I know that this is a little out of season… but I seem to get a lot of anxiety about this around the holidays. I work at a semi-large company. Every year we do a Secret Santa gift (under $20), and I always get some random person in a department I don’t interact with. Then the panic sets in. I procrastinate. Then become irrational. I don’t know why this gives me so much stress. I don’t want to give a Starbucks gift card, everybody does that. What do you recommend I give this person?
Hmm. I can see why that would give you anxiety. Part of giving a decent gift requires that you know something about the person, which is why this is so challenging.
I would steer away from novelty items. Don’t get them a dog calendar, santa-themed slippers or seasonal mug. They won’t appreciate it and most likely will never use it. I know you don’t want to get them a Starbucks gift certificate, but gift certificates in general shouldn’t be ruled out. If anything, it is appropriate in this case. Here is a fun list of items you can get them under $20:
- Get a star registered under their name.
- Check out the Things To Do section in Groupon. There are so many local options that you can gift.
- Lottery tickets.
- Any of these consumable items from our Foodies Gift Ideas post.
- Gift certificate to a local movie theater.
- A two dollar bill.
- An subscription to a photography-rich magazine, like National Geographic, or Outdoor Photographer.
I have personally given these gifts myself for Secret Santa, and it has always been a hit.
Do you have a difficult recipient to gift? Send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org for help.