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15th December 2015

Secret Santa gifts for £5; solving the annual painstaking struggle

As much as we love the tradition, Secret Santa gifts are a pain to buy! So here are some ideas to relieve that stress and get you on your way with your Christmas shopping

It’s that time of year again; the names are drawn, the whispers are rife, and you already know who everybody else in the group has for Secret Santa. What’s more, everybody knows who you have, so the pressure is on to find a gem for £5 or under.

Let’s start with the most obvious and essential gift—everybody needs new pants. One extra pair of smalls means that you can put off the dreaded laundry wash for one more day, which is a highly sought after superpower in the world of laundrette runs. A pair of knickers from Topshop costs £4, or if you want to give a slightly ‘classier’ present, you could fork out for a handful £1 ‘Primani’ knickers, briefs, or boxers—although the life expectancy of this investment is somewhat questionable.

A food hamper is always a treat; grab the Nectar card and dash to Sainsbury’s—a Merryteaser chocolate reindeer (60p), a mini bottle of wine (£1.25), a bag of dried cranberries (50p), a block of brie (£1), a sachet of hot chocolate (30p) and a pack of 4 mince pies (£1) still leaves you with change to buy a little something for yourself on the way out. Cram it all into a shoebox wrapped in Christmas paper—they’ll love it!


If you’re looking for something a little more practical, then a travel mug could be your gift of choice. Nowadays, the boring old design is no more and there is quite literally a travel mug out there for all personalities imaginable. For £4.95 you could buy a ‘Mr Grumpy’ design from—perfect for someone who’s not quite with it until they get their morning caffeine fix.

Photo: Photo:

Ann Summers is your best bet if you’ve managed to draw the prude of the group. The exchanging of Secret Santa gifts wouldn’t be the same without somebody blushing a suitably Christmassy shade of red and holding up the candy nipple tassels (£5) or jelly willies (£3) that they’ve been given. With a selection including such elegant gifts as: penis pasta (£4), willy straws (£4), cola cocks (£3)—let’s face it, you can’t go wrong with a dirty present!

Provided you’ve been embracing the student experience that Manchester has to offer, there will be some nights that you and your friends will never forget. Those trigger-happy photographers among you may even have a cheeky snap to commemorate the carnage. If so, it is quite simply your duty to the group to preserve it. Putting it on a personalised keyring will mark the event in history—wherever the lucky recipient goes, they’ll be asked about the monstrosity that their keys behold. Cue the consequent embarrassment when they have to explain an image of themselves pretending to hump a dustbin, or throwing up on the Magic Bus, to grandma. For £2.99 (from Truprint), it really is worth the hassle.

Forget the crazy nights; when you feel a little worse for wear the morning after the night before, there’s nothing better than a good ol’ movie night. HMV sell a wide variety of Disney classics for under a fiver, or if you’re funds are really low, Poundland actually often have some good refurbished films, if you look hard enough.

Photo: Luigi ♥@Flickr

Every person has an emoji that they directly relate to (whether they know it or not). Amazon and other online sellers stock a range of emoji-themed cushions in a variety of such styles for around £4. Whether the receiver can make you cry tears of joy, gives sassy smirks, or is merely associated with a smiley poo, there’s one for every character within your circle.

If you’re still feeling uninspired, don’t despair! There are so many other ideas; you just need to look in the right places. have some great gifts—after all, who doesn’t want piña colada flavoured lip balm (£3.25), a nail art kit (£3.99), a giant custard cream (£4.95), or a chocolate pinecone (£4.95)? The many charity shops around Manchester are also always worth a browse. But whether you’re shopping online (‘Prices: Low to High’… obviously) or scouring the shops, just remember: No-one EVER wants soap or bath bombs…

…but a ‘Grow-Your-Own-Girlfriend/Boyfriend’ will never fail to put a smile on someone’s face.

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