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9 Last-Minute Secret Santa Gifts That Look Like You Actually Gave It Thought

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Christmas is literally around the corner, waiting to shower the world with bells and glitter. And in the midst of the holiday chaos, it’s not uncommon to suddenly realize that you have a Secret Santa swap to shop for. It’s the epitome of an “oh, crap” moment. Don’t panic just yet, though. It’s totally possible to buy a last-minute Secret Santa gift without looking like you just picked it out of a hat.

Although it may be tempting to grab a box of chocolates and call it a day, there are better ways to handle the situation. First, make it a point to avoid Secret Santa gifts that no one wants. Things like candles, body products, and candy fall under this category. Often, people have very specific preferences when it comes to these things. They also have a greater likelihood of being re-gifted or thrown in the trash.

Instead, take a tip from this list of last-minute Secret Santa gifts. Each idea is easy to find in stores, meaning that you don’t have to deal with shipping time and postage. To top it off, these presents have way more personality than a random gag gift or Christmas sweater. Hey, you might make a pretty decent Santa after all.

1Customized Mug

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It’s funny how a single letter or phrase can instantly personalize an item. Luckily, it can also make it seem like you actually had a game plan. For extra points, pair it with a bag of awesome coffee or tea.

2Stationary Set

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Take a stroll through any gift shop or bookstore and you’ll find one-of-a-kind stationary sets. You can even curate your own by grabbing an attractive notebook, interesting pen, and quirky sticky notes. Done and done.

3Potted Plant

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Despite the gloomy winter season, you can easily find plants at stores like Home Depot. Herbs and veggies are perfect for foodies; succulents and cacti are ideal for those without green thumbs. A unique pot can really take it up a notch, though. If you’re having trouble finding something special, try the thrift store for fun finds.

4Coffee Table Book

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From beautiful artwork to striking photos, there’s something so chic about fancy coffee table books. And since they can be found at any book store, you can totally save your butt by gifting one.

5Cocktail Kit

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Like a stationary set, you can curate the perfect gift for the wanna-be bartender. Simply pick up a few cocktail essentials like a martini shaker, bottle opener, and strainer. Swing by the liquor store, throw everything in a basket, and you’re good to go.

6Coloring Book Set

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It goes without saying that 2016 was the year for adult coloring books. Help your Secret Santa pick de-stress by giving them a coloring book and a pack of fancy colored pencils. Easy.

7Decorative Planner

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If your Secret Santa recipient is the most organized person you know, it only makes sense to gift a stylish planner or calendar. You can find trendy versions at stores like Michaels, Target, and Barnes & Noble.

8Fancy Coffee

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When it comes to coffee snobs, you can’t go wrong with a bag of beans. Take things up a notch by heading to a local café for something unique and exclusive.

9Cozy Blanket

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In the dead of winter, everyone could us an extra blanket (or five.) Fortunately, almost every department and home store sells blankets these days. If you're not sure about their style, play it safe with a solid neutral color.