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The Best Secret Santa Gifts (So It Looks Like You’ve Been Paying Attention)

These Secret Santa gifts hit the perfect note between thoughtful, classy, and just-deranged-enough—and they're all under $50.
Best Last Minute Secret Santa Gifts

Why is it that, sometimes, Secret Santa feels like a trap? Not in a Panic Room way, even though last-minute gift shopping sure makes our brains spin out, but because we often fall prey to the self-inflicted pressure of finding the perfect present for a friend, co-worker, or family member that says, “I know you better than the rest, because I am better than the rest.”  

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The best Secret Santa gifts also have to feel lowkey-cool. There’s nothing more awkward than the moment everyone in the friend group reveals their giftees—and corresponding rad presents for under $20—whilst you unveil that Swavorski crystal-studded ice sculpture swan for an office rando (or an iPod), which totally blew past the previously agreed-upon budget. In the words of Lana Del Rey, “the silence is deafening.” 

Luckily, we’re here to help you find a Secret Santa gift that hits—nay, absolutely body-slams—the perfect note between thoughtful, classy, and just-deranged-enough—and they're all under $50

They’re a meme lord

How this cursed Sanic Hegehog meme mug made its way onto Etsy is a mystery, but we must protect it at all costs. Also, don’t be surprised if a version of this shows up on Bodega soon for $49.99. Get it while it’s underground, buddy.


$12.52 at Etsy

$12.52 at Etsy

An invigorating candle

Mint is the master herb of making us feel awake, refreshed, and ready to attract money (depending on which witches you ask). This candle even comes with its own mint seeds in the mix, and has grounding notes of cedarwood. In situations—like an office-wide Secret Santa—great-smelling candles are the perfect option; we love a gift we can enjoy too.


$28 at Goodee

$28 at Goodee
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The streetwear buddy

Don’t know what size they are? Buy them a baseball cap. Everyone could use one that has “Daddy” printed on the front, whether your giftee is a new father, a cheeky Insta-fluencer, or just wants to blend in during the annual Bushwick Tractor Pull Jamboree, Sponsored by Willie Nelson. (Not a thing; we wish.)


$14.99 at Amazon

$14.99 at Amazon

They’re obsessed with food

Well, everyone needs a personality trait. The best gifts for food-lovers are easy—just find out what they like to eat (or what they pretend to like to eat) and hook it up. If you’re not sure about their culinary preferences, we recommend Fly By Jing’s crowd-pleasing Sichuan chili crisp, which—we should warn you—is highly addictive. 


$15$12 at Fly By Jing

$15$12 at Fly By Jing

They’re a self-proclaimed ‘mixologist’

Not to brag, but they’ve gotten into three (3) physical altercations with bartenders who’ve tried to serve them margaritas made with sour mix. The next step in their cocktail journey? Growing their own herbs for syrups and garnishes with this nifty little cocktail herb garden kit.   


$25 at Uncommon Goods

$25 at Uncommon Goods

Or, if they’ve been feeling a little uninspired lately, or they’re just looking to broaden their drink-making know-how, they’ll want to lick the pages of this one. The Japanese Art of the Cocktail is one of the best food and beverage cookbooks, because it walks the reader through the hallmarks of Japanese cocktail-making methods, from an unscrupulous commitment to great ingredients, to the importance of creativity and presentation—without ever feeling pretentious. 

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$18.60 at Amazon

$18.60 at Amazon

They live in Connecticut and smoke weed

Nothing like pulling out a little CBD quince gummy by Martha Stewart herself from their Sperrys. Now all they need to do is learn how to do that sick rope hitch thing.


$34.99 at Shop Canopy

$34.99 at Shop Canopy

They’re a ‘cyclist’ now

Or, at least until they get their SR-22. Regardless of the reason that they’re riding on two wheels these days, support your friends and their healthy hobby by gifting them this wallet made from a reclaimed bike tube (aka: the inflatable ring that sits inside of most bike tires).


$38$32.99 at Uncommon Goods

$38$32.99 at Uncommon Goods

They’re a morning person

Even though we’ll be hitting snooze for another hour, we respect those who rise with the sun and attack the day. To help fuel their carpe diem attitude, why not gift them a dope electric gooseneck kettle? It’s perfect for making coffee, tea, or a litany of other great coffee alternatives. (Or, they can always use it to make instant ramen.)


$49.99$39.01 at Amazon

$49.99$39.01 at Amazon

Cold-blooded slippers 

These fuzzy slippers aren’t just aesthetically pleasing—they have built-in temperature control. When it’s cold, you can heat the removable insoles up in the microwave to keep your toes toasty and enhance the built-in lavender scent. In the warmer months, you can cool them down in the fridge and treat your feet to a refreshingly chilled sole. The future is nigh.


$48 at Uncommon Goods

$48 at Uncommon Goods
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They have ears

And those things get chilly! Make sure your giftee is correctly bundled up this winter by bestowing upon them a sweet pair of earmuffs. You can go in pretty much any direction you want here: the OGs, a reversible ear band from The North Face (perfect for outdoor fitness freaks), or a fun set of (b)ear-muffs. 


$9.95$6.95 at Amazon

$9.95$6.95 at Amazon

$9.95 at Amazon

$9.95 at Amazon

$16.28 at Etsy

$16.28 at Etsy

They’re a fiend… 

…For sweets! A DIY chocolate truffle kit is the perfect gift for the sweet-lover on your list—just melt the French dark chocolate morsels, and add any of the included coconut flakes, peppermint, vanilla, Himalayan sea salt. Mmm. 


$38 at UncommonGoods

$38 at UncommonGoods

They’ve been very naughty this year

And now Krampus has to give them a sexy spanking. (We don’t make the rules!)


$19.99$13.99 at Lovehoney

$19.99$13.99 at Lovehoney

This is their beer commercial now

Fall in love all over again when you watch them open your brewski with this silver, sparkling claw. “[It has a ] very solid feel,” writes one reviewer, “handles well, [and] is great to have for oyster roasts, low country boils, or just popping a cold one.”


$26.99$21.18 at Amazon

$26.99$21.18 at Amazon

They’re either a construction worker or a graphic designer 

And we love them either way! Carhartt is for the people, people, and the people cry out for a way to keep their lunches cold when they’re on the job or heading to the local art swap.


$29.99$22.49 at Carhartt

$29.99$22.49 at Carhartt
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They’re working on their jump shot

Nothing takes the edge off a hard day at work quite like a little bit of physical activity. This dorm room classic is just as enjoyable today as it was back during your college days (though don’t blame us if you get caught hooping while you’re supposed to be filing your Q4 expense reports).


$39.99$31.12 at Amazon

$39.99$31.12 at Amazon

They’re a little salty

Like the old saying goes, “the way to someone’s heart is through their stomach.” While, yes, this is just ~*fancy~* salt, there’s no turning back once you’ve actually incorporated this into your kitchen; normal Morton’s salt just doesn’t hit the same. Perfect for finishing off steaks or even topping a simple salad, this is one gift that no one would buy for themselves (but will actually use on a regular basis).


$8.66 at Amazon

$8.66 at Amazon

When in doubt, get a little weird with it

You can be as sincere and thoughtful as you want, but there’s no getting around the fact that Secret Santa gifting scenarios are primed for jokes and gag gifts. Honestly, the wackier the present, the more memorable the experience—and isn’t that the real gift of the holiday season? Besides, who says your giftee wouldn’t get some use out of a toast-shaped lamp (that can hold a phone in its lil feet!)


$18.99 at Amazon

$18.99 at Amazon

Enjoy your Secret Santas! (We hope you get your crush.) 


The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story.