You know what time it is? Time for HR to send out an email inviting everyone to participate in an office-wide gift swap. That or it’s time for you to prepare for your family’s annual white elephant gift exchange. You know the kind, where everyone buys a
secret Santa gift under $5 to exchange in friendly holiday fun.
But what can you give that’s less than five bucks and still appealing? Plenty. Forget panic shopping late at night at a convenience store and hit up these online vendors for fabulous finds. With a little imagination you can give our Christmas gifts under $5 that are more than mere novelty items. Think small tech tools, fashion accessories, inspirational decor, and more. Yes, all of those will cost you less than a Lincoln and they’re actually practical presents.
The key to a great budget gift is taking a good hard look at your recipient and choosing something they’ll actually use or want. Maybe you have a coworker who is awesome but a little under appreciated. How about a Boss Babe sticker for her? Or maybe your cousin is always misplacing his keys. Give him an inexpensive catchall dish he can drop them in each time he comes home. These secret Santa gifts under $5 are totally affordable and will be very much appreciated.
We only include products that have been independently selected by Romper's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article. 1 Stylish Hair Clip
Stylish hair clips might seem like a relatively low key secret Santa gift under $5. But when you really think about it, it’s the ultimate treat. Most people throw their manes in a rubber band. But a fancy hair clip adds a little something extra to an updo. And it’s likely the person you’re giving one to wouldn’t treat themselves to one on their own. Make them feel special with this cheap yet attractive gift and watch them sashay into the next big work meeting sporting their new accessory.
2 Boss Babe Sticker
You know what never goes out of style? Showing appreciation to an under-appreciated coworker. We all have one, someone who quietly puts in the extra time to get things done never asking for anything in return. Make that person feel extra special with your office Secret Santa gift under $5 by giving them this lovely Boss Babe sticker. By handing that to them not only are you saying “Great job!,” you’re giving them permission to slap that thing on their desk, computer, or planner, and hold their head high knowing they’re doing a great job.
3 Airpod Case
With Zoom taking over all of our lives in the past two years, it’s likely you know someone who permanently lives with their Airpods in. But when they do get a down minute and need to take those babies out, make it easier for them by giving them these cheap gifts for coworkers under $5, an Airpod holder. This super inexpensive gift will likely become their favorite item, a true necessity they can use every day. And that certainly beats buying them something random at the gas station.
4 A Gorgeous Note Card
Can’t figure out what to give someone? Then go the more meaningful route and purchase a beautiful card that doubles as a piece of art. This gorgeous greeting card is perfect. Inside you can write a meaningful message to whomever you want. Then they can use it to decorate their cubicle, home, or even have it framed to keep the memento forever. As is often repeated this time of year, it truly is the thought that counts and with this gift, your thoughts will be clear.
5 Nail Brush
Another fun and affordable Secret Santa gift under $5? How about a nail brush? Totally gender neutral, whether your recipient is known for always rocking a perfect manicure or spends hours in the garden, anyone can appreciate this gift. It makes hand washing much more thorough and can help someone really clean their nails regardless of whether they’re covered in paint from a craft project with kids or filled with frosting from holiday baking.
6 Brown Sugar Bear
Speaking of baking, did you get a baker as your Secret Santa recipient? Then there is a kitchen essential they really appreciate. This Brown Sugar Bear is designed to be soaked then set inside a container of brown sugar to keep it soft. Made of fired clay, you just have to soak the little bear in a bowl of water for 20 minutes, then place it with the item you want to keep moist: baked goods, cakes, cookies, marshmallows, even dried fruit included.
7 Square Catchall Dish
We’re all running around with so many items in our pockets — keys, phones, headphones, change, etc. — it’s easy to misplace things. So consider this the ultimate affordable yet thoughtful Christmas gift. It’s a beautifully designed catchall dish. Rather than just throwing their loose pocket items on a kitchen counter or by a sink, the person you give this gift to can put all their things in one place and rest assured they’ll find them there in the morning.
8 Don’t Overthink It Magnet
Have a phenomenal person in your life who deserves some support? Say it with this uplifting magnet. , You can buy this attractive piece of fridge decor and remind them to just go for it each time they reach for the milk or a snack. Sporting the phrase “Don’t Overthink It”, the magnet comes with added meaning is a great reminder to trust your gut. For anyone who can sweat the small stuff, this is an inexpensive Secret Santa gift they’ll appreciate long after the holiday is over.
9 Clay Face Mask Sample
Perhaps buying your fave coworker a full on massage is out of the question or out of the budget parameters of your office secret Santa. No worries. You can still treat them with a mini sample of at home DIY face masks. With three choices available, including Matcha, Rose Clay, and Turmeric, you can tailor your choice to your recipient to ensure they get the most out of their facial cleanse. All they need to do is take the product pouch, mix it with water into a paste, apply it to the face for 15 minutes, then wash off with water.
10 Gua Sha Facial Tool
Who doesn’t need a little pampering right now? It’s something everyone could use. But giving oneself permission to indulge in some self care isn’t easy for everyone. You can help with your Christmas gift under $5 by wrapping up this Gua Sha facial tool for a friend or co-worker. Made to be used in tandem with a face oil or cream, the user rubs the stone over the face to relax the muscles and promote drainage. Like a mini massage, it’s the most inexpensive form of physical therapy you can buy.
11 Affirmation Card
Affirmations often get eye rolls from the cynical. But let’s be honest, deep down a vote of confidence can work wonders, even if it is written on a note card we keep tucked in our desk. Etsy vendor Afton by Palm has a selection of different affirmations including “Freedom is happiness on your terms,” “Exhale,” and “Let the rain fall right to your roots. Suck it all up and grow through the storm that you go through. Bloom.” Perhaps there’s a coworker on your secret Santa list that could use one of those messages. Now you can share for less than it costs to buy a latte.
Ready to play Santa’s elf and pass out your gifts? Review this list of cheap secret Santa gifts for coworkers (or friends or family members) under $5 before the party.