Back when I worked for the NHS, one of my favourite Christmas activities was the Secret Santa. You had to come up with your own secret Santa gift ideas back then, as blogs and even online shopping weren’t all that mainstream. The area I worked in had 7 staff members, plus the manager.

Each year, all 8 staff members’ names were written on a piece of paper and then we all took it in turns to draw one name out of the hat. The rule was you could only put it back if it was your own name. Once everyone was allocated a recipient, the secret Santa fun began! I thought I would share some secret Santa gift ideas today. I am focussing on gifts which are around £5.

Secret Santa Gift Ideas For Colleagues:

With a budget of £5, there’s quite a lot you can find for colleagues.  There’s a great range of secret Santa gift ideas at Card Factory. If you’re looking for a gift for a work colleague, how about some of these ideas….

Personalised Chocolate:

Is it even Christmas without it? There are so many places to get personalised chocolate from now, it’s basically rude not to consider it! Although if you’re buying for someone who has been on Slimming World for ages, maybe avoid this gift…?

secret Santa gift ideas

Nail Polish:

If your colleague always has fabulous nails, why not pop into Boots and pick up a bottle of nail polish in a shade she usually goes for? (Don’t buy her black if she’s usually a fan of neutral shades though)!


If you know the recipient’s tipple of choice, this is bound to be appreciated. A couple of independent bottles of ale, or some pre-mixed Cocktails, for example?

A New Mug:

If you’re buying for the person who can usually be found waiting for the kettle to boil, a new mug is sure to be a welcome gift. If the recipient you are shopping for us usually found chugging on water, maybe opt for a water bottle instead though!

secret Santa gift ideas


If you’re shopping for a stationery addict or list writer, these are bound to be appreciated! There’s loads of fab notebooks available for a couple of pounds apiece, too. Maybe get a couple of those and a cute pencil to go with them?


What about some funny character socks? Or boring, serious ones if you’ve got the boss as your recipient?

Joke Book:

If you’ve got the office joker as your recipient, why not fuel the fire and buy them a joke book? Or maybe buy one for the office grump if you got them? Anything to lighten the mood…?

Scented Candles:

I loved this Purple Rain candle which is only £2.99  in Card Factory. It’s perfect for a Prince fan, or a candle fan! There’s plenty more ideas where these came from though.

A Coffee Shop Gift Card:

Who says Secret Santa gifts have to be tacky rubbish? I’d always be super grateful for a £5 Costa or Starbucks voucher!


Pick up one of those £5 mini build sets and I am pretty sure any recipient – whether male or female will be glad to receive them!

I hope this secret Santa gift ideas post has been helpful – do let me know in the comments which gift(s) you opted for! You can find more of my Christmas content here.

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