It’s that time of year, and love it or hate it, the annual office Secret Santa is almost upon us. What is an exciting and playful run up to the festive season for some can be an anxiety fuelled frantic shopping session for others.

After all, you need to find something that is meaningful to whoever you pulled out of the Santa hat, and get something that won’t make you look like a boring grinch.

If you get your work bestie, congratulations, you are in for a fun frolic through the festive offerings, but if you draw the short straw and end up with someone that you could barely pick out of the annual office photo, things are going to be a bit tougher.

Read on for our guide to all things Secret Santa that will take the stress out of the annual office tradition.

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With top sellers in the £5, £10 and £20 range, you are sure to find something to fit your budget, get a smile from the lucky recipient and give you a reputation around the office as the gift giver to get next year.

Carrick Herald:

Tips and tricks for when you don’t know your recipient

So Secret Santa has spoken, and you have ended up with Sue from Accounts who you have only ever emailed one, or Jeffery, the new guy who started two weeks ago… Well, this is the perfect time to get researching.

  • Do some recon at their desk: A person’s desk can say a lot about them; are they super organised, do they have scented candles, can you get a feel for their interests outside of work?
  • Pay attention in the break room: Are they coffee or tea drinkers? Do they reach for fruit or a chocolate bar when it comes to snacking?
  • Ask an office mate: There is no shame in doing some digging with the people they sit nearest to or spend lunch with. If anything, it will make people think of you as a considerate team player.

If all else fails, and you are still totally perplexed with what to get, sweet treats or perhaps a personalised mug (we found a great one for only £2) always go down well, not to mention they are perfect for office for tea breaks.

Top Secret Santa picks for £5 and under

Carrick Herald:

A-Z Alphabet Mug*

You always need a mug in the workplace and what could be better than one with your initial on it? Fill this bargain gift with chocolate coins and candy canes for extra impact.

£2** from Matalan*

Movie Trivia Quiz**

Ideal for the resident movie buff in your office, this compact quiz features 101 questions that will allow them to flex their knowledge at the dinner table or down the pub this Christmas.

£4.50** from Paperchase*

To Do Great Big Sticky Notes**

These oversized stickies are great for uber organized office mates and could also act as a subtle hint to the not so organized in your office. With space for 3 different lists and a section for notes there will be no excuse for missed deadlines.

£4.99** from Waterstones**

Carrick Herald:

Inflatable Antler Game*

This playful hoopla inspired game is sure to be hit at the office party, and because it is inflatable there is unlikely to be any health and safety problems as a result of any overenthusiastic playing.

£3.99** from The Book People*

Top Secret Santa picks for £10 and under

Carrick Herald:

Scott & Lawson 6oz Stainless Steel Hip Flask*

This stylish gift is great for when you end up with a close friend in the Secret Santa draw, but avoid if you don’t know the giftee; the silence when you give this to may not partake in a tipple could be awkward to say the least. 

£9.99** from Argos*

Remedies to Roll for Relaxation*

Help create a peaceful atmosphere in the office with this handy pocket sized roll on aromatherapy remedy. Packed with the soothing scents of lavender, bergamot and frankincense it’s designed to be dabbed onto wrists for a sense of wellbeing and calmness.

£8** from Neal’s Yards Remedies*

Carrick Herald:

Christmas Kraft Box*

Go old school with a blast from the sugar laced past. This festively decorated box is packed full of tuck shop favourites like Rainbow Drops, Love Hearts and Drumstick Lollies. This shareable gift is ideal for when you are really stumped with what to get.

£9.99** from Chewbz*

Moleskin Violet Professional Notebook*

If you have pulled your manager’s name out of the hat we have found the perfect gift for you. This quality notebook from Moleskin is super stylish and comes packed with organisational features such as adhesive tabs and project planning pages.

£9.99** from TK Maxx*

Top Secret Santa picks for £20 and under

Carrick Herald:

Pom Pom Desk Accessory Set*

Brighten up someone’s desk with this fun and funky stationery set that includes a playful pink stapler, holepunch plush push pins and paperclips that are all topped with fuzzy pom pops.

£17.75** from Paperchase*

Burt’s Bees Beauty Basics Washbag*

This pretty washbag comes complete with Burt’s Bees Milk and Honey body lotion, Coconut foot cream and a 100% natural Coconut and Pear lip balm. Made with natural ingredients this is a sure fire winner.

£17.00** from Debenhams*

Carrick Herald:

Cottage Delight Gin and Prosecco Preserves Selection Gift Set*

For a foodie that is partial to a glass of fizz this set offers great value for money with 5 delectable spreads and a chocolate thrown in for good measure. It is even suitable for vegetarians.

£19.99** from Lakeland Plastic*

RED5 Gyro S5 RC Helicopter*

Splash out on this remote controlled helicopter for the big kid in your office. This mini flying machine comes with everything it needs including a battery that can be recharged by USB and of course an instruction manual.

£20** from Boots*

Secret Santa Gift Inspiration

Whoever you end up with remember that Secret Santa is all about the spirit of giving and it is truly the thought that counts. Give yourself time to find a gift and know that a good wrapping job will give you extra brownie points. Happy hunting and don’t forget to check the coupons we have here to get the best deal for your budget.

**Prices correct as of 06/12/18