50 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 50 fun gifts under $25 that they'll actually really like.
  • If you're participating in a Secret Santa this year, keep reading for 50 great gift options they'll actually want to keep.

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 50 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.

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A sweet snack they'll enjoy eating

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 scratch-off bucket list to spur their next adventure

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 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.

A little candle that smells like home

A little candle that smells like home
Homesick Mini Scented Candle, $16.95, 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 charging hub for all of their favorite devices

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

A set of cool coasters that's worthy of Instagram
Stone Coasters Agate Look, from $20 (set of 4), available at Etsy

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

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 reusable bag that's cute and sustainable

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 unique condiment for beer lovers

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 cozy beanie for impending chilly days

A cozy beanie for impending chilly days
UO Esme Fisherman Beanie, $12, 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.

An adult card game that will make parties a lot more interesting

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 portable cheese melter

A portable cheese melter
Portable Cheese Melt Utensil, $16.99, available at Uncommon Goods, or $19.95 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 carry-on cocktail kit to make flights a little more bearable

A carry-on cocktail kit to make flights a little more bearable
Old Fashioned Carry-On Cocktail Kit, $24, available at Uncommon Goods

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 cheese-making kit for chefs and foodies

A cheese-making kit for chefs and foodies
DIY Cheesemaking kit, $25.95, available at Williams Sonoma

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 cheesemaking knowledge to last a lifetime — now that's a gift that keeps on giving.

A no-spill travel mug

A no-spill travel mug
Contigo Autoseal Insulated Travel Mug, $17.45, 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 mini waffle maker for the cutest breakfast ever

A mini waffle maker for the cutest breakfast ever
Dash Mini Waffle Maker, $18, available at Urban Outfitters

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

A hilarious coffee table book
"F in Exams", $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 little backpack that can actually hold their things

A little backpack that can actually hold their things
Nike Brasilla Mini Backpack, $25, available at Urban Outfitters

Mini things are all the rage these days, and this mini backpack is right on trend. Although it's small, it's actually big enough to fit a good amount of their everyday belongings.

A unique hot sauce blend for an adventurous eater

A unique hot sauce blend for an adventurous eater
Gochujang Sriracha, $10, available at Uncommon Goods

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 set of reusable straws

A set of reusable straws
SipWell Extra Long Stainless Steel Drinking Straws, $7.89 (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 meme-worthy T-shirt

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 healing Himalayan salt lamp

A healing Himalayan salt lamp
Himalayan Glow Salt Lamp, $19.97, 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 motivating water bottle that reminds them to stay hydrated

A motivating water bottle that reminds them to stay hydrated
Drink More Water Bottle, $19.99, 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 five-year journal that asks the big questions — and little ones, too

A five-year journal that asks the big questions — and little ones, too
One Question a Day Journal, $16.14, 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 face mask that calms red and irritated skin

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 letter board they can leave fun messages on

A letter board they can leave fun messages on
Felt Letter Board, $18.95, 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"

A mug inspired by "The Office"
The Office Mug, $16.95, 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

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 spice set for rescuing bland pizzas

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

A mug that lets them play with their food

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.

A microwave popcorn maker

A microwave popcorn maker
La Roma Microwave Popcorn Popper, $19.99, 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

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.)

Coffee beans that give back

Coffee beans that give back
Coffee Beans for a Better World, $23, 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 best-selling book for foodies

A best-selling book for foodies
"Salt Fat Acid Heat", $20.63, 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 shower beer holder for mid-rinse brews

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 pair of fuzzy animal slippers for lounging at home

A pair of fuzzy animal slippers for lounging at home
Halluci Cozy Fleece Slippers, $17.99, 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 history lesson with their cup of tea

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 diary for sports, music, or movie lovers

A diary for sports, music, or movie lovers
Ticket Stub Diary, $12.32, 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 sequin pillow that changes color

A sequin pillow that changes color
Ankit Reversible Sequin Pillow, $16.99, available at Amazon

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 tracker for keys, wallets, bags or any other important items they’re prone to lose

A tracker for keys, wallets, bags or any other important items they’re prone to lose
Tile Mate, $21.97, available at Tile or Amazon

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 set of K-beauty sheet masks for an at-home spa night

A set of K-beauty sheet masks for an at-home spa night
Tony Moly Sheet Mask Set, $12 (5 count), available at Macy's

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 sheets aimed at different skin concerns such as purifying, vitalizing, and pore care. They're fun to put on and will leave their skin feeling replenished, too.

A pair of cozy socks for wine lovers

A pair of cozy socks for wine lovers
Wine Socks, starting at $9.99, 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

A pair of touchscreen gloves
Universal Thread Tech Touch Gloves, $12.99, 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 refreshing post-shave gel for their morning routine

A refreshing post-shave gel for their morning routine
Kiehl's Post-Shave Repair Gel, $22, available at Nordstrom

They're gonna need a good shave after Movember. Help them treat their face right with this post-shave gel made with ingredients to soothe, replenish, and refresh skin.

A fun challenge they can take with them anywhere

A fun challenge they can take with them anywhere
World's Smallest Rubik's Cube, $8, available at Urban Outfitters

Maybe they've solved a Rubix Cube before, but have they ever solved a mini version? This little game is an even cuter and possibly more challenging iteration of the real deal.

A catch-all inspired by their favorite animal

A catch-all inspired by their favorite animal
Llama Trinket Dish, $19, 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.

A limited-edition pair of socks inspired by an artist

A limited-edition pair of socks inspired by an artist
Andy Warhol Skull Sock, $14, available at Happy Socks

Art is all around us, but there's probably one place you never thought it would be: on a pair of socks. Friends with a funky fashion sense will love this colorful pair inspired by Andy Warhol's art work.

A cute set of planters

A cute set of planters
Mkono Modern Succulent Planters, $15.99 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

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 cute illustration for their space

A cute illustration for their space
New York City Printable Wall Art, from $25, available at Etsy

No matter where they live, this cute watercolor illustration of New York City will make a great addition to their space. If you think they'd prefer looking at something else, you can check out all of the other unique paintings here.

A set of spa-ready essentials

A set of spa-ready essentials
Clinique Stay In & Chill Out Set, $19.50, available at Nordstrom

Winter weather means skin needs some extra TLC. Help them get that, and some time to wind down, with this set of skincare essentials and a comfy sleep mask.

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