50 last-minute secret Santa gifts they’ll actually want to keep — all under $25

Samantha Lee / Business Insider

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In theory, Secret Santa is a great idea. In practice, it can be a little underwhelming. You could end up with that cozy scarf your best friend knew you wanted — or, you could end up with lackluster socks from your neighbor that will definitely end up in your re-gift pile.

Whether you’re responsible for getting a gift for someone you know really well or someone you barely do, get them a gift they won’t relegate to the storage closet. If you’re spending money, make it count with something they’ll actually want.

Don’t worry, we already did the grunge work and found 50 gifts that your secret Santa recipient will love. We’ve got everything from the more generically-appealing, like a pretty candle for your sweet coworker, to the more personal, like a portable cheese melter for your cheese-obsessed friend. Plus, they’re all $25 or less, so scroll with abandon.

Most of these items are available with expedited shipping, and some should arrive within a few days’ time, so don’t stress too hard about your last-minute shopping — just remember that the sooner you order, the better your chances of a timely arrival.

Looking for more gift ideas? Check out all of Insider Picks’ holiday gift guides for 2018 here.

A scratch-off bucket list to spur their next adventure

Uncommon Goods

100 Things To Do Scratch Off Poster, $15, available at Uncommon Goods

This bucket list suggests 100 unique activities from little things like “take a cooking class” to big ones like “see the Northern Lights.” They can scratch each box off after they complete it to reveal a colorful image. It’s a cool poster to have hanging and a definite conversation starter.

A set of cool coasters that’s worthy of Instagram


Stone Coasters Agate Look, $20 (set of 4), available at Etsy

Let’s be real — nobody wants water stains and rings on their nice tables, but admittedly, telling guests to put down coasters first isn’t the coolest move. These agate-style coasters are practical, but also add a nice aesthetic, so you’ll actually want to leave them out to be used.

A plant they can grow themselves

Uncommon Goods

A small speaker they can fit in their pocket


Rokono Bass + Mini Speaker, $19.22, available at Amazon

This speaker isn’t the best in the world audio-wise (for that you’ll have to spend a bit more), but for less than $20 it’s a great choice. Give it the friend that values convenience, since this thing is so small they fit it in their pocket and can literally take it anywhere.

A monogrammed candle that will look good anywhere


A reusable bag that’s cute and sustainable


Standard Baggu, $10, available at Baggu

If they hate single-use plastic, they’ll love this cute, reusable bag. It comes in a variety of fun colors and patterns and the simple style makes it a go-to choice for bringing to the gym, grocery shopping, or even to use like a purse.

A cozy pompom beanie for impending chilly days

Urban Outfitters

A unique condiment for beer lovers

Uncommon Goods

Beer Mustard Trio, $25, available at Uncommon Goods

Some things just work together. You don’t necessarily expect it, but they do — like these mustards, for example. Beer and hot dogs go together seamlessly, and a hot dog is nothing without a drizzle of mustard, so it only makes sense that the two go great together. This trio has three unique flavors that add intrigue to any dish.

A sophisticated luggage tag and passport holder set


An adult card game that will make parties a lot more interesting


Cards Against Humanity, $25, available at Amazon

If they don’t already own Cards Against Humanity, you owe it to them. It’s a fun party game that always leaves everyone cackling, and I’m not the only one that thinks this — the game has over 29,000 5-star reviews on Amazon.

A carry-on cocktail kit to make flights a little more bearable

Uncommon Goods

A catch-all inspired by their favorite pet

West Elm

A cheese-making kit for chefs and foodies

Williams Sonoma

DIY Cheesemaking kit, $24.95, available at Williams Sonoma

The only thing better than cheese is cheese that you made with your own two hands. Cheese fiends will love the chance to make their own favorite Italian cheeses. Plus, once they learn they’ll be armed with cheesemaking knowledge to last a lifetime — now that’s a gift that keeps on giving.

A skincare gift set for some nighttime TLC


A calendar that will make them laugh everyday


A mini waffle maker for the cutest breakfast ever

Urban Outfitters

A hilarious coffee table book

Uncommon Goods

“F in Exams”, $8.50, available at Uncommon Goods or Amazon

This is a great gift for the person who can laugh at the little things in life, or for anyone who works as a teacher. It’s a collection of hilarious wrong test answers that is sure to keep them laughing.

