The 7 types of Secret Santa present

Hannah Sims · 19 Dec

You’ve just put your name in the Secret Santa hat. Whoever you draw, you’ll search high and low for that perfect present.

You’ll remember the deadline. You’ll come in just under budget. And you’ll be convinced you’ve been original…

We don’t think so. Really, when it all comes down to it and the great day arrives, we know you’ll have given and received one of these seven present types. There are only seven. Just make sure it’s not Number 5.


1) The test:

It’s a book or vinyl and it’s ‘very, very good’. This person wants to train you in their image. You are their vanity project. They have forgotten that Secret Santa is supposed to be secret. So, pick the person who is least likely to have given it to you and pester them for book recommendations all year until the true giver goes mad with the lack of attention.

What to say: “I’ll read this straight after I find out what happens to that very hungry caterpillar.”

2)The boss present:

Statistics say that someone will be tasked with getting the boss a present. You might see it as a great opportunity to show your tact and taste, or simply a terrifying ordeal. You find yourself down the chocolate aisle of your local supermarket, getting all angsty over Bendicks Mints.

What to say: “Who doesn’t love Bendick’s Mints??”

3) The bottle of alcohol::

It’s from the shop next to your office. This person put no thought into presents and just remembered on their way up. And yet- and yet- it’s probably the best present of the bunch.

What to say: “Cheers.”

4) The wildly inappropriate:

Was it an in-joke no one can remember? When you open the obscene t-shirt in front of everyone, no one knows whether to laugh or cry. The beauty - when no one is supposed to know who gave what, awful presents are the perfect, most successful crime - oh, except Pete is crying with laughter on his own in the corner.

What to say: “Secret Santa? Secret Banter, more like!” (hearty laugh)

5) The bland:

Someone thinks you have no personality, so they have made sure you smell of cinnamon. This way, they can distinguish you from a wall. Behold, the scented candle. You won’t light it in the office. You’ll give the pale wax a tentative sniff and then read the label with growing incredulity. Why, I don’t know what deer footprints in a Scandinavian forest smell like. I suppose they could smell of this.
What to say: “Oh! I just love scented candles!”

6) The budget blowout:

With £5 to spend, how exactly did she manage to get hold of Beyonce concert tickets for Nikki? Yes, in front of everyone else, the best office friends are flaunting their special friendship. Everyone knows they’re best friends. They were never going to stick to the budget. But why flaunt it? Save it for when you go out to drinks later without everyone else.

What to say: “Oh wow! I’m so lucky! What’s that you’ve just opened, Julie, a candle?”

7) The one that gets it band on:

No description needed.

What to say: “Santastic!”

There you have it, all seven are there. Now, get down to the charity shops!

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