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Secret Santa Ideas

Hushing Santa

Getting a gift for everyone at work, church or large family can get really expensive. Secret Santa is a fun way to make sure everyone one in a large group receives a gift and it isn't too pricey for those involved. This is a guide about secret Santa ideas.



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Tip: Secret Santa Gift Ideas

Holiday secret Santa gift giving is easy for me. I go to Walmart, Marshalls, and Target.

At Walmart, I get the Limited Edition Holiday Scents air fresheners or candles and wrap them up in colored cellophane with pretty ribbon brought from Michael's for a dollar. That gift is $3.00 each.

From Marshall's, I get the big bar of French Milled soap in nice craft wrapping. I spend $4.00 for those wrapped in netting.

Target is the cheapest, $1.00 fashion gloves with $1.00 lip balm - $2 for a gift. I spend about $60 bucks on co-workers, distant family members, church members, and those last minute host gifts and I'm covered.

By chocletchypp2 from Detroit, MI

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Here are questions related to Secret Santa Ideas.

Question: Secret Santa Ideas

I am looking for ideas to use at work when people sign up to be a secret Santa. I have seen poems with ideas for each day of the exchange.

BeccaL from Polk, Nebraska


Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.

Archive: Secret Santa Gift Ideas

I have to get a Secret Santa gift for a girl at work for under $10. (Secret Santa) Here is my prob.: She is 33 years old and hates getting commercial gifts. People that know her suggested I make her something, she would much rather I give her something from the heart, than something I can buy in a store. Some said I should bake some cookies; the problem is I HATE baking, and I am not "crafty". I do, however, LOVE attempting art projects with my 7 year old nephew, but that won't cut it. Any ideas?

Sandi from Montreal, Canada

RE: Secret Santa Gift Ideas

One Christmas I received the best gift. It was a small round mirror and a glass nativity set. I still use it. (12/17/2006)

By diane from wisconsin

RE: Secret Santa Gift Ideas

We took a wicker basket and put a string of clear lights in it then some cinnamon scented pine cones and kind of pulled the lights apart so they were mixed around in with the cones and plug it in. It is really pretty and the scent of the pine cones is great. (12/17/2006)

By imaqt1962

RE: Secret Santa Gift Ideas

You can take a string of light(35) put them in a clear jar with some potpourri kinda re arrange it a little then I put a piece of lace on the top, tied a ribbon around it, leaving enough cord hanging out so it could be plugged in, simple, inexpensive yet nice. Also how about a gift basket with various things in it? There have been a few post on here with good ideas to make one. I love things like these because they come from the heart (12/17/2006)

By imaqt1962

RE: Secret Santa Gift Ideas

RE: Secret Santa Gift Ideas

Sandi, I once "made" candles. I took Dollar Store pillar candles and holding the wick, dipped them into melted paraffin wax that I melted in a coffee can that was placed in a pot of hot water. Then I rolled the candle into spices, like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves (bought at the Dollar Store too!). Then, re-dip the candle again, roll again. You can repeat the process over as much as you want. It makes the candle lumpy with spices and smells really good too. (12/17/2006)

By Persnickety Paula

RE: Secret Santa Gift Ideas

How about buying a nice soup-mug and popping a mix of soup sachets inside (add a spoon if you like) and package it up with clear wrap and curling ribbon. Attach a gift tag wishing her a 'souper' holiday season. Or, along the same lines, a nice coffee mug with a selection of coffee mix sachets (they can be bought in mixed multi-packs and you can remove them from the box and put them into the mug). Add a few nice biscuits and package up together. I have done the coffee mugs for friends at work, very easy to put together and much appreciated. Or maybe you could pick up a nice foot-soak (or look up a recipe and make some) and add a pair of bed socks! Good luck & Merry Christmas! (12/18/2006)

By jojo

RE: Secret Santa Gift Ideas

How about making her a necklace/bracelet? All of the major craft stores sell really nice looking beads in all different shapes/sizes/colors. They sell the clasps too. You could even have your nephew help with stringing them. Check local Sunday paper for coupons for 40% off too. (12/18/2006)

By Jill

RE: Secret Santa Gift Ideas

There are many easy and nice craft projects-look in magazines or craft store. A gift basket made of dollar store bath products, etc-maybe a mug and some cocoa or tea, a basket with a video rental gift card and popcorn and snacks, an ice-cream sundae basket with a couple of sundae dishes, ice-cream scoop and some toppings and nuts and maybe a Baskin-Robbins GC for the ice cream, or any food gift that you like to cook would probably be welcome. It doesn't need to be baked. Do you make great casseroles, soup, preserves? How about a homemade gift certificate for a service you can provide, like car wash or detailing, a planted pot of seasonal flowers, etc. (12/18/2006)

By Linda

RE: Secret Santa Gift Ideas

Buy a "how to knit" craft scarf set and give that to her. Available at your local sewing store. (12/18/2006)

By cookwie

RE: Secret Santa Gift Ideas

How about a donation in her name to a charity or organization that she is interested in? (12/18/2006)

By Jenny

RE: Secret Santa Gift Ideas

How about assembling a cookie recipe in layers in a clear glass canning jar? For the lid, you could decorate it with fabric or paint. Then she can bake the cookies. (12/20/2006)

By dbates

RE: Secret Santa Gift Ideas

Does she have any family pictures on her desk? if so, you can buy a nice frame or make a copy of her picture in black and white (looks very classy) and place in a nice frame! (12/07/2007)

