Can you help me find a neato secret santa gift?
December 14, 2011 6:36 AM   Subscribe

Hivemind, I need your best ideas for an awesome $10 workplace secret santa gift! Details within!

Hello folks,

I am participating for the first time in a $10 limit secret santa Christmas gift exchange at my new job at a large company. Since I am new, and I don't know my fellow co-workers well, I am struggling to come up with some good gift ideas. I'm hoping you can help!

We all work in an IT capacity, though the employees on this team have very diverse interests and background - in other words, please don't assume they have typical tech/IT/nerdy interests per se. The recipient I was given is male, and appears to be in his 30's. We all sit in small cubicles on the same floor.

Given that I can't be super thoughtful about the gift since I don't know this person, here's some criteria I'm hoping to meet in a $10 gift:
- easy to locate item, either locally (I live in a metropolitan area) or online (if it can arrive before the 21st - I have Amazon Prime)
- not gender specific
- not tied too tightly to a specific interest or cause
- something that fun, useful, novel, and/or totally awesome
- value for the money (I know it's not a lot of money)
- no specific food/drink items

I have considered the following items:
- Nerf guns (eh...been there, done that)
- lottery tickets (might be a good last ditch option)
- gift cards (iTunes, etc.)

Again, I don't have any idea what this person has in terms of interests and my quick peek inside their cube provided little insight or clues. So it's time to get creative!

Can you guys help me come up with some good gift ideas? I would really appreciate it!

Thanks - and Happy Holidays everyone! :)
posted by karizma to Shopping (9 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
I once went to one of the stores in my city's Chinatown and found a set of four porcelain cappuccino demitasse cups for $9.99 for a Yankee Swap. Every single person grabbed that gift, and I'm not sure why, but it was a big hit.
posted by xingcat at 6:48 AM on December 14, 2011

Do you have Muji in the US? I got my Secret Santa an Origami set from there, and it seems to tick the boxes. They also have a lot of cool stationery.
posted by mippy at 6:52 AM on December 14, 2011 [2 favorites]

Nice mug. The one secret Santa gift I've kept hold of for about 8 years now is this nice big coffee mug.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 6:56 AM on December 14, 2011

Now is the time for Think Geek.

Also, if you can do a little low-level spying you could find out if they are coffee or tea-drinkers and get a small amount of something very nice and fancy. If they are into tea, $10 is a great price for a small amount of high quality loose leaf tea. Go for unflavored but big, whole leaves; if you can suss out a tea shop in your area just go in and state your goal and they'll help you out.
posted by Mizu at 6:58 AM on December 14, 2011

Is the recipient into sports at all? Where I live *everyone* is a Saints fan and most people are LSU fans - there is lots of neat junk with sports logos on it.
posted by radioamy at 7:39 AM on December 14, 2011

When I'm looking for a smallish fun gift and I don't know the recipient very well, I usually stop by art supply stores, Pier 1, Paper Source, or one of those cute-quirky gift stores that nearly every hip neighborhood or college town has. If you have an hour after work and can easily get to one or two stores like that, you'll almost certainly find something novel that will go over well.
posted by Metroid Baby at 7:43 AM on December 14, 2011

Someone once gave me a set of juggling balls (Three come in a tube for about ten bucks i think) and holy crap, do I love those things. I keep them at my desk and anyone who walks by has to try them out. Very addictive.
posted by silverstatue at 8:13 AM on December 14, 2011

Seconding mippy. This is why God invented Muji.
posted by MuffinMan at 9:27 AM on December 14, 2011

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