Even though $20 gifts are the standard for Secret Santa or white elephant parties, they can be very tricky to get right. For those just entering the workforce, Secret Santa or White Elephant parties are classic corporate techniques to help stir some fun and bonding among teams around the holidays. In the case of a Secret Santa party, you’ll be assigned a teammate (usually at random) for whom you’ll have to buy a present for, usually under a certain amount of money. Similarly, White Elephant parties call for buying a gift that’s under a certain price point, and then an exchange happens the night of the office holiday party.
Quite often, buying these gifts comes with a heavy amount of anxiety. You want to make sure your Secret Santa likes your gift, but oftentimes you don’t know them well enough to be certain. As for White Elephant parties, nobody wants to bring the gift that their coworkers dread receiving. Lucky for you (after countless blunders at parties) we’ve scoured the deep depths of the internet to find twenty fantastic gifts that will fit well for any Secret Santa or White Elephant party. What’s more, we made sure all of our options are under $20, as that’s generally the monetary limit for such parties.
Take a look at our list below and remember, though it’s the thought that counts, it never hurts to give the best gift!
1. Nature’s Mark Mini Zen Garden
FOR THE ZEN MASTER
Whether you know someone with monk-level zen or someone in desperate need of some peace, this mini zen garden makes a great gift. Your giftee can put it by their bed for some nighttime relaxation, or even better, on their desk at work for a stress-relief break from screens. Zen gardens can get big and pricey, so we suggest this one from Nature’s Mark because it’s compact and affordable at $15, but includes stones and a couple structures to keep your garden looking good.
2. Avocado Huggers
FOR THE AVO ADDICT
Everyone has that one friend, significant other or family member who always has half an avocado in their fridge. For that avocado lover, get this set of avocado huggers. They wrap around a half avocado to keep it fresh for avo toast the next morning of guacamole days later.
3. Choose Your Dog Breed Socks
FOR COLD PAWS
You can never gift dog lovers too much dog stuff. These socks are great because you can get specific with your giftee’s own breed on the ankle — and no one can have too many socks. They come with 17 different breeds, but even if you can’t find the exact one, chances are you can get close enough. The socks are a gift that will hit home for any dog lover, and at just $12, they’ll keep your pockets full too.
4. Barillio Cocktail Shaker Set
FOR THE BARTENDER
If you know any budding mixologists or veteran bartenders, opt for this inexpensive cocktail kit. For under $20 you get a stainless steel shaker, a muddler, a mixing spoon, a jigger, two liquor pourers, and even a recipe booklet. Your giftee will appreciate the upgrade to their home bar, and you can expect better drinks whenever you go to their house.
5. Edibles Cookbook
FOR THE BAKED CHEF
Now that weed is legal in several states, weed-related gifts are acceptable — even in some offices. This edibles cookbook provides some dessert recipes that would be great on their own, but get even tastier thanks to a low dose of pot. The cookbook provides much-needed details about dosage, so you can get zonked without going crazy (which sometimes happens with homemade edibles).
6. The New York Times Crossword Puzzles
FOR THE PUZZLE LOVER
This book features 50 New York Times crossword puzzles for cozy winter mornings. It has Monday through Friday puzzles (the difficulty increases each day) for all levels of crossword-enthusiasts. This makes it do-able for beginners and masters alike, so you can gift it to virtually anyone.
7. Potty Putter Toilet Golf
FOR THE BATHROOM HOG
Every minute of practice gets you closer to the perfect golf game. Even though it’s been around for a while, the Potty Putter always gets a laugh, and always gets put to good use. It’s a putting green and hole that you set-up right under your toilet, and comes with a squatting-length putter club to match. Great if your giving a gift to an avid golfer or if you want to break the tension at the White Elephant party.
8. Pooch Selfie: The Original Dog Selfie Stick
FOR THE DOG LOVER
The Pooch Selfie stick is the latest and greatest breakthrough in selfie technology. Everyone has tried and failed to get a great selfie with their beloved dog, but now they finally can with this handy device. We’d recommend doing your research before buying it as a Secret Santa gift (just in case your person doesn’t have a dog). But this is always a crowd pleaser for White Elephant gifts because every office has a dog lover.
