How to Secret Santa like you ARE Santa
That enigmatic Secret Santa. A super easy way to cut Christmas costs whilst ensuring everyone gets a gift come Christmas day (or Friday Week 10), but also can be the perpetrator of ruining a solid two weeks of painstaking internet browsing or procrastination, which inevitable amounts in some reduced bubble bath or the first chocolate box you see in W H Smith. In light of the festive season, this blog post is dedicated to assisting you in your Secret Santa shopping, as well as Chrsitmas shopping in general, as it has come a bit later than intended…
Step 1: Gauge your relationship
You’ve pulled out the name, the rest of the gang are around you, trying to interpret your reaction… and you know instantly if this is going to be a task or not. If it isn’t, gift ideas will be springing into your mind right now, you’ll be eager to get to Amazon so you can ensure that perfect present will arrive on time and have probably no need for this blog post. If it is, do not panic, take a few deep breaths, smile at your friends, you’ve got this, I promise. The first thing to think about is your relationship with said person. Have you been living with them for a year but still don’t REALLY know them? They’re quite shy? Or they’re really loud and you find it hard to approach? On the other hand, you know them TOO well and every present you think of you can imagine them disliking? It is important to really be honest and come to terms with how well you know this person, which brings me on to step 2…
Step 2: Think about the facts
I am sure everyone will love to open up a iPhone 6s, lifetime Netflix subscription and their student load for the following year paid off come PRESENTation day ( 😉 ), however I anticipate there will be some budget restriction laid out. And if there isn’t, you may want to propose this to the group to avoid any awkwardness when the obvious price disparities are staring you in the face- it is very obvious when you try to outshine people, as well as when you’ve been a bit cheap! Alongside this you will have an approaching deadline, so anything you may fancy shipping in from Australia may also be off the cards. If you don’t know the receiver all too well, it may be wise to do some research into their life. In a non-stalker kind of way. Subtly get them to chat about their interests, or if you’re too awkward to do that, ask someone who knows them better for ideas! Thinking about these restrictions will help shrink the massive arena of potential pressies and reduce stress, whilst also hopefully giving you some ideas.
Step 3: Consider your approach
Probably the most important thought-process involved in any gift-giving experience to anyone is the approach. Most presents can be put in one of three categories; something they need, something they want and joke, and using what you know of your relationship (see step 1) you will have to make a decision on what angle to go with. It is easy to go with the generic booze, chocolate and a novelty mug, but let’s be honest, that is not going to be the memorable gift I know you are capable of. So if you know the person well, you may well know of something they need, or remember something you passed in a shop that they took interest in before. Another good way to think of a good ‘necessity’ gift is to think of a problem that the person faces. I’m not suggesting you go out and buy them a car because they are impatient at the bus stop, but say they always have to borrow other people’s Tupperware for packed lunch, or never have enough clean towels; rectifying these shows that you put a bit of thought into it. Maybe team up this gift with a bottle of their favourite pre-drinking materiel and you are good to go! Another way to get a good necessity present is when everyone has written down their name on the piece of paper, get them to do a small wishlist. So if you are truly stuck for ideas, at least you can find something they definitely will appreciate.
The more risky option is the joke gift. Generally I wouldn’t go down this route if you two don’t know each other too well as it could end up with forced laughter and it being hidden under the sofa; never the ideal outcome. Additionally, if a good one instantly springs to mind that is a great sign, but I would never try to force this gift, as it could be received with the awkwardness previously described. However, these gifts often become the most memorable and the defining moment of the day, so if you reckon the ironic ‘gym shark’ vest will go down well, go for it!
Step 4a: Hit the internet
Amazon is the saviour if you know what you want, as you can get a damn good deal and it will be from a trusted source. In terms of browsing, it is less good, however there are better sites you can try for crowd-pleasing presents which aren’t so obviously crowd-pleasing! Firebox.com has got some really unique gifs and filters not just for price but for the interests and attitude of the gift receiver! It can be quite pricey though so a good idea is to get some inspiration, and then search specifically for the product on Amazon or Ebay for a better deal. Etsy.com has some really nice handmade gift ideas too, some very specific to TV shows and books, and arrive directly from the producer so you can be sure of personality.
Step 4b: Hit the Parade
Yep it is the holidays now so chances are you aren’t still in Leamington, however the ‘Parade’ here is more of a symbol for your local generic shopping high street. Shops like Tiger and Menkind provide some pretty funny ideas for gifts for great value- I mean who WOULDN’T want a table top air hockey set- but you have to be aware of quality. These are fab for a few larks on Christmas day but after that will most likely go in a cupboard somewhere never to be seen again. If looking for something that may resonate for a bit longer than 2 hours, opt for shops like Paperchase and Lush which give quality gifts for any kind of person. Books, CDs and DVDs are another good shout when looking round the high street- if you aren’t sure what your ‘secret santee’ is into, go for something you’ve recently read/heard/watched recently and enjoyed.
Step 5: Wrap it up and get festive!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Got your gift?? Wrapped it? Success! It is now off your mind until Christmas. Now you just have to think about the rest of your family and friends who aren’t involved…
Good luck! And have a fab and food-filled Christmas!