Secret Santa, White Elephant, Kris Kringle—whatever you call it, the game can be tricky. Depending on the context (coworker or book club or someone you actually know well), you might have varying degrees of knowledge about the other person’s preferences—and, for that matter, what they already own. Some might make it easy by simply announcing “Hey, if you have me as your Secret Santa, I want a beanie”, or you can enlist a mutual friend who can make like Sherlock Holmes and sleuth around for what they *really* want. But most of us don’t get so lucky and have to go for the middle ground: what’s universally appealing enough to be a great gift that’s within the budget and doesn’t feel frankly generic, either?
Behold, the best Secret Santa gifts under $30 that’ll let you win this year’s holiday gifting swap. No matter the occasion, the giftee, or even the budget, these gifts won’t disappoint.
The 30 best Secret Santa gifts under $30
Peace Love World, Sherpa Mittens — $20.00
Speaking of cold, these best-selling sherpa mittens will keep their hands toasty this holiday season. The semi-fitted silhouette is perfect for protecting hands against the winter chill, while the curly sherpa fabric and adorable embroidered heart motif look positively adorable. Bonus: They go with everything. Available in brown and black.
Apple, Air Tag — $29.00
The Apple AirTag has a myriad of uses, making it a prime (and yes, you can get it on Amazon Prime) choice for any giftee. Fundamentally, it often saves your giftee time, allowing them to effortlessly ping easy-to-lose items when rummaging for their keys, wallet, or other items on their way out the door. Some shoppers even love to stick it in a suitcase to track it through the airport, or even on kiddos too young for smartphones. Better yet, this lightweight tile syncs easily with the Find My app along with other iOS products.
Salton, Mug Warmer with LED Light — $25.00
For the coworker who seemingly always has a cup of coffee, this mug warmer will make their day (and their cup of joe.) The heated coaster will keep their latte or americano at the perfect temperature throughout the day, no matter how many hours they leave it on there. It doubles as a candle warmer, too, so if they work from home and want to create the perfect scentscape fire-free, this thing has got them covered.
Sea to Summit, Ultra-Sil Dry Bag (3L) — $23.00
Did you get an outdoorsy giftee in this year’s Secret Santa? From the trail to the beach, this lightweight, packable dry bag is a necessity that folds up to practically nothing. Whether your giftee is the type to unironically call dirt “trail spice” or is simply hoping not to get a phone wet when in a hot tub at a ski chalet this winter, they’ll be grateful for the added protection of this 3-liter layer. Better yet, it comes in five funky colors.
Loop, Quiet Earplugs — $25.00
Fashionable earplugs are the must-haves they didn’t know they needed. These stylish inserts—which come in seven cute colors—reduce the everyday noise and stimulation we’re confronted with every day. Four interchangeable ear tips and flexible silicone make for a comfortable fit both day and night. Some use them to minimize noise in chaotic environments; others use them for deep focus. For your frequent traveler buddy, these are an absolute godsend in a crowded hostel or city sidewalk.
Athleta, All About Phone Crossbody Bag — $29.00
For the fan of “hot girl walks” (or your friend who’s always playing chicken with a couple of loose credit cards and a bare phone), try gifting this minimal crossbody bag. This slim, light recycled bag has built-in organizers that can fit a wallet, phone, keys, and a few cards. It’s fab for everyday use and travel alike.
Kiki Pure, Mini Air Purifier — $20.00
They say great things come in small packages. Enter, this mini air purifier that ensures clean, fresh air, and makes a thoughtful and unique present. Compact and portable, it’s perfect for any space, from desks to bedside tables. Because everyone deserves a breath of fresh air, especially during the stress of the holidays.
Anthropologie, Bastide Rose Olivier Bar Soap — $20.00
Hear us out: bar soap is a perfect pick-me-up gift. It lasts forever, smells divine, and often has better bang for your buck than perfume or liquid soap. We’re big believers that one of the best gifts you can give is elevating a daily ritual (like an absolutely *fabulous* shower), and you could even bundle it with an adorable soap dish or hand cream if you need a little oomph.
Berkshire Home, Blanket VelvetLoft Throw — $20.00
No one will ever be upset about getting a blanket, and this one is no different. At 60″ x 70″, this cozy throw will wrap them in pure bliss on the couch, in the car, or wherever they want to cuddle up. Doesn’t hurt that it comes in the prettiest colors, either, so when they’re not using it, it doubles as a piece of home decor.
Korres, 3-Piece Olive Bath & Body Collection — $30.00
Elevate their self-care routine with the gift of pure Mediterranean bliss this holiday season. Each kit comes with two bottles of Korres’ rejuvenating shower gel, plus a bottle of its rich body cream. The secret ingredient? Olive oil, which delivers intense hydration long after they’ve lathered up.
Illiyoon, Ceramide Ato Travel Kit — $15.00
If they’re big travelers, they’ll adore this 3-piece kit from K-beauty brand, Illiyoon. Each product is all TSA-friendly and ready to take to the skies. Even better, each is infused with the brand’s ridiculously gentle, nourishing formula that’s rich in skin-loving ceramides. Tl;Dr—Your Secret Santa’s skin will eat it up.
