Secret Santa gift ideas: The top presents people actually want to receive

Struggling to come up with great Secret Santa gift ideas is one of the biggest challenges we face throughout the festive season. Whether you’re buying for friends, family or colleagues, it’s tricky to balance a tight budget with fairly grand expectations, and so it’s no surprise that many of us end up with a present that could, if we’re honest with ourselves, be perceived as a little bit naff.

However, new research from high-street chain Wilko has revealed that there are actually some safe present options that will please any crowd.

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According to the brand, a quarter of us worry about buying the ‘wrong’ item when it comes to Secret Santa – but the findings of their survey, which took into account the opinions of 2,000 UK adults, show that it is possible to nail your purchase, no matter whose name you’ve drawn out of the hat this year.

So without further ado, here are the top 10 most popular Secret Santa gift ideas that adults would love to find in their stockings this Christmas, with suggestions for each that come in at less than £15.

(And if you’re still stuck after reading them all? Scroll down and you’ll find the full list of 40).

1. Alcohol


Veuve Monsigny Champagne Brut, £10.99, Aldi

Alcohol topped the list of all Secret Santa gift ideas, and if you know the right supermarket to head to, you can get some great bottles at truly bargain prices. Aldi’s £11 champagne has been voted one of the best in the world on more than one occasion; but if your recipient is more of a spirit lover, they also do a great range of flavoured gins (like the new flavoured gins) for less than £15.

2. Chocolates

The Winter Chocolate Puddings H-box, £12.95, Hotel Chocolat

(Almost) everyone loves chocolate, and it’s an affordable gift that will usually get you plenty of bang for your buck. Hotel Chocolat offers a range of festive treats starting from just £2 – this winter pudding-themed box is beautifully presented and contains chocolates infused with flavours like chocolate orange, treacle tart, and blackcurrant cheesecake.

3. Gift card

Selfridges gift card, from £10, Voucher Express

Okay, so it’s not the most personal gift in the world, but at least you’re giving them the opportunity to pick something they actually want. Choose a card for a department store like Selfridges which houses plenty of luxury brands to please even the most discerning of shoppers.

4. Book

Cosy: The British Art of Comfort by Laura Weir, £9.99, Amazon

‘A book’ gives you plenty of chance to show a bit of imagination and make your Secret Santa gift more personal. If they love cooking, get them a new recipe bible, or if they’re obsessed with celebrity, try the latest A-list biography. If all else fails, a celebration of small, simple joys – like Laura Weir’s gorgeous new book Cosy: The British Art of Comfort – is usually a winning pick.

5. Candles

White Peach & Jasmine Travel Tin Scented Candle, £12, Oliver Bonas

Not all scented candles are created equal, but you can squeeze a good one in pretty much any Secret Santa budget if you choose wisely. Oliver Bonas’s travel candles pack a powerful punch for their £12 price tag, and come in a range of pastel-hued, shelfie-friendly designs.

6. Money

Rico Design Red Rose Card and Envelope Pack, £10, Liberty

Yes, according to the research a high percentage of Brits would rather have the cash than a novelty gift. If you’ve drawn the name of one of them, make it feel special by giving it in a beautiful card and envelope – this Liberty set contains 15, so works out at less than £1 per gift.

7. Sweets

Piccadilly Sweet Parade Sour Cherry Cola Bottles Jar, £5, John Lewis & Partners

You may have already considered chocolate, but for the seriously sweet of tooth only actual candy will do. John Lewis & Partners have a range of smartly packaged options for £5, including cherry and cola bottles, watermelon bon bons and even prosecco gummies.

8. Socks

‘Let it Snow’ socks, £3.50, Topshop

They’re a classic for a reason! Whether you go themed and festive or for something more sophisticated, you can usually pick up a great pair of socks for a snip. Topshop (and Topman) both offer vast ranges in an array of colours and prints.

9. Perfume

Black Amber, £9.99, Zara

Everyone’s favourite fashion store also has a great line of fragrances that are impeccably packaged and have the staying power you’d expect from something much more expensive. If you can find out your recipient’s favourite, it’s likely that they’ll have a dupe – Black Amber, for instance, is said to be a dead ringer for Dolce & Gabbana’s The One.

10. Bubble bath

Vanilla Birthday Cake, £14.50, Philosophy

For the giftee that needs to destress, there’s nothing better than the gift of a long, hot soak. Philosophy’s good-enough-to-eat bubble baths are multi-taskers, doubling up as shampoo and shower gel for when they don’t have time for the full experience.

The top 40 Secret Santa gift ideas

1. Alcohol
2. Chocolates
3. Gift card
4. Book
5. Candles
6. Money
7. Sweets
8. Socks
9. Perfume
10. Bubble bath
11. Lotions / soaps
12. Stationery
13. A plant
14. Notebook
15. Jewellery
16. Make-up
17. Puzzle
18. Clothing
19. Diary
20. Board game
21. CDs
22. Photo frame
23. Charity donation
24. Blanket
25. Flowers
26. Calendar
27. Magazine subscription
28. Kitchenware
29. Coffee maker
30. Cushions
31. Keyring / chain
32. A book of jokes
33. Tea pot / tea cosy
34. Vitamins / herbal remedies
35. Salt and pepper shakers
36. Fruit
37. Ornament
38. Extra hot chilli sauce
39. A clock
40. Glasses