word Christmas before December and scowls every time they hear the sound of jingle bells. While Christmas may not be their favourite holiday, they still deserve a proper present in secret Santa… even if they do shudder at the thought.
Get them: Their favourite chocolates or sweets, preferably without the festive packaging. If your budget stretches, maybe throw in a festive accessory like a flashing tie or hairband if you’re feeling mischevious.
The Good Elf
The friend who’s worked hard all year, put all your Christmas decorations up and always has the shared kitchen looking sparkling on their day off. Christmas is the time for them to put their feet up and this is your chance to show your appreciation for everything they do.
Get them: Something nice to pamper themselves like a set of bath bombs or a nice face mask. You might even be able to share a pamper night in together.
The Naughty Elf
The one who comes in late and makes themselves a midnight snack, always forgetting to tidy up afterwards. This person is the life and soul of the party and usually a bad influence, but they’re a lot of fun to be around.
Get them: A homemade hangover kit with vitamin drinks, paracetamol tablets, a chocolate bar and can of fizzy drink. Throw in a DVD and that’s boxing day, sorted!
The Christmas fanatic
This person has had a countdown to Christmas on their phone since 1st January and has a wardrobe full of festive jumpers. It’s their favourite time of the year and they’re not afraid to show it. They probably organised this secret Santa.
Get them: Anything typically Christmassy. Novelty socks or a hot water bottle are good options. Don’t forget to compliment them on their famous mulled wine recipe!
They’ll go along with the festivities of Christmas but aren’t that bothered about getting gifts… their favourite part of the festive season is the food and spending time with loved ones.
Get them: A cinema ticket so you can go to see a movie together. Buy them some popcorn with your leftover budget.