It is that time of the year again; we can almost smell the eggnogg, taste the sizzling turkey, see the couple under the mistletoe and hear the sleigh bells on the roof. It’s time to start decorating the tree, eating more chocolate than you can easily stomach and buying Christmas presents. But with the last comes problems, especially when you draw the name of the person you haven’t spoken to since freshers’ week in a harmless game of Secret Santa. And then what? You’re trapped in the predicament of trying to tell them that you do know something about them, but at the same time you don’t want them to think that your gift was someone else’s idea. You’re trying to show that you put thought into it, but not too much thought in case they don’t like it (although let’s hope they do). Well don’t worry, because I’ve compiled a list of our top five Secret Santa ideas that will leave everyone wishing you had drawn their name.
1. Film Night Hamper
Who doesn’t love a night in with a good film? Even if you don’t know the recipient of the gift that well they’re sure to love it. All you have to do is get a box (you can get decorative ones of all sizes from your nearest gift shop) and fill it with all the things you need for a perfect night on the sofa. I’d start with hot chocolate sachet and maybe a packet of mini marshmallows to go on top. Combine this with some popcorn or a box of chocolates and the food side is sorted. Next, depending on who you’re buying for and how much you want to spend, pop in a face mask, some nail varnish (for the feminine types) and maybe even a pair of lovely warm slippers. The only thing you need to decide then is the film, which may require some background research into their favourite genre, but otherwise you’re sorted.
2. Get Personal
If you want it seem like you have put a lot of thought in then this is perfect! Choose from a huge assortment of personalised pretty much anything online. If you have enough photos with the person (or just have them on Facebook) then you could make a photobook or a personalised calendar. If they have a nickname within your circle of friends why not get them a T-Shirt with it printed on? Depending on the recipient you could also get a personalised kindle cover, iPhone cover, cushion, or my favourite: personalised baubles.
Admittedly getting someone a poster for Christmas is kind of lame, but they’re not that hard to jazz up with a frame so that it looks like a sophisticated piece of art. Around Christmas time there are usually posters being sold pretty cheap at Alexandra Square. Choose one you like, get a frame (it is probably easiest to get one that fits online), and you have framed artwork which will give any typical student bedroom a cultured edge.
4. Sweetie Vodka
It’s hard to come across a student who doesn’t love sweets, and even harder to come across a student who isn’t partial to vodka, which is why this gift is flawless. Simply choose your sweets – most people go with skittles but why not experiment and use something like pear drops? – pop them in the vodka, seal the lid and leave for a few days, shaking the mix every day. When the colour changes and you feel like you’ve left the sweets in for long enough, use a coffee filter and funnel to remove the sweets and any little bits that may be left in the vodka. There is no specific formula for making this, just experiment! If it tastes alright pour it into a nice bottle and add a tag for the quintessential student Christmas gift.
5. Festive Jumpers
This is the obvious one for Christmas, and how could anyone dislike a novelty Christmas jumper? At this time of year you can get them just about anywhere for just about any price. If you fancy something cute with a polar bear or snowflake try New Look, or if you’re after something a bit more humiliating, like a red knit with a Christmas tree on the front, try ebay. And if you’re feeling especially wintery why not throw in some toasty winter woolies too?