Secret Santa gift ideas do’s and don’ts

It’s that time of the year again – yes, the Secret Santa.

We understand that it’s not easy finding the perfect gift for your co-workers or your not-so-close group of friends. After all, how do you strike a balance between “the first thing I saw at Daiso” and “I know way too much about your personal life”?



Here are some dos and don’ts to help you breeze through this tradition:

Secret Santa do’s

1. Food-related gifts
Score brownie points with gourmet popcorn, cookies or candy (just look at how quickly free goodies in the pantry get scoffed down).

2. Coffee, coffee, coffee
A gift card to a coffee joint where your colleague or friends can enjoy several days’ worth of real, fresh-brewed java will be divine. Who doesn’t appreciate an excuse to scoot out for a quick cuppa?

3. Entertainment-related gifts
Movie passes, gift certificates to restaurants and gift cards to a bookstore are all broad enough that anyone would be happy to receive them. Or to re-gift them.

4. Office-related gifts
This is more relevant to your colleagues but applicable to other working adults as well. What do you have in common with your co-workers? Where you work. So the safe option would be items that make a day at the office a little easier – think creative and fun office supplies, fancy pens and coffee mugs.

5. Include the receipt
If you’re the sort who thinks a pair of corduroy jeans makes a perfect gift then for the love of all that is fabric, include the receipt for your recipient.

Sesame Street Christmas Cookie Monster Elmo
These Santas approve of the gift ideas above.

Secret Santa don’ts

1. Be overly intimate
Anything that you’d buy for someone on Valentine’s Day isn’t appropriate. Think of this as shopping for your parents. You wouldn’t buy them lingerie would you? (Wait, would you??)

2. Give booze
Everyone loves a tipple. Well, almost everyone. Ok, maybe half of the people out there. Unless you’re 100 percent sure that your recipient doesn’t abstain from alcohol for religious or personal reasons, err on the side of caution and stay away from this polarising gift.

3. Be a scrooge
Whatever’s your office’s stated budget, stick to it. Don’t be the person who obviously tried to save a few bucks and got the gift from a pasar malam.

4. Give clothing
However good you think your eye is at guessing a correct waist size, don’t trust it. Stay clear of this minefield as Jover Chew would of Vietnamese tourists.

5. Assume everyone has your tastes
Not everyone shares your offbeat humour. If you’re going to go for a funny gift, try to keep it harmlessly silly, that appeals to a wide range of ages and personalities. Cats doing silly things, maybe?

Need a location for your Secret Santa gift exchange? Come to Resorts World Sentosa where we have a series of activities lined up this holiday season.

Get in the festive mood and check out related blogposts:

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