Giving gifts to the ones we love is so synonymous with Christmas these days that it has become the main event of the holiday. But it wasn’t always the most important thing. The history of gift giving during the winter holidays precedes Christmas, but it has gone in and out of fashion and has changed forms many times.
The holiday season is all about spreading joy and exchanging gifts with loved ones. Secret Santa, a popular tradition in Malaysia, involves giving and receiving gifts while keeping the identity of the giver a secret. It’s a delightful way to celebrate the season without going overboard on expenses. If you’re on a budget this year, fret not! We’ve curated a list of 15 fabulous Secret Santa gift ideas under RM50 that are sure to bring a smile to anyone’s face.
Customized Keychains: Personalize a keychain with the recipient’s name or a meaningful quote. It’s a thoughtful and budget-friendly gift.
Scented Candles: A scented candle can create a cozy atmosphere. Opt for festive scents like cinnamon or pine.
Mini Indoor Plants: Tiny succulents or cacti make charming and affordable gifts, perfect for adding a touch of nature to any space.
Reusable Shopping Bags: Help your friends go green with reusable and stylish shopping bags. They’re practical and eco-friendly.
Homemade Cookies: Bake a batch of your favorite cookies and present them in a decorative jar or tin.
Mug with a Personal Touch: Find a cute mug and add a personal touch with their name, a funny quote, or a sweet message.
Desk Organizer: A tidy desk is a happy desk! Gift a desk organizer to keep their workspace clutter-free.
Cozy Socks: Warm, fuzzy socks are perfect for the winter season and make for a snug and thoughtful gift.
Pocket-Sized Notebooks: Compact and stylish notebooks are handy for jotting down notes and ideas on the go.
Phone Holder Stand: A practical and stylish gift for keeping their phone in place while watching videos or video calling.
Aromatherapy Diffuser: Bring relaxation into their home with a small aromatherapy diffuser and a bottle of essential oil.
Miniature Puzzle or Brain Teaser: Challenge their mind with a compact puzzle or brain teaser for some indoor fun.
Colorful Stationery: Gift a set of colorful pens, markers, or stickers for a touch of creativity.
Pocket-Sized Board Games: Mini board games are a fun way to pass the time with friends and family.
Handmade Soap: Treat them to a bar of artisanal, fragrant soap for a luxurious bath experience.
- Start a rotating gift box. Anna Baldwin, a reader from Arlee, Mont., does this with her three best friends from college: She fills a box with locally made, low-cost items—one for each friend—and a personal note, and mails it off. The first friend takes out a gift, puts in three of her own, adds to the note, and ships everything on to the next. The box rotates like that until it has made the rounds of all the friends, ending up back with Anna, complete with personal notes from her pals and their gifts to her.
- Introduce a gag gift. Wrap up your most egregious or inexplicable Christmas present from last year (sad-eyed ceramic cat, anyone?) for an unsuspecting family member. It becomes that person’s responsibility to pass it along, like a hot potato, the next year.
Gift Exchange Games for Work Colleagues in Malaysia:
- Do a White Elephant gift exchange. “Stealing” from other participants gives this gift exchange game an element of unpredictability. Invite everyone to contribute a wrapped gift. Draw numbers out of a hat to see who gets to pick from the pile first. Player No. 1 chooses and unwraps a gift, then shows it to everyone else. Player No. 2 then either “steals” that present or picks and unwraps another one from the pile. Player No. 3 can then steal either gift, or choose and unwrap another, and so on. Any player whose gift is stolen gets to pick again. The game continues until everyone has a gift. (This gift exchange game can also be called a Yankee Swap or Dirty Santa.)
- Play holiday trivia. Can you name all nine of Santa’s reindeer? If so, you get first pick of the presents in the pile. Players use clickers or simply raise their hands to answer, and once they get a present, they’re out of the competition. At the end, the moderator gets to either choose the last gift remaining or steal a gift from somebody else—a one-time-only privilege for all of their hard work.
Gift exchange ideas for the workplace
The following examples for a workplace gift exchange can give you some ideas about what to shop for:
Office gadgets are some of the most popular gift ideas for work gift exchanges because of their affordability and practicality. For example, reading lights, blue light filtering glasses, phone stands, earphones, wireless chargers and other gadgets make excellent gifts for the office.
Food and snacks
Snack boxes, gift baskets with food items, candies and other snacks and treats make thoughtful presents for a workplace Secret Santa. Try to find out as much as you can about your recipient’s preferences and favorite snack items to choose delicious and unique items for your gift exchange.
Wines, beer and other unique beverages make great ideas for a gift exchange. You can even find specialized gift cards or gift certificates for wine and spirits for the coworkers who love to sample diverse beverages.
Scents like candles and incense make wonderful presents to the coworkers who love accessories for aromatherapy. You can find natural soy and beeswax candles, handmade incense and other aromatherapy items across many different online stores. Additionally, candle and incense holders and other unique aromatherapy accessories make good gifts, too.
Home decor items also make thoughtful gifts to give in an office gift exchange. Trinket boxes, small dishes, hand towels and other home decor items would be perfect for your coworkers who love these types of accessories.
Bath and beauty
For a spa-like gift idea, consider things like organic and handmade soaps and lotions, body scrubs, bath bombs, shower gel and other unique bath and beauty items. These types of ideas are great for a coworker who loves to unwind in a relaxing bath at the end of a long week.
Gag gifts make fun and humorous ideas for a work gift exchange. Things like humorous quotes on mugs, mousepads and notepads are fun gifts that can work in a White Elephant type of office gift exchange, where everyone gives a present that is funny (yet appropriate) in nature.
Choose gifts for coffee lovers like seasonal blends, new mugs, thermoses and other coffee drinking accessories. You can even find coffee-themed gift baskets that can make excellent gifts for a coffee enthusiast.
Similar to coffee gifts, if you have a coworker who loves tea time, herbal teas and accessories will make excellent ideas for your gift exchange. Tea samplers, diffusers and special cups for brewing teas and making infusions are just several examples of gift ideas that you can do for a coworker who loves tea.
Health and fitness gifts
Health and fitness accessories and gadgets like step counters, exercise bands, water bottles, yoga mats, meal planners and recipe books make wonderful presents for coworkers who are interested in fitness activities.
If you’re still uncertain about what to get for a holiday gift exchange at work, consider seasonal or holiday-themed gifts. For instance, holiday-themed notebooks, pencils and pens, office gear, small clothing items and other seasonal items are great for last-minute gift exchange ideas.
Whether you’re participating in an office Secret Santa exchange or celebrating with friends and family, these affordable Secret Santa gift ideas under RM50 are sure to bring holiday cheer without straining your wallet. Remember, it’s the thought that counts, and these thoughtful gifts will make your Secret Santa celebration a memorable one. Happy gifting!