9. Hpory Phone Lens Kit
FOR THE AMATEUR PHOTOGRAPHER
Now that phone cameras are the norm, it’s hard to stand out as a real photographer. But all of that is about to change with this clip-on lens from Hpory. This wide-angle lens snaps directly onto your smartphone to enhance image quality and make your pictures look much more professional. It makes a great gift for any photographer, but the lens’ usability also makes it a fun White Elephant gift as well.
10. Man Walks into a Bar
FOR THE OFFICE CLOWN
Looking to finally one-up the office clown’s game? Or, perhaps, is your Secret Santa person the office clown? Win everyone over with this hilarious (and surprisingly extensive) book of jokes. It has over 6,000 one-liners, jokes and insults, which is enough for any comedian (self-proclaimed or otherwise) to learn something new. Here’s one from the book: did you hear about the flasher who was thinking of retiring? He finally decided to stick it out for one more year!
11. InnoGear Essential Oil Diffuser
FOR THE STRESS CASE
If you got stuck gifting that one person that never stops talking about how stressed they are or how poorly they slept last night, do them a solid by gifting this essential oil diffuser. It releases a nice-smelling, stress-reducing oil mist, and doubles as a color-changing night light as well. Although there are many of these machines on Amazon, this one is definitely the best with over 16,500 reviews and a low price of just $13.
12. Sriracha Keychain Combo Pack
FOR THE HOT SAUCE ADDICT
We all know that person that drenches their food in hot sauce. These Sriracha keychains let any hot sauce fiend keep their prized ingredient close at hand, just in case the restaurant doesn’t have it. They’re also ideal for traveling, as good hot sauce can be hard to come by on the road. This two-pack includes a 1-ounce bottle and 1.7-ounce bottle, so your giftee can store one in their desk and one with their house keys.
13. Don’t Speak! Coffee Mug
FOR THE MORNING GRUMP
For the partner, friend, or family member that “can’t even” before their coffee, it’s always hard to find out when they “can even.” This mug solves the problem by letting everyone know when to start chatting, when to hold on a sec, and when to think about leaving the room.
14. Google Cardboard VR
FOR THE TECHIE
VR might be the entertainment experience of the future, but it doesn’t have to cost hundreds. There’s a ton of free VR content online from The New York Times, YouTube, and more, and this simple cardboard set from Google lets you enjoy it for just $15. It’s very easy to use (just slip your phone in front of the goggles), so you can really gift it to anyone — techie or otherwise.
15. Vintage Mason Jar Salt & Pepper Shakers
FOR THE DECORATOR
Joke gifts are fun, but sometimes you want something your giftee will use and appreciate for a long time. For an easy, chic gift, we recommend these mason jar salt & pepper shakers. They come in a stylish blue or white and liven up any kitchen or dining table with a rustic look.
16. Drunk Stoned or Stupid
FOR THE PARTY LOVER
Drunk Stoned or Stupid is one of the hottest party games right now, and for good reason. Each card contains a prompt that starts with “most likely to…” and the group must pick the friend that matches the description. It’s ideal with big groups, and, as the name suggests, is especially fun when you’re not sober. This makes a great White Elephant gift as it usually ends up being played immediately.
17. Geek Battle Board Game
FOR THE GEEK
Geek Battle includes trivia from video games, sci-fi, comics, science and more for the ultimate geek showdown. And don’t worry if you’re not a geek — the game is made to include everyone. This is another great gift for White Elephant parties as after a few drinks, most will be down to give the game a shot!
18. Zoee Wireless Bluetooth Speaker
FOR THE DJ
A Bluetooth speaker is a great cheap gift because people of any age or personality will enjoy it. This one uses HD audio and enhanced bass to provide impressive wireless sound quality for a sub-$20 speaker. It comes highly-rated too with over 4,000 reviews, so don’t worry about gifting a crappy piece of tech.
19. Indoor Herb Garden Starter Kit
FOR THE GARDENER
Gardening has many benefits including stress reduction and the obvious supply of fresh food. This indoor herb garden kit includes everything you need to start your own little garden and also makes a great addition to an expert-gardeners collection. The kit contains 5 kinds of seeds; basil, cilantro, parsley, sage and thyme; as well as pots, detailed directions and all other necessities.
20. Amazon.com Gift Card
FOR THE PICKY PERSON
Shopping for the impossible giftee? We’ve all been there. Luckily, in 2019 you can give a gift card to Amazon, which is basically cash without being, well, cash. Your picky giftee can go wild and buy whatever it is they want. Is it a cop out? Maybe. But at least you’ll know they’ll find something they like.