Bombas, Merino Wool Blend Calf Socks — $20.00
Available sizes: S-L
Socks are the go-to gift joke, but most people will *actually* tell you that a bomb—or rather, Bombas—pair of socks will go a long way in the cozy self-care time we all relish with winter up ahead. There’s a reason shoppers adore this brand. Merino wool is an absolute powerhouse of a material too; it’s sweat-wicking, but warm enough to keep you comfortable no matter the temperature. The Y-stitched heel also creates a natural cup shape that hugs the foot for optimal support.
Glasshouse Fragrances, “A Tahaa Affair” Christmas Bauble — $19.00
This adorable bauble is filled with a luxe candle scented with sweet caramel and vanilla, igniting a festive atmosphere wherever it hangs. Whether it’s for your colleague or your bestie, this little gem will add a delightful touch of warmth and joy on *and* off the Christmas tree.
Lokliffai, Sterling Silver Bow Drop Dangle Earring — $16.00
With holiday soirées on the horizon, these timeless yet on-trend earrings will be a welcome sight for sore eyes but not sore ears. They’re lightweight, sweet, and elegant, befitting of both the bold statement-jewelry lover and the minimalist “that girl.” Opt for gold or silver. (This shopper may or may not have *gifted* these to herself while writing.)
Laneige, Lip Sleeping Mask — $24.00
The Laneige Lip Sleep Mask is alllll over your feeds for a reason, and beloved by celebs like Sydney Sweeney. For the gift recipient who’s been saving self care for a rainy day (or simply could use a much-needed restock of this product), this intensely moisturizing overnight scrub is stocked full of antioxidants and hydration.
“Please Grow” by Alex Testere — $15.00
Inspired by plants, “Please Grow: Lessons on Thriving for Plants (and People)” by illustrator Alex Testere is a self-care book that doubles as home decor. Filled with pages and pages of vibrant drawings, the book takes inspiration from the natural world and how we can apply them to our human lives. Growth isn’t just for plants, after all.
Home and kitchen gifts
Chamberlain Coffee, Matcha — $22.00
For the caffeine lover experimenting who craves their morning coffee or tea, consider gifting them a high-quality matcha to try. This vegan, ceremonial-grade Japanese matcha is packed with naturally soothing L-theanine (so no jitters!) and can make both hot and cold beverages. One small tin makes up to thirty cups.
Le Creuset, 12 oz. Coffe Mug — $19.00
Le Creuset is a household staple for a reason. The iconic, gorgeous colorways combined with some serious hardcore longevity make each piece expensive but worthwhile. (The brand’s known for its attention to detail, French craftsmanship, and practically artisanal palette.) Start off their collection with a daily-use mug available in seven stunning colors.
Airome, Essential Oil Diffuser — $28.00
From calming lavender and dreamy chamomile to energizing citrus and rejuvenating eucalyptus, this pretty diffuser transforms any room into a personal oasis. All they’ll have to do is fill it with water and add a few drops of their favorite scent, plug it in, and enjoy. It’ll get to work diffusing its aromatherapy powers instantly. Ahhhh.
Turkish Towels, Antalya Terry Beach Towel — $25.00
A Turkish towel has superior quality, absorbency, and softness that wins over everyone from the casual picnic-er to the hardcore outdoorsy camper to the gal who loves having a gorgeous linen closet. A quick-drying towel comes in handy in any situation, and the fringe is cute enough to get oooohs and ahhhs at your gift exchange. Oh, and it’s even on sale.
Anthropologie, Valencia Bud Vase — $20.00
Get your bud a bud vase this year, and watch their joy bloom. Each vase is crafted from 100 percent recycled glass in the most elegant colors, like bright yellow, rosy pink, and chocolate brown. They’ll add a pop of color to any desk, bedside table, hearth—wherever they put them.
Surely, Non-Alcoholic Brut Can 4-Pack — $25.00
This 4-pack of alcohol-free sparkling wine is sure to impress, especially if your night includes a cocktail hour. It’s refreshing, low-sugar, and has a rich texture and taste befitting of your go-to glass. They’ll be over the moon after the first sip—cheers to that.
JP Glassware, Flower Coupe Glasses — $20.00
Embellish their bar cart with this striking jade-colored set of coupe glasses. The organic shapes add a subtly modern touch that coincides nicely with their vintage aesthetic that instantly meshes with any decor style. They can even drag ‘em out for the holidays, getting immediate use.
“Half Baked Harvest Every Day” by Tieghan Gerard — $16.00
For the chef, the pal, or the coffee table book aficionado: you can’t get much better than Tieghan Gerard’s collection of exclusive recipes beyond those found on her cooking blog, Half Baked Harvest. For a personal touch, you can annotate the recipes throughout, or buy yourself a copy too and cook together through the book if you’d like to add in a little quality time to the prezzie.
Stanley, 20 oz. Quencher H2.0 Travel Tumbler — $30.00
The Stanley is famous across the Internet and it wholly deserves the reputation. New models and drops routinely sell out within minutes of being posted to their site, so it’s much snazzier than the usual yawn of a travel mug gift. (We’re kidding; we’ll always add to the collection.) But the insulation of these can keep bevvies hot or cold for hours, it fits within your car’s cup holder, and its rotating straw top has three possible positions for every type of sipper.
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