Ready or not, the holidays are coming, and in some circles that means one thing — Secret Santa gifts. Giving and receiving anonymous gifts can add some fun and flair to the holidays. If you're a Secret Santa this year, these creative Secret Santa 2017 Gifts can help make sure your recipient has a happy holiday because these are gifts your friend will actually love. The holiday tradition of Secret Santa was created by Larry Dean Stewart to shower people with random acts of kindness, according to the website Secret Santa World.
If you're low on funds this year, Secret Santa is a great way to still have a thoughtful gift exchange with your friends. And, you get the added mystery of trying to guess the identity of your secret elf. The key to making Secret Santa fun instead of stressful is to set up some parameters ahead of time like a spending limit. Establishing some rules can make sure your Secret Santa gift exchange doesn't devolve into the Friends episode "The One With Chandler In A Box" where everyone tries to switch names with each other because they don't want to buy a gift for the person they actually drew.
Secret Santa can also get interesting if you've got a large group of friends that includes exes. On year during a work Secret Santa exchange I drew my ex-boyfriend's new girlfriend and my new boyfriend drew my ex. Um, can you say awkward? We were both baffled by this coincidence and ended up getting them both sweaters. If you're looking for some creative Secret Santa 2017 gifts — that aren't sweaters — here are some ideas to get you started.
1Bamboo Essential Oil Diffuser
Staying awake at work, especially post holidays, can be difficult. One thing that is known to keep you awake is peppermint oil, and putting it in a chic, all-natural bamboo essential-oil diffuser can ensure a constant stream of peppermint for your sleep-deprived Secret Santa recipient. I have one of these, and I love it.
2Bottoms up Santa! Wine Glass
If your Secret Santa recipient loves a good glass of wine, then this Bottoms Up Santa! wine glass is the perfect accessory to get them through the holidays. You can even pair it with their favorite bottle of wine for an extra touch, like this OUTstanding RED Tom of Finland Wine. A portion of every purchase goes toward a nonprofit that promotes human rights and sexual expression through art.
3Paint By Sticker Book
Paint By Sticker Book, $15, Shop Bop
Is your Secret Santa recipient a music lover? This fun paint-by-sticker book is perfect for artists, doodlers, and coloring book enthusiasts of all ages. It's kind of like a puzzle where your friend can match the stickers to the numbers to create a rad painting of a music icon.
4Vnyl Subscription Service
If you drew a vinyl aficionado for your Secret Santa gift exchange, help add to their record collection by getting them three records for $39. More and more millennial women are listening to their tunes on vinyl, so help your vinyl-loving friend put the needle on the record during Secret Santa 2017.
6Introvert Activity Book
If you drew an introvert, The Introvert Activity Book by Maureen Mazi Wilson is a thoughtful gift idea for the reflective introvert in your life. "Introverts are known for their creativity, their need for thoughtful reflection, and their preference for solitary activities, such as drawing and writing," the books description on Simon & Schuster explained. "The Introvert Activity Book offers doodle ideas, lists, paper-craft projects, writing prompts, and so much more—the reader becomes the author."
7Wonder Woman Icon Pop Socket
I was recently introduced to Pop Sockets, and they're pretty genius. The Pop Sockets founder originally created this little life hack to stop his earbuds from dangling, according to the Pop Socket website. In addition to keeping your buds in place, Pop Sockets, which come in dozens of designs, can help you take better selfies and help you hold onto your phone. If your Secret Santa 2017 recipient drops their phone eleventy million times a day, then they most definitely need one of these.
8All-Natural Bath Products
Shower your Secret Santa 2017 recipient with all-natural bath products from Four Goats and A Donkey, a new endeavor from a breast cancer survivor looking to simply her life by moving from Beverly Hills to Idaho to become a homesteader. Choose from goat-milk soaps, fig soaps, bath salts, candles, and more to create a one-of-a-kind gift basket your friend will love.
9Active Light Color-Changing Lightbulb
If you drew someone for Secret Santa 2017 who has deliberately created a mood scape for their home, and you want to commit to be a Secret Santa for an entire year, get your recipient a color changing lightbulb paired with a subscription to Hive. This uber-Instagramable gift, which is being called the unicorn frap in bulb form, let's your friend create an atmosphere to match their every mood, set schedules to turn the lights on or off, change the brightness or colors automatically, and save energy by turning their lights on/off from anywhere with their smartphone.
10Revolucion Love in Action Bracelet
If you drew a socially conscious friend for Secret Santa 2017, this Love In Action Bracelet from Revolucion is a beautiful accessory that gives back in three different ways. Proceeds go to Relate, the non-profit who makes the bracelets, and provides employment and job-skills training for men and women in one of South Africa’s most impoverished areas; the Amy Foundation, which provides programs to develop and empower youth ages 5-25 living in challenged and vulnerable communities in the Western Cape of South Africa; and a Love in Action nonprofit that changes monthly. You can even customize the bracelet with a 14-letter word or phrase.
11Odette & Joni Mini Spa Box
If you're Secret Santa 2017 recipient loves a day at the spa, then this mini-spa box from all-natural skincare company Odette & Joni is a perfect gift. You're recipient will get two facial masks, and a bowl and spoon to mix them in. The masks are vegan and deemed natural enough to eat, so this is a thoughtful way to help your friend refresh after the hustle and bustle of the holidays.
12Brooke Gordon Designs Custom Sign
Make your Secret Santa 2017 recipient feel extra special without spending a fortune by getting them a custom-made sign from Brooke Gordon Designs. Choose the shade of wood and the saying to let your 2017 Secret Santa friend know just how well you know and appreciate them.
15Vintage Handbag Made From a Book
Are you the Secret Santa to bookworm who appreciates one-of-a-kind literary gifts? This vintage handbag made from a book is equal parts affordable and thoughtful, and your gift recipient will most definitely Instagram this present the second they open it.
16Scotty P Big Mug Coffee
If you and your Secret Santa 2017 gift recipient are Gilmore Girls fans, then you've likely dreamed of sipping coffee in Luke's Diner with Rory and Lorelai. Well, now you can at least give your friend the coffee. Scott Patterson, aka Luke Danes, has officially open up his new virtual coffee shop, and you can order the blend of your choice just in time for the holidays.
17Positivity Magic Candle
Give your Secret Santa 2017 pal this inspiring candle to dispel negative thoughts, and usher in a positive outlook as 2017 draws to a close. This candle can cleanse both people and physical spaces, remove destructive energy, and make room for more creative, optimistic energy to flow in. You might just want to grab one for yourself, too.