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Student Secret Santa Gift Ideas For Your Budget

20th November 2017 Jess Kadel Accommodation

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’s our secret Santa guide for every budget.

Related: Where Do Christmas Traditions Come From, And What Should Come Back?

£5 Budget

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.

Image of sweets in a jar


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 socks for under a fiver. 

Image of funky socks for secret santa

£10 Budget

Travel Mugs

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 or Tesco 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 are sure to go down a treat, and they are both under £10. 

Image of chopping board

Home Comforts

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 home town. 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. For example, Superdrug does a fluffy hot water bottle and socks gift set for £10; Boots can also offer you bathing and skin care products should they need a pamper. 

Related: London Christmas Market Tube Map

£20 Budget


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!

Image of neon sign


While not the most exciting idea, it’s possibly the most useful. Small kitchen appliances are not to go a miss! Whether your flatmate is more of a toastie or a waffle fan, you can cater to their needs. Argos offers sandwich toasters under £20 and Tesco offers a £19.99 Belgian waffle maker!


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.

Image of cushions

Do you have any other ideas for secret Santa gifts? Let us know in the comments!

Jess Kadel

Jess Kadel

For more great posts from Urbanest about accomodation, London life, study tips and much more, visit the Student Journal.