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Make your office Secret Santa easy this Christmas

Published 13 December 2013 by

It’s that time of year again where you spend every evening and weekend pounding the high street or putting your computer mouse through its paces as you desperately try to buy everything on your Christmas shopping list. And one entry that may be causing you particular stress is the office Secret Santa.

Depending on the size of your workplace, there’s a good chance you’ve never spoken to the person whose name you picked this year, and so have no idea what they want. With prices on the rise, finding something good for £10 or under may also be causing you to fret.

However, we’re here to help you take the stress out of Secret Santa this year, with ten failsafe gift ideas that should put a smile on the face of even the biggest Scrooge in the office. Read on for our top ten gifts for under £10 (prices correct at time of writing).

10 for under £10

1) Mugs

It’s impossible to go wrong with a mug as a gift, particularly in a large office where there never seem to be enough to go around. Give one of these as a present, and the recipient will never have to go without a brew – or use that chipped cup at the back of the cupboard – again.

Cath Kidston is doing a particularly festive mug this year to help keep the spirit of Christmas alive long after the decorations have come down. It comes in a matching tin and is currently available with 20% off.

If your colleague is always late to the office, this handy travel mug from Starbucks keeps their brew warm so they can save time and drink it on their way to work. Finally, for the employee who barely has time to get up from their desk and make a cup of tea, this self-stirring mug, which we found for the best price on Amazon, stirs tea or coffee to perfection – saving them the hassle of doing it!

2) Desk décor

The obvious choice of gift for a workmate is something they can use in the office. This USB-powered cup warmerfrom IWOOT will keep their drink warm while they’re away from their desk – and the quirky cookie design will brighten up the office. Alternatively, for the colleague whose desk is so messy it resembles a crime scene, this desk organiser at Red5 will continue that theme while helping them to stay tidy.

3) Desk calendar

Continuing the theme of gifts to use at work, a desk calendar is a perfect present – particularly with a new year on the horizon.

Bring a little excitement to your work buddy’s time in the office with this Scrabble-themed desk calendar from John Lewis. With 350 pages of wordy challenges to tackle, they can kick off each day by exercising their grey matter.

4) Fun & games

No one likes sitting and staring at a computer screen all day, so giving someone a gift they can use to break up the monotony a bit is sure to be appreciated.

This Sudokube from Presents for Men has all the retro charm of a Rubik’s Cube, but rather than trying to make each side of the cube one colour, the challenge is for each face to show the numbers one to nine. Hours of fun!

5) Useful gadgets

If your workmate is something of a fashionista, you could treat them to a designer watch – where they’re the designer. This paper watch from Firebox can be customised with any design your workmate fancies, and it will also help them ensure they’re never late for work!

It’s hard to think of a gift that’s more useful than a watch, but this key-ring charger for iPhones might just be it. You can snap it up on IWOOT and still have change from a tenner.

6) Tasty treats

If you know your Secret Santa this year is something of a foodie, a gift they can eat is sure to go down a treat.

It’s hard to think of a present that could be appreciated more than having a delicious chocolate brownie - made by the Shortbread Gift Company and available from Not On The High Street - delivered directly to your desk. Choose from flavours like cappuccino, banana nut or chocolate chip and then get this sweet treat delivered straight to your colleague. Pay more, and you could make it a monthly brownie delivery!

Should your work pal prefer savoury treats to sweet, head to Tesco and put together a gift hamper of Nando’s sauces, seasonings and marinades. They don’t cost much individually, but together the recipient can use them to create authentic-tasting Nando’s dishes at home.

7) Culinary delights

A present they can use in the kitchen is sure to be appreciated by your workmate. As the end of the working day approaches, they may already be thinking about how they can put it into action and cook up a dinner to remember when they get home.

These Street Eats kits at BHS allow you to introduce a taste of Thailand, India or China to your kitchen, with each kit coming with everything you need to create authentic-tasting international dishes at home.

If you don’t know if your colleague likes to cook, they may still appreciate something that brightens up their kitchen. These salt and pepper shakers in the shape of Coca-Cola bottles, also at BHS, will add a touch of retro cool to their home.

8) Green fingers

Plants are a great way of brightening up the home or the office and so make a thoughtful gift. At Not On The High Street, you can buy a present that fits in nicely with the festive theme, such as this grow-your-own Christmas dinner kit by London Herb Garden, which features seeds for all the festive trimmings.

Admittedly, it may be a bit late now to grow a Christmas dinner from scratch, so as an alternative you could buy them this Christmas Tree kit by Ellie Ellie, which can be personalised for your work buddy.

9) Chocoholic

It’s hard to go wrong with giving chocolate, so if you know the person you have picked has a sweet tooth, make it easy for yourself by presenting them with their favourite treat. The obvious choice is Thorntons, which has a range of festive-themed sweets for under £10.

For something a little different, challenge your colleague to the Chilli Chocolate Challenge. This kit from Very ranges from ‘mild’, through ‘fiery’ to ‘extreme’ with each bite.

10) And relax…

Presents that help you to relax are sure to be appreciated by your workmate, and the thought of indulging at the end of a long shift will help them get through the day. Lush can always be counted on when Secret Santa duties come calling, and has a range of festive gift sets for under £10.

For something a little different, check out these water lights from Stocking Fillers. Your pal can stick them to the side of their bath for a spa (or possibly disco) feel – and they can even be used on outdoor water features, like ponds.

We hope these ideas give you some inspiration and that, whatever you end up getting, your Secret Santa gift will be the talk of the office. It’s just a shame no one will ever know it was from you.

Are you doing Secret Santa at your workplace this year? Why not share your own present tips below?