53 Secret Santa gifts they'll actually want to keep — all under $25

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  • Secret Santa is a fun holiday tradition, but too often you end up with cheap gifts that end up going to a White Elephant party or collecting dust in the back of your closet. 
  • You don't have to spend a lot on Secret Santa gifts to find something that's still special. We rounded up 53 fun gifts under $25 that they'll actually really like. 
  • If you're participating in a Secret Santa this year, keep reading for 53 great gift options they'll actually want to keep. Check out all of our gift guides for even more inspiration. 
  • Sign up for Insider Reviews' weekly newsletter for more buying advice and great deals

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 53 gifts that your secret Santa recipient will love. We've got everything from the more generically-appealing, like chocolate 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 if you've left it to the last minute — just remember that the sooner you order, the better your chances of a timely arrival.

The 5 best Secret Santa gifts under $25: 

  1. A cute reusable shopping bag from Baggu ($12)
  2. A tiny pinball machine ($20.06)
  3. A sweet and spicy sriracha blend ($9.95)
  4. A ticket stub diary where they can track their favorite events ($10.14)
  5. A cozy beanie from Urban Outfitters ($16)

Keeping reading for all 53 Secret Santa gifts under $25: 

A little candle that smells like home

Homesick Mini Scented Candle, from $16, available at Amazon

Smell is very closely tied to memory, so it's no wonder that when you smell sugar and cinnamon you're brought back to your childhood ritual of french toast and cartoons on Sunday mornings. Homesick makes candles with customized scents that embody the ethos of states, cities, and experiences, like going on a road trip or to summer camp, making them a sweet and sentimental gift for anyone. 

A reusable bag that's cute and sustainable

Standard Baggu, $12, 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 set of skin-care essentials

Fresh Cleanse, Mask, Moisturize Set, $25, available at Sephora

Winter weather means skin needs some extra TLC. This set includes Fresh's gentle soy cleanser, rose face mask, and deeply hydrating lotus moisturizer — everything they need to calm and nourish skin battling cold weather. 

A bestselling body moisturizer

Kiehl's Creme de Corps, 2.5-ounce, from $12, available at Nordstrom

Help them treat their skin right with Kiehl's beloved, and super-hydrating Creme de Corps, another one of our favorite remedies for dryness.

A headband with a pop of color

Rifle Paper Co. Knotted Headband, $18, available at Rifle Paper Co.

A great headband sits at the intersection of fun and practical — upgrading nearly any outfit while remaining as functional as ever. The styles from Rifle Paper Co. do exactly that as they boast cheery floral designs.

A beautiful handmade soap

Activated Charcoal and Rose Soaps, $5.75, available at Etsy

These soaps are gorgeous to look at, and reviewers rave that the smell is equally as amazing. This pictured soap is handmade with charcoal and rose, but there are plenty of impressive scents (and sights) to choose from in the creator's shop.

A portable catchall pouch

Ondine Catchall Pouch, $24, available at Anthropologie

This adorable catchall pouch is available in four bright colors, each of which comes with a witty saying on the front and a distinctive print inside. If they're always wondering where they put their keys or are just looking for more jewelry storage, there's no shortage of creative uses for this accessory.

A portable cheese melter

Boska Holland Partyclette Melting Pan, $19.99, available at Amazon

Melted cheese can make pretty much every meal better. If you don't believe us, check out this video to see the gooey goodness in action. 

A limited-edition pair of socks inspired by The Rolling Stones

Rolling Stones Paint it Bright Sock, $11.20, available at Happy Socks

Friends with a funky fashion sense or a love for The Rolling Stones will appreciate this colorful pair inspired by the band's iconic logo. 

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

GlamGlow Pre-Party Prep: Oxygenating Deep Cleanse Bubblesheet Mask Trio, $19, available at Sephora

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 three deep cleansing face masks. They're fun to put on and will leave their skin feeling replenished, too.

A charging hub for all of their favorite devices

Elago 3-in-1 Charging Hub, $24.99, available at Amazon

Help them maximize outlet space with this smart charging hub— it has enough space to charge all three of their most important Apple devices simultaneously. 

