Did you pull a tricky name from the Secret Santa hat? Need to get a last-minute token of appreciation for your dog walker or favourite neighour? Shopping for an inexpensive (but still thoughtful!) gift can be a challenge because you want it to be usable but not so practical that it lacks joy.
Here are 19 Secret Santa gift ideas for less than $25. They are a mix of personal, functional and a little bit out of the box.
The best Secret Santa gift for the co-worker who is always snacking
For the person who always seems to be passing snacks around the office, this container of Flavacol Gold Medal popcorn seasoning is a movie theatre experience in the communal office kitchen. $18.50 at Amazon.
The best gift for the BFF who loves watching Real Housewives
Ever wonder about under-eye patches that actresses, influencers and reality TV stars always seem to be wearing? These gold under-eye patches are suitable for all skin types and help reduce dark circles and puffiness. Plus, they can be used while binging Netflix and in the privacy of one's own home. $24 at Amazon.
A gift for the poshest person in the office
If you know the first or last name of the person you are buying for, a monogram mug is a personal gift they will reach for over and over again. $11.94 at Amazon.
For the university student who tutors kids
A set of metallic retro pens from Kikkerland are weighty, sophisticated and look more expensive than they are. $11.50 at Amazon.
An ornament for the quirkiest friend
There's a Christmas ornament for every interest: a slice of pizza, video game controller, a retro pink car, a beer mug, a rainbow or a Christmas pickle would make a memorable gift. Available at Canadian Tire.
Best Secret Santa gifts in the $20-$30 dollar range
B.C.-based John Addison Organics magnesium bath salts are a muscle-melting delight and all-natural. Available at Amazon.
White ceramic vases are minimalist and chic, perfect for a very picky person. Include a small bundle of fresh flowers. $20.99 at Amazon.
Socks used to be on the 'oh please no' list of gifts, but these fluffy, holiday-themed cozies (for men and women) are a lot more delightful than a pack of white tube socks. Available at Old Navy.
A bottle of wine is predictable, but a bottle of olive oil is inspiring. Pick up cold-pressed Spanish olive oil, and maybe you'll score a dinner invite out of the gift exchange. Available at Gourmet Warehouse and local specialty shops.
Doodlers, "to-do'ers," list makers, students, artists and journal writers will use every last page of a classic Moleskine notebook. $26 at Amazon and local bookshops.
This selection of gourmet salts (Hawaiian Red Sea, Hawaiian Black Sea, Hawaiian Pink and French Grey) is just the type of indulgent gift that someone might love (but may not splurge on for themselves). Available at Amazon.
Japanese brand Uniqlo excels at no-nonsense and stylish basics, like this gender-neutral scarf that comes in various rich colours.
Between the cold weather outside and dry air inside, harsh sanitizers, and constant handwashing, every set of hands could use some extra TLC. This lightly-scented almond milk hand cream from French line L'Occitane is moisturizing and absorbs nicely into the skin. $12.50 at Sephora.
Fans of the "Speak Out" segments on Ellen (here's Reese Witherspoon giving a demonstration) will enjoy playing the ridiculously fun game at home. Available at Amazon.
Best Secret Santa Gifts under $25
Choosing a signature scent is a personal process, but this triple set of all-gender Oribe fragrances is an excellent place to start. Available at Amazon.
A merino wool one-size-fits-all-heads toque is a warm gift in every sense of the word. $24.95 at MEC.
Fresh makes the ultra-moisturizing lip balms, and this brown sugar scrub helps gently exfoliate flaky skin and moisturize dehydrated lips. (Unlike lip balm, it is meant to be washed off after use.) $24 at Sephora.
This festive gift set includes Nutty and Nourishing Shea Holiday Pack that they can use themselves or share with their family. $11 at The Body Shop.
Turkish tea towels can be stocked for the kitchen and bathroom. The more washes and uses, the softer it gets. $24.09 at Amazon.