Secret Santa is a fun and less expensive way to exchange gifts with family or friends, but when you do it year after year, it can sometimes feel a little tired. There are only so many times you can gift your friend with fuzzy socks and foot cream before you start to feel bah humbug about the whole thing.
But Secret Santa and White Elephant exchanges don’t have to be boring. Spice up your gift exchange by asking participants to stick to a theme. Is your friend group into cooking and baking? Pick gifts that belong in the kitchen. In need of some stress relief? Set a spa theme and practically feel the relaxation kick in as you shop.
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Keep scrolling for seven Secret Santa themes that will make gifting even more fun—plus some ideas for what to buy, no matter your price range.
1. Spa Day
Give your girls the gift of relaxation with a spa theme. If your budget's on the lower side, make a DIY lip scrub, pick out a calming candle, or customize a face mask for your BFF's skin type. If you're really going for it, splurge on a gift certificate for a spa treatment to give the gift of me-time.
2. Cooking and Baking
If your group is filled with kitchen wizards, make their day with a cooking or baking-themed gift. Opt for pretty spatulas, Instagram-worthy measuring cups, or a delectable cookbook to help them on the way to becoming the next Julia Child. If they need more help than a cookbook could provide, a cooking class is a great option—get two tickets so they can bring along a friend (and hope they choose you!).
3. Bar Cart
A good bottle of wine will always make a great gift, but you can do so much more with a bar-themed Secret Santa exchange. Shop for a pretty set of glasses, an artisan bottle opener, or a Pinterest-worthy cocktail shaker. If you're going big, consider getting your BFF the whole bar cart, perfect for small city apartments.
Whether your girls are Stranger Things fans, Harry Potter diehards, or Game of Thrones devotees, set the theme to represent their respective favorite fandoms. Pick up a punny GoT cutting board, get your Grey's Anatomy "person" the perfect bracelet, or if all else fails, a box set of their favorite series or franchise will always be appreciated.
If you're looking to save money on your holiday gift exchange (who isn't?), ask your squad to go DIY this year. You'll give your most unique gift yet, guaranteed. Try putting together a homemade wreath or even making your own candle with essential oils for a present they're sure to love.
Who doesn't love the gift of food? For another budget-friendly idea, set the theme to anything delicious, from homemade cookies to artisan assorted chocolates, and dig in as a group. Of course, the recipient gets first dibs.