A little backpack that can actually hold their things

Urban Outfitters

A unique hot sauce blend for an adventurous eater

Uncommon Goods

A limited-edition pair of socks inspired by an artist

Happy Socks

A healing Himalayan salt lamp


A motivating water bottle that reminds them to stay hydrated

Uncommon Goods

A set of Hasbro-inspired glasses for game night


A five-year journal that asks the big questions — and little ones, too

Urban Outfitters

A face mask that calms red and irritated skin


A letter board they can leave fun messages on


Felt Letter Board, $19.65, available at Amazon

This is a fun message board and a great piece of home decor all in one. They’ll love using this to display mantras, messages for roommates, or just to show off some random thoughts. It comes in plenty of colors, so you’re sure to find one that fits their space and aesthetic.

A mug inspired by “The Office”


The Office Mug, $20.99, available at Amazon

Your boss or any fan of “The Office” will get a kick out of this one. Let them embrace their inner Michael Scott while sipping coffee at the office or at home watching Netflix… maybe even “The Office.”

A french press coffee maker for their morning brew


The cutest, coziest slippers they’ll ever have


A cool baseball hat for sunny days


A faux plant desk organizer for much needed greenery and tidiness

Urban Outfitters

Potted Pen Phone Stand, $15, available at Urban Outfitters

If they’re stuck inside an office all day, they could benefit from the sight of something green. This plastic plant isn’t as good as the real deal, but it adds some much needed color and works as desk decor, plus it functions as a phone stand and organizational tool.

A spice set for rescuing bland pizzas

Uncommon Goods

Pizza Rescue Kit, $15, available at Etsy

All pizza is not created equal. That’s why the pizza aficionado in your life deserves this pizza rescue kit. With the three flavorful spices, this set will transform even the most “meh” slices to. If you’re not sold, it was made by New Yorkers — and they know good pizza.

A mug that lets them play with their food

Uncommon Goods

A microwave popcorn maker

Uncommon Goods

Microwave Popcorn Popper, $15, available at Uncommon Goods

Stovetop popcorn is delicious, but it’s so much easier to just pop a bag in the microwave. If they love the stovetop taste, but don’t love dealing with the stovetop hassle, gift them this fun gadget. All they have to do is load it up with their choice of kernels and microwave. It’s much more convenient, plus it doesn’t need oil so it’s healthier too — but there is a butter melter on top just in case.

A convenient phone grip for texting on the go


A best-selling book for foodies


“Salt Fat Acid Heat”, $22.61, available at Amazon

Home cooks will love honing in on their craft with this book. Don’t expect just a recipe book, though. The vivid illustrations in this one help explain how to master cooking techniques by looking at those four important elements that are in everything we cook and eat.

A shower beer holder for mid-rinse brews

Uncommon Goods

Shower Beer Holder, $15, available at Uncommon Goods

Shower time might not seem like the most opportune moment to crack open a cold one — that is, until now. This silicone beer holder sticks to tile (or any other glossy surface), so they can always have their favorite brew by their side, whatever time it is.

A pair of fuzzy animal slippers for lounging at home


A history lesson with their cup of tea

Uncommon Goods

A diary for sports, music, or movie lovers

Uncommon Goods

Ticket Stub Diary, $13.46, available at Amazon

A great gift for anyone who is constantly attending shows, concerts, or sports games — and never throws away their tickets. Instead of keeping them hidden in a shoe box or desk drawer, they can use this diary, which has plastic sleeves to fit all different kinds of tickets as well as open margins on the sides where they can scribble notes to remind them of each event.

A tracker for keys, wallets, bags or any other important items they’re prone to lose


Tile Mate, $19.99, available at Tile or Amazon

Your forgetful friends and family will be so thankful for this gift. They can place this tracker in their wallet, purse, or phone case to make sure they never lose their things, because if they do, the Tile app makes it easy to retrace.

A set of K-beauty sheet masks for an at-home spa night


Tony Moly Sheet Mask Set, $12 (5 count), available at Macy’s

You don’t need to spend a fortune to give the gift of a pampered evening. This face mask set will do the trick on a budget, with sheets aimed at different skin concerns such as purifying, vitalizing, and pore care. They’re fun to put on and will leave their skin feeling replenished, too.

A pair of cozy socks for wine lovers


A pair of touchscreen gloves


A refreshing post-shave gel for their morning routine


A sequin pillow that changes color


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