By Dolores

RE: Secret Santa Gift Ideas

You could always shop at dollarama and make a gift basket. Put in a coffee mug, some cookies, a few candies, buy the basket there and wrap it in cellophane. Hope that helps. (11/27/2008)

RE: Secret Santa Gift Ideas

If you knit or crochet you could make a scarf to match her coat. Only takes a couple of balls of yarn and there are some fun ones out there. You could also try to get a photo of her with a digital camera, print it in 4x6 or 5x7, mat it put it in a frame you make or decorate yourself. (it's something she could put on her desk) (11/27/2008)

By Andrea

RE: Secret Santa Gift Ideas

You can put together her a nice bath basket with some bubbles, face soap, body wash, a towel... you get the point. Hope she likes it. (12/03/2008)

By lily

Archive: Secret Santa Gift Ideas

I need help with my mom's secret Santa present. I have to make it, and spend at the most $10. Any ideas?

David from Lenoir, NC

RE: Secret Santa Gift Ideas

Here are a couple ideas:

1. You could get crafty by buying candles from the dollar store and decorating them with dried flowers and other items. All you need is glue gun and some good imagination.

2. You could go to a used book store and pick up some cool picture books and take the pages out and put them in frames.

3. You could check thrift stores and goodwill for nice glass vases and just some flowers and put it in the vase.

4. Ebay is a great place to find gift under normal cost. So is Craigslist! Plus this is a good green way to celebrate Christmas. (12/06/2008)


RE: Secret Santa Gift Ideas

For the gentleman who has to make a Secret Santa present for under $10. Last year I bought Christmas themed printer paper from the dollar store. I also bought some clear report covers. Then I copied lyrics from Christmas carols and various Christmas stories, recipes and legends (such as "Twas the Night Before Christmas") and printed them up on the printer paper. I then compiled all the carols, recipes, stories, etc. in the folders with a decorative cover sheet. I gave a few of these last year and the people who received them really enjoyed them. (12/07/2008)

By TxSavr

RE: Secret Santa Gift Ideas

You should give your mom love in a box it is really cool. What you do is take a box and put in what you think is love. It could be little slips of paper saying what you love about your mom or something that sounds nice when you shake it. Then you write a poem saying not to open it because it is love, and put it on top. All of my relatives really loved it. (12/07/2008)

By Kat

RE: Secret Santa Gift Ideas

I have the best idea. you know when you have a lot of plastic bags from the grocery store and you don't want to just throw them away, they come in handy for a lot of good stuff; but where to put them? Make a doll out of an old pillow case or fabric stuffing the "head" or top with some of the bags, then tie it off with some string where the neck should be and the rest of the fabric you dangle for the skirt of her dress.

Pull a Cinch through the bottom hem to tighten the dress up so there is just a small hole big enough to stuff a bag into and just stuff your plastic bags in her dress and hang her on a door. you can just pull one bag out at a time to use! (12/09/2008)

By breazy

RE: Secret Santa Gift Ideas

I've decided to make a small wooden candle holder with a plaque above it. Of course, the candle can't burn. You can find non burning candles at Lowes. (12/10/2008)

By David

RE: Secret Santa Gift Ideas

Oh my god! I never thought of that idea about the bath basket. Honestly if someone gave that to me as a gift I would enjoy it. I love baths. Plus in two days I have to come up with a $10 gift for a girl at my work (12/18/2008)

By Shannen

RE: Secret Santa Gift Ideas

How about a voucher booklet? You could have things like household jobs such as sweeping a certain area, or gardening, even things like a pamper session such as giving her a manicure. Busy mums love this stuff! (12/30/2008)

By Cathy from Townsville, QLD

Secret Santa Gift Ideas

For a more personal secret santa idea, the thrift store could be a great place to check out. You'll find that the thrift store could have nifty and funky gifts for a low low price. Also you'll find that the gift will be original and one of a kind. (01/17/2009)

By Maverick

RE: Secret Santa Gift Ideas

I just wanted to let you know there are simple things you can do that will mean a lot. I am a sucker for baskets, they are cheap but thoughtful. Does she like coffee? Or cooking? You can make one of these. 1. Just pick a recipe, print it out then give her the ingredients she needs for it like.

Seven Layer Cookies

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 can Eagle Brand milk
  • 6 oz. chocolate chips
  • 6 oz. butterscotch chips
  • 6 oz. coconut
  • 6 oz. nuts, chopped

Melt butter in bottom of 9x13 inch cake pan. Press graham cracker crumbs into pan. Pour can of Eagle Brand milk over graham cracker crumbs. Sprinkle chocolate chips and butterscotch chips and nuts over mixture. Sprinkle coconut on top. Bake at 350 degrees until coconut browns, (approximately 15 minutes).

2. You can do the same thing with coffee.

Canadian Coffee:

  • 1/4 cup Maple syrup; pure
  • 1/2 cup Rye whiskey
  • 3 cups Coffee; hot, black, double strength
  • 3/4 cup Whipping cream
  • 4 tsp. Maple syrup; pure
For the topping: Whip cream with maple syrup just up until soft mounds; set aside.

Divide maple syrup and whiskey among 4 warmed heatproof glass mugs or goblets. Pour in coffee to 1 inch of top; spoon topping over coffee.

I know I would love gifts like this. They are thoughtful and cheap! (11/30/2009)

By jenniffermaddy

Archive: Secret Santa Ideas

I am looking for ideas to use at work when people sign up to be a secret Santa. I have seen poems with ideas for each day of the exchange.