Secret Santa gifts are the absolute worst. You might be buying for someone you barely know, and there's always a dollar limit. I mean, what do you get for that one guy in accounting who always tries to pick girls up at Happy Hour by showing off his mad Klingon skills? Or the woman in payroll with the porcelain doll collection on her desk? Well, with a little creativity, it doesn't have to be awful. There are a ton of secret Santa gifts for under $5 so you can spread some cheap Christmas cheer.
Last year, I was a part of a hilarious secret Santa where I was working at the time. The person who drew my name knew I love romance novels, and binge on them like most people binge on Netflix. Netflix and chill? Nah. Harlequin and get handsy. Anyway, they bought me an 18-inch tall rooster. Yup, they bought me a big, hard ... you know. I laughed so hard I thought I'd pee my pants. If you're buying a gift for someone you know well, like they did, it can be easy and fun. However, it's likely you'll be buying the secret Santa for someone with whom you're not well acquainted, and that can be kinda weird. With this list, however, it doesn't have to be.
1Winter Slouchy Beanie
Who knew you could get cute, handmade stuff on Amazon for $5? I certainly didn't. But this beanie hat with pom fits the bill, and is totally worth it if you ask me. I live in Brooklyn and let me tell you, I live in beanies from November until April. Not only are they cute and warm, but they also have the added benefit of covering my winter-dry hair.
At $2/each, these concrete letters from SlaughterHausStudio are so unique. You could get their first and last initial for their desk or bookends, plus they're really cute and lots of people would love them. I can also picture these being really cute in a garden or as a doorstop. Bonus points if you spell out a dirty word.
3Mrs. Doubtfire Sticker Pack
You tell me honestly that you wouldn't love a Mrs Doubtfire sticker pack. Oh wait, you can't, because of course you want one. This is an especially good gift for the planner enthusiast among your friends and co-workers. Oh, you can't think about a Mrs. Doubtfire-related planner need? Obviously, it's when the babysitter has the kids.
4French Vanilla Goat's Milk Lip Balm
These artisanal lip balms come in strawberry and vanilla, and their all-natural ingredients will lure any product lover. A pack of three is enough to get you through the cold, dry winter months. This is perfect for the Carmex addict on your floor. While the medicated balm is a delight, these smell way better.
Any book lover would be thrilled with a vintage hardcover. Thriftbooks.com has a crazy good selection for under $5, and bonus points if it's a book you've read and loved. Books like Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison or The Prophet by Khalil Ghibran are great choices.
6Blown Glass Teardrop Ornament
This gorgeous glass ornament is unexpectedly beautiful. This is for the office mate who likes jewelry and actually frames their pictures instead of pinning them to the cubical wall. Honestly, this is a great gift for the hard-to-buy-for crowd.
7Fair Trade Paper Bead Two-Piece Envision Bracelet
BeadforLife Paper Bead Bracelets, $5, Amazon
These BeadforLife paper bead bracelets are fair trade from Africa, and they're so delicate and pretty, I know I would love getting them. (In fact, I may order some for myself.) You should have a reasonably good idea of someone's style before buying these, but these will work for a lot of people. They're super cute arm candy without being bulky.
This Xhilaration fuzzy sleep mask is adorable and fun. Also, if you work in a job that requires a lot of travel, I will tell you how helpful these are. Also, they're fuzzy, so in my mind, that's an automatic win.
9FEJKA Potted Plant
Who'd have thought of IKEA for a good place to get gifts? They have great stuff, and more than you'd think is under $5. These FEJKA potted plants are a sweet edition to the Secret Santa plan.
10Pearl Etude Paper Beauty Mask
Etude House Sheet Masks, $4, Amazon
Do you know someone with a love of all things beauty? A few Etude House sheet masks may seem silly, but to die-hard K-beauty fans like me, it's a great pick. They're a hit with pretty much everyone who tries them.
11Cake In A Jar
Cake in a jar is a real thing, and it's really delicious. It's the perfect treat to eat at your desk. There are several flavors ranging from red velvet to chocolate chip, and they're all really yummy. Perfect for your office mate with a sweet tooth.
Who doesn't love a cute little potted succulent? These wee succulents are hardy little things and easy to care for. They can easily live in an office or cubicle, adding a little life to any space. A bow and you're done.
13Glitter Lipstick Bag
This cute e.l.f. lipstick bag is big enough for lipstick and pens, and it could hold so much more. (And for moms, it will probably get hijacked by your kids.) It's a cute little thing to throw into your bag or keep on your desk.
14Coromose Vintage Leather Cover String Nautical Notebook
15Novelty Brush Pens
These cute pens come in a pack of two and are really fun, useful, and adorable. Gifting to an artist? Kindergarten teacher? These are for you.
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