2 Fool-Proof Ideas For Your Office Secret Santa Exchange

Posted on: 27 December 2014

Secret Santa exchanges allow a large group of people to exchange gifts without any one person taking on a huge financial responsibility. Everyone writes their name on a piece of paper, the pieces all get mixed together in a bowl and then each person in turn takes a paper out of the bowl. You buy a gift for the person you select out of the bowl, keeping your selection a secret, and often have a dollar value limit.

This works well in large, extended families where everyone is close but the sheer number makes mass gift-giving unaffordable. But office Secret Santa exchanges have become more popular and in those situations you might not know the person you select well enough to choose a personalized gift.

Here are two fool-proof ideas for your office exchange.

Bath and Spa Gift Baskets

Gift baskets filled with soaps, bubble bath and scented candles can be a safe choice particularly for a female recipient. But you still might want to do a bit of subtle research before you select a basket. Try to find out if the person has any allergies to fragrances before buying a basket filled with floral scents. You can usually find out by mentioning perfume allergies casually in conversation and seeing if the person mentions having the same problem. There are unscented gift basics available, so you should go that route if you're unable to find out for sure if the person has allergies.

A male recipient might also enjoy a spa baskets. Male-oriented baskets might include some nice shaving cream, aftershave and after-shower slippers. Try not to buy a basket containing anything too personal, like a pair of silk boxers, as that might be a tad awkward for everyone involved.

Coffee Mug

A coffee mug might seem like a cheap cheat when you absolutely don't know what to get a person. But there are some subtle ways you can make the gift more clever without having to know much about the recipient's favorite shows or hobbies. Dry erase coffee mugs let the user jot notes or doodle on the cup, which is handy during long conference calls. Travel coffee mugs in a classic black and silver design can let the person bring in coffee, tea or even soup in from home.

The beauty of this gift idea is that even if the person already owns the mug you bought, they likely will be happy to own a backup.