A set of cool coasters that's worthy of Instagram

Blue Aqua Agate Coaster, $10.50 (set of 4), available at Society6

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 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 unique condiment for beer lovers

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 scratch-off bucket list to spur their next adventure

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

This bucket list suggests 100 unique activities to look forward to once they're safe again — 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.

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 no-spill travel mug

Contigo Autoseal Insulated Travel Mug, $17.89, available at Amazon

Students, commuters, or anyone who enjoys hot beverages on the go will love this travel mug. As its name suggests, this mug automatically seals to stops leaks and spills, even if it's rolling around in a backpack. Its durability and affordability make it a team favorite.

A healing Himalayan salt lamp

Himalayan Glow Salt Lamp, $16.97 available at Amazon

Himalayan salt lamps have recently become a big trend in home decor, but they're also said to have healing properties as they purify the air around them. Whether they believe in the health benefits or not, anyone can enjoy the warm glow and aesthetic appeal this lamp offers.

A set of reusable straws

SipWell Extra Long Stainless Steel Drinking Straws, $3.99 (set of 8), available at Amazon

For those trying to make a positive impact on the planet, give them these reusable straws so they never have to rely on the wasteful plastic ones again. These come with a brush so they're easy to clean and ready to be reused. 

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

Old Fashioned Carry-On Cocktail Kit, $24, available at W&P

This kit fits right in their carry-on bag and has all of the fixings for two Old Fashioned cocktails. All they need to do is add whiskey or rye. This cocktail kit can be enjoyed at any altitude, but it will most definitely make for a fun flight activity. 

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

One Question a Day Journal, $13.69, available at Amazon

A gift for your ambitious friend who's always asking where you see yourself in five years. Help them answer this question for themselves, with a daily journal that poses a new question each day for five years.

A letter board they can leave fun messages on

Felt Letter Board, $18.89, 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, $14.95, 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

OXO Good Grips Shatterproof French Press, $19.99, available at Amazon

A French press makes it easy to enjoy delicious, rich coffee every morning. It's not as quick as a Keurig (you have to let the grounds steep for a few minutes), but the results are worth the wait. Plus, they'll love that they can fill it with their favorite beans. 

A face mask that calms red and irritated skin

Mario Badescu Azulene Calming Mask, $18, available at Nordstrom

This light, refreshing face mask is made with botanical ingredients that calm irritated skin. It's delicate on skin and will leave it looking more hydrated, even, and refreshed. 

A spice set for rescuing bland pizzas

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 three flavorful spices, this set will transform even the most "meh" slices to something delicious. If you're not sold, it was made by New Yorkers — and they know good pizza. 

A microwave popcorn maker

La Roma Microwave Popcorn Popper, $17.99, available at Bed Bath & Beyond

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

PopSockets Grip, starting at $9.99, available at Amazon

They might seem unnecessary at first, but PopSocket Grips are extremely useful. They can use them as a kickstand to prop up their tablet and to comfortably hold their phone while reading on the subway. It's a very useful way to spend $10 (or less.)

A best-selling book for foodies

"Salt Fat Acid Heat", $20.98, 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 pair of fuzzy animal slippers for lounging at home

Halluci Cozy Fleece Slippers, $19.99, available at Amazon

For those who love to lounge, go for these adorable animal slippers. They come in a variety of cute animals and will keep their feet extra toasty on cold winter days. 

A sequin pillow that changes color

Brentwood Mermaid Sequin Throw Pillow, $4.79, available at Kohl's

You can sleep easy knowing you gave them one of the most fun pillows they'll ever own. With the help of reversible sequins, they can write on it and draw fun designs — even adults will be enamored.

A diary for sports, music, or movie lovers

Ticket Stub Diary, $10.14, 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, from $24.99, available at Tile

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 cute set of planters

Mkono Modern Succulent Planters, $21.99 for three, available at Amazon

Help them add some greenery to their space with these cool concrete planters. Add some small plants if you want to complete the gift. 

