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A guide to buying Secret Santa presents

It’s that time of year again. Whether you love it or loathe it, Secret Santa is pretty unavoidable during the Christmas season. While it can be a great, cost-effective way to share the love amongst your friends, flatmates and colleagues, there is the very real possibility that you will get stuck buying a gift for the guy in your halls who hasn’t left his room for a month. Never fear though: the Concrete guide to Secret Santa is here to point you in the right direction.

alliecreative secret santa

The Work Draw
Possibly the most stressful type of Secret Santa because you might end up picking someone you barely know. Not only this, but while it might seem hilarious to buy your boss a ‘surprise mug’ with an offensive message written on the bottom of it after a few glasses of mulled wine, it’s just going to cause awkwardness when you’re back at work in January. The perfect types of gifts for this kind of draw, therefore, are ones you would be happy to buy for your Gran; thoughtful, but impossible to be misconstrued if you are discovered as the present giver. For example, try to find out their favourite treat or tipple. Gift sets of this type are in abundance and can be found at reasonable prices; department stores like John Lewis and Debenhams are great places to pick these up.

Flatmate Secret Santa
Most people tend to be friends with those they live with, but if you mainly socialise outside of your flat or house, this draw can still be a conundrum. However, even if you’re not particularly close with your housemates, it’s pretty easy to pick up ideas. Are they always baking, for example? Why not put together a cupcake kit together for them, made up of cute and artsy decorations, toppings and cases? These can be found in most supermarket chains and convenience stores. Do they keep you up till all hours blasting their music? Look into merchandise of their favourite band or singer; posters and calendars can be picked up fairly cheaply, especially if you visit the pop-up stalls that can be found in the city.

Gifts Amongst Friends
Surely the most enjoyable type of Secret Santa; taking part in this tradition with your mates not only saves a lot of money, but can be a really good opportunity to show how well you know someone, even if it’s supposed to be a secret draw! Whether you end up giving in and buying them that top they’ve been drooling over all semester, or tickets to a gig, it is important to make this present thoughtful and if possible, exciting! If your student loan is long gone, why not make them IOU cards that they can cash in with you throughout the year? These can be for anything, whether it be their favourite drink at the LCR, or an offer to do a chore they really hate. It’s the thought that counts after all!


About Author

jasmingray A second year English Literature student, Jasmin is a proud Lincolnshire Yellowbelly who has been writing for the Features and Lifestyle sections of the newspaper for a year. She loves reading, tea, and can give a shower rendition of Beyoncé with the best of them. Find her procrastinating in the library or watching Mean Girls for the 800th time. That is so fetch.

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October 2021
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The University of East Anglia’s official student newspaper. Concrete is in print and online.

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