Secret Santa ideas

santaThe Telegraph recently reported that the average British household will spend nearly £3,300 on Christmas this year! I couldn’t believe this figure at first, but once you tot up the costs of the presents, food, wrapping paper and decorations, you’re well on the way to hitting that amount.

My friends and I always look to save money wherever possible. Instead of spending a fortune on the same-old beauty gift sets for one other, we’ve started doing a secret Santa. All of our names get put into a hat, and we each select one person to buy for.

This is a much more cost-effective way of doing gifts, without completely stopping buying for your friends. We have set a limit of £15 so we can avoid the embarrassment of one person overspending and making the other presents look cheap.

We haven’t drawn names yet (well, it is only November after all!) but having said that, I’ve still been looking online for some gift inspiration. All of my friends get spoilt for Christmas from their other halves, so it is really difficult to choose something that they won’t already be getting.

I’ve been thinking outside the box this year and I’ve decided to go for a personalised gift for whoever I get in the draw. While I was searching, I stumbled across the Your Design website; they have a great range of personalised embroidered gifts. The hot water bottle is one of my favourites and will keep them toasty warm during the colder months.

Everyone loves a cuppa, and I know my friends love snuggling up on the sofa on a winter’s evening. I really like the personalised mugs that Your Design offer too. I’m torn between the festive gingerbread design, and the photo mugs. Seeing my friends face as they unwrap a mug that has that photo from a rather tipsy night out on would just be hilarious – I’m sure they’ll see the funny side!

Now it’s no secret that I love to cook, so I’m thinking of showing off my skills this year. There is no better food at Christmas than gingerbread, so I’m thinking of making some gingerbread men as little extras to go with their gifts.

This recipe from the BBC seems really easy to follow, although I will be making some adjustments – as an extra special touch, I’m going to make gingerbread women that look like the person I’m buying for. No doubt once I get the ingredients out, I’ll have two little assistants who are willing to help me in exchange for licking the bowl!

If I have any money left over (looking unlikely at this rate!), I may splash out on some personalised wrapping paper. I’ve spotted a few places online that will create gift wrap from your photos. It’s a nice touch and the presents will look delightful, but I’m not too bothered if my budget won’t stretch that far – after all, it just gets torn off anyways!