Secret Santa is the tradition by which everyone draws a name from a hat and buys a gift for the name they draw. There are a few variations, but the most standard version involves keeping the giver a secret and making the recipient guess at who gave them the gift at the end. It’s best played in a group of several people so the suspicion adds to the suspense. There’s usually at least one dynamite gift giver in the group who is guessed every turn, which leads to delightful surprises along the way.
A good Secret Santa gift should accomplish a few things. First, it should be appropriately matched to the recipient, as much as possible. Second, it should obscure the giver a bit so as to make the guessing at the end as difficult as possible. Finally, it should probably be something that the person is unlikely to get otherwise from someone else in their lives this Christmas.
Unusual Secret Santa gifts fit this bill perfectly. Whether you go for something that tweaks an otherwise perfectly reasonable gift or something completely off the wall, you can find that perfect combination of unique and useful. For this list, we’ve collected a variety of interesting finds all along the price spectrum. Some Secret Santas have a price limit, but others don’t, so we’re covering the gamut here.
If you get through this whole list and don’t find anything you like, check out our best unique gifts post for a huge selection of interesting options.
May you be the most interesting gift giver in your group this year with help from our list of the top ten best Secret Santa gifts.
1. GrowlerWerks uKeg 64 Pressurized Growler for Craft Beer
For true beer lovers, there’s a bit of a conundrum. When you go to your favorite local brewery for a growler, you know you only have a couple of days to drink it once you pop it open the first time. This device solves that problem. Combining a metal growler with a draft-style dispenser, this will keep beer carbonated for up to two weeks. It’s also far easier to pour from, which makes this a very compelling option for beer lovers. Speaking of beer lovers, if you need more gift ideas, check out our cool gifts for beer lovers post here.
Price: $149 to $169
Buy the GrowlerWerks uKeg 64 Pressurized Growler for Craft Beer here.
2. Satechi Aluminum USB Headphone Stand Holder
As I said in my gifts for music lovers post, there are so many great options out there for headphones these days. Increasingly, these are of the wireless, rechargable variety. This holder solves two problems. First, the need to recharge several USB devices at once with the three included ports. Second, it offers a safe place to store at least one, and maybe as many as three, sets of headphones. Additionally, there’s a 3.5 mm port you can use to listen to music on your computer while the headphones charge. Pretty nifty stuff. You can also get the matching headphones if you want to complete the set.
Price: $34.99 to $39.99
Buy the Satechi Aluminum USB Headphone Stand Holder here.
3. The Goozler Skull Pineapple Tee
A graphic tee shirt featuring a pineapple with skulls making up the pattern on the fruit. It’s an off-the-wall gift that won’t work for everyone, but is perfectly suited to at least one person in your life. This is made of 100 percent pre-shrunk cotton and is available in six sizes. You can also choose from ash, black, charcoal, forest, green, maroon, military, red, navy, and royal in terms of colors.
Buy The Goozler Skull Pineapple Tee here.
4. Nostalgia Retro Series Pop-Up Hot Dog Toaster
Part gag gift, part absolutely practical item, this is for anyone who loves hot dogs or at the very least ultra-convenient cooking. Using the same amount of effort it takes to make toast, you can make two hot dogs without the need for any other appliances. It also comes in a four hot dog configuration, which is handy for people with kids or big appetites. Nostalgia makes a Coca-Cola themed version, while Elite Cuisine offers one in blue. Since man cannot live on hot dogs alone, we also recommend the Grilled Cheese Sandwich Toaster and the Bacon Express Grill.
Buy the Nostalgia Retro Series Pop-Up Hot Dog Toaster here.
5. Mayfair Games Costa Rica Board Game
Board games are in right now among a certain age group. My friends and I play pretty regularly and this is one of the games we really like. You play an explorer looking to find interesting species in the forests of Costa Rica. Continuing on your expedition can net higher value discoveries, but also hazards that destroy all your work. Easy to pick up and fun to play.
Price: $31.45 (10 percent off MSRP)
Buy the Mayfair Games Costa Rica Board Game here.
6. Blankie Tails Mermaid Tail Blanket
Here’s another fun option that could be great as a gag gift or perfectly suited to a certain kind of person. This is the adult size mermaid tail blanket in rainbow coloring, which is the newest colorway. These are made from plush polyester minky fabric, and unlike some of the cheaper knock-offs, the fin end is sewn closed for maximum coziness. There is, of course, a kids version or even a shark version. If you opt for the rainbow one, you can pick up a matching Barbie just for fun.
Buy the Blankie Tails Mermaid Tail Blanket here.
7. ‘How to Traumatize Your Children: 7 Proven Methods to Help You Screw Up Your Kids Deliberately and with Skill’
Is your Secret Santa recipient a parent? It’s important that they have all the best parenting strategies ready at hand in order to raise the best children possible. This is not that book. This is a (satirical, probably) guide to screwing up kids to the greatest extent possible. Excellent for the expert dad joker or just any parent who wants to ensure their child’s emotional destruction. (Note: Please do not emotionally destroy your children. This is a joke. Okay, good talk.)
Buy How to Traumatize Your Children: 7 Proven Methods to Help You Screw Up Your Kids Deliberately and with Skill here.
8. Forge Cactus Enamel Pins
Two things are super popular right now: enamel pins and succulents. Why not combine both of them and give this delightful, and slightly cheeky, set? You get three enamel pens, one of them with a humorous saying, all done in lovely pastel colors. While you consider these, the very excellent Diesel Sweeties webcomic also features some highly irreverent pins for your amusement.
Buy the Forge Cactus Enamel Pins here.
9. Fuzzy Ink Wilderness Art Print
Prints are a fantastic way to get more art into your life. Originals are quite expensive, but even high quality prints tend to be relatively cheap. They’re easy to give as gifts, too. This one is perfect for the rugged adventurer or the weekend warrior tent camper. Perfect for hanging in an office (if you’re doing an office Secret Santa, check out our gifts for coworkers and office gifts posts) or anywhere someone needs a reminder of getting away for awhile.
Price: $13.95 (18 percent off MSRP)
Buy the Fuzzy Ink Wilderness Art Print here.
10. Northpoint Lightbox
Perfect for active Instagram users or just anyone looking to add flair to their interior decorating, this customizable sign comes with 109 letters, numbers and symbols for creating any message you can envision. It measures 11.8 inches by 8.6 inches — large enough to hang on a wall and small enough to put on a desk. This could also be a good option for those that attend craft fairs or similar trade shows.
Price: $14.99 (40 percent off MSRP)
Buy the Northpoint Lightbox here.
If you need even more ideas, check out our Gifts category for posts from our whole team with a huge variety of options.
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