A faux plant desk organizer for much needed greenery and tidiness

Kikkerland Potted Pen Phone Stand, $12, available at Amazon

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 pair of cozy socks for wine lovers

Wine Socks, starting at $12, available at Etsy

These toasty socks pair best with a bottle of your favorite wine, a comfy couch, and some Netflix on a Sunday night. 

A pair of touchscreen gloves

Universal Thread Stretch Knit Gloves, $7, available at Target

They don't need to be a runner to appreciate a nice pair of touch-screen-friendly gloves. This pair will keep their hands warm while they type, scroll, and click away — plus it has reflective detailing for some added safety.

A mini, portable pinball machine

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, $20.06, available at Amazon

This pint-sized pinball machine brings all of the fun and nostalgia of their favorite retro arcade game. It even comes with a keychain, so they can take it with them wherever they go.

A cool belt bag that can actually hold their things

Adidas Originals National Belt Bag, $18, available at Adidas

Belt bags are trendy and practical. This Adidas option brings a sporty touch to every outfit. Although it's small, it's actually big enough to fit a good amount of their everyday belongings.

A cute mug that lets them track their travels

Color Map Mugs, $18-$24, available at Uncommon Goods

No matter what they're sipping on, they'll love doing so in this mug that they can completely customize. With the included markers they can color in the destinations they've been to or want to go to, for a map of the world that's unique to them. 

A cozy beanie for impending chilly days

Dyed Cable Knit Beanie, $16, available at Urban Outfitters

It's that time of year when everyone needs a cozy hat. With a classic cable knit, this one is as cool as it is comfortable.

A cheese-making kit for chefs and foodies

Mozzarella and Ricotta Cheese Making Kit, $24.99, available at Thrive Market

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 cheese-making knowledge to last a lifetime — now that's a gift that keeps on giving.

A sweet snack they'll enjoy eating

Decadent Chocolate Fondue, $20, available at Uncommon Goods

Sweeten up their holiday season with this incredibly easy-to-make chocolate fondue. All they have to do is heat up the stoneware containers (which are pre-filled with chocolate) and find some fruit for dipping.

A mini waffle maker for the cutest breakfast ever

Dash Mini Waffle Maker, $10, available at Target

This miniature waffle maker is adorably small and will look super cute in their kitchen. Plus, it makes for a delicious, easy breakfast.

A hilarious coffee table book

"F in Exams," from $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 unique hot sauce blend for an adventurous eater

Gochujang Sriracha, $9.95, available at Sur La Table

Give them a gift to take their hot-sauce habit to the next level. The blend of Thai sriracha and Korean gochujang is sweet, spicy, and unlike anything they've ever tasted before.

A meme-worthy T-shirt

Headline Shirts Nicholas Cage T-Shirt, $24, available at Amazon

The national treasure of all T-shirts. That is all.

A motivating water bottle that reminds them to stay hydrated

Drink More Water Bottle, $15, available at Uncommon Goods

Staying hydrated is important. If you happen to need a gift for someone who never gets their recommended daily dose of H2O, this water bottle can lend some much-needed motivation.

A mug that lets them play with their food

Playful Sports Mug, $25, available at Uncommon Goods

This mug is for the young at heart who refuse to stop playing with their food. With a basketball hoop handle, this could be the most fun way to eat cereal or dunk marshmallows into hot chocolate.

Coffee beans that give back

Coffee Beans for a Better World, $24, available at Uncommon Goods

This coffee grown in Kenya features artwork from local artisans on each bag of beans. The proceeds go to local schools to help children cover school supplies, books, and uniforms. 

A shower beer holder for mid-rinse brews

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 history lesson with their cup of tea

Tea Leaf Reading Set, $23, available at Uncommon Goods

Give tea lovers the chance to try something new every day with this tea leaf reading kit. It comes with a mug, loose leaf tea, and of course a lesson that explains how to read different symbols.

A catch-all inspired by their favorite animal

Llama Trinket Dish, $25, available at West Elm

Everyone could use a catch-all to collect the small odds and ends around the house. Llama lovers will love using this cute trinket dish modeled after their favorite animal.

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